Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Eve at the Races

Happy Halloween Eve everyone!

The kids are decked out in their Halloween gear this morning, celebrating the pagan holiday with trick-or-treating and a party at pre-school. My daughter is Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, my son is a tiger. Too cute!

And where is mommy going today? Why, gambling, of course! My department is headed down to Lexington for a day at Keeneland Race Course. We have a suite, plenty to eat and drink (bread pudding – yum!) and bets to be made on the ponies. Plus, it’s homecoming weekend at the University of Kentucky, so today is “See Blue” day at Keeneland - I’m sporting my Kentucky-blue pashmina in honor of the event. Here's hoping I win a little money today. But, given that I often bet $2 to show, that's probably not going to happen. :)

I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween.
Image courtesy of

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Big Pearl, little pearl

I’m a big fan of pearls. First of all, the pearl is my birthstone. Second, they’re just a timeless, classic piece of jewelry. Hubby gave me a strand of pearls and matching earrings for our anniversary and I wear them all the time. To work, special events, even with a T-shirt while doing laundry. Love them.

Recently, I came across jewelry designer Meg Carter via the fabulous blog, Summer is Verb. Meg is based in Alexandria, Virginia and she features several pearl pieces. I found out she was offering a special during October – buy one piece of jewelry, get another valued at $65 or less free, in honor of her birthday month. So, I quickly logged onto her site and ordered from the “Towne, by Meg Carter Designs” collection. I loved the fact that she featured a quote by Audrey Hepburn on the page (You had me at Audrey). So, I indulged (I know, it’s a compulsive addiction that must be treated – I will be shredding at least one credit card this evening) and purchased a pair of the “Big Pearl, little pearl” studs and then requested the “Big Pearl, little green" studs as my freebie.

They arrived yesterday, but because I didn’t open the front door last evening, I didn’t realize they were there. So, this morning as I’m rushing around the house getting ready, I found them on my front step. Yea! What a happy surprise to start the day off right!

So, if you like pearls, or you know someone special who loves to wear these darlings-of-the-sea, stop by Meg’s site. She really does great work.

It’s Thursday, kids – we’re almost there!
Images from Meg Carter Designs

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Who does your hair?

So, I’m working at the Junior League event last Saturday, manning the inflatable jumpy (you know, that IS the technical term for those things), when this mom walks up with her three kids. I saw her arrive earlier in the morning and knew that I must talk to her. Why? Because she had the cutest darn haircut I had ever seen! So, trying to appear like the cool event organizer, I saddle up next her, exchange some pleasantries and then ask this complete stranger the age-old question: “Do you mind if I ask who does your hair?”

I’ve done this before to strangers, be it at the mall, on the street, wherever. There’s always a bit of worry that they’re going to think you’re a complete psycho. But, most people agree that that’s the best way to find your next stylist. Thankfully, this woman’s reply was, “Aren’t you sweet! I go to (insert salon name).” I was jazzed because this salon is not far from my house and it’s an Aveda salon. I’m not necessarily thinking of jumping ship with my current stylist, though. I found her after a long search and I’ve been pretty happy with the results. But, should I ever need to change, I have a good second in my back pocket.

Above are pics of some celebrity styles I just love (the pic of Sienna Miller’s short hair is very similar to the mom I saw on Saturday). What celeb hairstyles do you like? I’m not the only person who accosts strangers with the hair question, am I?
Images courtesy of and

Monday, October 26, 2009

Signature Project

My Junior League signature project took place on Saturday and it was a huge success! We set up on Friday after work and then I got there on Saturday at 8:30 a.m., and stayed until 2 p.m. It was such a rewarding experience - those kids and their parents are inspirational. Hopefully, for at least a few hours, they could take their minds off cancer and just have fun and be kids. I've included some pics of the pumkins the kids decorated and some of the many munchies that we had available. Out of the privacy of the families who attended, I won't include any shots of them on my blog. And, no photos of myself - I was wearing a witch's hat and it was not pretty!

