Tuesday, December 28, 2010

le nouvel an nouveaux commencements

I can't believe it has come and gone... and now a new year awaits us. So much has happened this past year...so much to be grateful for...so much to ponder. With that said, I'm going to take a little time before flipping the calendar page...to reflect...regroup...and remember that...family and friends are supreme...thank-you notes and real...paper invitations are ALWAYS appreciated...the North is a great place to visit...the South is a great place to live...only a dog will love you unconditionally...toddlers are fast...and Christian Louboutin flats are like peep-toe rain boots...pointless. So I say this...here's to the New Year...and a conscious effort to miss no opportunities to live life to it's fullest...enjoying every moment...eating on the fine china...everyday...toasting with the crystal...everyday...going to bed earlier...chambray, sequins and stripes...ironic twists...and...holding hands. Cheers! p.s. xoxo for reading this little blog of mine this year...I'm eternally grateful for your...er, free time! Happy reading in the new year!

image credit: Salix Studio

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fa la la la la...la la la la

As mentioned in an earlier post...the holidays are upon us and I'm in full tilt holiday mode...reminiscent of the Scrambler the Husband and I rode at the fair in August. Running around town picking up gifts for everyone...and maybe a few for myself, baking holiday cookies for the Toddler's class at school, stamping the Toddler's hand print on a dozen pottery items at the local "you paint it" pottery store. And, when not doing all of the schlepping I'm sitting and sitting and sitting in the relentless traffic that seems to somehow triple around this time of year. While I love it all I am delirious and tired and...we are still a week out. But, that got me thinking...about tradition. Since the Husband and I married 11 years ago we have "flip-flopped" the holidays with our family's. If mine get us for Thanksgiving then the Husband's get us for Christmas and vice versa. Takes the guesswork out of things and eases everyone's feelings if they know in advance when not to expect us. But...for the sake of this post and the tradition I was versed in as a child...it goes like this...one gift on Christmas Eve followed by watching National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (and trying not to recite the entire movie aloud as the Husband says "it ruins it" Ha!). Santa and the rest of the gifts we do on Christmas morning. Stockings come last and are usually some of my favorite things. (note: when given the choice of picking your stocking, choose one that is knit or crocheted as it will stretch to any size to accomodate...anything...until Mom catches on and fills the lower half with fruit...boo!) Mom bakes a breakfast casserole Christmas morning and wassail will fill the air. We have to open one gift at a time so Mom and Dad don't miss a reaction and Mom and Dad have to be forced to open their gifts. Before the Toddler, I would usually pack up all the stuff I received and retreat to my room to go over every item...pouring over the surprises and "can't believe I got it" things. Then in a thick fog of LL Bean, sausage, JCrew, coffee, and Bing Crosby...we clamor to get ready for the day, and...over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's, Aunt's, Cousin's, etc...we go. Gran will make pound cake and hopefully chicken & dumplings. And at some point we'll squeeze in a showing of "A Christmas Story" during the all-day marathon on AMC or TBS. Now that we have the Toddler...the first grandchild(on my side)...the only grandchild(on my side)...things are a little different...in a good way. I've always heard people say that when you experience Christmas through the eyes of a child it's unbeatable. Funny, I once was a...er, child and can remember Christmas...I remember it quite well and while I am nostalgic for the days of my youth, I had no idea everyone was "watching" Christmas...through my eyes. But alas, I am excited for the Toddler and excited for the reaction she will have on Christmas morning. I am excited to share the tradition with her (even though we'll have to watch the "made for TV" version of Christmas Vacation...language and rubber sheets are well, prohibitive). I am excited for the loved ones I will see and the possible Bean Boots I may get??? And so I say this, the gifts may be different every year, it may be 80 degrees instead of freezing...yes, it's the South, and the "must have item" may be "out" by February...but, one thing's for sure, there will be Clark Griswold, Cousin Eddie, pound cake, chicken & dumplings, unflattering pictures taken, and we'll all...have a ball! ..."play ball" - Aunt Bethany - Christmas Vacation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZBmiBKRTfo image credit: mydeco.com

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

clothes line

Everyday I'm faced with a decision. Not a big...life-changing one but a big one for me nonetheless. One that can speak volumes but, in the grand scheme of things really doesn't matter...especially not now. The decision? How to dress the Toddler. Not for weather or purpose but for personality...who she is. Take Shiloh Pitt and Suri Cruise for example. Both young girls, close in age, but very different...in style...that is. Are these choices made by their parents or are they, as Mama Cruise and Mama Pitt contend, the girls choices. "Shiloh wants to dress like a boy" per Angie and "Suri will not wear pants" per Kate. If that's the case I'm fine with it...choices are good. I'm anxiously excited to get to a point when my two year old can make those decisions...a costume in July, a cape with every outfit. I like the thought of that existential character coming out and seeing how her choices unfold but until then I can't help but feel I'm shaping her. After all, I'm the one that ultimately gives her the choices from which she will...er, choose. I'm the one that fills her closet and shelves. And I guess I just hope that I am matching her personality. Things she likes...things that are comfortable. I've been there, tugging at a hemline, clawing at a neckline, wishing I had on something else...letting my clothes ruin my day. But, I picked those clothes...I have no one to blame. From time to time I'll ask her what she wants to wear and in the sweetest..."duh" voice she says, "clothes". And I'm reminded that she's two, yet still sometimes I wonder if the clothes will "match" the child...teen...person, she will become. Nope, these aren't (really) life changing decisions, but...it's something I think about. I can remember certain outfits I wore growing up...ones I loved and ones I hated. I wore them despite the shorts being too short for my liking or the halter coming untied so many times that I took the skin off my neck re-tying it a million times. Yes, I was a bit older then but as menial as it is I can't help but think that these choices shape us. Smocked dresses or tutus with Converse sneakers? I lean toward the latter...the unexpected...the excitement of a bold color...after all, the toddler herself is well, unexpected...bold and exciting. And so, I've determined nothing...except...there will come a day when nothing in her closet will do, but if I love her no matter the bow-less, non-girly days, or pant-less Burberry dress filled toddler heels then that's all that matters. She'll make her choices, she'll become who she's meant to be and I'll look back on this and know that she became the editor of Vogue for a reason. Shaping her? What?
image credit: Bella Symphony's Etsy Shop

Thursday, December 2, 2010

and a partridge in a pear tree...

And so, now the holiday season is upon us...marked by Burl Ives' Rudolph the Red Nose marionette-esque classic that is both heartwarming and creepy, the lighting of the menorah, and gift giving...it's December and time to get festive. While the tone of this post is, well...different...it is still full of sentiment and deep thought and, er... impossibly deep pockets. In classic holiday form I will put forth my list of items I'm sure to adore and treasure! A few rules...don't judge me...don't mock me, and most of all don't confuse me with one of those blogs that suggests items that you must own...shameless plugging of jewelry, clothes, housewares, etc...although I must admit...they're actually some of my favorite blogs! I've begged no questions here and pondererd only sizes and color...below is a wish list of things I've asked for...for me, not suggestions for you, your brother, mother, sister, cousin, etc. If they so happen to like the same thing and it helps you cross them off your list then very well but, in no way shape or form am I urging you to purchase listed items to be cool, hip, or swanky. Although, I do have impeccable taste! Naughty...I know! La liste des trésors: -------------------- 1. L.L. Bean Boots...Signature collection 10" 2. L.L. Bean Adirondack Barn Coat - (classic and yet long enough to cover your classic arse!) 3. Chance Classic Striped Boatneck in Navy and Red (you can never have enough striped shirts) 4. The Satorialist by Scott Schuman (book) 5. a haircut and color 6. Hermes Birkin Bag (yes, I know...but if someone else is on the waiting list and subsequently pays for it then...swoon!) 7. Tory Burch Greta Wedge Clog 8. Papabubble candy rings 9. a Sarah Ashley Longshore original 10. Mignon Faget Animal Crackers Pelican Pendant 11. sleep 12. a James Audubon print 13. Chanel ballet flats 14. dinner on the beach with champagne 15. Phonekerchief (for dear friends at dinner) 16. Jonathan Adler peacock lollipop holder 17. a perfect pair of black pants 18. Timex field watch with colorful bands 19. Garden and Gun Secret Society membership 20. patience "That's all" - Miranda Priestly - The Devil Wears Prada image credit - Jonathan Adler Peacock Lollipop holder, www.jonathanadler.com

