Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Updates to the House

Indeed, it's been only about two months since I last shared my home with you. However, lots of changes have occurred since then. (As always!)

The Living Room

I finally finished the super awkward wall. My favorite thing is that is awesome "Antiques" sign. It was perfect size, color, everything! My mantle was handmade by a lady in Oregon. I bought it on Etsy. You can find an affordable one just like it here:

The Windows

The office and the dining room (and the pet room) french doors got new shades. Hopefully they prove to be a good investment when this summer's electricity bills arrive!

The Dog Room

I moved out of the storage unit and found some old pictures that I wanted to add to the walls. Next: replacing those already dingy bed linens/pillows (thanks pups!).

The Entry Stairwell

I put together this fabulous (if I do say so, myself) memory/gallery wall. I love every piece! Including: 
  1. A cute little sign that says "When life hands you lemons, make lemon bars." Found at Uptown Country Home.
  2. Sea glass bottle from World Market.
  3. My favorite picture of Brewster.
  4. A picture of the Eiffel Tower that I took in the spring of 2009.
  5. A black plaque with a glazed chandelier.
  6. Three of my favorite pictures of me: Northern Ireland in 2009, a photo shoot in 2009, and from New England last November.
  7. Bee print I also found on Etsy. The best part is that it also has two greyhounds on it!
  8. The large print in the middle that I found at Garden Ridge. I'd LOVE to have a group of girls to watch a sailing competition with/live close enough to the beach to do so.
  9. Photo of the Louvre (taken by me from a Seine Riverboat tour) favorite thing in Paris.
  10. Photo of the trees, taken by me, in the Newport, RI taken last November.
  11. Photo of the Acropolis from spring of 2009.
  12. Photo of the beach in Crete in spring of 2009.
  13. Couture print that I can't ever resist, the beach and black and white and 50s/early 60s style--all of my faves in one print.
  14. Photo taken at the Campgrounds in Martha's Vineyard.
  15. Argyle plaque that I've had since I lived in Amarillo.
  16. A small bulletin board with small cards that I like to change out depending on my mood.
  17. Letter "B" times two. 
  18. An old cathedral shaped mirror that I've had since I was in college.
So much fun to put together, and a great way to brighten my day every time I leave the house or come home!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back to the Basics

Now that I'm back from the UK and I've updated you on vacations and new dogs and the like, it's back to blogging about the house, decorating, antiques, and other fabulous ideas. Speaking of fabulous ideas, I'd like to give a shout out to some of my favorite blogs. While I might skip a number of other blog posts, I never skip theirs!

Decor: High Street Market. Beautiful blog and beautiful ideas. I just need another place to redo.
and a second one here Decor and the Dog. Extremely crafty, home-grown blog that is a great reference for many ideas in design and DIY.

Fashion: What Would Emma Pillsbury Wear? I ask myself that question all the time. She is precious and I love Glee. She's often clad in Kate Spade pieces and I love Kate Spade too! I only wish Emma Pillsbury's Closet was mine! and a second one here as well, Journey to Style. I love the look of this blog and the idea that style is a journey. I like to check out this blog when I'm getting a chance to get out of scrubs.

Travel: Frugal Travel Guy. I don't get paid enough in residency to travel any other way unless Mom is coming with.

Lifestyle: Aspiring Kennedy.  Her tagline says enough to make me jealous. I love her life and love reading about it...if only I was living it.

Surgery: Buckeye Surgeon. First of all, I have some strange appreciation for Ohio (and Ohio State) although I have no real ties. Secondly, he writes an intelligent blog that I refer to both in and out of residency.

For My Inner Francophile: Lost in Cheeseland. If I could learn French and get the heck out of surgery residency to do something else, I'd do something like this. And yes, in France, please.