So, it's the week leading up to Halloween. My kids are already too excited for their own good. They attended two Halloween parties this weekend and have been bouncing off the walls (must ration the candy). With Halloween being on a Saturday this year, I'm sure there will be plenty of mischief. I better remember to bring the pumpkins inside after the last trick-or-treaters. :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

'Cheerful Money'

So, I was prompted to buy a book after hearing a review of it last week on NPR. New Yorker writer Tad Friend has written a family memoir, Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor. I had heard about this book, through the blog world in fact, and was highly intrigued by the title. There seems to be a lot of fascination with WASPs in our society, and I guess of late it’s because they’re a shrinking group, thus there’s a certain mystique about them; we’re on the outside looking in.

I certainly am not a WASP (For the record, it stands for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. I’ve actually encountered people who don’t realize it’s an acronym. Yes, really.) No, being of Irish-German-Catholic descent, I’m too much of a mutt for that group. Not a pure-bred in any way. And, I’m fine with that. My family didn’t come over on the Mayflower. They’re not direct descendents of a signer of the Declaration of Independence. (Although my husband is, but he’s Catholic too, so his family must have gotten lost along the way. :)

But, something I do appreciate about old-school WASPs is that they never talk about money. It’s considered crass. You just don’t do that. Today’s nouveau riche can’t stop talking about money. They tell you how much they paid for everything. Constantly. They share way too much information. Heck, many star in reality shows. Bravo’s “Real Housewives” series is a testament to new money and its gross displays of wealth. Blech.

So, why did I order Tad Friend’s book? First of all, I liked critic Maureen Corrigan’s review and the focus on a different era, a time of romance and a more civilized way of life (for some at least), a view that F. Scott Fitzgerald often took in his works. In The Great Gatsby, Daisy was the WASP, Gatsby the mutt, and he tried so hard to achieve that elusive lifestyle. But even with all of his new money, he would never be “of that class” because he was not to-the-manner-born. Poor Jay Gatsby.

So, if you’re looking for a good read, check out “Cheerful Money.” I can’t wait until my copy arrives.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pumpkin Picking Fun

Halloween is almost here! Have you picked your pumpkin yet? Last Sunday, we went to a local u-pick farm to gather our pumpkins. I also loaded up on gourds and mini-pumpkins to create a harvest centerpiece for my dining room table. My parents joined us and the kids had a ball!

Because we had had lots of rain leading up to Sunday, I finally had the opportunity to break in my Hunter Wellies. Although, I think I need to wear them with a darker pair of jeans. Not sure. Perhaps I thought I would resemble Gwyneth when she sported her pair with Mario Batali and friends during "Spain - On the Road Again." Yeah, pretty delusional, huh? Oh, well. They kept my feet dry as I trudged through the mud.

Tomorrow afternoon is set-up for my Junior League project. The event itself is on Saturday. It's a huge Halloween extravaganza for children affected by cancer. A lot of work has been put into this event and I'm hoping it goes smoothly.

The weekend is almost here, folks. Hope you have fun activities planned!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My New Fall Accessory

Just had to share my latest purchase (Hubby, I swear, it was a good deal): the Lobelia scarf from Anthropologie. I'm actually wearing it today with a sweater and slacks and I wore it to church on Sunday with a similar outfit. I think it's perfect for fall. Not too heavy - enough to warm your neck and be stylish at the same time.

There are three colors available and I went with black, although there are still some interesting colors running throughout that make it stand out from my standard palate of earth tones. So, If you're looking for a vibrant accessory this fall with a touch of whimsy, check out the latest offerings from Anthropolgie.
Image courtesy of Anthropolgie.

Tag - You're It!

I’ve been tagged by one of my favorite bloggers, The Entertaining House to provide ONE WORD ANSWERS to the following questions. Then, I'm supposed to tag six other bloggers and they tag six, etc. (Because I'm being lazy, I'm not going to include the hot links to those I tag - you'll just get a note from me. Sorry!) Remember, you can use only one-word answers. Have fun!

