Lunchtime Design: Animals in HomeGoods

This edition of Lunchtime Design didn’t actually take place during lunchtime. It was about a month ago on a Sunday afternoon. But it still counts!

I went into HomeGoods to walk around and see what inspired me. Pretty soon, I noticed a theme. Luckily, that theme was one of my favorites: animals! There were animals all over the place.

First, I saw this display of owl platters. I loved the round one in the back right corner.

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Then I saw some glass animals. First, a turtle:

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Then, a fish:

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Then I moved to the food section, where I saw this adorable cheese grater. I think it was a porcupine? Or maybe a hedgehog? Either way, it was cute. If I ever had any occasion to grate cheese, I would have bought it.

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Then, there were these butterfly mini-cake tins.

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And then these cow salt and pepper shakers…

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In the kids’ section, I came across this cute polka-dotted piggy bank.

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In the pet section, I saw this trio of ceramic winged dogs.

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They reminded me of Falcor, but not as awesome.

In the bath section, I saw this seahorse-shaped shower caddy:

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And then this elephant soap dispenser:

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Then, there was the Halloween decor section (already?! it was August 18!), which was filled to the brim with owls of all sorts. I think this was intended to be a “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” set.

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Next up was this shiny silver rhino, which I now realize didn’t photograph well on an also-silver background:

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There seemed to be lots of roosters, but I’ve always hated rooster decor, so I avoided taking pictures of those. But I found the idea this plump hen roosting on her nest sort of endearing:

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Finally, I made it over to the lamp corner, where I was surprised to find more animals. There was this pair of huge seahorse lamps (see how the bases are the same height as that average-sized table lamp in between them?):

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And lastly, this gold bird-on-a-branch lamp:

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Interesting, right? I’m glad there are so many options for my love of animals to translate somewhat into my home decor–in ways other than my two real kitties shedding all over everything!

(Disclaimer: Most of the things in this post don’t align with my own style, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend trying to blend all of these things together! I just thought they were some cute ideas for inspiration for anyone who loves animals like I do.)

What do you think about incorporating animal-themed pieces into your home?

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my new (dead) roommate

When I came out of the bathroom this morning after my shower, THIS was outside the door:

huge dead spider

I guess now that I’m living in a basement, this is the kind of roommate I can expect. Luckily, it was dead. And judging by the way Delilah was proudly hanging around and trying to play with it, I think she was the murderer.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a spider that big inside a house in Virginia before. It had some pretty sizable fangs, so I really hope it didn’t bite her. Judging by the fact that part of its face was smashed in, I’m thinking there might have been some biting involved. My poor kitty!

But I’m glad she was there to protect me in the night from this big, bad monster.

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Seriously gross.

Dawn Saves Wildlife Campaign

I was just sitting at work, queuing up a GrooveShark station, when this ad started playing in the sidebar:

Naturally, I clicked over to YouTube and watched the whole series! Although nearly everyone has seen those adorable Dawn commercials where the oil-covered baby ducks and penguins get bathed in Dawn dishwashing detergent, it looks like Dawn has launched a new campaign called “Dawn Saves Wildlife,” which features mini-documentaries about the ways in which Dawn detergent is being used to help save animals at both The Marine Mammal Center and International Bird Rescue.

Go watch the videos and feel your heart smile!

Reunion Road Trip, Day 1: Baltimore Aquarium

As promised, I’ve been able to steal some internet time (while sitting on the floor in my now-empty apartment) to transfer the photos from our trip from my phone and camera over to my computer!

On Day 1 of our Reunion Road Trip, P and I hit the road from Charlottesville and headed north to the Baltimore Aquarium! We arrived a little before 2pm and stayed until they closed around 5:30. We saw plenty of fish, turtles, stingrays, and sharks, and we also saw a dolphin demonstration and the temporary jellyfish exhibit! I’ll let my less-than-stellar photos do the talking. (Here’s where I should mention that “buy a nice camera” has been on my blogging to-do list for a few months now.) It’s hard to take pictures of animals inside tanks with just a crappy camera and a phone!

the coral reef

the coral reef

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lovely coral

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the sea turtle was missing his front left flipper!

a whale skeleton

a whale skeleton

some sort of invasive species of fish -- but it looked like it had feathers!

this was some sort of invasive species of fish — but it looked like it had feathers!

this picture is terrible, but this was the puffin exhibit. we got to see their feeding time!

this picture is terrible, but this was the puffin exhibit. we got to see their 4pm feeding!

