Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In Your Easter Bonnet

Moms and toddlers in their Easter finery

Easter Egg hunt event in Manhatten

A dapper bow tie for Easter Sunday

The annual White House Easter Egg Roll (He's a determined little guy, isn't he?)

Easter, the highest of holy days, is this Sunday. My family and I are planning to arrive extra early to 10 a.m. Mass, as the C&E Christians will be making their bi-annual appearance, therefore seating will be at a premium.

As a child, Easter was always a time to get a new dress in pretty pastel colors. And while you dressed for spring, the weather wouldn’t always cooperate. It could be cold with snow flurries, downright balmy or quite pleasant. Even if it was cold, you were determined to brave the brutal weather, because nothing would stop you from wearing that lovely new dress, even if it was covered by your winter coat.

So, this begs the question, what should you or shouldn’t you wear on Easter? It’s technically spring, but not Memorial Day, so therefore are white shoes out of the question? Is it okay for little girls to wear white patent leather shoes, black patent leather or either one? Do guys break out the seersucker yet? Purists would say that seersucker shouldn’t see the light of day until late May, but where I live, Derby Day tends to be the exception for seersucker, as well as certain white attire.

I’m planning to wear a skirt and sweater set on Easter. I need to get a pedicure this week as well, in case I’m daring enough to wear open-toed shoes. I just hate the thought of my bare legs peeking out from under a skirt. Ugh, I need a tan, pronto!

While I won’t be wearing a hat, I do like seeing the ladies in church donning their wide-brimmed chapaeux. You have to admit that Easter Sunday is a fabulous people-watching day!

So, any Easter attire dos or don’ts that you recommend?
Images courtesy of The Official White House website, New York Social Diary, Southern Proper

Monday, March 29, 2010

TOMS Shoes

Have you heard of TOMS Shoes? The casual canvas shoes for men, women and children have really hit it big and not so much for their look or fit, but because of the company’s mission. Here's their story:

In 2006 an American traveler, Blake Mycoskie, befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by caring TOMS customers.

Since our beginning in May 2006, TOMS has given over 400,000* pairs of shoes to children in need, through the purchases of caring customers.
*As of December 2009

You may have seen Mykoskie in an AT&T commercial featuring him interacting with children who have received the shoes. It seems to be a great company and great concept. TOMS One-for-One Campus Clubs are popping up at colleges across the country. In fact, Mykoskie is speaking at my alma mater, the University of Kentucky, tomorrow. It’s good to see such altruism taking place among today’s youth (do I sound like an old lady or what?). I hope it continues to blossom.

I guess I’m a little slow to join the TOMS movement, since I’m not a 20-something, the main TOMS demographic to date. But, now that I’ve arrived, I plan to order some shoes and I’m thrilled to know that a child will benefit from this purchase. Be sure to check out the TOMs website. Cool stuff available for purchase and a great blog, too.

Hope everyone had a good weekend. My Wildcats lost in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday. It kills me that Bob Huggins and his oh-so-classy track suit are going to the Final Four. And, so is that evil team from North Carolina. I can’t even say their name. Sorry, still sore over an incident in March of 1992 involving a final shot at the buzzer. A tragic moment that CBS Sports insists on replaying every time they lead into the next game. Make it stop!
Images and content courtesy of http://www.toms.com/

Friday, March 26, 2010

Paula, Ina and Their Homes

Paula Deen in her Savannah kitchen

Garden party at Ina Garten's East Hampton home

If ever there was a dream kitchen, it would be that of The Lady herself, Paula Deen. How I love the space she has created in her Savannah home! And, not just the kitchen, but the entire home. While it's a newer house, it oozes traditional low-country style. Simply lovely.

While on maternity leave with each of my children, I became a Food Network junkie, never missing Paula's show, as well as the Barefoot Contessa - talk about a gorgeous house! And have you seen her garden? Divine. I loved seeing their homes as much as the delicious, and highly caloric, dishes they concocted each episode. Yeah, I think my kids' first word may have been "mayonnaise," thanks to Paula and Ina.

