All posts by Pamela Petrus

What’s Been Going On.

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted anything, but it’s been a tad wild around the Petrus household. So, what’s been happening lately?

Salt & Pepper set up with the Monroe-West Monroe CVB — my old stomping grounds — at a show in Jackson, MS to promote shopping in our area. (Did you know Monroe-West Monroe has some of the best shopping in the state? There’s your fun fact for the day.) Anyhow, I spent the majority of last week packing, loading, and preparing for the show, and then spent Thursday-Sunday in Jackson. Our crew certainly had some fun times!

Salt & Pepper in Jackson, MSDuck Commander MerchandiseThe show was a success, and we talked to lots of people about making the drive over to Monroe-West Monroe. I’m hoping to see some of our new friends soon! We sold more Duck Commander tshirts than you could imagine, and people were amazed that we were from the same town as the Duck Dynasty stars. We answered all sorts of questions like, “Do Phil and Kay really live in that trailer?” And, “Do bugs grow in those long beards?” All in all I had a great time talking about my town and making memories with old friends.

Cock of the Walk, Jackson MSTaylor is a creeper. We're so tall.Me and Sheila Marie.Family dinner.What else has been going on in my neck of the woods? I just completed my real estate class! I was rather nervous about taking the finals after being out of pocket for the weekend, but somehow I pulled it together and aced both of them! After spending 2 full days confined to my couch with my head in a book, I deserve to brag a little! =) All that’s left before I become a licensed agent is studying for and taking the licensing exams. I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

Real Estate FinalsEven with so much going on lately, I’ve still missed writing for My Neck of the Woods. One of my goals for this year was to give myself the chance to spend more time developing this online space, but sometimes real life gets in the way. Nonetheless, I’m not going to let myself push this project to the back burner as I’ve done for years. Now that things are a little more manageable, I hope to be back at it. Some of my upcoming projects include trying a new laundry detergent recipe and prepping for our garage sale. Keep checking back for updates!

My Favorites: Tan Towels

Disclaimer: This isn’t a sales pitch. If I didn’t really like this product, I wouldn’t have ordered it for my store, and I certainly wouldn’t rave about it. Even when selling things in my store, I’m known for always being honest and “telling it like it is.” I’m not going to brag on something just to sell it.

Tan TowlesThat being said, here’s my Tan Towel experience. A good friend kept raving about the Tan Towels, so I finally decided to try them. I made a new goal to not use a tanning bed anymore, so when I needed a little color for an event, I gave the Tan Towels a chance. (Did you know that tanning beds are a level 1 carcinogen…just as dangerous as smoking??!)

I’ve never been a fan of self-tanners and to be honest, I don’t usually get caught up in the hype of beauty products either. However, when I like something, I love it and will sell it until I’m blue in the face. It appears as if Tan Towels are going to be one of my new favorite products.

Here’s why I like them:

  • They’re easy to use.
  • They don’t leave streaks like most self-tanners.
  • You get a natural looking tan, rather than that gross orange color. It’s also a subtle change…you don’t end up with that just-got-a-spray-tan look. Yuck.

Here’s how to use them:

  • Bathe, shave, and exfoliate. (To be honest, I just scrubbed a little harder with my loofa. Tan Towels offers an exfoliating wipe that I’ll try soon.)
  • Dry off really well.
  • Rub the towel on in a circular motion. (While these towels don’t streak like other self-tanners, it’s still important to not miss a big spot.)
  • When you’re finished, wipe the palms of your hands on a washcloth.
  • Let dry before putting on clothes. (Only takes a couple of minutes.)

Again, I’m really not one to rave about products like this, but I was surprisingly fond of this one. I tan easily, but I haven’t had a chance to be in the sun yet this season. For me, the Tan Towel gave me just enough color to be comfortable showing a little leg, until I actually get to enjoy some sunshine. After using just one wipe, I called the next day and ordered them for Salt & Pepper. If you’re looking for just enough color to be comfortable in your shorts or sleeveless shirts, I definitely recommend giving Tan Towels a try.  It’s a safe way to get a sun kissed look, without jeopardizing the safety of your skin. Plus, they’re inexpensive…much cheaper than a tanning bed membership.

Other tips:

  • Bathe and use the tan towel the night before you want to look tan. Then, bathe again the next morning.
  • Do legs & tops of your feet first. Then, do one arm, cross over your chest, and down the other arm. End with doing the back of your hands. (You can also do your trunk and face if desired. I haven’t used the towels on my face yet so I can’t attest for how they work there.)
  • Don’t wash your entire hands in the sink. Instead, just wipe your palms and inside of your fingers onto a washcloth.

