Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday's things

Black Leggings
My quest for the perfect pair of black leggings is always a challenge as I'm picky about my tone of black and fabric. There must be a little stretch...obviously since it's a legging, but I don't want it so stretchy it's shiny or worse...see through hosiery-esque. For a few years I've worn NikiBiki leggings that essentially are more of a seamless tight but footless and very opaque...a nice midnight shade of black with no fading. Although, it also runs the fine line of being a hosiery type item. But, I'm now happy to say that I finally fell back on an old and well known brand that up until now I had only bought socks from. That's right...HUE does indeed have the best black, true legging I've found. They are cotton with the perfect amount of stretch...they sit at the true waist so there's no tugging, and they are as opaque as a pair of equestrian riding pants would be. I am beyond excited to have finally found a legging that I love! I've worn them for a few days now around the house and can say that after considerable wear they are still as if I just opened the package...no shapeless knees and no bagginess. They come in a variety of colors but for me I've never loved any legging but a black one. Now...go get yourself a pair...you'll love them...besides, I've already done all the legwork for you!
image credit: HUE

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

literary love

Over Christmas, while visiting the husband's family...the husband and I out running errands, we ducked into Lemuria Bookstore. Now, I realize some of my anonymity will be revealed with this post as the locale will be given but this place is just too good not to mention. We have loved this bookstore for years...the husband longer than I as he grew up with it. Let me just say, there are very few bookstores like this anymore. Yes, across the freeway and frontage road is Books-A-Million, but this place is different. It's a literary lounge so to speak...and in a good way. Not filled with rifling teenagers and coffee stained previewed magazines and books. No, this is a little place with every square inch furiously jammed with books overflowing from every shelf...many signed...many rare...many first editions. In fact, you can join their "First Editions Club". A club of exclusivity I'm sure, given the price of many first editions...a club of beauty with their little jagged edged...fresh torn pages. The husband and I perused the bounty of books...I, overwhelmed with the possibilities of what I might find...overwhelmed with seeing so many that I would love to have. The husband set on getting a local, well known, renowned author's book which became a movie years ago that we have seen about a thousand times but he said, "I bet the book will be better" and somehow I knew it would. What would I get? We were in a hurry, as we always are, and I knew my browsing time was tick-tick-ticking as I frantically thumbed the shelves, eyes shifting trying to take it all in...not miss a thing. I finally settled on a little book of short stories by Truman Capote entitled "A Christmas Memory". Surprisingly, it was a first edition and lucky for the husband not one that would break the bank. Sadly it was unsigned as Capote passed away in '84 but it would be a good one...and a perfect fit to the season. I've already finished it and I'm now in that sad state that occurs when you've just left your best friend and don't know when you'll see them again. However, on my way out of Lemuria another book caught my eye and I'm going to start it tonight...a book about famous authors that quit their day jobs to become writers. We had a great time in that cozy little bookstore thick with thought...I could have stayed there all day. And so, sometimes I play this little game in my head...where would I love to go to escape...where no one would find me...where I could just be swallowed up for a while...forget about the trials of life ?...and, well...you might just find me at Lemuria.
image credit: Lemuria Bookstore

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Joyeux Noel

The presents have all been opened and now in the dizzying haze of wrapping paper and ribbons, I am happy to say that everyone got what they wanted...Santa was super sweet and despite continuous threats of coal none was found! After the toddler checked the roof for reindeer paw prints she settled in for a breakfast of sweet rolls, candy canes, and popcorn...she's whipping up something exciting for lunch in her new kitchen. And so...after all the planning and rushing and wrapping, I've decided that the best gift of all is having a wonderful family to share the holidays with. Now, I want to finish my Truman Capote book, maybe watch The Holiday and Bridget Jone's Diary and Love Actually and maybe take a nap and, well...maybe dream of sugar plums all over again! Merry Christmas everyone!
image credit: bellas

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday's things

Holiday Tradition
Every year...as Christmas slowly slinks this way, I have an undying urge to become something of a "Suzie Home-maker meets Martha Stewart" kind of girl. Yes, my outfit is cuter (think Prada flats, skinny jeans and JCrew gingham shirts) but I have that crazy desire to make all kinds of homemade gifts for people. Every year I search for something...one great thing that can become my signature item. This year I decided I'd try my hand at french macaroons...already dreaming of how perfect they would turn out, I mean, the picture with the recipe looked like artwork so perfectly packaged with a little red bow. I had already decided that I would package my confections in mason jars (it's a southern thing...we love our mason jars) with holiday ribbon and twine. How pretty they would be and how people would love them! So, while at my family's home this past weekend, my sister and I tackled macaroons. Let's just say...no one will be getting any...this year anyway. One whole pan burned...the other pans looked pretty but collapsed upon touching them. Who knows where we went wrong but I was so looking forward to sharing this holiday tradition with my sister. We would make macaroons every year...it would be our thing. Somewhere during this daydream, whilst the little puffs of sugary egg whites and almonds were cooking...er, burning...it became apparent that what I really crave is the togetherness, the laughing, the sharing, the talking, and well, maybe the cussing too as we discovered that we were not really destined to be macaroon mavens. And so, I suppose our holiday tradition is that my sister and I make something every year...last time it was soap, and we forgot to add several ingredients...but we were in there, in the kitchen spending time together...laughing and creating a holiday tradition that will always be fun, no matter how the food tastes or the soap smells! Next year I'm thinking of making kumquat and bay leaf garlands...or maybe spiced sugar...both very pretty and require no cooking or cooling! What's your tradition?
image credit: mischief my dear