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

light show

Being a homeowner is wonderful and...well, troublesome all at the same time. I live in an old home...not historic but...60 years old. We've lived here for 9 years and have gotten to know these old walls pretty well. For instance, if you run the vacuum and television and lamps in the den at the same time it'll all shut down. So, I find it best to vacuum in the middle of the day...full sunlight. Then there's the issue of two people showering at the same time...while fun if you are actually in the same shower...if you are not, then someone will get the shaft. And by shaft I mean barely-there water pressure and water temp the equivalent of turning on the hose mid-winter...in the yard! Same with showering and running the dishwasher, washing machine, flushing the toilet, etc. These are little nuances that we've become accustomed to...altered our life for...in and around to keep our house from revolting. There have been updates...some by us...some by those before us and we love our house a little more with each passing year. We know it well...every creak in the floor, every sound in the night, every crack and chip in the paint...but there it was...flickering ever so lightly. What was it? Recently I sat frozen in bed peering through our bedroom door...through the hall...into the den. There it was...by the front door. What was it? I nudged the Husband...as it was late at night and...well, I am useless at defending myself in the night without first knowing what I'm going up against...this is where the Husband comes into play (as he has many times before in our 11 years of marriage). Finally he agreed to look...and with a quick flip of his hand dismissed it...tells me he's seen it already. "It's the light switch on the wall next to the front door, the one that turns on the front porch light." Not satisfied, I further interrogated him about it and why I have never noticed it in our 9 years of living here. He said, rather nonchalantly, "it just started doing it". Please note that this is one of the un-updated items...a light switch from the 50's. One that, in it's prime, would glow orange so that you could easily locate it in the night or whenever dark. I know it's an electrical issue as it's not fully illuminated...just a flicker...something that I'm sure needs addressing given it's sudden rebirth...but, it got me thinking. There are people in our lives that...flicker. They may not always be visible but they make an impact. We are better because of them and though we may be unaware of their presence for a lifetime, they are there...ready...in an instant to flicker...to show us the way. The switch has been flickering now for 2 or 3 months. I like it now...it is the little beacon that could...that could change a thought process, remind me to remember others, those already in our lives and those we've yet to meet. Maybe I'm enjoying a little reflection on this the last day of November but I'm super thankful for the little light that beams at me...sometimes brightly...as if our sweet home is telling us "thank you" and reminding us that sometimes we have to change our ways to make things work right, we have to be nice when it's not always convenient. Maybe we have to vacuum in the dark sometime, or wait for others, but it's a reminder that sometimes YOU are the flicker...the little beacon...in someone's life. And so I say this...take time for others...take time to shine when someone needs you. I suppose I'll have to take time for the electrician at some point but until then...Shine on. "...and we all shine on..." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqP3wT5lpa4

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

pass the gravy, please

It's happening again. As it always does. That time right before Thanksgiving but...way ahead of Christmas. That time where we are met with a brisk air...a leaf filled breeze...a rush of plans...that time where we are supposed to be making menus for Thanksgiving, gearing up for the Macy's parade, a good nap and full bellies but instead we are confused, at a crossroad. We are force fed Christmas music, greeted with trees aglow and bells ringing. Every year it seems this "skip the turkey" rush begins earlier and earlier. It seems we are forgetting Thanksgiving to focus on gifts for loved ones, holiday dressings (I'm thinking sequins and navy silk faille...in case you're wondering), grand soirees, and mistletoe. I remember when I was a kid thinking that Christmas would never come. It was such a long anticipated wait that would instantly fill me with anger when my mom would lovingly tell me...in May..."maybe you'll get it for Christmas". And then by Christmas I didn't even remember what the item was. But now as I head up the hill from the mailbox, ride in the car, turn on the television, glance across the street at the mall...I am amazed how I can't seem to get away from Christmas. It's everywhere and it's only mid-November. And so, here I am...thinking back to May...and June...and July and every subsequent month following trying to remember...as I did when I was a child...what I want for Christmas because just yesterday the Husband asked... "what do you want for Christmas". What do I want? I want to go back to the time where Christmas seemed like forever away...where we celebrated Thanksgiving, ate mounds of turkey and cranberry, were bored watching football (I mean, there are only so many hours in a day), and put our tree up in December. You see, from my perspective...when you are greeted with Christmas every single day of November it takes away from the glitz of December. I want to put my tree up in December, not eat Thanksgiving dinner around it. I want to buy presents in December, send cards in December, take photos with Santa in December, and well...stay up all night in anticipation on Christmas eve. I want to go back. Maybe it's because I'm older, maybe my parent's felt the same way, maybe I want the long awaited...come once a year...excitement that I remember as a child or...maybe it's because the tree will be dead if I put it up now! Whatever the reason, I am counting the days... "I have glimpsed our future and all I can say is...go back" - Diane Court- Say Anything

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


As mentioned before, I am a lover of fashion. I read fashion magazines cover to cover over and over again...browsing...comparing...wishing...wanting. Recently I thumbed through a book at our local uber cool Urban Outfitters. Before I continue may I just say...Urban Outfitters is a great store but, I wonder if any of the designers ever use a ruler or tape measure when designing, constructing, and assembling the clothes sold in Urban Outfitters. I am a size "small" I can usually wear any size "small" unless of course I want a different fit and then I'll opt for a "medium"...however, I tried on a long tunic sweatshirt yesterday and was shocked that the sleeves fit as if I were the Incredible Hulk while the rest of the tunic fit perfectly...and since I'm not shaped like a caricature I can only blame this on design. Back to the book...I thumbed the pages for a mere second before deciding that I must own this book. As a lover of fashion and all things related I had to have this book in my repertoire. And as I've been reading it diligently I have come to realize that fashion itself isn't necessarily what I love...style is what I love. The book is titled I Love Your Style by Amanda Brooks. This book delves into different styles that have stood through the ages as trends came and went...and come and go. It's a handbook so to speak in developing and redeveloping your style. Because, after all...your style can change and that's a good thing sometimes. Depending on your age and trends it's a good thing high top Reeboks, layered socks, and stirrup pants evolved into Louboutin ankle boots, Wolford tights,and Chanel apres ski pants. In the short time I've had the book I have surmised...and to no surprise, that I am a "Classic" style. I grew up a prep and therefore will always have deep roots and affection for penny loafers, Bean Boots, boat totes, all things nautical, grossgrain, Lacoste, and well...you get it (see: True Prep...or Official Preppy Handbook...also a favorite...and on my bedside table). I have...as Mrs. Brooks suggests, been able to redevelop that style by adding some unexpected items and in turn keep my "style interesting and current". Although I am a true "Classic" style, I do love a splash of Bohemian and Eclectic. It's nice to keep people guessing and sometimes depending on the season I might need a breath of fresh (style) air. And so, my question is this...what is your style? What influences your dressing decisions? I must say that my style went out with the evening tide during my pregnancy and subsequently afterwards for a while. It's hard to pick things that won't show spit-up and...er, sweat! But, as any southern girl would do...I got back up...got back on the proverbial horse that bucked me off earlier and reworked my wardrobe. I love the excitement of pulling together a new outfit out of things I already own. Unexpected items worn, well...unexpectedly. Maybe not as brazen as Miss Bradshaw (think...Carrie), but a soft leather skinny belt as a wrap bracelet (think...Hermes-esque), saddle oxfords with "worn in" jeans and a sequin shirt, a boyfriend blazer with a graphic tee or a plaid skirt with a polka dot shirt. What drives you in your choices? Who is your style icon? Who wears the clothes you love? These are things that Amanda so perfectly addresses in her book. You'll love her style...her effortless advice to developing or redeveloping your look. Because after all..."You gotta have style. It helps you get up in the morning." - Diana Vreeland (former Editor in Chief at Vogue and later curator of the Costume Institute at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art) I Love Your Style - How to Define and Refine Your Personal Style - by Amanda Brooks http://www.amazon.com/Love-Your-Style-Define-Personal/dp/0061833126#_ Also mentioned and worth checking out: True Prep http://www.amazon.com/True-Prep-Its-Whole-World/dp/0307593983