1. Where is your cell phone? Desk

2. Your hair? Highlighted

3. Your mother? Teacher

4. Your father? Funny

5. Your favorite food? Chocolate

6. Your dream last night? Unmemorable

7. Your favorite drink? Coffee

8. Your dream/goal? Author

9. What room are you in? Office

10. Your hobby? Reading

11. Your fear? Violence

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Content

13. Where were you last night? Home

14. Something that you aren’t? Relaxed

15. Muffins? Banana

16. Wish list item? Kitchen

17. Where did you grow up? Kentucky

18. Last thing you did? Lunch

19. What are you wearing? Sweater

20. Your TV? Off

21. Your pets? Dog

22. Friends? Diverse

23. Your life? Juggling

24. Your mood? Hopeful

25. Missing someone? Kiddos

26. Vehicle? Audi

27. Something you’re not wearing? Glasses

28. Your favorite store? J.Crew

29. Your favorite color? Blue

30. When was the last time you laughed? Morning

31. Last time you cried? Monday

32. Your best friend? Hubby

33. One place that I go to over and over? Work

34. One person who emails me regularly? Boss

35. Favorite place to eat? Lilly’s

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Greenbrier Recap - Part 1

Here are a few pics from our anniversary trip to the Greenbrier (having some technical difficulties with the camera, so I hope to post more soon). This is just a sampling of that wonderful place - ah, to be pampered like that again! One of the little things I loved about the Greenbrier, was that each evening, a sign was placed outside the elevator that stated, "'s sleepy time down South." Now, the kids and I say that each evening when they're in bed. :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Friday was our actual anniversary, so Hubby and I had a casual dinner at the restaurant where we met (it was on a blind date). It's also the same place where we had our rehearsal dinner. When we arrived, they led us to our table where a bucket of champaign and two glasses were waiting for us. He called ahead and planned this - what a guy! I am a lucky woman.

Sunday was pumpkin-picking day and we came home with some whoppers!

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mama's Got a Brand New Bag

My new Henry Brown bag arrived yesterday - it's fabulous! And, the lovely ladies at Henry Brown included a coffee cozy as a "thank you" for mentioning the company on my blog. My pleasure, gals! (I tried to pick one of the least cluttered spots on my desk to take this photo, so sorry it's not the most attractive background and the lighting is poor.) I received many compliments on the bag last night at a Junior League committee meeting, so looks like I made a good choice. And, it's very roomy with plenty of pockets, so I can throw my portfolio and other work items in there, in addition to a couple of diapers, yet not lose track of my Blackberry, lipstick, keys and other small items.

I want to thank everyone again for their kind words and prayers for the family at our children's preschool who lost their son. I pray that they will be granted strength during this very difficult time.

I hope y'all have a great weekend! If the weather improves, we're going to try to get to the pumpkin patch at some point. Next weekend is the Halloween event my JL group has been planning for a local cancer organization. I think everything is coming together so that children who are affected by cancer can take their mind off of things for a few hours and celebrate with tricks and treats!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Family in Need of Prayers

I've had a sad story in my head for the last few days, wondering if I should share with you. As you know, I try to keep the subject matter light, because we're all dealing with heavy topics in our own lives, sometimes we just need an escape. But, I think this family could use your thoughts and prayers right now, so here's the story.

A little boy who used to be in my son's room at daycare died last Friday after a terrible fall at his grandmother's home (apparently, he fell out the window - I can't imagine). His parents were hoping to send him back to the school, but there were some financial issues, so he hadn't been there since early in the summer. But, I do remember this little boy. He was quiet and had a sweet deameanor. I remember my son playing with him and saying his name.

I can't get this out of my mind because the loss of a child - especially in such a manner - is beyond devastating. He was just two years old. A baby. I can't fathom the grief of his parents, nor the guilt his grandmother is probably suffering through. Yesterday was the funeral. The director of the school sent us a note home, telling us that the little boy's father said they kept a photo of the class on the refridgerator and the boy pointed to it everyday, asking when he could return to school. Heartbreaking. The school parents are taking up a collection to purchase something for the toddler playground in his memory.

So, if you have a moment today, please say a little prayer for this family. They are going to need a great deal of strength to survive this.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Horsey Set

Just had to share a pic of these amazing boots from Billy Reid - how fabulous are these bad boys? I saw plenty of these sassy riding boots while in West Virginia. The horsey set definitely likes to hang out at the Greenbrier. Alas, my boots are purely for show and were worn only to dinner, rather than out riding. But, we did manage to bring home a pony for Miss. E (albeit, the stuffed variety).

I'm back...

Well, it's back to reality today as I return from splendor in the Allegheny Mountains to my desk in the high-rise. Sigh. It was a lovely vacation in a gorgeous setting. The Greenbrier is everything and more. They treat you likely royalty. I have plenty of photos to share - I'll download them soon.