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday's things

Chargrilled/Charbroiled Oysters
There's nothing better than a chargrilled oyster...all that buttery goodness laced with pecorino, garlic and cayenne! The husband and I are huge fans of Drago's Restaurant who claim their charbroiled oysters are "often imitated but never duplicated"...and the Acme Oyster House chargrilled oysters are beyond good! So, after craving these little bivalves for the past few weeks the husband shucked 3 dozen of these beauties, whipped up the butter sauce, and set them ablaze! We had a nice dinner al fresco last night...thank goodness the temps are still mild. Now, pair that with the fresh french loaf we used for sopping up that liquid gold floating in each opalescence shell...and...well, we were in heaven! We've already ordered 9 dozen for Christmas eve dinner...coupled with the husband's gumbo...won't Santa be excited to get something other than cookies!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

beta max

My love for the Longshore Gallery in New Orleans...and Ashley's insane talent is no secret! If you're having a hard time thinking of a gift for that super fun friend or that crazy Aunt who has everything...and loves the most amazing art this side of the Mississippi, then look no further than Ashley's Audrey series! Audrey, a classic in herself but with loads more glitz! My new favorite is the spectacular Beta Audrey...from the brilliant brushstrokes of the tail to their fiery attitudes, this beta takes Audrey to the max and...well, that's a household item you'll never have to upgrade! If you've had a chance to check out The Longshore studio in person you know it's chocked full of so much perfection that it would be hard to choose just one item...if you've never been...might I suggest adding it to your "things to do" list! You won't be disappointed!
image credit: sarah ashley longshore

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thursday's things

I love this quote...especially this time of year when everyone is rushing around town in the thick hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Everyone is in a hurry...everyone has a list to fulfill, everyone is tired, everyone is spending more money than they should, and everyone is sitting in traffic. Don't forget to be gracious...it's just that simple. It'll make someones day, it'll make your day...and, believe it or not... it'll make you feel prettier!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday's things...

I am so smitten with this fiery number! I first discovered it over at Atlantic-Pacific a few months ago and quickly decided I had to have it! Lucky me...I'll be getting it for Christmas from my sweet in-laws! Now, I'm not so sure everyone will love it as much as I do as the toddler has already told me she doesn't like ants. But for me...I think...in a very Carrie Bradshaw kind of way, it screams glam retro and well that definitely takes the sting out of it!
image credit: (top) Anthropologie (bottom) Atlantic-Pacific

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Part II

Okay, it seems as though I was premature in presenting my Wish List because I have come across several other items that have begged to be included. I would be remiss to not mention them as I'm sure Santa is tightening the reins on those reindeer as we speak! So...in keeping with sequential order...I present to you, the amended list...
continued...
11. A Dyson Vacuum (the dust cup scares me but the force in which it sucks makes me, er...excited)
12. My den and dining room painted (I love the granny smith apple but I'm ready for a muted changed as I have a 3 year old who already yells at me)
13. The toddler fully potty trained...that's right, I want someone to do it for me!
14. iPad (for blogging and all)
15. Dinner at Galatoires
16. An Ashley Longshore original (I know it's on my list every time but maybe she'll feel sorry for me and slide one my way...wink wink)
17. A day with Tori Spelling...she would love me, I just know it!
18. A nanny (one that doesn't fall asleep at 8pm...you know who you are!)
19. A banjo...with lessons
20. A writing job...dreaming, I know.
So there it is...the list in it's entirety. Of course this doesn't include stocking stuffers but I'll spare you that! Let's just say that I'm not one to take to kindly to fruit in my stocking.
Again, the disclaimer...in no way am I endorsing any of the listed products...except maybe the Nanny and the Maid as I'm sure both of these things would make my life a lot easier and, well...who wouldn't endorse that?
Now, what does everyone else want??
image credit: flikr

Sunday, November 27, 2011

little ole me...

Jes over at My Happily Ever After gave me a blog award! So exciting that someone other than my sweet mom, dad, sister, and the husband are reading...and, exciting that I get to tell everyone some very useful information about myself...ha!
I am supposed to tell y'all 7 things about myself and then pass it on to 15 bloggers. If you are a blogger and read my blog, please allow me to virtually bestow upon you this award and in return tell me a few things about yourself...but, let me know in the comments section so I can scoot over to your blog and get to know you as well!
Here goes...
1. I am extremely paranoid...about everything
2. I spend countless hours putting together different outfits in my head
3. I have to make a list to get anything done
4. I wish I could break dance
5. I don't like carrots
6. I like scary movies but I'm to afraid to watch them
7. I don't like to fly
Now, do you feel super enlightened?? Probably not, but it was fun! Thanks Jes for reading my blog and for being a good friend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thursday's things...on Wednesday

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and I can hardly wait to see my family and eat and eat and eat! In a rare moment of silence I started thinking...we go through the motions of everyday life and hardly take time to think about all the things that we are thankful for. Those days when I can't seem to do anything right and lose my patience at the drop of a hat, I forget that I have so many things in my life to be grateful for. The husband and toddler are definitely at the top of that list...even though most days I feel like the toddler is plotting against me! I am so thankful that they are my family and love me as much as I love them. Of course our family wouldn't be complete without our two hound dogs...despite their unbelievable ability to sleep for days straight, they are great protectors and providers of unconditional love and kisses. I'm thankful that we have a nice home in a nice neighborhood with great neighbors...and a mall close by! I'm grateful that we have wonderful loving parents and siblings who support us more than imaginable. I'm thankful that we have never gone hungry, except on the rare occasion we ate entirely too early and stayed up too late. I'm thankful that I have a husband that likes to watch the same shows I like on television. I'm thankful that the toddler sleeps so well and overlooks my shortcomings as a Mom (we all have them...I know). I'm thankful that the husband overlooks my shortcomings as a wife (laundry and cooking are not my strong suits). I'm thankful that we have great friends...some of whom we've known for a lifetime. I'm thankful that I'm a stay at home Mom. I'm thankful that we live in the South. I'm thankful that we are all healthy...despite the inordinate amount of raw oysters and sushi we've consumed (except of course the toddler has never had either). I'm thankful that the toddler and the husband were in the kitchen making chocolate chip cookies from scratch last night at 9pm...even though it was way past the toddler's bedtime. I'm thankful for quiet times. I'm thankful for a messy house...because it means I've been doing things with my family. I'm thankful for a lot and I'm just not sure why we don't think about these things more than one day a year. Soon, it'll be Christmas and these things that we cherish in our hearts will be lost in the hustle and bustle until next Thanksgiving. But for now, thank you for all of those who make my life a little better each day and a little brighter each year. Happy Thanksgiving!