Thursday, November 4, 2010


What causes people to stop living in the present and start living in a bubble? Or...with a proverbial bubble, so to speak? You know them...they're the ones that walk around aimlessly, sit at our dinner tables, "listen" to our troubles, all the while glued to their phones...texting continuously. Don't get me wrong, I am not living in the dark ages, after all, I do have a blog and consider myself tech savvy and text...er, smart...but I am not willing to give up on my present life, my friends, and my family to live with those who's faces I can not see, voices I can not hear, and tone that is deaf. These are the people I picture living in the comics,virtually motionless with word bubbles above their heads...pecking away...consumed...ironically detached and yet so attached...but to what? To words? Or to the people they are texting? So, my question is this, what is so important, so pressing, so enveloping that makes you miss out on the present...on your life? Social networking is great...I get it, I use it myself and I am grateful for the ability to reconnect with old friends and new friends alike...but, connecting with friends without any work or ironically any "face" time isn't really acceptable ALL the time...especially when you are WITH the friends that you are, well, "friends" with. I've sat quietly at lunch, in the car, and at events completely alone yet surrounded by "friends". Don't be this person. Live your life in the present...be there for your friends...in person. Be accountable, be vocal, be unplugged. If just for a minute, look up from your keyboard, think about life before your thumbs were begging you for pain reliever, and before you were so "connected"...take a deep breath and...tell your "friends" TTYL, roll on the floor and laugh your ass off, and then...tell your friends "What's on your mind", after all...it's quite possible they are standing right next to you! p.s. please don't "delete" me as a friend...this post/rant was not intended to belittle the connections...just as a reminder to stop for a minute sometime...don't miss out on your life and those who share it with you...in person. BFF...right??? image credit: freeimages.dimag.no

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Well, I'm finally back in the land of the living...ironically just in time for the...er, day of the dead! Halloween is just a few short days away and I'm excited as ever. For years and years the husband and I would conjure up our best costumes and hit the town with friends in tow to show off our forethought...creativity...and diligent preparation. Now we have the toddler to apply all that energy to and as things would have it she's not yet the age to really adore a costume the way the husband and I still do. So alas, she will be a bee...bumble...in variety and cute as ever. The husband and I will try to muster the strength to come up with something to at least garner an honorable mention nod (note: there is no actual contest...only in our heads). Which leads me to my question...why don't adults with kids dress up for Halloween? When did it become uncool...unnecessary? Or are we just so consumed with our little ones we neglect ourselves? I'm here to tell you...Halloween is for parents too! We can still be scared...still eat enough candy to make ourselves sick...and still have a little fun on the most scariest of days. There are no rules...nothing that says you can't put your best witch boot forward and join in on the fun. We are too old to actually knock on the doors ourselves but that's what the kids are for right? Bonus...we get dressed up in full tilt costume and don't have to do the dirty work to get the candy...instead, we can hang back...hang with our friends...and revel in the fact that we are still kids at heart. Go ahead, do it for a laugh...do it for the kids...do it for yourself...or, just do it to make your friends jealous! A little glitter never hurt anyone! Who's afraid of the dark now?

image credit: top - azcentral.com, bottom - Damien Hirst diamond encrusted skull

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

sick as a dog

It's happened...I've fallen for Fall and apparently Fall has fallen for me as I am now sick as a dog thanks in part to a day spent at the fair and an afternoon spent at the pumpkin patch. And so, I went to the doctor and the doctor said...that's what you get for not going to bed! I will now rest...recuperate...and try to breathe. While in the sick bay dreaming of vintage matchstick cords in driftwood-esque colors reminiscent of my summering at the beach and boyfriend blazers worthy of holding hands and stolen kisses...I leave you with this...a nod to...er, my being sick...the Doctor Bag. A most stylish bag that's fit for Fall. Check out my favorties below and until my return remember...not all doctors are scary.

1st bag: Gucci 2nd bag: Versace 3rd bag: Prada

Image credit: Saks Fifth Avenue

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

play on...

I once told someone that I thought Coldplay's music was the soundtrack of my life...right now anyway. And in college it was Widespread Panic...high school...the Black Crowes. I've thought about that comment many times since I said it. I don't take it back...or think that's changed but, it did get me thinking...there are times in our lives when a song and even an entire album defines us...moves us...as if it were written for us. There are good ones and bad ones...ones that make us cry and others that make us want to roll the windows down and simply escape for a few minutes. While most days are spent as if I were a groundhog who has just predicted 6 more weeks of no naps, tantrums, and skinned knees...a song can get me through. Through the low parts...through the musical chair moments when I feel like everything I do is in circle...with no result. Coldplay's songs are sulky and sullen...but there's an upswing...a sudden shift...a brisk high note and a chord struck that sets a tone to which you can stand strong with. What's your soundtrack? What makes your day a little brighter or helps you...get over yourself? Are they the songs that make you think...that make you look within to find that little piece of you that you knew was there but you needed your soundtrack played to remember? Is it the encore or the thrill of the first note? I guess what makes it unique is the story. The story that you create for the music...the story that plays out while you're living your life...because sometimes you need the music to make a moment real...to feel the beat...of your own drum. It's the song that can take you back...if just for a brief three minutes...and when the music rushes in...those little sparks of memory pick you up and twirl you on pointe with the ease of an old lover. And so I say this...dust off your lp's...turn off the t.v...and turn up your soundtrack. And when the music stops...have a seat and remember why you love it! Here's a little from my soundtrack... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f1nbxS2ctg

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I got soul...

And so...there are days that I think about the BIG picture...the picture that includes everything...all your secrets...all your crazy...all your nuances and charm. And when you're there...totally exposed...it's at that moment that if you find someone who loves you for that...in spite of...that...by definition...have you found your soulmate? But...what exactly is a soulmate? Why does everyone use a term so liberally that is so profoundly...er, special? And, how do you know when you've found your soulmate? Is a soulmate someone who connects with you and loves you on a level that no one else has or in a way you believe no one else will? Is a soulmate someone who loves you despite your hamster maze house (see Garden State..."it'll change your life"). And...is there just one soulmate for each of us? There are people in our lives that make us who we are...that define us. There are people that we know for a lifetime...people that love us in ways we cannot know or understand...and us them. There are people that we may love that may never know or...maybe the circumstances are such that the time is gone...past...too late...too soon. But when we look at ourselves...how do we measure...define our love...our soulmates? Recently I heard someone say that a city was their soulmate...but, how could you love something that will inevitably break your heart? A city can't exactly connect with you intimately...or can it? Can a person and...an object...wear the "soulmate" label? By definition...a soulmate is a person who is strongly suited to another in temperament. So irronically..."love"...by definition...isn't even involved. I guess my question is this...are there really "soulmates"? Is this notion just for romance...or is there some higher level of connection...validation...that allows us to believe in the unconditional love and understanding that is sure to come from a soulmate...or is a soulmate just someone...some...thing...that unlocks the notion of believing in ourselves? Click here for a little soul-stirring...lovely...music: Soul Meets Body - Death Cab For Cutie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9JB2ETgatI