As with other tanners, it’s best to not get wet or sweat profusely for several hours after application. (This is why I suggest using it an hour or so before bed.) It only takes a few minutes to dry.

If you want to try the Tan Towels and have any questions, feel free to ask me! I’d be happy to answer what I can. As I mentioned earlier, they’re now available at Salt & Pepper, so we have them in stock if you want to give them a try!

Spring Cleaning.

I was reading this post about spring cleaning, and the writer challenged her readers to blog about their spring cleaning goals. At first I was reluctant because just the thought of all of the things I need to do made me instantly stressed. But, I decided to bite the bullet and thought that an actual list (and blogging it) might give me a starting point and some accountability. So here we go!

One of the most important things about setting goals is to make them achievable. So, I made an effort to really think about specific things that I felt like I could knock out this month. Here’s to hoping that this list will help me make them happen!

My Personal/Home Goals for April:
1. Build a curtain rod and hang new blinds & curtains in my closet room.  (Yes, I have an entire room for my closet. I talk a little about it here. More to come soon!)

Ugly windows in closetOur house had these hideous, yellowed  blinds from 1940, and we’ve changed all of them except this room. I’ve had the curtains and blinds for a while now and just haven’t gotten around to changing them out. It’s time to make that happen.

2. Clean out the third bedroom.

Messy third bedroom
This is just one corner of the room. I’m embarrassed to show how messy it is!

I had to take a deep breathe before even writing this one down. The third bedroom –AKA The Dungeon — is a terrible place. I hate it’s darkness and outdatedness. (I seriously doubt that’s a word.) It has paneling walls and the most hideous carpet in the world. On top of that, it’s filled to the max with stuff. It has boxes that haven’t been unpacked from when I moved in, boxes of Matt’s things from when we got married, excess furniture, holiday decor, and loads and loads of other JUNK. You would be amazed at the amount of stuff crammed into this one space. I’m talking a couch, bookshelves, entertainment centers, two beds/mattresses, and boxes galore…that’s just to name a few. All of that being said, cleaning that room out has been on my to-do list for months. I need to make it happen now because we want to….

3. Have a garage sale.
Garage Sale ItemsOnce I get #2 taken care of, the next big goal is to have a garage sale. We could likely furnish an entire second home with the excess stuff we have. If you’re in our area and need some stuff, come by our garage sale. There’s no telling what you’ll find.

And now for a more fun goal:
4. Switch closet over to spring.

Yellow wedges
Love these shoes! (Available at Salt & Pepper, of course!)

This is one of my favorite tasks of the year! I love getting out all of my clothes & shoes that I’ve forgotten about. Even though I love it, I always tend to put it off because it’s a hefty task. Nonetheless, spring is here and I know there’s a ton a cute sandals waiting to show off my newly pedicured toes. I’m going to knock this one out soon.

And lastly…
5. Do at least a little work on the bedroom decor.
MasterbedroomOur bedroom has taken on a few different looks since we’ve been married…a little over 8 months now. (We’re on our 3rd comforter if that tells you anything.) On my birthday, my sweet husband surprised me with this lovely Anthropologie duvet that I’d been drooling over. He also hung that shelf and threw those decor items up there. And it hasn’t changed…I haven’t done one single thing in there. It looks exactly the same as this picture from January (except for a few pair of earrings that have collected on the shelf.) I’ve been very excited about decorating our bedroom, but it keeps getting replaced with “more important” things. This month I hope to at least make a tiny bit of progress in there.

I almost got carried away while making this list. It’s so easy for me to let my mind run wild when thinking of all the things that I need to do. However, I knew that I needed to keep myself in check. I need to finish my real estate class in the next 2 weeks. I will also need to study for/take the final test and the licensing exams. This is in addition to regular home upkeep/cleaning and my lofty Salt & Pepper to-do list. Time is a valuable commodity around the Petrus household.

All things considered, I think I’ve set some pretty obtainable goals for this month. Most of all, I’m hoping that actually making this list and sharing it with the world, will give me the dedication I need to make these things happen. (Thanks Elsie for the push!)

Maybe you should join me! What would you like to accomplish over the next month? If you have a blog, write about it and then share a link in the comments. If not, just share your goals here in the comments section. I’d love to hear about them! And maybe, just maybe, we’ll all get a little more done by creating accountability for each other.