Enjoy these for the moment while I work up some posts about design, antiques, and more!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Paisley and Demetri

Welcoming the newest members of the Culp family: Paisley and Demetri

It's been six months since I lost my first greyhound, Chester. Apparently, I don't do well with just two animals. So, I am welcoming my newly adopted mutts to the family. This is Demetri (previously named Ferdinand). He is a precious, one year old boy (or at least I think he's a year). He's such a baby! He's super cute, and the poor guy was found out in the rain by his previous foster mom along with another sweet girl. (She was adopted by someone else the same day I adopted this little one!)

Brewster and Demetri on the way home from adopting Demetri
This is Paisley. Poor Paisley was taken from someone that bred her over and over again. Prior to her first foster home, she didn't know much about loving interaction. She's dying for Brewster to think she's cool and she's very smart. She had her name and the doggie door figured out in a day!
Brewster and his new sister Paisley geared up for the ride home from the adoption center
The process of adopting an adult dog is absolutely heart-wrenching. There are SO many dogs that need a home, and we obviously can't adopt them all at once. But if you're thinking about a new dog, PLEASE adopt from a rescue group. These dogs need homes, and there are plenty of dogs available without going for designer dogs that cost a grand. You get just as much love and fun memories from dogs that desperately need homes and adoption feeds are usually around $200 (including spay/neuter, shots, heartworm testing).

Some great groups to check out:

Dallas County Humane Society (i.e. Dog n Kitty City)
Operation Kindness
Metroplex Mutts
Fuzzy Friends
Greyhound Adoption League of Texas
Golden Retriever Rescue
Labrador Retriever Rescue

SPCA (that's where I first found Demetri and Paisley) has TONS of animals available, and you can search many different rescue groups at once. Go find your new best friend!

And I'll put a plug in for the dog that got me started wanting another one:

Zoe (available from Dog n Kitty City)...unlike her profile says, she's actually very outgoing and quite silly. She's a bit alpha and quite the diva, but she will make a GREAT pet for someone! If you want a little one, please put in an application! Her pictures do her no justice!


Friday, May 20, 2011

The Tie That Binds

The Pedigree

Brittney Culp b. 1985 in Amarillo, TX daughter of

Wick Culp b. 1950 in Happy, TX and
(mother of mine) Janet Lee Jinkins b. 1956 in St. Louis, MO daughter of

Doris Hollingsworth b. 1926 in Jefferson, AL d. 1990 in Amarillo, TX and
(grandfather of mine) Lee Jinkins b. 1917 in Matador, TX d. 1983 Amarillo, TX son of

Leland Stanford Jinkins b. 1894 in Matador, TX d. 1982 in Amarillo, TX and
(great grandmother of mine) Maude Irma Kriling b. 1899 in Cooper, MO d. 1981 in Amarillo, TX daughter of

Franklin Pumphrey b. 1873 in Hardin, OH d. 1966 in Amarillo, TX and
(great great grandmother of mine) Willie Mae Smiley b. 1873 and d. 1966 in Amarillo, TX daughter of

David Mark Smiley b. 1837 in Nashville, TN d. 1897 in Missouri and
(3rd great grandmother of mine) Lillie Hiram Hughes b. 1853 in Morgan, MO d. 1929 in Missouri daughter of

William Richard Hughes b. 1830 in TN d. 1869 in Morgan, MO and
(4th great grandmother of mine) Margaret Ann Murray b. 1834 in Greenville, SC d. 1911 in Clinton, MO daughter of

Mary Ann Reese b. 1806 in Newberry, SC d. 1876 in Morgan, MO and
(5th great grandfather of mine) James Dugan Murray b. 1808 in Fletcher, NC d. 1872 in Versailles, MO son of

Margaret Dugan b. 1772 d. 1840 in Buncombe, NC and
(6th great grandfather of mine) James Murray b. 1769 in Newberry, SC d. 1847 in Tuxedo, NC son of

Elizabeth Rees b. 1741 in Henderson, NC d. 1815 in Murrayville, NC and
(7th great grandfather of mine) Samuel Murray b. 1739 in Dauphin, PA d. 1817 in Murrayville, NC son of

Isabella Lindley b. 1689 in Ulster Plantations d. 1773 in Pennsylvania and
(8th great grandfather of mine) William Murray (b. 1690 in Ulster Plantations, immigrated to the United States from Ulster Plantation in 1732 and d. 1773 in Swatara, PA) son of...'s where things start getting fishy...