image credit: spilled milkshake

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Wish List

I present...the list. The list of things I want...probably don't need, but nonetheless feel I can't live without. As I've said before, these items are by no means an endorsement but rather, they are things that I think I would love to bits! After wracking my brain, I surprisingly came up with a rather short list compared to last years behemoth! Alas, since my Mom is quite possibly the only person reading...please, Mom don't break the bank trying to collect all these perfections!
Here goes...
1. Big gold link watch...either L.L. Bean or Michael Kors
2. Frye riding boots...brown/saddle
3. Nikon 1 J1 with 10-33mm interchangable lens
4. Large gold initial necklace from Max and Chloe by West Avenue
5. Haircut and highlights
6. Tropical vacation
7. David Yurman bracelet
8. Brown Tory Burch Reva flats
9. A maid
10. Electric panini press
p.s. the order is not necessarily reflective of the level of desire...as a hot pressed sandwich right about now sounds divine!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday's things

The Dead
There's just nothing better than a little Dead to get you going...change your day. No matter how bad a day I'm having there's something magical...transcendental...about those melodic riffs and Jerry's ramblings...like a little love in every song. They got me through college, got me through those twilight years after college, and are still getting me through today! I'm so glad I got to see them in concert before Jerr's untimely death...they will always be one of the best bands around...dead or alive!

Here's a little something to set you on your way... http://youtu.be/oFaLw7laS9E

image credit: the bear

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday's things

Sequins
It's true...I'm a magpie of sorts...completely drawn in and dazed by shiny things. There's something so fun and fashion forward about sequins...that little sliver of gleaming plastic that says, "I'm confident, adventurous, and well...maybe a little mischievous too! Sequins at night are the norm, but...sequins in sunlight make the most amazing mini solar system displays this side of the milky way! Don't be afraid to add a little sparkle to your day...and watch as everyone is drawn into your gravitational pull!
image credit: we heart it

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

haul out the holly

I can't believe it's almost that time of year again...time for holiday music, wish lists, party dresses, sweaters, and plaid! It seems the celebrating starts earlier every year...just after Halloween the decorations slowly start peeking out from store windows and street lamps...and then, there's the telltale sign...the red cups at Starbucks. Mailboxes are jammed full of catalogs printed with ever hopeful items waiting to be added to growing wish lists. Of course, nestled amongst the ever building tidal wave of glitter and glitz is Thanksgiving. And while I've always been a "no decorating until after Thanksgiving" kinda girl, I can honestly say I'm considering getting a jump start on things this year. Why not, right? Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for so many things and will enjoy my turkey and dressing on the 24th just like everyone else...but, I don't think I will enjoy it any less if my tree is already up and my halls already decked. Besides, it's usually at Thanksgiving that my family likes me to hand over my list of wants, and well...won't they be surprised when I'm ready to set them on their shopping way! So, with that said, stay tuned for my list of wants and "needs". And, don't be afraid to start compiling your own...I mean, there are only 46 days left until the big day! Now, where did I put my pen and paper?
image credit: ideas home concept

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday's things

Southern Spice
I will warn you, this is an acquired taste. As a child I was drawn to the bright yellow can but each time I took a sip I was awfully disappointed. But...that was then and this is now and I can say that I am now a big fan. I love most anything spicy and this certainly fits the bill. Produced locally, Buffalo Rock has been in business in my town since 1901. A relic of sorts and with Garden & Gun's recent tribute to the spicy South Carolina ginger ale, Blenheim, I decided to rediscover the Buffalo Rock Southern Spice that lured me in as a child. Now...I drink it straight from the can but SOME people like to mix it with Maker's Mark for a sweet and spicy nip...and well, it's good like that too!
image credit: food and wine

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

take two

I feel like I've been stuck in a perpetual Hitchcock movie for the past month...and not in the "who me? - who done it?" Grace Kelly/Tippi Hedrun kinda way. But rather, in the 'things coming at me in all directions-making me crazy' kind of way. Which got me lost in thought...not about all the things that filled my never ending October calendar but...well, about Hitchcock movies. I remember seeing The Birds for the first time and being afraid to go outside...cringing every time I saw a crow flying low or hanging around staring me down. Then came Psycho, and then Vertigo and then, my all time favorite...The Rear Window. There's nothing better than a little Jimmy Stewart on a rainy night, doing a little detective work. Not unlike myself in similar "spy" work I've done. And, how odd it is to piece together your own story...something gets your attention, turns your head, and before you know it you've got people committing crimes you've only seen on Law and Order. The imagination is a powerful tool. Did the old man across the way really kill his wife...chop her up in little pieces...or did she really go on a trip? Either way, it's a testament to how powerful the mind really is...how things can come at you fast, and in all directions, and quickly spin out of control. Now, back to me...October started with a birthday bang for the toddler and husband, then portraits, football, a bachelorette party, more pictures, out of town company, Halloween parties, Halloween hayrides, Halloween train rides, Halloween parades...and blurry eyed...I stumbled to bed...and now it's November. The non-stop spinning is finally starting to slow down...fall seems to have, er, fallen and now it's time for a brief respite before it starts all over again in November. And so, sometimes the craziness that is our life seems straight from the movies...without the bird pecked eyes and chopped up part...but not really a romantic comedy either!
image credit: shybiker

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday's things...

I am sooooo in love with the girl on the end in the yellow skirt and denim shirt's look! There's something about the juxtaposition of the soft flowy skirt with the ruggedness of the denim shirt that has me swooning. Also, the colors are perfect for year round. Throw on a jacket or sweater and add tights for colder temps and wear just as shown for all other seasons! The look is also versatile in every way...with heels as shown or with flats or booties depending on your destination. A classic and timeless look, and well...us Southerners are suckers for denim!
image credit: streetfsn

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday's things...

