Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What a great guy

I was rummaging through my purse this morning, trying to find my lipstick when I found a container of cashews that Hubby left there as a surprise. I love cashews, but don't buy them often, so it made my day. He's a good man.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Open doors

Isn't this a fabulous foyer? The front door is amazing. I remember this house from a back-issue of Southern Accents. I believe it's in North Carolina and sits on a lake, but I can't recall for sure. Any hoo, it has a gorgeous front porch that's ideal for lazy summer days, sipping lemonade in a rocking chair.
Photo courtesy of www.southernaccents.com

Where do we go from here?

As an alum of the great University of Kentucky, I must say a few words about what went down last week with the firing of coach Billy Gillispie. I agree that in most cases, two years is not enough time for a new coach to prove himself and turn around a program. But, apparently Billy G. didn’t click with the powers that be at UK, including the boosters and media.

But, for once, I think people need to take a strong look at athletic director Mitch Barnhart and question his role in this debacle and, ultimately, if he’s the right person for the A.D. job. I, for one, have never been impressed with Mr. Barnhart. And, if the side show he’s created with the basketball program indicates anything, he should be the one to leave. You don’t fire a coach without a new coach securely in place, and that’s the case with both Tubby Smith and Billy Gillispie. When Tubby left, Barnhart just assumed that when UK came calling, a coach would drop everything to come to Lexington. And while my love for UK basketball may have me agree with this statement, I know in reality that’s not always the case. Barnhart quickly found out that fact for himself when his top two or three choices said no. So, he had to scramble and found Billy G.

Now, we’re back to square one and all of the media speculation has started again, turning a once well-respected basketball program into a circus. Mr. Barnhart, don’t mess this one up.

I hope we get the right person for this job. It’s not easy. Kentucky is a pressure cooker. You have to be able to flourish under an intense spotlight, live in a fish bowl, charm the pants off of everyone, speak to the Rotary and women’s clubs, hawk potato chips and cell phone plans on television, and, oh, yeah, take your team to the Final Four. It takes a rare personality, but it can be done.

There are some illustrious names being bandied about and hopefully, one of these candidates can step up to the plate. And, if a man can’t do it, perhaps we need to look a little further south at the Tennessee women’s program. Pat Summit has created a dynasty there. Maybe it takes a woman to come in and clean up this mess. Heck, maybe Pat Summit should be our next athletic director. Hmm, there’s an idea.

Friday, March 27, 2009

kiki & polly

Have you ever had a family portrait painted? Or perhaps commissioned a painting of your children? While I realize that can be quite the expense, one of my favorite bloggers, Style Court, recently featured kiki & polly, the brainchild of Oregon artist Lisa Golightly (gotta love a girl with that name). Any hoo, Lisa specializes in a more modern take on the traditional portrait, from line portraits to whimsical images of her subjects. Be sure to check out Ms. Golightly’s work.

Happy Friday everyone!
Image from kiki & polly

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shrimp Salad

Wouldn’t this be great to serve at a casual lunch on a spring day? Love Ina Garten – she’s fabulous.

Serves 6
2 1/2 pounds (16 to 20 count) shrimp (see note above)
1 tablespoon good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup good mayonnaise
1 tablespoon orange zest (2 oranges)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice,
1 tablespoon good white wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons small-diced red onion

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Peel and devein the shrimp. Place them on a sheet pan with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and toss together. Spread the shrimp in one layer and roast for 6 to 8 minutes, just until pink and firm and cooked through. Allow to cool for 3 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. When the shrimp are cooled, add them to the sauce and toss. Add the dill, capers, and red onion and toss well. The flavors will improve if you allow the salad to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Otherwise, chill and serve at room temperature.
Courtesy of The Barefoot Contessa

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shopping Hiatus Challenge - Week 1

While perusing through some delightful blogs recently, I came across a couple of women who took a spending hiatus for an eight-week period in an effort to not only save money, but to surround themselves with items that have true meaning, history and craftsmanship. It was also an attempt to be more eco-friendly and do away with unnecessary purchases. Simple Lovely has a wonderful write-up about it on her blog, and then Paula at Two-Ellie is on hiatus as well, making it beyond the original eight week goal and heading toward week 10. Go girl!

So, I’m going to take up the challenge and go on a shopping hiatus myself. This is difficult for me, because I can often be an impulse buyer – dangle a pretty, shiny object in front of me and I have to have it. But, this past weekend when I attempted to do some spring cleaning, I felt a bit overwhelmed. So much stuff EVERYWHERE. Toy boxes overflowing, closets stuffed to the brim, papers coming out of every nook and cranny. I need to detox from material overload.

So, my goals are to cut out the online purchases, stay away from my favorite shops and stick to only the necessities. I also plan to box and bag up as many items I can for the Good Will and other charitable agencies.

I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going. Wish me luck!