Margaret Wylie (questionable) b. 1667 in Ulster Plantations d. in PA and
(9th great grandfather of mine) John Murray (b. 1668? in Fenwick, Ayrshire (Ulster Plantations) and immigrated with his sons in 1732 to the US and died soon thereafter in Swatara, PA) who is supposedly the son of...

Jane McClean b. 1635 in Scotland d. 1665 in Scotland (or McLean, daughter of Murdock McLean and Julian Campbell) and
(10th great grandfather of mine) John Murray, 1st Marquess of Atholl (who was also married to Lady Amelia Sophia Stanley) b. 1631 in Tullibardine, Perthshire, Scotland d. 1703 Atholl, Perthshire, Scotland son of

Jean Campbell b. 1610 Glenorchy, Argyllshire, Scotland d. 1642 in Scotland (daughter of Duncan Campbell and Elizabeth Sinclair) and
(11th great grandfather of mine) John Murray b. 1605 Tullibardine, Perthshire, Scotland d. 1642 in Scotland son of

Dorothea Stewart b. 1581 in Atholl, Perthshire, Scotland d. 1605 and
(12th great grandfather of mine) William Murray b. 1574 in Tullibardine, Perthshire, Scotland d. 1629 in London, England son of

Catherine Drummond b. 1555 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland d. 1576 in Scotland (daughter of David Drummond and Lilias Lilian Ruthven) and
(13th great grandfather of mine) John Murray b. 1550 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland d. 1613 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland

We shall see if this is really true or not, because if it does prove true, there is an entire tree at Blair Castle tracing us back to at least the mid-1000s. Intriguing!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cameo, Cameo, Where Art Thou Cameo?

So besides peacocks and all things related to being Miss Bee, I also collect cameos. This is the collection I've had going the longest. I've been collecting cameos since I was about 7 or 8 years old. When my mom would travel to the Midwest and out east for antique trips when I was young, I decided I needed something to entertain myself in these shops. I found cameos. I developed an eye for them, and much like riding a bike, it easily came back to me a couple years ago when I picked the habit up again.

I'm not sure the exact number of cameos I have now. Many of the ones I collected as a child are still in my bedroom in my parent's house in Amarillo. However, the shadow box of pendants, earrings, and bracelets found a place on a wall in my bedroom here.

While antique shopping in Bath, I came across some of the most amazing cameos I have ever seen. They were gigantic compared to anything I've ever seen in the states, and they had entire lava "muse" bracelets. Lava cameos were some of the first and are some of the most rare. I was enthralled!

A little information about cameos:

I saw a things like this in Bath. I'm having Buyer's Regret...except that I regret NOT buying them.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Town Mouse, Country Mouse

We made our way from Edinburgh to London by train...without a reserved seat. That was a mistake. I've never travelled by train without a reserved seat, and that was quite annoying. However, we made it to London without my having to drive more English countryside. Thank goodness.

Welcome to London!
Stopped for a picture across the river
A quick stop at the historical site of talks with Texas...back in the good ol' days when Texas was independent
We checked into The Langham London on Mother's Day. The place is amazing, pure luxury near Oxford Circus and all that shopping! We enjoyed some more pub food for dinner and then took a Black Taxi Tour by night. London is a beautiful city at night. The thing I love about all of Europe is so easily portrayed by London itself--history, and stories, and romance, and diversity, and the hustle and bustle of a big city. I love that. On the other hand, Mom hates that kind of thing. However, I was able to get her out to see Buckingham Palace and to tour Westminster Abbey, as well as Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. We walked by the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben and basically called it a day with one more meal of traditional English pub food.