I'm loving leopard print ballets to bits! They go with everything...don't let the print fool you! I've worn mine with stripes and solids, orange and navy and all colors in between! They add a little spunk to an otherwise neutral Fall clothing line up! I recently spied some tres-Rachel Zoe-chic leopard platform wedges (that I must have) that I think will pair well with skinnies and dresses and everything I can think of! If you're looking for a Fall pick-me-up for your wardrobe I suggest you follow your animal instincts!
image credit: dolce and gabbana

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday's things

Over the weekend I had the honor of bestowing, upon a sweet sweet friend, the gift of lingerie for her bachelorette party. In trying to figure out naughty or nice...and I'm not talking about Santa's list, I started thinking...what's the sexiest thing a girl can wear to bed. I've never really thought about it but quickly came to the conclusion that there are endless options lining storefronts with names like "Ultra Sexy", "Be Sexy", etc. But for me, I think all of that is a little presumptuous...takes the all important "girl next door" out of the equation which for me is necessary in keeping with my Southern, "who me sexy?" kinda ways. So, I thought long and hard and what I came up with over and over was, well...something very simple, and plain, and I've since found out...also named by GQ some years ago as the thing a man most liked to see a woman in. And so, that's what I got her...a man's white dress shirt...a little big...a little wrinkled...a little disheveled. Forgiving in all the right places, and revealing in others. I decided to prep it up with her soon-to-be new monogram and couldn't have been more pleased with how it turned out. Bonus is she can wear it for any occasion...not just to bed. It's the multi-tasker of lingerie! So...as the bachelorette evening evolved...er, imploded...some random boys were surveyed on what THEY thought was the sexiest thing a girl can wear to bed. And, aside from "panties that tie on the side"...(WHAT??) (Not even sure those exist?? Isn't that just a bathing suit? So confused) they too agreed that a man's shirt...their shirt was the best. Now, since I didn't have privy to any of our bride-to-be's...er, groom-to-be's shirts, I purchased a new one. Point is, sometimes in life, the thing that is the best is the least obvious. It's effortless, comfortable...and, well maybe a little naughty too!
image credit:mackenziehoran

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

wake up

What is it about this time of year? We're forced to wake up...out of the summer haze...to face the cool breeze of change. I left on Friday for a trip to the coast and returned to a yard full of leaves...seems everything is falling...even rain. I love Fall, but I hate the mood that comes along with it. It's dark earlier, dreary, and cold. I've not yet "fallen" for Fall... and after having a wonderful time with some of the best friends any girl could have, I feel like my soul needs a summer-time redo. I'm not ready for the pool to close, even though it was freezing this weekend...I'm not ready for the laziness of summer and ponytails and white jeans and flip flops to "fall" away. So, I find myself clinging to those very things. And so, as my head is in the thick gray fog...I'm dreaming of those easier days when the sun didn't tire until way past 8, weekends were endless and daydreams lasted well into the evening. Even the music changes. But, even as I'm remiss to welcome Fall with open arms...I can take comfort in knowing that it's the South and, well...it'll be summer again in no time. Things will be fresh, the clutch of winter will be flushed away by that first rush of salt air in our faces, grass cold on our feet, and the much anticipated call to post will mark the beginning of sunburned shoulders and breathless jaunts to the beach. Things will be reset...and our souls will awaken once more...until then...I'll bide my time with J.Crew matchstick cords, Bean Boots, cable sweaters and a little Mumford & Sons...
image credit: tumblr twisted sunshine

Monday, October 10, 2011

sorry for the delay

Please excuse my absence! I've been super busy and my writing has taken a back seat to bachelorette parties, birthday dinners, and general rebel rousing...and, well...today's a holiday so I'll be celebrating the discovery of the new world today by recuperating from all the debauchery! I'll be back in action soon...

Monday, October 3, 2011

3's company

And just like that...she's "3". I can hardly believe that time has passed so quickly. No matter how often people would say..."enjoy it, it goes so fast", I just never imagined how fast it would be. Her party was a huge success...she got everything she wanted and more! We wore our matching Yo Gabba Gabba shoes and had enough icing to keep us awake until she turns "4"! Somewhere amongst all the celebrating for the toddler...the husband and I also turned another year older. We've been serenaded by the toddler's rendition of "Happy Birthday" for as long as I can remember now and, well...we've loved every minute of it! And so, at the end of the day...we've had cupcakes, cookie cake, 3 parties, loads of gifts, and more love in our hearts than we could have ever dreamt of! My toddler will be a preschooler before I know it...turning "1" was exciting, turning "2" was easy...turning "3" has been hard...for me anyway!
image credit: the toddler and me

Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday's things...on Friday

Zotz
I love these pretty little fizzy candies! They come in a variety of sizzling flavors and are a joyride for the mouth! I just picked some up at a local candy store in Watermelon and Grape and I'm already rationing them out...they're going fast! The wrappers are so retro and colorful that I'm even thinking of getting a big glass globe to display them in...just trying to figure out how I'll keep the toddler out of them!

Monday, September 26, 2011

farm loving

A while back I wrote about one of my BFF's who "took her Choo's to the country" trading city life for a farm life and I'm here to say without a doubt that she has found her destiny, her soulmate, her calling. She and her farmer beau are tying the knot soon and recently had engagement photos made...she shared them, and now...I wanted to share them as well. If only for a day I could live this wonderful, fairy-tale-esque life that she is indeed living...and loving! All photos are by Morgan Trinker of Morgan Trinker Photography. Morgan did an incredible job of completely capturing their personality and their love. I love them to bits!
image credit: Morgan Trinker Photography

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday's things...

Yo Gabba Gabba
It's no secret that most of my days are spent watching Nick jr. by default. There are many times I'm completely unaware of breaking news as apparently Dora isn't exactly well informed and...well, apparently the weather's not all sunshine and rainbows! However, it is sunshine and rainbows and magic robots and the likes thereof in Gabba Land! Yo Gabba Gabba is the toddler's favorite show...has been for a while now. For her birthday last year we went to see them live and it was amazing! Got to meet DJ Lance Rock, Leslie, Biz Markie (yep, it's who you think it is) and all the characters. It was pretty cool. And so, in planning the toddler's birthday party this year we settled on the Yo Gabba Gabba theme...I mean, it was the only choice! I realize that Gabba Gabba is a strange thing to people who aren't forced to watch children's programming on a regular basis but for those of us who watch unbeknownst to the regular, everyday happenings around them...Gabba Gabba is the best. They have a musical act on every show...from Weezer to The Roots and fun celebrity guests from Jack Black to Amy Poehler. Seriously, if you have kids, you HAVE to watch it and, if you don't...you HAVE to watch it! It's just a great show, with great lessons, and entertaining to everyone! And so, if you're still looking for a reason to check them out...Scott Shultz is one of the creators and his wife has a blog that is pretty cool too. She quite possibly is the coolest mom ever! No, this isn't a plug...just a good ole..."I love what you do...who you are" kinda deal. So, come next weekend...the toddler and I will be rocking our Gabba Gabba Van's (shoes) and celebrating #3 and well...it's all pretty AWESOME!
Here's a link to "the Mom"
image credit: nick jr.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday's things...er, thoughts