Thursday, September 30, 2010

...and many more

There are some days you have to yourself and then there is one day...that comes every year...and it truly is yours...and at the close of said day...you are deemed another year older. I'm lucky enough to have a week of birthdays to celebrate...or er, unlucky enough. The daughter, the husband, and my birthday's are all the same week. No, there was no strategic planning...it just turned out that way. And so...mine comes first, then the husband's, and then the daughter's. As guessed, mine is least celebrated...the husband's is celebrated usually with a nice dinner...(read...I didn't cook it and "nice" as in...they still have children's menu's) a few gifts from us that he usually likes...and in true fashion isn't nearly excited about as I am. And then...the week culminates with the daughter's birthday. It's a "pull out the stops" celebration of which she will have no recollection of at this point save for a few (read...thousand) photos and bygone gifts of the musical, push and plush variety. Cake will be eaten, paper torn, meltdowns averted,and at the end of the day I will be sad that she is another year older despite my overzealous celebratory behavior. Alas, I've given this brief history as a testimony to the warnings I received when I was pregnant and marveling about how cool and unique and "stars aligned coincidental" that we would all share the same birthday week. Warnings that I dismissed like a red flag at the beach on an otherwise perfectly sunny day. Warnings that would one day...not so long after the daughter's birth...culminate in me sitting...typing...on the eve of MY birthday...wondering if anyone would remember that it was MY day...wondering if sometimes Sixteen Candles really does come true...and sometimes...Thirty-Seven Candles. But...MY day came...and I was reminded why I have the husband I do, the friends I do...and the family I do. So I say this...life is sweeter with great friends and a loving family...(maple bacon cupcakes and flowers) and ironically the candles...the pomp...and the subsequent change in age makes no real difference after all!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Here we are at the faint beginning of fall and while one should feel refreshed...energized...and ready to pick pumpkins, drink hot coffee again, and thinking of fall fashion...I find myself completely exhausted. I have no energy, no appetite, and well...no desire to move off the sofa which is quite challenging with a 2 year old. While wallowing in my funk I started thinking about my favorite BFF( seriously, she would love me...er, if she knew me) Tori (Spelling). Often I've heard her talk about her own exhaustion and while I always just chalked it up to her being...well, famous and busy and a mother of two, I'm starting to think there's more to it. While I'm at no risk of being featured on a tabloid cover with critics worried about my weight or well-being for that matter, I am feeling like I too might need a stint in a hospital for treatment of "exhaustion" just so I can get some sleep! You see, this thing happens at the beginning of fall... called football. Just so happens that our team is on top which requires a full 5 hours of preparation prior to game time to actually drive to the stadium, fit in the requisite tailgating, and get in our seats before kickoff because of the enormous crowds and general debauchery (that I may or may not participate in). Which means...for the past few weekends I've had...NO weekend at all. No rest, no relaxation, and now I'm paying for it. But with no end in sight and mounting parties, holidays and general..."life as we know it"... I have no idea what I will do. Upside...I think I've lost a few pounds...downside...all my cute fall clothes I have recently acquired aren't going to fit if I keep on this runaway train. So, my question is this...what do I say when checking into the clinic?...I'm tired? I'm not hungry? I'm a celebrity? and more important, will my insurance pay for needing a...er, nap? My guess is "No"! And so, I'll drag myself to the Greek Food Festival tonight, the fair tomorrow, another football game Saturday, and a BBQ Sunday...and I suppose I'll tuck my head under my wing and try to sleep in between. image credit:birdsasart.com

Friday, September 17, 2010

Burch is the new Birkin

Tory Burch may just be the new Hermes. Seriously...who has time to wait on a list for an iconic bag when Tory's bags...shoes, etc. are becoming just as iconic and well...don't require billionaire status as a prerequisite for owning. Not to mention, they give a shot of youthfulness to the older masses, a shot of fashionista to the middle-aged masses, and a shot of "I know where I come from and where I'm going" to the younger masses. I discovered Tory years ago when I was drawn in by a masterful logo and colors that made me swoon. The Reva flat stole my heart and I soon had a pair in yellow. Then came the Reva jelly to wear when "cats and dogs" ensued and wellies wouldn't work. My jelly's are bright...think neon...pink and garner so many compliments/comments they need their own facebook page! Then came the pregnancy...no, this is not a style of Burch shoe...rather my burgeoning belly and a need for a flat, comfortable shoe for the Fall, one that would be more forgiving in the width department as my girth had become...well, girth. So, there I was in Saks slipping into a Tory Burch moccasin in black. Love at first sight. I wore them home...from the store...seriously, haven't done that since I was a kid at Buster Brown! And when it came time for another shoe...postpartum, I came running back to the moccasin but this time in "luggage"...a warm tan suede that begs for chic gatherings around a fire pit at your best friend's...sipping hot toddy's. I have worn all of them with love and know there will soon be another pair in my possession. (Thanks in advance to the husband!) Anyway, my point is this...Tory knows style, she knows design, she knows class. She is a master in developing a brand that mirrors Hermes and a style that before her some could only dream about. Yes, I love Hermes, I love their history, their elitism but I don't love the wait, the price...the snub. And then there's the "orange"...Hermes and their iconic orange boxes...orange leather goods...and orange perfume...you got me there...orange is synonymous with Hermes but alas...it is a color...not a brand. I love you Hermes...I will forever long for you...but when asking the husband "when are you going to buy me a Birkin Bag" he replied..."not before we buy a new car"...I've come to the realization that...when given a choice between a car or a handbag, the husband will choose the car...every time. And when I bring home my new Burch...whatever that may be...a bag, shoes, boots...he'll be as excited about them as me...he won't be thinking of a second mortgage or a new car. In these economic times and in a time when the zig-zag line ropes at the Disney of our youth are no longer appealing, I've decided that Tory is the new Hermes...Burch is the new Birkin. And yet, the husband says, "nothing can be the new Hermes...just like nothing can be the new Ferrari"...to which I reply..."since I doubt I will ever have either...is begging the new orange?" above image: Tory Burch NYC store front (note the orange lacquer doors a'la Hermes) below image: Chicago Magazine - Tory Burch store interior

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

White Lies

There are a few things that I've done my entire life...and when I was too young to do it for myself, my mother did it for me. At every Labor Day's close I would grudgingly put away my white pants, white jeans and white shoes. Even though the sun is still bright and that hint of fall I spoke of in an earlier post was just a ruse, I'll do it...we do it...because we are from the South and well...that's just what you do. "No white (below the waist) after Labor Day" is an unspoken rule that is followed probably more than any other fashion rule that I know of in my neck of the woods. Unless of course you are a bride and then it is allowed during the week of your wedding and honeymoon. But...what happens when the rule is broken? Well, it'll garner some pretty strong looks and an assumption that you are either not from the South or worse, the comment..."bless her heart". Now, here I am...a girl born and raised in the South...the deep South...and yet I find myself looking longingly at my white pants...my skinny white jeans that fall just long enough to wear my highest Chanel-esque wood clogs. I hear it all the time in all kinds of interviews and read columns in all kinds of fashion magazines that suggest..."the rules have changed...we actually CAN wear white after Labor Day...and apparently there really aren't any rules anymore". Yet, after hearing this bit of news over and over again I am still timid about slipping into white mid-September. And why? Why am I worried? What's going to happen? And, why do I care? I've also heard that "rules are meant to be broken", yet breaking into the local country club's pool after hours makes me less nervous than wearing white after Labor Day. And so, I guess ..."old habits really do die hard" because I'm not sure I can bring myself to change my ways. Maybe it's the South, maybe it's the heat...or maybe it's just me...either way, the tradition will remain...they'll be tucked away...and like a kid on Easter morning I'll pull them out and start a new season. Tradition...rules...and Southern pride in tact.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nautical by Nature?