The Abbey. A week late for the wedding.
Buckingham Palace, again just a wee bit late for the wedding...and the flash mob that occurred here earlier that day.
Good ol' Big Ben
Then back to our super comfy and luxe beds at The Langham for one last night before catching the flight back to Dallas. I wasn't sure if I should be excited or sad. Oh, mother country, how I love thee.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hen Parties

We took the short flight from Belfast to Edinburgh accompanied by at least two large Hen Parties. One group of girls really looked terrible. In fact, they looked like they had caught the wrong plane. Had they been heading to Boston for the SlutWalk, I would have expected their attire. On the other hand, the other group of girls was pretty cute...t-shirts and all. Nicola's Hen Party 2011...One Hen, Lots of Chickens, and No Cocks! Brilliant, I think.

Mom fell in love with the UK upon arriving in Edinburgh. We stayed at a fantastic little B&B in Edinburgh called The Hedges. The owners Heather and Ian are amazing. Heather is precious! And Ian makes a killer breakfast! Not only did we love our B&B, we loved Edinburgh's architecture. It really is a beautiful, and VERY lively city.

Our first real day in Scotland we spent driving to Blair Atholl, home of Blair Castle. This is where our link to Scottish royalty comes in. Blair Castle is an extremely neat place, surrounded by peacocks as well. (I collect those, remember?) Blair is a very different kind of place, even from the outside its far different from any other castles I've seen but no less resembles those of fairytales. Thank goodness the walls were covered with pictures of the Murray family to whom my mom finds her linkage to Scot Royals.

Blair Castle
We also stopped by Pitlochry for a quick snack and Dunkeld (where our ancestors were married and buried).

Dunkeld Cathedral
Then back to Edinburgh we went in time to catch a fabulous dinner at Conan Doyle Pub where I experienced "haggis" for the first time. After dinner, we had tickets to see Grease (the musical) at the Playhouse. It was the most entertaining thing I've seen in years. Multiple Hen Parties joined us for the show, and every single one of them sang along. They knew every word to every song, just as we did. People were even dancing at the end...forget a standing ovation, just dance to the Grease Remix (yes, the one we hear on the radio on this side of the pond every summer).

Grease is still the word!
Before leaving Edinburgh we took a bus tour, just to make sure we had actually SEEN the sites we were SUPPOSED to see. We also spent some time talking with Heather before exchanging friendly hugs and off we went to catch a train to London.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Kiss Me, I'm Irish

It's no lie. I really am Irish. At least 1/32nd anyway. My family is about as American as it gets. People on both sides of my family have been on the West Bank since the 1600s. However, my most recent ancestor to immigrate to the United States was born in Longford, Ireland. His father is buried in Longford County. My mom and I tried to find their old township and even their cemetery sites but didn't have any luck. It doesn't help that they were actually listed as having lived in Glannagh, Ireland. According to the 1906 census, this township only had 11 homes. And today, the only thing I know that is in Glannagh is an archery club. That's about it.

We rented a car in Dublin, so I spent two days driving from the right side of the car on the left side of the road. Awkward to say the least, but we survived without any issues. However, after two days of driving in Ireland, all I can say's green. Otherwise, it as hypnotizing how similar it looked no matter how many miles we covered. All the way from Dublin to Cork, to Limerick, to Longford...and then on to Northern Ireland where we flew out of Belfast.

Northern Ireland is also very important to my family's heritage. Northern Ireland was formerly known as Ulster Plantation. It was settled by the Scots and the Brits about 400 years ago. My mom's side of the family has roots in Ulster, linked to the Duke of Atholl (in Scotland). More about that later. Anyway, the last people to immigrate to the United States on my mother's paternal grandmother's line came from Ulster Plantation (i.e. Northern Ireland) by 1732 and happen to related to Scottish royalty. Fantastic, isn't it? Too bad genealogy so easily becomes an obsession, it means lots of time wasted figuring out exactly how our ancestor that immigrated to the US was related to the Scottish Royalty (why didn't he stay in Scotland?). However, once that definite link (and by definite, I mean the documentation backing up what we thinking we know) is obtained, we will have that line of the family traced back to at least 1065. How awesome is that?