Hope everyone is doing well - I need to catch up on my blog reading!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Happy Trails...

Hubby and I are heading to the Greenbrier tomorrow to celebrate our 10th anniversary - yea! I am sooooo ready to unplug, relax and just enjoy some time alone with Hubby. It's hard to keep my mind focused on work today, but I'll make the effort.

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the week and the weekend. Talk to you when I get back!
Photo courtesy of Waterford.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Radcliffe Collection

I'm in love with the Radcliffe collection from kate spade. Such a great twist on a classic design. When I grow up, I want to be kate spade.
Images courtesy of

Monday, October 5, 2009

Goodbye, Cookie

The home of J. Crew's Jenna Lyons was featured in a recent issue of Cookie Magazine. Above is her child's nursery. Cookie is the latest publication in a long string of magazines to fold.

Well, you’ve likely heard by now that Gourmet magazine is folding, as is Modern Bride, Elegant Bride and one my favorites, Cookie. I’m a subscriber of Cookie and this now explains why Condé Nast was on my caller ID last week. Hmm, what’s next?

Cookie has been a great alternative to the standard parenting magazines. It featured family homes with hip décor, out-of- the-ordinary gift ideas and great travel tips. I enjoyed their features of working parents who are well-known in the world of art, fashion, design, cinema, literature and other fascinating fields. Cookie made you feel like you didn’t have to give up style once you became a parent. You could still achieve a level of cool-ness, even though you took on a new role as parent.

These are tough times we are living in, my friends. While I no longer have a magazine coming in the mail each month, the bigger picture is that a group of talented people have lost their jobs. It’s disappointing and sad. I hope we won’t lose more of our newsstand favorites. It’s just not the same without them.

Hollywood Lands in Bluegrass Country

One of the greatest thoroughbreds to ever live was Secretariat. He won the Kentucky Derby in 1973 (one month before I was born), setting a track record there. He then went on to win the Triple Crown, setting a world record at Belmont. Disney is now making a film about this incredible animal, starring Diane Lane as his owner, Penny Chenery, and John Malkovich as trainer, Lucien Laurin. (I haven't heard who will play jockey Ron Turcotte.)

Filming begins today at Churchill Downs. Other locations include horse farms throughout Central Kentucky and likely locales outside of the Commonwealth. It’s fun to know that a film is being made right in your backyard. I wonder how they’ve been able to find a number of horses that even compare to Secretariat’s physical stature. That horse was massive – like no other.

Apparently, there’s an open call today for extras (other casting calls took place several weeks ago at Keeneland and Churchill). Just don your best 1970s garb and head out to the track if you’re in the area. Filming at Churchill is expected to run through Friday.
Image: "The Great Secretariat" by LeRoy Neiman.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fashion Week

Well, I gave into temptation and ordered a dress from Bailey's. Ms. Pamela, the proprietress, was wonderful and responsed to my many e-mail questions. She then contacted me about a new dress that had just arrived (the lovely frock above). Well, I just couldn't resist. So, she expressed mailed it and it should be on my doorstep when I get home today. I know, so much for saving money and sticking with an old standy-by. This dress could become an old stand-by right?

In looking back over the posts of this week, I certainly focused on clothes, didn't I? I guess I could call it my own personal Fashion Week. Luckily, Anna Wintour isn't taking note of my comings and goings (Thank God).

By the way, earlier this week I received a lovely note from blogger The Style Saloniste, Diane Dorrans Saeks . If you have not been to her site, be sure to stop by. She's a magazine editor and has written several books on interior design, style, fashion, architecture and more. She has an amazing eye for design and her entries are full of great insight and gorgeous images.
Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mad for Plaid

How cute is this new Kentucky blue plaid? The University of Kentucky recently introduced its official plaid, designed by students in the Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles school. UK then held a contest for students and alumni to vote on their favorite plaid design and this was the winner. The scarf would be the perfect accessory at a ballgame or Keeneland. The table cloth would add a nice touch to your tailgating spread at Saturday's UK vs. Alabama football game. Speaking of which, here's hoping the Tide doesn't roll all over us! GO CATS!!
Images courtesy of