Wait a minute…what happened to the decorating shows?

carol duvallSaturday morning I had an urge to settle in for a few hours of home decorating and crafting TV. My New Old House project was longing for some well deserved inspiration. While I perused the guide I noticed how completely my favorite line-ups have changed.  And it’s been like this for years now!!  I just never put it all together.  I guess I assumed that the real decorating and crafting shows were now on at some mysterious time when I happened to absolutely never be watching TV.  Looking at the TLC, HGTV and DIY line-ups now, though, drove home the fact that if this continues I will never again learn how to make 10 different holiday decorations from toilet paper rolls from Carol Duvall.  Nor will I watch neighbors get angry with each other because they allowed a decorator to convince the other to cover their fireplace and install a floor to ceiling climbing wall instead (“The ONE thing I said I didn’t want changed was the FIREPLACE!!!”).

christopher lowellAll that we have today are people buying and selling properties or doing “crash” 2-day renovations.  Don’t get me wrong – I love the design style of Joanna Gaines.  I get design inspiration from watching Fixer Upper and Property Brothers and we’ve picked up loads of yard and garden ideas from Yard Crashers.  I really miss the how-to aspect of the old design shows, though.  Watching Christopher Lowell walk you through his step by step theory for designing the perfect space was what I looked forward to on a sick day from work, before I owned a DVR and could fill it up with countless episodes.  Then there was this AMAZING design style show on HGTV, which I unfortunately can’t even remember the name of now, where the host would walk homeowners through a series of selections for finishes, colors, etc and come up with their perfect design style.  I could pick up so many ideas!

trading-spaces-georgetown-mortgageDesign on a Dime, Trading Spaces, the one where they would redocrate a room for under $500…..sure, there were some misses here and there and to watch them now they would probably be pretty dated, but to me there were so many more ideas – so much more to fill my design toolkit!  I always wanted to be an interior designer and these were my little windows into how I could make that a reality, even if it would just me in my own little corner of the world.

Now – the craft shows!  There is not a single crafting TV show that I can find today with the possible exception of Sewing with Nancy on PBS (I haven’t looked – I just assume it’s still on).  Before you could find kitsch crafts, sewing, a little bit of everything from Carol Duvall, knitting – even jewelry on the DIY network.  There was this magical thing called VARIETY.

Today’s saving grace?  Pinterest….where former decorating and craft show junkies turn for support and ideas in this generation.  Thank god – I will never run out of things to do with my toilet paper rolls again.

(Please note, I really don’t do crafts with my toilet paper rolls.  I did once try to organize my beads and jewelry supplies with them, but that’s another story.  A much less successful story.)

And speaking of Jimmy Fallon…

If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t have this AMAZING video of Joseph Gordon-Levitt to enjoy.  I may have posted this already (I know I throw it on Facebook randomly every few months) but it never gets old to me.  And it’s Monday so we could all use a little bit of happy to get the week started.

Happy Monday, everyone!  Boom, boom, boom….boom, b-boom, boom…

How “The Voice” infiltrated my life.

There are two reality contest shows that I would say I actually look forward to watching.  The first is So You Think You Can Dance.  After 13 years of ballet, tap and jazz training as a girl there’s no way I could NOT watch that show.  I feel like every week you get to witness at least one piece of art.  The second is not nearly so noble.  I’m not sure if it really counts since it basically presents the same contenders, or some combination thereof, season after season after season.  Yep – I’m a long time MTV Challenge addict.  While my interest ebbs and flows depending on the castmates signed on to participate in any given season, I think it’s safe to say that it will take a little while for me to walk away from that one for good – unless C.T. never comes back.  That might make it a easier.  But I digress…

brian johnsonBased on the title, though, this post is actually about The Voice – a reality contest that I never expected I would sit down and watch.  I don’t particularly like singing shows.  I have never watched a season of American Idol.  I appreciate the fact that I will never sing like that and that it requires skill, training and practice but I get bored – quickly.  So how is it possible The Voice has managed to work it’s way into my weekly routine?  It’s because of this guy – Brian Johnson.  When I started at my new job back in November, Brian was actually just on his way back from taping the initial rounds of the Voice.  By last month, he was leaving his position at my organization to pursue his music career – making all of us pretty optimistic that he was making it to the live playoff rounds (which I didn’t even really understand at the time).  The energy both from Brian and from the rest of my co-workers about him is contagious.  You can’t help but get wrapped up in the competition and hold your breath waiting to see if he’ll move forward.  Adam Levine hit the nail on the head this past week when he talked about how Brian just truly wants to sing.  If there’s anything that I can say about Brian, just from observing him indirectly for that period of time, it is that he is absolutely everything you see him portrayed as on the show.  He is sweet, friendly, open and authentic.  I’m excited to watch someone so real get to pursue their passion at such a level.

Unfortunately for me, though, this means that every Monday and Tuesday I’ve been on my DVR watching a voice contest that, without Brian, I really wouldn’t have much interest in.  I see the same characters and hear the same songs and approaches week in and week out.  It’s just not for me but somehow it’s insidious.  I now find myself stopping on the radio every time I hear that new Maroon 5 song.  I catch myself singing the chorus to a cover from the prior episode randomly for days at a time.  And I stop to watch videos like the one below, featuring Adam Levine and Jimmy Fallon, when I should really be digging into my jewelry or cleaning the house instead.

SIDEBAR:  It certainly isn’t without reason to think that I actually would have watched this video, regardless of the Voice, because Jimmy Fallon is a genius and anything that is trending that has his name on it is sure to be a win.

So now, I’ll spend the rest of my Sunday trying to get some momentum going.  First I better check and make sure my DVR is ready for tomorrow night, though, with it being the top 12 and all…..

My top love songs…today.

A while back Bryan and I were poking around online (of course). We started down the path of punk love songs, thanks to this link on my facebook page last night.

So I started down my own path of favorite love songs.  Mind you – these are my favorites in this moment right now.  I’m sure if I started looking through iTunes or searching more online I’d be reminded of SO MUCH more.  But then if I did that, I’d never really be able to compile a list now, would I?  Also, keep in mind, this doesn’t really span decades or genres (Otis Redding recorded some of THE best love songs, in my opinion, for example).  Nonetheless, here’s what I have so far:


Yes, it’s the Distillers once again.


And, of course, there has to be some Rancid.