Here’s to a productive April!

Living Room Sneak Peek

I plan to do tours of our home soon, but I’m still working on getting things squared away the way I like it. For now, here’s a peek into our living room.

Living Room_Gallery Wall

(Photo frames: Hobby Lobby, TJ Max, and Ross. Star burst mirror: Paul Michael Company. Turquoise “P”: Hobby Lobby. Old mirror: vintage, gift. Empty oval frame: vintage from Salt & Pepper.)

This gallery wall is possibly one of my favorite parts of our home. I love random collections of things! For this one, I really like the mix of old and new.

This was my first gallery wall to do, and I must say it’s a lot tougher than it seems. Mr. Petrus and I spent well over an hour sorting through things and deciding what looked best where. (In reality, Matt gave up after about 15 minutes and came back when I said I figured in out. Haha.) Once I picked a layout, we laid down some sheets of large white paper, kind of like butcher paper on a huge roll. We traced out where the items went, and then taped the paper to the wall. We also made marks on the paper where the hangers were, so it was much easier to know where to put the nails. (I saw that trick on Pinterest.) I definitely suggest laying everything out on the floor and playing with it a bit before deciding where each piece will go. Plus, you’ll want to do something to mark where they’ll go on the wall to keep from ending up with unnecessary holes.

We installed this gallery wall before our Halloween party in October. (Of course…when else would a Halloween party be??) After several months, I’m still in love with it, so that’s a good sign!

What do you think? Do you like gallery walls?

Easter Goodies.

Rather than folding and putting away laundry, which was on the to-do list for yesterday afternoon, I decided to make some Easter goodies! Matt wanted to take Easter candy to the front desk folks at TP Outdoors, and I wanted to make some goody bags for our girls at Salt & Pepper.

Easter CandyI had an Easter pail, bags, and grass already, so I just ran and picked up some candy. Then, I pulled out some old scrapbook supplies and made tags. I took it a step further by making little eggs for each of the tags. I used butterfly stickers to attach the tags and flower stickers to close the bags. (I’ll admit that I got a little carried away…it’s what I do.)

Easter tagsEaster GoodiesSometimes you just gotta blow that to-do list and do something else that strikes your fancy. Today, I fancied making Easter goodies for people we love. I think it’s worth it, especially to put a smile on someone’s face. I’ll get to that laundry next week. I hope you all have a happy Easter!

Much love!
Matt & Pamela

Spring Market 2013: The Purse Fence & My Big Mistake

Building the purse fence for Spring Market 2013 brought its share of challenges, so I thought I’d share the process. There’s a pretty funny story here, so be sure to read to the end.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, the hubby had a great idea of building the purse wall into a fence to fit with the outdoor theme I was going with. We purchased 1×8’s at 10′ long to be tall enough to fill most of the wall space in our booth. I was going to use pipe pegs as we’ve used throughout our store, but we decided to cut pegs from 1×2’s instead so it wouldn’t be so heavy.

Supply list:
9 1×8’s at 10′ long
4 1×4’s at 10′ long (to connect the fence)
27′ of 1×2’s to create 27 pegs at 12″ long
54 L brackets
Screws
Drill
1/2 gallon paint
Brushes

Fence postsPegs with bracketsMatt put the individual slats together while I was at work. As you can see, he cut the corners of the tops of the 1×8’s to look like fence posts. Then, he cut the 1×2 into 12″ pegs and measured how far apart they needed to be in order to hang purses. He screwed the pegs in from the back of the 1×8 and added an L bracket for extra support. We decided the pegs needed a bracket on the top as well, so I added them later.

Adding two brackets

My first injury of the day.
My first injury of the day.

For some reason, we were both seeing green when we talked about the fence, so we went with this great green color. My mom came down on a Saturday to help me get everything painted. She was sick of seeing green by the end of the day!

Green paint.

The transformation begins...

Icee...yum!
The most important tool on the list!
Mom painting.
Mom hard at work….she’s going to kill me. Seriously.

Me painting.

My green hand

Fence posts in the tree.And here’s the finished project! (See the full Spring Market post here.)

Spring Market 2013
I was pretty shaken up by the events of the day (see below), so I ended up putting the connecting boards in the wrong place. Ideally, there would have been boards going horizontally across the top so that it actually looked like a fence. Instead, I put them on the bottom, behind the tables, where you can’t see them. Sorry honey!!