I believe this was a rain forest fish

this was some type of rain forest fish

this turtle was sleeping underwater and opened one eye to look at me!

this turtle was sleeping underwater and peeked one eye open to look at me!

one of many frog species. this one might have just been a tree frog.

one of many frog species. this one might have just been a tree frog.

this one was definitely a poison dart frog!

this one was definitely a poison dart frog!

I love stingrays. Ever since swimming with them in the Grand Cayman Islands. I just think they're so cool.

I love stingrays. Ever since swimming with them in the Grand Cayman Islands. I just think they’re so cool.

a puffer fish! I really wanted him to puff.

a puffer fish! I really wanted him to puff.

a stingray buried under the sand

a stingray buried under the sand

they remind me of ghosts

they remind me of ghosts

eek!

eek!

double eek!!

double eek!!

jellyfish

jellyfish

jellyfish

jellyfish

jellyfish

jellyfish

jellyfish

jellyfish

jellyfish

jellyfish

dolphin!!!

dolphin!!!

2nd grade me (the one who aspired to be a dolphin trainer) was on excitement overload

2nd grade me (the one who aspired to be a dolphin trainer) was on excitement overload

this sign was on my bathroom stall door and was too funny not to capture

this sign was on my bathroom stall door and was too funny not to capture

these were Australian crocodiles. I learned that they hang their mouths open like this to cool their brains!

these were Australian crocodiles. I learned that they hang their mouths open like this to cool their brains!

a long-necked turtle

a long-necked turtle

looking back at the dolphin wing from outside

looking back at the dolphin wing from outside

Once we had seen all we could see before the aquarium closed, we headed back to our car in the garage. But on the way, we passed this:

a 3-story Marshall's!!! the motherland!

a 3-story Marshall’s!!! the motherland!

Unfortunately, P put his foot down, because his aunt and uncle were expecting us for dinner. So we hit the road for Towson and night #1 of our journey. We hung out with his aunt and uncle all night, and they served us a delicious meal of grilled barbecued chicken, scalloped potatoes, Caesar salad, and Dove bars for dessert.

OH!, and this was their back-door neighbors’ house:

Gatsby might possibly live here

fit for Gatsby himself!

Possibly the biggest house I’ve ever seen in person.

So that was day 1 of our vacation! I hope to be back tomorrow with day 2.

Has anyone else visited the Baltimore Aquarium? What else did we miss in Baltimore? If we had planned for more time, I would have loved to explore more. Maybe another time!

High Five For Friday!

H54Fbutton-1_zpsa7aaa665I’m linking up with Lauren for High Five For Friday for my first time ever, because this has been a pretty fantastic week!

1. P came to visit over the weekend, and on Saturday we visited Wisdom Oak Winery for the first time.

2. On Sunday, we went to the driving range with my dad and my sister, and P taught me how to hit a golf ball. As I progressed, I went from consistently hitting it about 20 yards to consistently hitting it about 60! Augusta, here I come. (Later on Sunday, I ran a sub-9:00 mile!)

3. I’ve been working on putting in an offer on a house all week. I thought I would officially make an offer today, but it’s on hold (just for now). I hope to be able to post in more detail on that soon!

4. I started reading a new book (finally!), and I’m really enjoying it so far. (It’s Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, and if I stay on track, you should see a book review here in about, oh, 5 months?)

middlesex

5. My sister is pet-sitting for her BFF’s parents’ dogs, and tonight I got to accomplish a bucket list item: I took their Great Dane for a walk!!!

2013-06-28 19.45.50Is Sadie not the coolest girl ever?

2013-06-28 19.51.44We solidified our relationship with a BFF Selfie.

So that’s my 5 highlights from the past week! And tomorrow, I head to Blacksburg for the wedding of my very first friend in college. We met at freshman orientation, and now she’s getting married. Time flies…

A Rockin’ Good Weekend

This past weekend, I dragged P to Richmond for Dominion RiverRock! I headed to Farmville on Friday night, and then we got up Saturday morning to hit the road. We met with some friends for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, then after being temporarily waylaid by the rain, we headed to Brown’s Island for “the nation’s premier outdoor sports and music festival!”