Our own kitchen renovation is winding down. The painting is complete and all we have left are the new countertops and back splash. I know, I've been neglectful in posting photos of the progress. I'll try to get it on this weekend. But, with two soccer games and a Junior League volunteer event tomorrow, no guarantee that will happen. Plus, my Cats made it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, so there will be a huge focus on basketball this weekend. I'll try, though, I promise. :)

Hope everyone has a relaxing weekend!
Images courtesy of Food Network and Hamptons.com

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chocolate Eggs

Have you seen these delightful "robin's eggs" from Williams-Sonoma? They're filled with chocolate truffles and come in a gorgeous floral nest.

About 10 days until Easter, which means my chocolate fast is coming to an end. Not that I'm counting the days, or anything.
Image courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Best Episode Ever!

Do you watch "Lost?" Last night's episode was fantastic! Some questions answered, many more raised. Hard to believe the season is almost over.

One of my coworkers is not convinced that Jacob is good and thinks that the Man in Black, now known as Fake Locke or "Flock," may actually be a good guy. I'm not convinced.

So, if you watch the show, what are your theories? Is the island pergatory? Discuss!
Image courtesy of abc.com

P.S. - My apologies to readers who are not followers of the TV show "Lost." I'm sure this post seems rather cryptic, much like the program itself. I promise we will return to regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I’m a socialite! Who knew?

Thanks so much to the darling A Town and Country Life for tagging me a “socialite,” per the The Preppy Mafia standards.

If you are not familiar with the Preppy Mafia, it’s the brainchild of Beth of Social Climbers, and Margaret of http://www.2preppygirls.com/, with the goal of “preppifying the world, one monogram at a time.” Stop by and read the latest preppy news and take advantage of the preppy gear available.

Back to the tag…

The rules:
  • Click on the above logo and paste it on your blog/website

  • Answer the questions below
  • Pass on the honor to 10 bloggers whom you love. Then go to their blogs and let them know they've been tagged!

    1. Who is your style icon(s)? Jackie Kennedy and C.Z. Guest

    2. What is your favorite socialite lit book? Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster

    3. Favorite party theme? “Derby Day” – silver julep cups, lots of flowers, tenderloin with Henry Bains sauce, plenty of bourbon, mint, and gambling, of course!

    4. Go-to Halloween costume? Witch (not a real stretch)

    5. Extravagance you cannot live without? A cleaning lady – when you and your husband work full time and you have two little kids, this makes life a little more bearable.

    6. Living person you admire? My husband

    7. Greatest fear? That something would happen to my children.

    8. Trait you deplore in yourself? Lack of patience

    9. Which talent would you most like to have? The ability to construct clothing (my sewing skills are very basic) or to play tennis really well (I haven’t picked up a racket in years).

    10. Greatest achievement? My marriage and my children

I've noticed that the Preppy Mafia is making the tagging rounds rather quickly online, so instead of taking the change of tagging someone who already has received this honor, I'm going to pass the "socialite" designation along to all of you lovely bloggers (Am I allowed to do that? Oh well, I just did!). You are all fabulous and I get such enjoyment from your topics, images and commentary. Have a terrific Tuesday!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Setting the Table for Easter Brunch

Hard to believe that Easter is less than two weeks away! My daughter is under the impression that spring does not arrive until Easter and given the importance of the day and all that comes with it, I think she’s justified in her beliefs.

Our house is still under renovation, otherwise I would love to do a creative Easter table setting, like the ones above from Southern Living.

Any special plans this Easter? Brunch with the family? If so, what are you serving? How are you decorating? Will there be egg hunts in the back yard, local park or church? Share your plans!
Images courtesy of Southern Living

Friday, March 19, 2010


I heard a story on the radio yesterday that touched my heart and I wanted to share this with you. The next time you are watching your child, grandchild, niece or nephew playing a sport, count your blessings. I know I will.

Above is a photo of the U.S. under-17 women's soccer team. They recently beat Haiti 9 - 0 in a regional tournament in Costa Rica. But, the win was bittersweet for the young women, knowing what their Haitian counterparts had endured since the devastating earthquake in that country. Seeing the Haitian goalie still lying on the ground after the game, sobbing, the American team walked over, picked her up and hugged her for a lengthy period.

One U.S. player said she had her mom and aunt in the crowd cheering for her, but many of the Haitian players had lost their loved ones or are unsure of their whereabouts. The majority of the team is homeless due to the quake. They only have each other and the sport of soccer.