During a recent trip to the lowcountry...the husband and my sister and I rented a Catalina 22 and set out to sail the Sound. While I love all things nautical as mentioned many times before...nautical stripes, white pants, topsiders, sailor bracelets, boat totes...etc., and even though I've been sailing before...I have decided that while battling the incoming tide and an uncooperative mainsail...that I much prefer sailing with a hired captain. My day of leisure and relaxing while looking fab in my Seaside hat, racer tank swimsuit, and Burberry glasses became tangled in sweat, ropes and knot tying after trying to raise the mainsail, set the jib and keep from "heeling" my party into the water! Each time I felt as though my husband was a toe away from being tossed at sea I would "come about" in such a fashion that would make Formula One drivers proud (think...hairpin). While under sail...I started thinking...there are so many everyday common uses of sailing terms...things we say so often that we never think of their true meaning. Like...tell tale...it's the little ribbon that hangs on the mast to show wind direction...or, in everyday conversation it is used to indicate an outward sign. Or, three sheets to the wind...while our little boat only had two sails, the term refers to when the three sails are set but not tight and loosely flapping in the wind or as we all know in common everyday terms...liquored up! So, I suppose that with a Nation so rich in sailing and Naval history it would seem inevitable that these sailing phrases would become a part of our everyday expressions. While I may never master sailing a boat on my own without my fear of...well...everything...getting in the way...I have decided that sailing is something that every couple should do together at least once. What I know is that you have to communicate...you have to tell the other person what you are doing and what to watch for and...you may need help and that's okay. I was never so glad to crank in the sails and lower our tiny motor as I was that day. And, while we were in no immediate danger...save for my tossing of the boom during a couple of my "coming about's" that nearly sent everyone overboard...I was glad to be back on land and while I know I will never master the gracefulness and style while sailing that Jackie Kennedy exuded, I have since decided that nautical stripes, white pants, and topsiders look just fine on shore whilst sipping a salty dog and reveling in my time "at sea". For more everyday nautical expressions check out: http://see-the-sea.org/nautical/naut-body.htm image credit: Mark Shaw

Friday, September 3, 2010

Well, I'm officially...off the island and couldn't be more sad to have to leave! Hilton Head has one of the most efficient and incredible ecosystems I've ever seen (think... marsh as far as the eye can see)...smelled (think salt water...green grass...moss draped trees)...and tasted (think...shrimp...crab...mussels...and fish). Miss it already! So, after a week of fun in the Lowcountry...completely relaxed...recharged...and now...re-plugged in...I'll be back to blogging in a bit.

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's no secret that I'm a constant worrier! Seriously, if the term "worry wart" were literal there wouldn't be enough Creme de La Mer to save my skin! While I keep most of my worry tucked neatly away...every now and then my "crazy" comes out. Whether it be some incurable disease, bed bugs (seriously checked the mattress 3 nights in a row!), or my latest...the Mayan Calendar and our certain demise in 2012...I am a worrier of monumental proportions! Yes, I am often made fun of by my friends but they do get a kick out of it and many times they'll just defer to me because they know I've probably encountered or researched whatever they are currently concerned about. And, I think I do more worrying now that I'm a mom...a keeper of someone who relies on me 100% for 100% of everything! But what if we could just figure everything out as we go. What if we didn't have to look at the big picture...instead we could just roll out of bed and take each day like a toddler...with no fear and a constant desire to walk everywhere...all the time! We'd all be super fit...early risers...mid-day nappers...with no worry in sight! Truth is, we are inundated on a daily basis with one more thing to worry about. Did our grandparents worry like us or did they simply spend more time outdoors...away from the television...with no computers...and a party line that could be tied up all night if someone's child's friend's cousin was in town and dressed improperly for church. So, here's my question...is this "worry" made for TV? Is it was drives us to the theater to see epic life-ending demise type movies? Is the constant barrage of gloom and doom news and our country's economic decline what infuses us with worry that can not be quelled? Have we become so used to the worry that we crave it as entertainment? I have no desire to see movies in which we all are met with a certain death of crumbling mountains...flooded city streets and...no sweet tea. I prefer an escape of dreamier substance...where we aren't being chased by molten lava down 5th Avenue with no time to stop in at Prada and Saks. But...why do so many other people want to see these worrisome thrillers? What is it about certain death that is er, intriguing...entertaining? For now, I'll just keep popping my popcorn at home (gotta get one of those butter squirters) and watching something lighthearted and funny where everyone has a good time...isn't worried about the world coming to an end...has a fabulous wardrobe...and where everyone lives to see another day...I mean, we only have until 2012...might as well have fun...right?? image credit: mark dixon

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Summer is slowly slipping away and while it's mid-August I find myself still clinging to July. Although the thought of a cool fall breeze is well...exciting, I find it interesting that when it's hot...like, SUPER...100+ degree hot...we long for the brisk chill of fall and winter. And, when that brisk chill turns to freezing...we long for the warmth of a summer day. Why can't we just enjoy the hot days when it's hot and the cold days when it's cold? While thinking about this...envisioning myself wrapped in a J.Crew cable sweater, vintage matchstick corduroys, and soft brown riding boots...I realize that it's not really the cooler weather I crave but more so the activities that surround the ushering of fall. Football, the pumpkin patch, the fair, Halloween with friends, delivery of the fall edition of Vogue (you know the one...that's about 2 inches thick and takes you 2 days minimum to peruse from cover to cover)...these are the things I crave...and cooler weather just happens to be part of it. So...with that realization...it's not July I'm clinging to but the activities of summer...swimming, baseball, eating sno-balls, the farmer's market, and vacations that never end. I miss it already and it hasn't even left. But with the "back to school" frenzy and summer hours dwindling...it's only a matter of time. And...as I sit writing this...looking out the window...I can see the tiniest approach of fall...a few yellow leaves...a bit of a breeze...and if I stare long enough I can see a fall day before me. But alas...the thermometer reads 97 degrees and well...seems July is clinging to August. image credit: Greg Lawler - Zinkwazi Photoblog

Friday, August 6, 2010

thinking inside the Box...

Remember those accordion wallet photo holders...you know...the ones that your grandmother kept filled with the photos of every year of school you had completed. All stuck there...immortalized in their little frames of perforated plastic. Or...in the cube that sat on the coffee table for everyone to view. How did they get the pictures in the cube anyway? Photos have always been a big part of our lives. Good or bad they are the memories that are cherished most...memories that can be passed on from one generation to another. I can remember sitting for hours at Olan Mills as a child. I hated those days...(no offense Olan but really...so boring in there). And the wagon wheel and split rail fence are just...well...odd. But there I was...in some sort of terry cloth halter get-up posing on the fence as if I had just gotten off my horse to pick daisies in the field behind me. Thank goodness photography has evolved over the years. While I do still love a Polaroid and a photo booth, I am forever amazed by the genius of photographers...namely...Kim Box Photography. When my daughter turned one I sought the best photographer I could find. One that would capture my daughter in all of her innocence but still maintaining a natural element. There would be no pressure to pose, no pressure to perform, and even room for meltdowns and clothing mishaps. Kim does everything with an ease that will set the tone for the most wonderful moments you will ever have captured. After the session...and all my one year old's squirming and fussing and...my wrangling her in the hot October sun I thought there couldn't have been more than one picture that would turn out. But there we were...a couple weeks later...staring...fighting back tears...as we looked at the photos of our sweet little girl. Every picture was perfect...better than the last. Somehow Kim had managed to get every shot right...every moment seemed pure perfection. And somehow we managed to make a decision on what to order. I left their studio knowing that I would be back.