I initially wanted to go because one of the headlining events at Riverrock was the Subaru Ultimate Air Dogs contest, where people could enter their dogs in a distance jumping competition! I knew it would be great fun to watch. Then I found out about the Interactive Village, where they had kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, slacklines, and other demos to try for free!

kayaks and stand up paddleboards

kayaks and stand up paddleboards

Once we got there, the combination of the overcast + off-and-on rainy weather and the big crowd psyched me out of trying a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard. But that’s okay, because I was more than happy just being surrounded by doggies all day long!

We arrived in time for the 3pm qualifying round. I’m just going to let my (less than great) pictures do the talking for me!

a German Shepherd preparing to jump!

a German Shepherd preparing to jump!

a pair of English Bull Terriers...aka the Target dogs! they were so cute and you could tell how much they loved people

a pair of English Bull Terriers…aka the Target dogs! they were so cute and you could just tell how much they loved people

I caught a Border Collie mid-air!

I caught a Border Collie mid-air!

a fancy Poodle 'do

a fancy Poodle ‘do

kayakers huddling on the rocks out in the river

kayakers huddling on the rocks out in the river

 

stand up paddleboarders trying to maneuver upstream

stand up paddleboarders trying to maneuver upriver

Next, we moved down to the lower area, where there was a slacklining demo and bouldering semifinals. I had never seen slacklining like this before: when I was in college, kids would set one up between trees out on the drillfield, but all they ever did was jump on and struggle to walk across. This demo featured some young kids doing seriously impressive tricks on the slackline. I wasn’t able to catch any really cool pictures, but trust me: it was neat stuff.

slacklining demo

slacklining demo

slacklining demo

slacklining demo

 

the male bouldering competitors, sizing up the course

the male bouldering competitors, sizing up the course

 

festive doggies!

festive doggies!

a girl rock climber!

a girl rock climber!

After we watched the bouldering semifinals for a while, we started to get antsy. So we headed back to the upper level, so I could watch the doggies a little longer! My favorite part about Riverrock was the overabundance of dogs! They were everywhere! I loved it.

a puppy by the port-a-potties!

squee! a puppy by the port-a-potties!

Near the very end of the day, I said to P: “the only thing we haven’t seen today is a Great Dane!” I’ve wanted a Great Dane for years. I love the idea of a 150+ pound giant who thinks he’s a lap dog. I love everything I’ve read about the breed, and I hope that one day I’ll add one to the family!

a Newfie puppy!!

a Newfie puppy!!

Just as I was obsessing over the adorable Newfoundland puppy above, I saw this handsome giant:

GREAT DANE ALERT!

GREAT DANE ALERT!

His name is Chaos, and he weighs 170 pounds!! He was SO FREAKING BIG!!! (Look at that girl and her dad behind him for scale!) His owner was the guy with the leash, who was also unusually tall, so they were a pretty perfect pair. I want one.

All in all, it was an awesome day. I was so, so happy to be surrounded by puppies all day long. I didn’t even mind the overcast weather! (And it was great to spend the weekend with P, too. I’m lucky that he’s so agreeable when it comes to me dragging him wherever I want to go!)

10 things that make me happy

Day 14 of the Blog Every Day in May Challenge is “Ten things that make you really happy.” I like this one, so I’m playing along! (Some of Jenni’s prompts are hard!)

BlogEverday

Ten of the many things that make me really happy (in no particular order) are…

1. Rainbows.

2. Elephant & Delilah.

3. Crossing something off my to-do list. No matter how small the thing.

4. Weekends.

5. The Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA. (And any animal ever, really.)

6. Reading DIY + design blogs.

7. Exchanging jokes with my dad. And all silly conversations with my dad + my sister. It’s like a secret club that only we’re allowed in.

8. Any sweet, sour, tart, gummy, or chewy candy. Especially: microwaved Sour Patch Kids.

9. Things that are blue.

10. P.

I like this game. 🙂 It’s nice to focus on the little things!