Hats for Hope

A great event is coming up in Louisville on April 9 called “Hats for Hope.” It’s a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. The evening features an auction of Derby hats, as well as gift baskets, vacations, jewelry and more. Your ticket includes hor d’oeuvres, wine and dessert. It takes place at the Mellwood Arts Center.

I’ve attended the last three years and, unfortunately, I have a previous commitment this year and won’t be able to go. But, if you’re in the Louisville area, I highly recommend attending the event, especially if there’s a chance you will be going to the Kentucky Oaks or Derby. “Hats for Hope” makes for a fun get-together with girlfriends. Who doesn’t love food, wine and trying on fancy hats? And, all proceeds support a great cause.

I purchased a hat last year and I’m hoping I’ll have an opportunity to wear it to either Oaks or Derby 2009. We’ll see. The above photo is Hubby and I before the 2008 Oaks (FYI - he always wears his grandfather's hat for good luck. It's a vintage Stetson and one year, we got our picture in the paper because of the unique look and story to go with it). The day started out lovely and then it just poured rain non-stop. Oh, well. Spring in Kentucky - you never know what you’re going to get!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Planting Pansies

I planted pansies in my flower pots this weekend, so now it officially feels like spring. The family and I tried to spend as much time outside as possible. Whether it was working in the yard, playing on the swings at a local playground or riding bikes, we tried to soak up as much sunshine as we could.

What did you do this weekend?
Photo courtesy of Burpee Catalog

Friday, March 20, 2009

Whimsy in the Kitchen

The April issue of Southern Living (aka The Bible to all Southern girls) arrived yesterday and featured an adorable kitchen, from a Tybee Island, Georgia house. One of the many things I liked about the space was the hardware on the cabinets, which added a whimsical touch to the setting. The cabinet pulls/hardware pieces were from Anthropologie, for as little as $6 a piece in some cases. If you go to their Web site, you can browse through a variety of hardware and then use their do-it-yourself tool to see how the pieces would look on a cabinet or dresser. Super-cute idea!

Since it’s going to be a while before we can do a complete overhaul of our kitchen, I’m always looking for ways to improve the look in the meantime. I’m hoping that in the coming weeks we can paint the cabinets white and then add some fun hardware that will really pop!
Images courtesy of Anthropologie.com

Sale at the Vineyard

The boys at Vineyard Vines, Shep & Ian, are having a special deal and I took full advantage of it. I received a coupon in the mail yesterday, offering a $25 savings on a purchase of $100 or more, plus free shipping. So, I orderd Hubby some new Chappy trunks for summer and for myself, a pair of seersucker flip flops. And the best thing? The flip flops were marked down to $15. Woo hoo!
So, even if you didn't receive a coupon in the mail, you may want to check out the deal on the flops. Happy shopping and enjoy the weekend everyone!
Image courtesy of www.vineyardvines.com

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Swans

C.Z. Guest

Babe Paley

Lee Radziwill

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Gloria Guinness

I’m currently reading George Plimpton’s biography of writer Truman Capote. Having seen both films about the author, “Capote” with Philip Seymour Hoffman (fantastic) and “Infamous” with Toby Jones (not so great), I became very interested in the life of Capote. Both films primarily dealt with the years he spent working on In Cold Blood, so I was curious to know more about his early life, his literary successes, and then his ultimate downfall.

I’ve been fascinated reading about his relationships with the society ladies, whom he called his “Swans”: Babe Paley, C.Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness and Slim Keith, as well as some of his other society friends, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Lee Radziwill and Diana Vreeland, to name a few. Such a fabulous era. Of course, his downfall came when an excerpt of his book, Le Cote Basque 1965 appeared in Esquire Magazine. It was a thinly veiled tell-all about the indiscretions of many of these society ladies and their husbands, many of whom confided in Capote over the years, thinking he would be discreet. Well, he wasn’t. Needless to say, he became a pariah and was cut off by most of his socialite friends. Although, from what I’ve read, C.Z. remained a true friend to the end (quite the lady).

It’s an interesting read, to say the least, filled with commentary from writers, royalty, socialites, you name it. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cinematic Inspiration

I’m funny when it comes to watching movies. Often, I’m just as intrigued about the set design as I am about the story. The film could be reaching a pivotal point between two characters and I may be thinking “Wow, look at that Aubusson rug. Where could I score a knock-off?”

The films that come to mind when thinking of great set design include:

"Something’s Gotta Give" (see above images) – What I wouldn’t do for that Hampton’s beach house. I understand the kitchen alone has inspired many-a-home makeover.

"Father of the Bride"– Another Diane Keaton movie, do I detect a common thread here? I loved both the interior and exterior shots of that house. In fact, I think the exterior has been used for other films (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, perhaps?).

"Six Degrees of Separation" – I really liked the different reds (Russian, Chinese) featured throughout that Park Avenue apartment. There was even one room that featured pink and red together and it looked amazing.

"Match Point" – This Woody Allen film set in London featured a fabulous modern apartment with an amazing view of The Thames, as well as a wonderful old English country house.