Prior to leaving for the tournament, the U.S. team expressed a desire to help the Haitian team. Each young woman brought a bag full of cleats, soccer gloves and other equipment for each member of the Haitian team.

From NPR: Defender Olivia Brannon read a letter to the Haitians, thanking the team for inspiring the Americans to play great soccer and commending them for everything they had been through. "Seeing the Haitians smile," U.S. goalie Bryane Heaberlin says, "was amazing for all of us."
Photo courtesy of NPR

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Get Your Green On

Happy St. Paddy’s Day to all you lads and lassies! I’m decked out in green today and that’s probably the extent of my celebrating, given that we have kid commitments tonight. Speaking of the kids, they have a Leprechaun hunt at school today, so hopefully they’ll come across a Leprechaun who will lead them to a pot of gold. Hey, whatever helps pay for college.

Hubby has a pair of friends, twin brothers actually, who celebrate this day like nothing I’ve ever seen. Both brothers take the day off work. They invite friends over to one of their homes for an early morning viewing of “The Quiet Man” and a breakfast of Lucky Charms. Then around 11 a.m., it’s off to the bars. Seriously. They hit two or three Irish pubs in one neighborhood and then make their way to a few more in another area of town. Then, the day ends at one of the best Irish pubs in town, The Irish Rover, where there’s a huge tent over the parking lot, music, dancing and plenty of Guinness flowing. I’ve been to a couple of St. Patrick’s Day events there and it’s such fun. You end up seeing every Irish Louisvillian you knew growing up. It’s basically a homecoming. A very drunk homecoming.

If you’re celebrating today, have fun and be safe. Erin go bragh!
Images courtesy of history.com

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An Irish Feast

Tomorrow, we Irish-Americans observe one of our high-holy days: St. Patrick’s Day. And, in honor of the event, I’m going to shamelessly recount a story I heard on NPR this morning.

British food writer Nigella Lawson (LOVE HER!!) provided some fabulous suggestions for a St. Patrick’s Day meal, including the London Irish Club’s (which, alas, is no longer) version of Irish stew and chocolate Guinness cake.

For those of us familiar with standard Irish stew, it can sometimes be a little watery and full of under or over-cooked potatoes. When in Ireland, hubby and I did try some Irish stew at a restaurant in Dublin, and I must admit it was nothing to write home about. So, when I heard Lawson talk about this recipe that calls for veal stock and lamb chops, well, my ears perked up.

As far as the cake, it sounds amazing. But, as I mentioned, I’ve given up chocolate for Lent, so I won’t be partaking in such a devilishly good dessert. Although, do you think the Archbishop will give me a dispensation for one day? Probably not.

Lawson also suggested stepping outside the box in regard to your drink of choice. Now, for some folks, not having a pint of Guinness or a shot of Jameson on St. Paddy’s Day is a sacrilege. But her suggestion of the Emerald Isle sounds like a tasty alternative. It’s a minty martini that calls for a shot of gin, a teaspoon of green creme de menthe and bitters.

So, if you have time to labor over a St. Paddy’s Day feast, you may want to stop by the butcher for lamb chops and the market for fresh veggies and dessert fixings. What’s my family having for St. Paddy’s Day you ask? Well, considering our daughter has soccer practice, we’ll probably be dining on the Filet O’Fish from that other well-known Irish establishment. ;)


The Irish Club’s Irish Stew

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Images courtesy of Nigella Lawson and Flicker

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rain Showers Bring Cute Coats

It rained most of the weekend, so in trying to see an upside of the lousy weather, I did notice some adorable raincoats out and about, covered in poppies, plaids, geometric shapes, you name it.

I’ve been sporting my yellow raincoat that I snagged at Old Navy last year during a fabulous sale. It's very cute, but it doesn’t have a hood. And, when I was trying to get the kids out of the car yesterday at church, well, not so practical (I know, use an umbrella, but those tend to go missing quite often at our house). So, I’ve been looking for a raincoat with a hood that won’t break the bank. Target has some cute ones, as does Old Navy, Lands End and Boden. I've featured a few here that I think are especially fun.

Seen any cute rain gear lately? If so, what styles or brands do you recommend?

Oh, by the way, did you see which team is a number one seed in the NCAA East division? Yep, how excited am I?! That reminds me, I need to fill out my bracket...
Images courtesy of Boden and Lands End

Friday, March 12, 2010

SEC Tournament - GO CATS!!!