hit or MISSoni
As I'm sure everyone knows by now, Fashion phenom Missoni hit Target stores Tuesday morning...sending shoppers and online purveyors into a frenzy reminiscent of Shark Week. It was a big hit but at the same time...in my humble opinion, it was a "Miss" as well. Sadly, everything sold out in record time bringing stores and websites to their zigzagged knees. By the time I made it to our store Tuesday afternoon (mind you, I went for toilet paper and Boots face wipes...not Missoni), it was laughable. Barely an item left, all clothes left were sized XL (cause zigzag knits aren't for everyone) and just a few hand towels, and housewares left. I did pick up a small blanket, a hand towel, and a box of stationary. I'm happy for Missoni, I mean, what an accomplishment...and, I'm happy for those people who went to get a few items that they will wear possibly for a few years at best. Which brings me to another observation...despite Missoni having a rich history as an Italian fashion house...each Target item was crafted in China...draw your own conclusions here but I'm betting these items won't be handed down in your family. Am I bitter that I only got a few items...No, but I'm bitter about the fact that something that was supposed to be for "everyone" at a price regular people could afford has been bought by people who only plan to resale at exorbitant prices on online auction sites. The good news, the brand is slated to trickle into Target stores well into October so maybe there is hope for those who didn't get anything on the first go. Then there are the stories of cart thieves and people buying one of everything or an entire lot of items...register totals in the thousands. And so, my point...I think if you make something for the masses...offered to all...then there should be a limit on items per person of the same item, online auction sites should require a waiting period for people trying to make a quick buck on a recently launched items, and Missoni...you should have the same quality in construction for your items at Target. Yes, yes, I understand, you make it cheaper therefore making it affordable, but hey, here's an idea...focus on a few things rather than a zillion items. So, there you have it...my thoughts on the Missoni mania...in the end, I think it takes a little prestige away from the original items...the $800 items that are made in Italy, woven by master weavers, sold at luxury stores. I mean, now you can pay top dollar for a 'Missoni for Target' item on ebay, or you could pay top dollar for the 'real thing'...conundrum indeed...but I know what I'd choose!
image credit: momfinds

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12th

I remember wishing the day would just be over...wishing it was all a bad dream...wishing it was the 12th. Yet, here I am 10 years later...on the 12th and I still feel the same way. I still have trouble watching any of the footage or any of the tribute programs that have been airing the past few weeks. I want to watch...I think it's important to remember all those feelings, to remember those who lost their lives, those first responders, the families whose loved ones never came home. I remember wishing I could do something to help...to make it better. I remember wanting to be with my family. I remember at the time working for an organization that thought it more important to "get back to work" than to focus on the day's events, shrugging it off as if it was no big deal. Well, it was a big deal, it changed our lives...forever. My sister and I had taken a trip to Manhattan just 5 months before that fateful day. Years later the husband and I would spend a week there...and visit the site where the towers once stood. The fliers for 'missing persons' still attached to the construction covered sidewalks and stuck in fencing. What I remember most about being there those years later was the awkward silence...amongst the bustle. And so, as the decade has passed...I am still wrought with emotion, still deeply saddened...overwhelmed, and still amazed by the human...American spirit.
image credit:pagetutor

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thursday's things

Birthday Month
That's right...it's my birthday month and as old as I am and as trivial it seems at my age...I do love it and look forward to it...counting down the days as if I were a child! There are no more parties, although since the toddler's arrival almost 3 years ago I'm usually busy planning her party as her big day falls less than a week after mine. This year I think I'll treat myself to a cupcake, a pedicure, sushi, and I'll hope beyond hope to receive some of the things on my ever-growing wish list! So...with that said...you have exactly 20 days left for shopping! Oh, my list...1.)a baby goat, one that will stay baby-sized forever...of the pygmy variety. 2.) a banjo or ukulele. 3.)a giant gold monogram necklace from Max and Chloe. 4.) the oyster belt buckle from Sid Mashburn that's still out of stock...grrr! 5.) brunch at Commander's Palace 6.)Yo Gabba Gabba Van's (for my cool-mom attire). 7.) any Ashley Longshore painting. 8.)Costa Del Mar Hammock or South Point sunglasses...and well, I could go on and on but that would be too much right? Pshaw... never!
image credit: absolutely beautiful

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thursday's things...

Costa Del Mar
I'm a girl with blue eyes that are uber sensitive to the sun! Therefore, I have an affinity for sunglasses. While yes, I would prefer Chanel or the likes thereof, I have found that only a polarized glass protects my baby blues and allows me to still have a day of fun in the sun! My first pair of polarized lenses came shortly after my "lose everything" college days. They were Revo's and a gift from the then soon-to-be husband. I loved those glasses until the day I left them on a plane and someone scooped them up faster than a Baskin Robbins employee! Since the loss of those glasses I've tried many more over the years and finally settled on a pair of Costa Del Mar's...or Costa's, a couple years ago. They are the best sunglasses I've ever had. They are both protective and sturdy...great for the beach, boating or sailing! So, Chanel, D&G, Dior...take note: you might want to add a polarized version to your WAY overpriced non-protective fashion shades! Who knows, you might just gain a few more customers...not me though...I'm a Costa girl through and through! Oh, and guess what? They're fashionable too!
image credit: Costa Del Mar