This past spring we...once again...went to Kim for photos. This time...at the beach...and with the whole family. There again, I had no idea if any would turn out (toddlers are not predictable...seriously). The beach was so beautiful...if anything we'd have a perfect backdrop and sunset to fall back on. We wandered around Watercolor in 30A...first in the gardens...then the pier...and finally the beach. With just a few fits and lots of singing and general clowning to get a toddler's attention...we managed to get in what I thought would be a few good shots. A couple weeks passed and there we were again...sitting...fighting back tears...as we saw each image. How would we choose? After pouring over each image we settled on ordering an album...not the sticky plastic...accordinan...album-esque type from my youth...but one that would be cherished by us and some day our daughter...for a lifetime. And...again...I left knowing I would be back... When you find that balance...that person...that can come into your life and capture it just as it is...no pretense...no forced fun...no disconnect...then you have found a true artist.

Kim and everyone who works with her that we have had the pleasure of meeting and working with are...well...good people. Their work speaks for itself...and their sincerity and compassion come through in everything they do. If you're looking for emotion, natural ease, and love in your photos...it's waiting for you...inside the Box! To capture your own magic visit...http://kimboxphotography.com/

Or visit them in person...

Kim Box Photography 157 W Main Street Prattville, AL 36067 Phone:(334) 491-0409

All images courtesy of Kim Box Photography

Featured in images...me, mr. smith and our daughter...Watercolor 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Why do people always say "everything happens for a reason" to make you feel better? I mean, I even say it to myself to talk myself down from the proverbial ledge that I feel like I am constantly "hanging ten" from. While I do believe in destiny and the notion of "everything happens for a reason"...why do people say it ALL the time. Do they really believe that every mishap, missed opportunity, misadventure is laid forth for each of us? I guess I grew up believing that we make our own destiny. There is definitely a "path" but our choices make our lives what they are...sometimes it's chance and sometimes there is indeed a reason. But my question is this...is there a reason I eat soup for lunch on a 100+ degree summer day? Yes, I love soup and well...it's easy. Is there a reason I argue with Mr. Smith about finances and purchases? Yes, because we need more money and...I need more stuff. Is there a reason he broke your heart? Yes, he didn't like you anymore and...never really did. I guess maybe my above interpretations of the free flowing quip are possibly too literal but I just think it odd that it's only used as a coping device...something to get you through the ebbs...to fix things...so to speak. When I say "wow, I'm tired" and decide to go to bed at night no one ever says..."everything happens for a reason". When I'm standing in the grocery trying to coax my toddler to let go of the gigantic juice display...no one ever looks down at me with sweet eyes...knowing my struggle and inevitable outcome if my toddler's hand continues to pull...and says..."everything happens for a reason". Why is that? Why do we seek to qualify everything that goes sour in our life? And...better yet, why do we feel better when we say it? Why is it the dry-erase of phrases? Why does it have the power to make things better...make the disappointment...hurt...and pain go away? Why does it "fix" you? Is it because we are always looking for the good in things? While thinking about this phenomenon, I have come to realize that if everything really does happen for a reason then why don't we always know what the reason is...or was? If it happens for a reason and we never know what the reason was then how do we know there was a reason at all? So, I say this...we need to stop looking for the reason, start living with the consequences of our choices, mishaps, misadventures, and missed opportunities and start learning from our mistakes and believing in ourselves...because apparently the answers aren't always listed upside down in the lower left corner of the page. Now...I wrote this for a reason...wonder what it is? For a quick "fix" click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skUJ-B6oVDQ above image credit: kamilla beckett

Thursday, July 29, 2010

oh, does that come in...beige?

Recently while browsing the Luxury Portfolio of a local real estate company's website I was struck by an odd similarity in these not so humble abodes. I generally like to look at the properties in the $6million -$1million range. I tiptoe through the photos as if I were a guest in their opulent homes...careful not to touch a thing. These homes are decorated with absolute precision...every thing has it's place...every pillow is coordinated and every piece of tile hand selected. However, with the voluminous possibilities I was struck by something...I was struck with...beige. Nearly every room is light, airy, sparse, and...beige. As I looked through...house after house with anticipated serendipity...there it was...if not every room, at least one...prerequisite beige room. Now, don't get me wrong. The idea of a light, airy...beige room...is very appealing to me. But, as the owner of two dogs who have shed so much in their 6+ years of life that they could have duplicated themselves many times over, and the mother to a toddler...the thought of decorating with daring...risky...beige is pointedly foolish. So, as I went from one house to the next I deduced that these homes housed neither pets nor toddlers. But then...there it was...on a far wall. I could barely make out the images. The room was...beige. The sofa...beige. The lamps shaded in...beige. The tapestry...tonal beige. The walls...beige. And...the pastels on canvas...of their precious children...beige. As if to say...yes, we have two children...we love them enough to have them sit for a portrait, but we'd prefer they just...well, blend in. Picture after picture...an occasional "kid's" room with a splash of the lightest...palest blue or a creamier beige. Pools out back with not one strewn float...half drank Capri-Sun or wayward flip-flop. I often wonder, as this is not my first time to browse the homes of the privileged, who lives there, what are they like? Do they cook in their kitchens outfitted for the finest restaurant? Or do the cold...subway tiled walls tell a different story? Do they sit at TV trays on their beige sofas when their favorite shows are on? Do they stumble on the edge of the rug and spill their pinot noir sometimes? Do their children ever step on Cheez-it's...for fun? I ask these questions...knowing the answer. But do I? They are...after all..."For Sale". Are the occupants wanting something bigger? Are they wishing they hadn't bought so big in the first place...or are they wondering when the beige...travertine...carrera...and colorless tidal wave washed over them? My guess...they too are asking...where is the love...where are the kids...and...crap...did I just spill my wine? If you need a little...or a lot...of color infused in your life...check out these sites to get started with your color intervention...



image credits: RealtySouth

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

fantastic voyage...