On the map, I outlined all my driving. The blue outlines all the driving we did on our first day, the yellow outlines all the driving we did on the second day (not counting the mindless driving around Longford looking for Glannagh). Finally, the black line is the route I took on my trip back in April of 2009. I have to admit, the black line was a much more awe-inspiring drive than all the green, and more green, and more green along the other two lines.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Blogger/Blogspot Fail

I definitely fell victim to the Blogger software maintenance. It ruined all my saved posts...i.e. I had to start over on half of them! Therefore, when I got home from the UK and planned to share all my lovely experiences with you failed to post all those that I had scheduled for the future. I was on call on Friday and slept it off yesterday, so I'm just now realizing that five days worth of posts never happened. (You should have been getting new posts from the 11th!) This is so frustrating. Hopefully, as I get used to this whole blogging thing and learn more about it, I'll be able to avoid such annoyances. Anyway, back to sharing my recent travels with you so that I can get on to some other ideas I have to share soon enough!

A picture to leave you on a happy note...I met this beautiful peacock on my trip. He was such a show off!

Castle (and I Don't Mean the TV Show)

As I mentioned, First Class was amazing. We jumped off the plane and then met our chauffeur. That's right--a chauffeur. It was high class all the Bristol. After reading many recommendations not to drive in Britain immediately after arrival, we decided to hire a taxi driver to take us from London Heathrow to Stonehenge, then to Bath, then to Bristol. It was a great way to recover from the flight (with multiple nods on the drives between our stops). Chas, our taxi driver, was awesome. He apparently lived in the area we drove through, so was very educated about the area.

Our first stop was Stonehenge. It is extremely interesting and mysterious. Most of all, I was just in awe of the ability of man to drag a multitude of five ton stones across a waterway and another long distance of hilly countryside. Amazing. I witnessed a couple girls doing cartwheels while their family was taking pictures, and I couldn't help but copy them.

Stonehenge Cartwheels
After witnessing the mystery of Stonehenge, we hopped back in the van and went on to Bath. Even Chas asked what my plans for Bath were, but honestly, it was just because multiple people have told me it was a must-see. I have to agree. Bath is a beautiful city! My mom and I really enjoyed the shopping as well.

Bath Abbey
Then it was one more drive to Bristol airport to jump on over to Dublin where we stayed at Clontarf Castle. Clontarf is a beautiful place. The original castle makes up the lobby, restaurants, and public areas. The rest of the hotel is a modern era add-on. It's not centrally located, but very easy to get in and out of the city and to get to downtown only takes a couple minutes by car. The fresh fruit and chocolates awaiting our arrival were just another lovely detail.

Clontarf Castle, Dublin, Ireland

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Across the Pond

On the plane to the UK! And so very excited. My mom and I are like four-year-olds in a candy store. I never knew flying first class, internationally, was so fabulous.

I scrubbed a case today with a plastic surgeon that told me the only reason you actually go on vacation is to gloat about it. So I'm going to start gloating now. The first class cabin on this flight is one of the "Flagship Suites". It reclines to a full bed and has all sorts of gadgets. My mom and I are gadget nerds, so this seat is right up our alley.

Features I have discovered (with help of the inflight "Seat Info" video):

1. The chair turns side to side
2. The chair reclines all the way to a "bed"
3. I have a very large table for dinner (and breakfast later)
4. I have my own TV with far too many movies and TV shows...I plan on watching The King's Speech and possibly No Strings Attached next
5. A night light
6. DC Power
7. Bose Noise Canceling Headphones
8. An amenities kit with toothpaste, toothbrush, socks, eye mask, chapstick and lotion (Burt's Bees), ear plugs
9. A copy of the NY Times
10. Blanket and pillow
11. Far too much storage for one person
12. A fabulous place to land--with an Arrivals Lounge!

It's show time...The King's Speech is on and my Sauvignon Blanc and dinner are waiting. :)

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