Spring Market 2013So…as I mentioned earlier, there would be a funny story at the end.  Well, I said that we made 9 fence posts, but if you notice in the picture of the booth, there’s only 8. What happened to the other one?? Well, what had happened was…. (Isn’t that how all of the good stories start?) …my nephew and I came to my house to load up the fence boards and got distracted by gathering supplies, unloading lawnmowers, etc. So…we ended up leaving the house without closing the door to the cargo trailer. Yep, you read that right…I drove from my house to TP Outdoors (approximately 2.5 miles) with the door to the trailer down. Luckily, the trailer wasn’t damaged along the way, but we did lose one of the fence posts. Oops! If you happened to see a random 10′ long green thing in the middle of the road somewhere along Park Ave./Riverside Dr. or on the Louisville Bridge….that was mine.

(Disclaimer: I swear that I don’t usually do such air-headed things. I’m going to blame this one on exhaustion and the madness of Spring Market.)

Anyone else ever done something this utterly stupid? Please share if you have so that I don’t feel so dumb!

Spring Market 2013

It’s been quite a while since my last post, but work has gotten in the way. (Silly job!) We just wrapped up Spring Market 2013, and it’s taken up practically all of my time the past two weeks. Soooo…since Spring Market has been my life recently, I thought I’d share!

At Salt & Pepper, we are known for doing things outside the box. Our Spring Market booths are no exceptions. Here are a few pics of years past. As you can see, we don’t roll in slat board racks like most do. Of course, we’re going to do things the hard way!

Spring Market 2010 - Our first year!
Spring Market 2010 – Our first year!
Spring Market 2010 - Hate this sign was ruined in the flood =(
Spring Market 2010 – Hate this sign was ruined in the flood =(
Spring Market 2011
Spring Market 2011
Spring Market 2011 - rusted tin
Spring Market 2011 – Boy, that tin was a pain to haul in and install!
Spring Market 2012 - pallets galore!
Spring Market 2012 – This was an awesome year! Wish you could see all of the little details.
Spring Market 2012 - railroad timbers
Spring Market 2012 – Those timbers were HEAVY!

Last year our store was closed while we were waiting on the new building to be built, so getting ready for the market was much easier. The hubby built us those amazing pallet walls and hauled in the railroad ties to build that awesome clothes rack. (I often tell people that I married him after I saw how talented he was. Hehe!) On a serious note, Spring Market 2012 is where Matt & I got our start. He helped design and set up our booth, and I was amazed at how well we worked together. Who knew that we’d be married by Spring Market 2013!

We used the pallets and railroad timbers in the new store design, so we were back to square one on this year’s market booth. Purses are always tough to display in the booth, so I knew we needed something similar to the pallet walls, to make use of the wall space. I like to fill up every possible inch!

During our brainstorming dinner, I decided to go with a spring yard theme…as if you were hanging out on your front porch. I had a flower project that I wanted to try from Pinterest, and we had some unused astroturf rugs from a previous project. I finally decided to just prop some 1×8’s with pegs on the wall and use those for purses. Then, the hubby had the genius idea to make that into a fence…fitting perfectly with our outdoor theme! I tell ya, I think he has to be the smartest man in the whole world. (I’ll post more about this process and the flower project later this week.)

So, here we have it! Another successful Spring Market at the Monroe Civic Center!

Spring Market 2013
Why didn’t I notice that one box of shoes out of place before now?! What a shame!

Spring Market 2013Spring Market 2013Spring Market 2013Spring Market 2013I have to scream a huge thanks to my hubby for his building skills; my nephew, Cody, for helping to set up; my sister for running the store while I was on lock down at the Civic Center; and our FABULOUS staff for working late nights and long hours to pull this event together. I am pretty blessed with an amazing team!

So, what do you think of the booth??

Update: See more from our Spring Market booth here.

Big Things

Little things are big things journalSince Matt & I have been married, I’ve been in search of the perfect journal to keep notes about our adventures. Both Matt & I have pretty awful memories, so I’m afraid that we will eventually forget about a lot of the great times that we’ve had.

I’ve literally searched for months, looked practically everywhere, and not found anything that felt right. (Plus, Matt vetoed most of them!) I’ve even looked at genuine leather, custom made books that were hundreds of dollars and still didn’t feel like I’d found the right book. Well, this week I stumbled across this little fella at none other than TJ Max and thought it was perfect! And to make it even more exciting, it was only $5!