Funny how something as simple as a "smell" can whisk you away on a journey...to another place...a memory...a first kiss...a hot summer day...or cold winter night. I am a very...well..."smelly" person. I don't actually smell...bad, but I am very in tune with my olfactory system. Mr. Smith (the husband) has always made fun of my obsession with smelling things. And, to properly get the full tilt of a scent I must get my face in it...I can't tell you the times I've tried to get him to smell something and actually touched his nose to the item as I was desperately coaxing him to take it in. I smell everything... food before I eat it, candles, linens, pillows, the list goes on and on. It's somewhat of a tic I suppose but one that serves a purpose...and therefore keeps me off the show Obsessed on TLC as it neither "haunts" me nor "preoccupies my mind" as Merriam Webster describes! It's just a quick thought that takes me away...for just a moment. I guess it all started with those markers...you know the ones...the scented ones you begged for as a child. I loved those things. I'm certain I may have even tasted them at some point which I'm sure didn't quite live up to the smell but I loved them nonetheless. In grade school...it was the Trapper Keeper. That big plastic bound "keeper" of your papers...love notes...and er, progress reports. It had a scent that defined that time in my life...where with one whiff every day had the newness of "back to school". In college, my sorority house smelled of Summer Sorbet the entire 4 years I inhabited it. I still buy it (and it's hard to find). I buy it to remember the good ole days where the demands were...less demanding. Although...I do remember during sorority rush one house in particular smelled incredible. I asked many members of that sorority throughout my college days about the scent...none of whom would divulge their aromatic tendencies (guess you had to join for that secret). And what about perfume? I have quite a collection but I pick ones that remind me of specific things. While I love a floral scent...I typically want the reminiscence of something...Cashmere by Donna Karen reminds me of baby dolls...that's right, those soft plastic baby dolls. Lolita Lempicka reminds me of sweet pipe smoke...never smoked one but love the smell. Comptoir Vanille Coco reminds me of trying to achieve the perfect Hawaiian Tropic tan...Pink Sugar by Aquolina reminds me of my pregnancy (because it was the only perfume I could wear that didn't make me sick) and Bobbi Brown's beach reminds me of...well...the beach. Point is...I want the romance...the stoppage of time...the emotion...the trip. What takes your breath away? Is it the remembrance of high school, your first date, your garden, your home, a doll, hot towels from the dryer or...simple florals? Here is a list of my favorite scents...smells...and wafts... -Pomegranite Noir - Jo Malone (my current favorite) -Luxe Linen Candles - Aquiesse -Pipe smoke and Lolita Lempicka perfume -Tomatoes -Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil (according to Mr. Smith: "the best smell in the world") and Comptoir Vanille Coco -Burnt Marshmallows -The beach and Bobbi Brown's perfume...beach -Coffee -Woodwick Candles (for their combination of...er, fireplace+scent) -Summer Sorbet - Aromatique -Fair food (think...sizzling onions, peppers, sausage...elephant ears and funnel cakes) -Old books -soft plastic baby dolls and Cashmere by Donna Karen -baby's breath (not the flowers...actual breath of my child...weird...I know) and many,many more... Now...take a deep breath...pack your suitcase...get your passport ready...and...off you go...on your own voyage! For proboscis perfection here are a few to check out... Jo Malone - http://www.jomalone.com/TheWorldofJoMalone/world.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CATEGORY21648 Pish Posh Patchoulis -http://www.patchoulis.com/index,out.htm Three Sheets, a linen shop - 2904 18th St South, Homewood, AL 35209 - Phone: 205-871-2337

Thursday, July 22, 2010

If you can't take the heat...

The hot July sun is definitely upon us...which got me thinking. My Great-Grandmother (Granny) never had air conditioning. She lived in South Alabama where the humidity is worn as an accessory and the air sticky as pine sap. How did she do it? Often while visiting her she donned a skirt and a long sleeve blouse...even in summer. I never remember her being hot or perspiring. And...she lived into her 90's. So my question is this...do we need air condition or are we conditioned to the air? I can remember hot summer days spent playing in the yard at my nanny's as a child and eagerly awaiting my mom's arrival. I would bound to the car...jump in...huddle around the vents sucking up the refrigerated air as my mom and nanny talked about the day...letting the blast of air cool my pink shoulders and sweaty nose. At my Aunt's house I remember standing in front of a window unit in the front room letting the cold air blow over me like a jet engine. Was this part of the conditioning? Did my Granny ever do that? Or...was this my "conditioning"...that would someday leave me dependent on a non-sweltering climate? There Granny was, all put together, watching over her turtle soup (try it, it's good) in the kitchen...waiting to fill our bellies with all of it's goodness and not a thought in the world about being hot. With heat waves across New York recently I thought about the fact that many of the homes there don't have air conditioning either. Maybe a window unit in some but for the most part they generally don't have heat that is as oppressive as the South...until recent years. They are used to living without conditioned air but now...people were dying from the heat and here my Granny lived without it her entire life. So, is the heat...er, hotter? Is this global warming notion making it hotter than...hot? Statistically speaking...yes. Last month was the hottest June ever recorded. While I love summer and...well...all things summer...white jeans, sandals, bathing suits, nautical stripes, tissue tees, etc...I don't like to sweat. I like my climate controlled. I like the enveloping chill of coming in from outdoors on hot summer days, but is our constant conditioning causing our heatwaves? On a greater spectrum, is it causing our global warming? What if no one had air conditioners? What if none of the pollution from those air conditioners used to run our controlled climates were in the air? Would it be cooler? Or would we just be used to the heat? We will never know and the "big picture" is, well...too big to see...so the question remains...did we become so dependent...so conditioned... that we can no longer take the heat? Granny...she could take the heat. I know this because, well...she stayed in the kitchen most days! Commander's Palace Turtle Soup 1¼ sticks unsalted butter ¾ cup all-purpose flour ⅓ pound turtle meat, medium dice ⅓ pound veal stew meat, medium dice ⅓ pound lean beef, medium dice 1 cup each minced celery, white onion, green bell pepper 1½ teaspoon garlic, minced 3 bay leaves 1 teaspoon oregano cup tomato puree 1 tablespoon hot sauce 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon black pepper 2 quarts beef stock 1 lemon, juiced 4 eggs, hard cooked and finely chopped 4 tablespoons spinach, chopped 4 tablespoons dry sherry Melt 1 stick of butter in a heavy saucepan. Add flour and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the roux is a light brown. Set aside. In a 10 quart saucepan, melt remaining butter and add turtle meat, veal and beef. Cook over high heat until meat is brown. Add celery, onions, garlic, bay leaves and oregano and cook until vegetables are transparent. Add tomato puree, hot sauce, Worcestershire and black pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Add stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Add roux and cook over low heat, stirring until soup is smooth and thickened. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Add lemon, eggs, spinach and sherry. Remove from heat and serve. If desired, at the table add 1 teaspoon of sherry to each soup plate. Even good in the HEAT!

Monday, July 19, 2010

'pologie accepted...

There are very few stores that speak to me in such a way that makes me want to trade in my "stay-at-home mom" status like one in particular. With all it's bohemian trappings, delicate trends with a vintage flair, and one-stop shopping for everything from books to clothes, to plates...Anthropologie is a glorious escape from the department stores of my youth! No, I didn't just discover Anthropologie but it's a store I love...right down to the wood plank floors and burning candles that I thought deserved mentioning. Whether you're looking for an apron or a chair they've got it and you can generally bet that not everyone else in town will have it too. Their designs are as unique as the artists that design for them...one of which is Sarah Ashley Longshore...a New Orleans artist and former school mate of mine. She designed a chair for Anthropologie that is so uber chic you will gladly stay seated all day. Her other works are sheer decadence! From her auspicious Audrey's..."Time Out" chairs made for a queen...or king...to her in-your-face fun...She is definitely an artist to check out. She exudes the tres chic style which I crave and the austere exuberance of youth. Her stylings are a definition Anthropologie has captured so well in everything they do...and until I am able to satisfy my cravings...I guess I'll continue longing for their ease of timelessness...the Longshore chair...and every other item in the store! The Calandria Chair, at Anthropologie

Sarah Ashley Longshore in her Magazine Street Gallery

Image courtesy of www.ashleylongshore.com

Take home a little Longshore for yourself and...all things Anthro at... http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=960084&navAction=jump&search=true&parentid=SEARCH_RESULTS See Miss Longshore's other works at... http://www.ashleylongshore.com/

Friday, July 16, 2010

Oh, blackwater...

Headed to the Queen City (Mississippi) for a bit of respite...think...lake time, cocktail time, playing kids time, and much needed catching up time with some great friends. With only a little more than 4 weeks of summer left I'm jamming everything I can into these next few weeks before our time is limited and the heat fades...although fading heat is a daydream at this point! So...throw on your cutoff shorts (you know you have them), flip flops, and an old concert tee...kick a little Doobie Brothers and hang with friends...it's what summer was made for! ...Mississippi moon won't ya keep on shinin' on me... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqZ95a249p0 Lake sign above available at: http://whathappensatthelake.com/

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Sno-ball's chance...