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

happy accidents

Isn't it neat...kinda wonderful, when an accident happens and something so marvelous becomes of it? It's one of those moments when you look back and say, "if I hadn't done 'this' then 'that' would never have happened". Recently I read an article about a girl who lived in Manhattan. On the morning of September 11th she was running late to work...dashing to catch the train...when she bounded into the path of an approaching car. She and the driver of the car did the awkward dance that ensues when one waves the other ahead simultaneously, causing yet another near death misstep. But on that morning, it wasn't just any morning, it was the morning that she was nearly hit and then waved ahead by Gwyneth Paltrow. She said she couldn't believe she had this moment...this experience...eye contact with the one and only. She said she remembers thinking to herself that at least she would have a story when she arrived late for work. She missed her train...she worked in Tower 2 of the World Trade Center. She credits Gwyneth for saving her life. The article went on to say that Gwyneth's camp had been notified and Paltrow was deeply touched by the story...and she did indeed remember the incident. Then, there's the less Hollywood-esque story of when a horrible ice storm hit my college town, crippling the city and stranding everyone wherever they were when it began to fall...all city streets shut down. Thankfully I lived in a small apartment complex where a great friend of mine also lived...we hung out, walked around outside marveling at everything encapsulated in the thick shimmer, and when I slipped and fell down...he offered his hand. Though the sting of the ice was real, so was the look in his eyes and the swell in my heart when I offered my hand years later. That great friend is now the husband. These are the things that keep us going I suppose when we have an accident. And so, all this accident pondering started yesterday as I was rushing to meet the husband for a lunch date. I climbed into my car before realizing the garbage can was in my way...I jumped out haphazardly to move it and in doing so shut my finger in the door. An accident...very painful, swollen, sickening. But now, I'm left with a half moon bruise on my fingernail and, well...turns out the half moon manicure is all the rage. Although, I think it might be less painful to have it done professionally! Point is, if we can look for the good in things...in the accidents, then maybe the old saying is true...maybe there really is a silver lining in every dark cloud...or at least a half moon!
image credit: my sweet escape

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday's things...

Football
As a girl from the South...I love college football! I love the game...the tailgating...dressing up...the tradition...and of course winning (thanks for ruining "winning" Charlie Sheen)! Kick-off is just about a week away and I can hardly wait. Nothing brings us Southerners closer than a little pigskin, a little food, a little yelling, and well...maybe a little bourbon as well!
..."we're Dixie's football pride..."
image credit: sports tickets guide

Friday, August 19, 2011

It won't be like this for long...

This isn't a blog about the woes of motherhood, but...woe is me. After a day of transition, I'm feeling defeated. Yet, I keep telling myself...she's only 2. After months of trying to interest her in the potty, giving up the pacifier, and trying to convince her that when I drop her off at preschool I am indeed coming back to get her...which I have done without fail since she started even though she cries like it's the first day...every single day. These are the transitions that make me nervous...nervous that I'm doing things the wrong way, that I'm never going to master these little milestones of life. I know that everyone must feel this way at some point but while out and about I often marvel at how well adjusted some mother's are...how they accommodate their children's needs and wants and desires without so much as breaking a sweat. I can tell you that most days I am sweaty and exhausted. And, yes...for the millionth time, she is my only child! Why does everyone always ask that? Are they hoping I'm better with my "other children"? Better, at controlling the whining and meltdowns? When the toddler was just an infant...about 6 months old...we were at a cocktail party in honor of my Father-in-law, so the toddler, er...infant was in attendance...sitting comfortably in her bouncy seat admiring all the sparkle and noise...when a dear family friend said to me, "you look wonderful, you have that new mother glow" to which the husband replied..."that glow is sweat". It's true, in the early days we felt like we were just winging it. Taking things as they came, one thing at a time. It's funny...when you're pregnant you go to all those swanky baby stores and register for every item you're told you "need" or just can't live without...yet, the one thing you need more than anything in the world, the one thing that will get you through the sleepless nights, through the teething, through the constant questions, through all the tears, meltdowns, skinned knees, and transition periods...is something that's not on the shelf, not on any registries... it's patience. After a traumatic, tear-filled trip to the dentist yesterday and a night of trying to break the toddler of her pacifier habit that led to an hour's worth of tears and me finally giving in...I told the husband that I can't imagine how I will get through these rough periods...transitions...that will only get more complicated as she gets older. And again, the husband replied, "one thing at a time...one thing at a time". And so, I know one day I'll look back on these little steps in her life and wish that I could do it all over again...but for now, I can't help but think...it won't be like this for long.
And here's another reminder...(please excuse the Sunkist ad at the beginning)...It won't be like this for long...
image credit: the toddler

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday's things

Nantucket Reds
As I sit and stare out the large front window in our den...I am aware that Summer is slowly but surely slipping away. And by "Summer" I mean, white jeans, linen, weekend jaunts to the lake or beach, sunburned shoulders, tanned skin, and seasonal cocktails. Soon we'll be knee deep in fall...not so bad considering it's been in the upper 90's to low 100's everyday for as long as I can remember, but alas, it's that time of year that makes me want to pile on all my Fall faux pas clothing such as my vintage fluorescent green and turquoise Lilly pants and pastel sundresses and flip flops before the bell tolls. I'm excited to think about the prospects of penny loafers and saddle oxfords but as I've posted before, I always have this internal struggle with white after Labor Day. Sure, everyone says it's okay...it's not a rule anymore...never was a rule in some places but for someone who doesn't love khaki pants, there really aren't many replacements for the white pants in the...er, off season. So, that got me thinking, and looking, and researching. What's a pant that's still feminine, looks good casual as well as dressed, and isn't khaki? Now, I'm talking cotton chino of course as yes, Fall and Winter may be on the horizon but it's still the South and cotton canvas is suffice no matter the season in these parts. After perusing websites and catalogs, and taking into account my love of all things nautical...regardless of time of year...I have come up with the perfect replacement...the Nantucket Red. Paired with a thick weave cotton sweater in white or Navy would be divine. After researching, I found there are many places that offer a version of the Nantucket Red but the only true Nantucket Red is from Murray's Toggery Shop (since 1945). Located in...you guessed it...Nantucket. The Nantucket Red is guaranteed to fade to give that well worn...well loved...summer house look. Okay, so how can I usher in Fall and possibly extend into Winter a pant that is classically Summer? Well, I guess just as "some people" will wear white pants year round I think the faded red cotton sailcloth canvas is versatile...it can be warmed up with a leather belt, cable sweater, suede boots, etc. Murray's offers the "red" in an array of items so if the pant just isn't your thing there are definitely other options. And so, once Fall arrives...football season swings into gear (luckily my team wears red), pumpkin patches are booming, and the boats are in dry dock...I'll take heart in knowing that I can eschew the cold days in summer style without...er, breaking any rules but instead, making my own!
Visit Murray's Toggery for a little "red" of your own!
image credit: Murray's Toggery Shop

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday's things...