What do I plan to do with it? I don’t plan on actually journaling the events. I won’t write detailed accounts of everything. Instead, it’ll just be quick notes about what we did and why it was special. For example, I’ll include things like this: May 2012 – the time that we sat on the floor in his living room and talked for 4 hours.

This was a turning point in our relationship and the day that we both knew there was something different about our relationship. There are several little things like this that I don’t want to forget, and I know there will be hundreds more. Now, we have a cute little book to jot them down in to provoke our memories if we start to forget. I think this will be a treasure to have one day when we’re old and gray. It’ll also be useful on those days when we won’t really like each other! We can use it as a reminder maybe??

See why this book is so perfect? It will be full of “little things” that are actually big things for the two of us. Be sure to celebrate these little things in your relationships. They’re often the most important.

Blank pages waiting to be filled
Black pages for writing lots & lots of special memories.

This type of book would also work well for jotting down special memories of your kids. They’d love to read it later on! If you have kids that are older or you’re years in to a relationship, I know what you’re thinking. You’ve missed too much already. No way! It’s never too late to start. Even if you’ve missed several years, it’s better to have something to look back at rather than nothing. So, go ahead…get started! Find a little notebook like this one and starting jotting things down. You’ll be happy to have it later and so will your loved ones.

Anyone already do something like this?? I’d love to hear about it!

I’ma Do Me.

I’ma do me.

I all to often worry way too much about how my decisions and actions affect other people. I spend time analyzing everything that I say and do…wondering how it makes other people feel or what they’ll say about me. (I’m a chronic worrier…just ask my husband.)

My shadow.Well, on my walk to work, I came to some harsh realizations. I’m given one life. Just one. And what I have so far is a pretty amazing one. If people out there, friend or foe, don’t want to support me, stand behind me, love me for who I am, and encourage me, then so be it. I’ma do me.

High voltage.
If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

I still have a lot that I want to see and do, but I can’t help but feel like I’m at my prime. I’m a newlywed with a husband that I’m crazy about. I have a growing, thriving business. I’m embarking on new adventures everyday (real estate and this very blog, for example). I have a cute little house in the perfect neighborhood. Lets face it…I love my life!

All too often I reel in my own excitement for fear of what other people think or for fear of making others feel unfortunate. I’m not doing that anymore. I’m not going to let somebody else’s thoughts, fears, insecurities, ideals, or opinions affect the way that I want to live my life or the way in which I’m excited and proud of where I am right now.  No longer will I let the disgruntlement and opinions of others put a damper on my accomplishments. I’ma do me.

(Yes, this is a play off of a rap song. Rocko said it best in “Umma Do Me,” and this song played over and over in my head while I was walking. Along with “This Girl is on Fire” by Alicia Keys.)

Kicking ass and taking names!
I’m kicking ass and taking names! (Pardon the French…it’s just how I felt.)

This is my one life and right now I’m on top of the world. Feel free to follow along. Or don’t. Either way, I’ma do me.

On top of the world.
I’m on top of the world! (It’s really the top of a ditch on the side of the road, but still.)

I’ma do me.

Walk to Work

Running Shoes in the GrassI walked/ran to work today. Well, not to actually work…that would be gross. I decided at the last minute to squeeze an ad into the new Bayou Life Magazine and had to get outfits together for a photo shoot. (Look for Salt & Pepper in the April issue!)

I live about 2.5 miles from the store, so it wasn’t too bad of a trek. Besides, it’s a beautiful day and the perfect opportunity to get in some exercise. I ran about half of the way and walked the rest. (I didn’t want to be a total mess when I got there!)

Ouachita River from the Levee

Lea Joyner Bridge on Foot
Crossing the bridge on foot was a tad scary with those grates moving up and down as cars passed! Yikes!

This walk was one of the best ideas I’ve had in a long time. It was a chance to clear my head, a chance to admire the beauty and serenity of my surroundings. During this commute, I thought through some things for work, relaxed a tad, wrote this blog post (and the beginning of another one), and solved a few of the worlds problems, not to mention the actual exercise…multitasking at its finest!

Dandelions

Dandelion in the Wind
I tried to capture me blowing the dandelion into the wind. It was only somewhat successful.

Most importantly, this walk got me back to my happy place. A place where I feel good about life. A place where I am happy and content.

The weather man says tomorrow is going to be just as pretty here. So get out and enjoy it! It doesn’t matter what you do…just go outside and do something that makes you happy and soak up this wonderful sunshine!