My obsession with the perfect piece of ice began many years ago...when the neighborhood I lived in was bordered by a Jr. Food Mart. They sold Slush Puppy's. Slush Puppy's with all their shiny little beads of ice drenched in your favorite flavor...which at the time included only a few...grape, cherry, and green apple. I loved those Puppy's...grape especially but it was then I suppose my obsession began. We eventually moved from that house and bid farewell to the Jr. Food Mart and sadly...the Pup's. Later, when I was older and could drive...I would drive to the only Hardee's in my hometown that had the little round, pellet type ice. The ice that with it's soft crunch made for the perfect cold drink. And then...in a parking lot...ironically across from that Hardee's...one summer...opened a tiny little hut with a bright colored umbrella and picnic tables...Sno-Biz - Shaved Ice. I don't remember my first visit but I do remember the dizzying haze that floated across the black top parking lot as if the top layer was boiling in the afternoon sun. I remember a million flavors and not knowing what to pick...how could I pick? There were so many...and with names that weren't familiar...like Tigers Blood...and Wedding Cake. And then there was the ice...so thin and piled high. It quickly became a favorite place and the flavors became familiar as I tried new things. Now, The hard part of any romance is when the one thing you love...goes away. As the season would have it, Sno-Biz only operated during the warm summer months and it was during a cold snap that I, well...fell out of love, or rather...forgot what I was in love with. Until...a fateful trip to Metairie, Louisiana...where amongst a few oaks sat a building without a flashy umbrella but offering something similar to my bygone love...Sno-balls. There I was again...in a dizzying haze but this time...the name was a little different and so were the flavors...again...how could I ever choose. And, what was the ice like? Was it soft or crunchy? I ordered a small and settled on grape...an old standby. I was in love all over again! But this time it was better...as I learned the flavors of nectar...spearmint...and tart satsuma...the ice was fluffier, the flavors more vivid. Maybe it was my imagination, maybe the hot Louisiana sun, or...maybe I was just older...no matter the reason for my swirling head and racing heart...there's just something special about summer love.

I took home a little sno ball to commemorate my new relationship...get one for yourself... http://www.mignonfaget.com/shop/category/sno-ball.html Image Credit: Top image - "Open" by Patsy Blake - Available at Four Seasons Antiques and Art in Homewood, Alabama - http://www.4seasonsantiquesandart.com/

Friday, July 9, 2010

Despite my quest to not "look like a mom" (see This Little Piggy Went to Prada post), my den has become a virtual toy box. My beloved granny smith apple green walls, heavy triple crown picture molding, antique french provencal coffee table, and leather nail head sofa are now flanked with a pack-n-play and various other toys that have some how multiplied overnight it would seem. There's a push toy train parked in it's train shed that is the table that holds our silver...a music table in front of the antiqued scroll wrought iron firescreen...stacking rings, a tiny vacuum, lawnmower, and books from one end of the den to the other. How do I integrate these toys...stuff...etc. without feeling as if we are living in a toy store? While browsing in Rosemary Beach recently I came across the most amazing toy box...er, basket. There it was all steely and french in it's demeanor...clean lines, yet distinctly appropriated for toys as the linen liner suggested. Unfortunately I have no place for this amazing find in my cottage-esque den as of yet but as soon as the train has left it's "shed" and the fat lady has sung...at the music table obscuring the fireplace and aforementioned screen...I will find a place for them and all of their perfection. And for that...my Rodrigue Blue Dog will no longer glare down in dismay from his perch above the mantel but rather his words inscribed will become repositioned in meaning...We are Marching Again...yes we are...and without a strewn toy, stuff, or etc. in the way! Aidan Gray Industrial Wire Basket with Toy, Stuff and Ect. Liner Item Number: G84 SET Available at: Tracery Interiors - http://www.traceryinteriors.com/ Aidan Gray Home - http://www.aidangrayhome.com/industrial-wire-basket-with-toy-stuff-and-ect.-liner-pi-509.html

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

the simple life

There is no place I enjoy more than the beach. The everyday life of sun, swimming, and lounging. I crave that laid back lifestyle and wonder if the simple life is better? While spending the 4th of July holiday weekend at the beach I came across an ad for the 30-A beach town...Seaside, that read...SEASIDE a beach town that embraces the luxury of simplicity. I've been going there for years and could never put my finger on what made it so perfect...was it the white picket fences, the tin roofs, the pastel drenched streets of scrub brush and oaks, the old time atmosphere, or the beach itself? And there it was...so perfectly explained...it was luxurious with all it's offerings...yet so simple in it's roots. There is a symbiotic balance of life there...and up and down 30-A. A balance that requires a little linen, a little bathing suit, a little shell picking, a little mercury glass...a lot of lounging, a lot of sand, a lot of swimming, and a lot of sunscreen! I'm bound to find that balance here at home...away from the beach. A balance that won't include an everyday abundance of free time, sunshine, swimming, lounging, or picket fences. But...a balance nonetheless that is...well...luxuriously simple!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Are we there yet?

Well...we're not exactly the Montague's and the Capulet's but...my family and my husband's family...the in-laws...are all going to the beach...together...for the 4th! Let it be known...laughter, confusion, fear, excitement, anger, love, and possibly tears could be had. Fireworks are certain...but hopefully in the sky! While pondering what the weekend might hold...I'm adrift with thoughts of...the pool, hot po-boys, seaside shopping, white jeans, nautical stripes, cocktails al fresco, sand, sun, my husband, my daughter, my mom, my dad, my sister, AND...my in-law's...after all...they are all pretty super! And well...when all is said and done...when the sparklers have sparkeled, the hot dogs are gone, and the white smoke hangs thick in the air...I'm pretty sure there will be no line drawn in the...er, oily sand! Happy 4th of July!!! Photo courtesy of Life images

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"a beautiful little fool..."

"a beautiful little fool"...So said Daisy Buchanan in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. But those weren't Daisy's words at all...those were the words of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, F. Scott's wife...upon the birth of their daughter Frances "Scottie" Fitzgerald.
I have always been a lover of F. Scott Fitzgerald's work and especially The Great Gatsby...with it's allure of such grand parties full of high fashion and classic cocktails. Born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama, I was immersed in Fitzgerald frenzy for years as it was also the hometown of Zelda Sayre...she and F. Scott met at a country club dance in 1918, when he was in town on leave from the Army. They danced, fell in love, dated, moved away, and later married in New York. All the while F. Scott was filling pages with words that would eventually become classics. Very soon they had a child...a daughter whom they called "Scottie". It is because of Scottie that I have given the above background. In a world of romanticism about the Fitzgerald's...there was a boy who lived in an apartment often hearing the peck of a typewriter... sauced words...and heavy steps. She was a middle aged lady...he a college student...living in a small brick 2 story walk up apartment in Cloverdale in Montgomery in the 70's. And then they met...she took a fall...he helped her up and it was there the story unfolded. Scottie Fitzgerald was her name...the only daughter of F. Scott and Zelda...she too, a writer...the boy...my father. He was a student at the nearby college. Scottie kept to herself often banging on her typewriter until the wee hours, stumbling and stammering but all a beautiful symphony in the history of the Fitzgerald's. On one of the nights my father unloaded her burgeoning arms of groceries to her apartment across from his...she gave him a photo...a photo of her and Zelda...her mother...at the beach. A "thank-you" of sorts for my father's attention and willingness to help. A photo my father would treasure. And so...the "beautiful little fool"...had become a woman...a woman of substance...a woman who for all her normalcy...carried the weight of history...the history of her mother's psychiatric parables...her father's alcoholism...and their extravagant outspokenness. A weight that would bring her back to those roots...back to where it all started...and in turn becoming part of another history...my family's history for which we are eternally grateful. "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past"...The Great Gatsby
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