Oyster Belt...Buckle
As soon as this beauty from Sid and Ann Mashburn graced the pages of the August/September issue of Garden & Gun...it was gone! Currently "out of stock" but not far from my thoughts...this is sure to become a staple in my bevy of belts! This classic southern bivalve proves to be a safe bet...and not just in the months that have an "R" in them!
image credit: sidmashburn.com

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the sound of silence

As I watched a popular children's program alongside the toddler yesterday...the little pigs roaming the so perfectly animated library that I could almost smell the books, the institutionalism of it all...I started thinking...while I was in college the library was, on most occasions, the furthest thing from my mind. I preferred studying in my room or at my house rather than packing up and isolating myself in a place where everyone was as quiet as bedtime but the lights a bright contradiction to the overwhelming sudden sleepiness that would overcome me when stepping foot into those giant papered halls. But now, when I think about the library I feel different. My first thought as those little pigs were circling up for story time was that I would love to be holed up somewhere in my college behemoth of a library...studying, reading, letting the silence wash over me and absorbing every bit of it. Maybe it's because I'm constantly surrounded by noise...from the toddler running wild to the dogs incessant barking to protect their territory from the neighborhood cat, to the constant drone of the television. I admit, the television is on most days...albeit on children's educational programming, but still...it's on. Another spoke in this wheel of thought is how odd is is that bookstores have become pseudo-libraries...everyone whispering...even in the mall (really, these books are for purchase people!) And then there's Starbucks...a virtual med-school...everyone with their books splayed open...headphones on...highlighters highlighting...faces of consternation. My only thought...wow, you people are so smart and also you're taking up two tables for all your...er, learning. Maybe it's the structure or the rigidness of the library I crave, or maybe it's the deadline I crave...a far cry from when I was actually in school...cramming as if my life depended on it. And, well...it did. And now, it seems I could lose myself in those quiet, sterile study rooms. Maybe it's the feeling of accomplishment, feeling like you're getting something done...learning something...making a difference in your own life...furthering your desire to be better at whatever it is you do. Somehow holing up at home doing laundry all day doesn't give that same rewarding feeling. And so, as I realize that I haven't stepped out of the house in two days because I've been...well, doing laundry and general chasing of the toddler and a little television in between, I am completely lost in thought...in another place enjoying the silence...and maybe learning a thing or two as well.
Click here for a little more...er, silence...
image credit: the capstonian

Monday, August 8, 2011

and the winner...

After continuous deliberation for about 3 weeks...I finally made a decision on the new whip...and the winner was...the Toyota Venza. After all was said and done, the Venza provided the most room and comfort for the rather tall husband and back-of-the-seat-kicking toddler! I guess you're wondering what the other contender was...it was the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen. I do still truly love the SportWagen but in the end went with my gut over my heart. After driving the Venza for a couple days now, I have to say that it is more sporty than I first thought and I know in the long run will warm my heart. And so, in the end maybe it was what a dear friend said the other day regarding my choices that made my decision easier..."they'll both drive to Saks"!

p.s. I got the silver just like in the picture!

image credit: toyota.com

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday's things

Roman Holiday
With a name like Roman Holiday how could you not LOVE it? Now, I'm a nude lip, occasionally glossy, occasionally lightly frosted...kinda girl but something about this Nars bubblegum pink matte finish lured me in and I have to say I'm smitten! I've worn it twice so far and it makes me feel spunky and fresh. And so, although summer is almost over...there's always time for a little "holiday"!
image credit: Nars

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

all whipped up

So, as posted previously...I'm in need of a new whip (that's gangsta lingo for a new car...in case you were wondering). That's right, it's time to bid farewell to my Rover...Ruby. With that said, the husband, toddler and I have been looking at cars, test driving cars, and lying awake at night doing endless comparisons of each one that's made it on our list of possible replacements. We seriously have to make a decision soon or we are never going to get any sleep! We've narrowed down our choices to two...which is refreshing but we are at a crossroads as to what to choose. Our dilemma...we will inevitably be downsizing as our budget doesn't afford the Porsche Cayenne that I've dreamed of, and since space will be less we have to weigh all the parameters such as the toddler's necessary items for everyday travel...her stroller, car seat, and booster seat(for restaurants). Then take into account that the husband is over 6 feet tall so something that feels great to me doesn't so much to him. Now, if the husband had it his way he'd have me driving a Ford F-150 extended cab...which are nice but I mean really, I can't imagine myself in my best heels and Bulga bag stepping out of a monster truck with any finesse...authority maybe, but finesse, no. The two cars that are at the top of my list are both practical in their own ways...both wagon-esque and both stylish...one more stylish than the other but the other is, well, bigger...has a little more headroom and sits a bit higher on the road. But...I'm in love with the other...which poses the classic question...do you go with your gut or your heart? If you go with your heart you learn to love the little things that you thought you wouldn't but, if you go with your gut...will you eventually fall in love with it? And, that raises another question...does your car give you a certain "attitude" when you drive it? My Rover does...I feel sporty and assured...confident on the road. My two contenders are very different in their "attitude". One is sporty, lean, and offers panache, while the other is still sporty but more "grown up" more fancy per se (for lack of a better word) however the car I love feels more luxurious. One says: "I've got places to go and people to see and I've also got to go to the grocery" while the other one says "I've got places to go and really cool people to see and I've got to run by Saks and pick up some more Dior mascara and then swing by the (now defunct but play along with this vision please) music store to pick up a couple CD's...maybe Grateful Dead or Mumford and Sons and then swing by the grocery as well as Starbucks on my way." You get the point. So it seems the only crossroad I'm at is not actually the car itself but a stage of life I'm in where I desperately want to hold on to my identity...not necessarily my youth but, who I am...yes, I'm a mom, and a wife, and a best friend, but I feel like maybe this whole "not working" thing has me searching for self expression in ways not possible at the park or pool or, er, grocery store. Alas, in the end, whatever I pick will be new...which I suppose is the best part...and as someone once said..."any change, even a change for the better, is accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts" (~Arnold Bennett)
p.s. stay tuned for the big reveal...if we can ever make a decision.
image credit: wn