"Everyone Says I Love You" – Another Woody Allen film, set in Manhattan. The apartment owned by Alan Alda and Goldie Hawn’s characters were, for lack of a better word, fabulous.

Hmmm, funny, looking at this list, all but one have a link to Woody Allen (with Diane Keaton having been his muse for many years). Coincidence?

Do you have any favorite films that feature a great set design? If so, please share!
Images courtesy of Columbia Pictures' Something's Gotta Give

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cead Mille Failte!

Happy St. Paddy’s Day to one and all! In honor of this wonderful day, thought I’d include a photo of Hubby and me at the Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, while on our honeymoon in 1999. Our trip to Ireland was amazing and we can’t wait to go back.

So, be sure to sport your green and enjoy the day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Paul Rudd

I’ve had a crush on actor Paul Rudd for years. I just think he’s adorable and I love his wide range of work, from indie films to big budget flicks. He makes me smile whenever I see him on the screen. Check out this recent New York Times article about him. You gotta love a guy with such sardonic wit and a dreamy smile.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My New Bike

I got my bike today! After shopping around and comparing prices, I went back to the little downtown bike shop on my lunch hour and purchased a Marin Kentfield hybrid or "City Bike." I test rode it and really liked the feel of it. It's pretty slick looking, too. The photo above is the 2009 men's Kentfield; I got the women's version in blue.

In additon to the bike, I bought a safety helmet and a bike rack for the car. Hubby is going to refurbish a freebie bike we've had in the garage for a while so we can ride together at some point. And, with my purchase I got a water bottle, bottle cage and a T-shirt (again, it's the little things that make me happy!). So, I can't wait to hit the neighborhood on my new bike. Hopefully, the rain will hold off this weekend and I can try it out.
Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

I've been tagged by lovely Queen Bee Swain with the "Kreativ Blogger" award (thank you!) and to list seven things that I love. So, here it goes:

1. My family

2. Writing

3. Books

4. University of Kentucky Wildcats

5. Outer Banks, N.C.

6. Coffee

7. A day at the spa.
So, now it's my turn to tag some delightful bloggers with a Kreativ Blogger Award and the task of listing seven things you love. Then, pass it along to some of your favorites.
Can't wait to see your lists! Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Is it Friday yet?

Whew, what a week it's been and it's only Wednesday. I think I need one of these.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bungalow Chic

This Atlanta home is featured in the latest issue of Southern Living and I really like what the owner has done with the place. It's not a huge space, but she's made great use of it and I really like her choice of colors and fabrics. Of course, with two little kids and a black lab, a white couch would not fly in my house. But, I can admire from afar.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


My favorite band of all time is U2. Love, love, love the boys from Dublin. They released their latest album this week and are supposedly announcing their 2009 tour plans on March 9. I am hoping the tour will call for a stop in Louisville - perhaps Churchill Downs? Within the last couple of years, we've seen the Rolling Stones and The Police perform at Churchill. It's quite an amazing concert venue. Since that time, I've been hoping for another power house band to perform there and U2 is the only group that would live up to those expectations.

I've been trying to track down any information about where they're going to perform but mums the word for now. So, readers, have any of you heard if U2 is coming to Louisville? Or the tri-state area at least?
Photo courtesy of www.u2rockband.com.

Birthday Recap

As I mentioned earlier, I took a the day off on Tuesday to spend it with my birthday girl. It was a good day - we went to the libarary to check out books, had lunch out, went home for a little bit and then went out for a "tea party." The tea party was at her favorite pie and ice cream shop, where she had a big cookie and milk. Later that evening, we met up with the grandparents at her favorite restraurant and opened presents. Best of all, the wait staff sang "Happy Birthday" to her and brought out an ice cream sundae.

On Saturday, we're having a party at the YMCA with her buddies from daycare/pre-school. I'm not big on over-the-top birthdays for kids. We're keeping it pretty simple at the Y and we probably won't do another party with friends for a few years. But, this will be her first party with friends, and since she's been with some of these kids since they were babies, we thought it would should do a party now while they're all still together at the same school.

So, we'll end the week with her party on what is promising to be a beautiful 73 degree day. Yea!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Vera's Beach Collection

Have you seen the new Vera Bradley beach collection? Super-cute flip flops, towels and terry cloth bags. I can’t wait until summer!
Images courtesy of www.verabradley.com

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Birthday Girl

Tomorrow is my sweet girl's 4th birthday. I'm taking off work and we're spending the day together. I can't believe she's already 4! My daughter is such a miracle. We never thought we could have children and after many trials and tribulations, including starting to pursue an adoption, I found out I was pregnant with Miss E. Such a blessing! Then, not too long after that, we got even more surprising news that our son was coming along. So, after a lot of heart break and dark days, the sun did shine on our family. God has been very good to us and I'm so thankful for my children.

So, tomorrow calls for lunch, a tea party and other special treats. Happy Birthday, E!