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday's things

Toms wedges
Okay, so I'm not really a "Toms" kinda girl...not that I don't whole heartily believe in their "one for one" philosophy because I do...I think it is an awesome concept and I can say that I am happy to have done my part. Prior to the black canvas wedges I just purchased I bought a pair of red and white seersucker Toms original flats that I do really like but, well, I'm a sucker for...er, seersucker. And so, today as I wandered around my local hipster hiking store I came across the Toms Wedges. I've seen them before but never tried any on and really never seen anyone wearing them. Much to my delight they were on sale and also to my delight, they were super comfy. An hour later I had a pair, my sister had a matching pair and I bought the toddler a pair of silver sparkly "tiny Toms" that are ridiculously cute! So, it would now seem that Tom and I are becoming fast friends and helping a few kids in return...what could be better? Oh, and they're super stylish as well!
image credit: Toms

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

hazy

So as I mentioned in an earlier post, when I started this little blog endeavor I worried that I would run out of things to write about despite having a brain whose wheels turn endlessly. And so, now I find myself not so much having nothing to write about but feeling less than inspired. Maybe it's the 100 degree heat, maybe it's because it's summer and my brain is...well, on vacation. I don't know, but for lack of a better word I'm feeling tapped out. Maybe it's the non-stop travel the husband, toddler and I have been embarking on these past few months...we literally have been living out of suitcases for as long as I can remember! I'm not complaining though...all of our travel has been for fun but I'm beginning to think all this back and forth has left me suffering from an undeniable writers block! The thoughts are there...but my little hands can't find enough time in the day to get those thoughts into paragraph form! And then there's this...maybe my lack of focus and inspiration is due to a decision I've been pondering now for a while...to work or not to work. I've had the luxury of being able to stay home with the toddler since she was an infant. I've enjoyed having that time with her and know that I will be forever grateful for the days we've spent coloring, dancing, going to the park and the pool, shopping, eating cookies, etc. but, even as the guilt is welling up as I type this, I've been thinking about getting out there...going back to work, earning a little money to support my couture codependency. I guess all this "weighing the options" has me bogged down. So as we near the end of July, I'm hoping things will slow down, become more clear. Why can't we foresee the future...if these decisions we make now are the right ones? But then we'd never make mistakes and what fun would that be? Or what about those Magic 8 Balls? Why can't they ever give an answer that is worth banking on? Over and over I've shaken them only to see rise up in the cloudy blue water..."reply hazy, try again". In general, I'm a very indecisive person. I can never decide, as the husband can attest, what to wear, what to buy, how to fix something, etc. I guess partially because I fear failing... but, if you never put yourself out there and try your hardest at whatever it is you're doing...knowing the possibility of failure is real, then what gives us the continuously sought after feeling of accomplishment? And so, I know that nothing in life is final but death...and 50% off items at Gus Mayer...meaning, I'll figure out what to do at some point but the answer will probably always be "hazy". There's no magic here...and the inspiration will always wax and wane I suppose.
image credit: weheartit.com

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thursday's things...on Friday

Crazy Love
Remember that out of control feeling of love you first had when you and your boyfriend first starting dating? That craziness that controlled everything you did? That feeling of near sickness mixed with excitement and desire? It's the best feeling in the world! After years of dating or married life (if you're lucky), somehow we forget about this period of our relationship. It soon becomes the daily hustle and bustle of every day life...long gone are the days of forgetting everyone and everything around you in order to steal away with your lover for even just a minute. So, on this Friday as I prepare for a "girl's weekend"...leaving the husband and toddler at home...I'm going to try to focus my thoughts on that time when all that mattered was him...all that I needed was him, and when I come home on Sunday...won't he be surprised!
image credit: Denmark National Library

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

endless summer

If the heat is any indication...Summer has definitely arrived. It's funny how a season can make you remember certain times in your life with exact certainty...right down to the smell...the cold air from a window unit...the croaking frogs and cicadas. It's a time I vividly remember being at my grandparent's home. I would spend weeks playing in my grandmother's Mary Kay stash, sinking my feet into the thick green grass in the yard, picking worms off a Catawba tree for my grandfather to use as fishing bait, digging in the sandy dirt that filled their south Alabama yard, plundering through my grandfather's "junk drawer" for some unknown buried treasure...visiting my grandfather at work and on the occasion my grandmother had to work, I would spend the day with my great-grandmother. Days with her were spent much the same way, although I do credit her with launching my night time television habit! Hours were logged working the antenna...you know, the old fashioned kind that you cranked on a 1950's era dial that would magically send a signal to the roof to allow Night Court to come in perfectly clear. And the day hours were logged digging in the sandy dirt until I could no longer take the heat...upon which my great-grandmother would sit out her largest metal washtub under the large cedar tree in the...yes, front yard...where I would sit in my underwear...in my miniature pool for hours as an occasional car would pass by. Granted, she lived in the country so there weren't too many cars and, this type "pool" set up was somewhat accepted as the norm...thank goodness. Then there were the days I would play until the sun was tired and I would breeze into the kitchen...climb up onto the washing machine and inhale the icy cold air from the window unit. I can still feel it on my face like it was yesterday. Later, I would fill my belly with oyster stew and crawl into bed to do it all again the next day. I miss those days. I miss that I didn't know then how lucky I was to be spending precious time...creating unsurpassed memories with my grandparents and great-grandparents. But, I guess that's just the thing...when you're a kid, the seasons come and go and all we really live for is summer...and in turn...as adults, those summers live on in our hearts forever.
image credit: bismanonline
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