Have you heard? The University of Kentucky Wildcats are ranked number 2 in the NCAA basketball rankings and they're playing their first game of the Southeastern Conference Tournament today. I had my UK car flags flying this morning! You may have discovered by now that I'm somewhat fond of my alma mater's team...

The Cats take on Alabama at 1:30 p.m. Hopefully, we'll roll all over the Crimson Tide. I know so many folks who left yesterday for Nashville to attend the SEC tournament (Boo - I couldn't get tickets!). I imagine productivity at many workplaces will come to a grinding halt this afternoon.

Before the hoopla of b-ball, we're taking Miss E. to her kindergarten screening this morning. So exciting! She'll get to meet both K teachers, but we won't know which one she'll have until later this summer. Keep your fingers crossed that all goes well!

Don't forget - Daylight Savings Time starts on Sunday. Have a great weekend everyone!
Image courtesy of www.uky.edu

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Train Wrecks and The Downside of Social Media

PR guru Kelly Cutrone (center) celebrating after a successful fashion event.

As I mentioned the other day, I was being killed slowly by the stomach bug. So as I lay dying, I flipped on the TV, because, what else was I going to do on my deathbed?

I came across a new program on Bravo, “Kell on Earth,” a reality TV show that focuses on PR guru Kelly Cutrone and her company People’s Revolution. And, like any good Bravo train wreck, I got sucked in and watched a couple of episodes. I guess I’m especially fascinated with this show because I have worked in public relations and while I haven’t been surrounded by the crazy divas of the fashion world - something that Kelly’s group specializes in - I served as a PR manager in the performing arts and, well, there’s plenty of drama to go around there.

If there’s a lesson to be learned about social media and how stupid people use it, I saw it on this show. After firing one of the assistants and having one quit because she was about to be fired, the People’s Revolution staff brought in several applicants for interviews. One gal was a finalist and had the skills for the job, yet made the mistake of writing about it on Twitter. When one of the People’s Revolution staffers was doing a Twitter-check of the company name/brand a few minutes later, this gal had tweeted that she was in the office, a shoe-in for job, had seen the Bravo camera crews, etc. The staff was floored, given that one of the qualifications for the job is discretion because of their high-profile clients. (Although, if it’s about discretion, why have a reality TV show? But, hey, that’s just me…) Anyhoo, little Miss Twit was called and her job offer was revoked. Moral of the story, kids? Don’t put your sh#! out on Twitter, Facebook or anything else a potential employer may read.

As a colleague of mine says, "There are only three things that might appear to stand the test of time: cockroaches, the pyramids at Giza, and that inappropriate picture of you on Facebook."
Image courtesy of zimbio.com

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Guest Blog at Lily Lemontree

One of my absolute favorite bloggers, Lily Lemontree, invited me to do a guest blog on a figure I consider to be a style icon. So, please stop by her site today and take a peek. Her blog is fabulous and such a joy to read. I am honored that she asked me to serve as a guest blogger. You’re the best, sweetie!

Have a great day, everyone, and be sure to stop by Lily Lemontree!
Image courtesy of http://lilylemontree.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This Old House

Sorry that I’ve been MIA lately. I caught Miss E.’s stomach bug and for a while there, I thought I was going to die. But, I made it through it and I’m back among the living.

Question for my dear readers…have you or do you currently own an older home? And if so, do you like it? Is it a headache? Both? The reason I ask is that recently we’ve been looking at houses in an older neighborhood, closer to where our kids will attend school. Yes, I realize we’re renovating the kitchen and having our house painted. Part of this effort is because if we do decide to move, our house will be more up-to-date and ready to put on the market. If we don’t move, we can simply enjoy the renovations and live in a more updated home. So, hopefully a win-win on both accounts. But, I am growing a little tired of the commute and would like to be closer to the kids’ school and my work.

We’ve looked at some darling houses – lots of charm, architectural gems. But, when you start looking at homes that are 80 to 100 years old, well, there’s a lot of baggage that goes along with it. The maintenance concerns me. Hubby doesn’t like that many of these houses don’t have finished basements. You tend to sacrifice certain amenities for the location and you pay a bigger price tag.

So, maybe these house hunts are for not and just reinforce the fact that we need to stay in our current home. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll continue to watch “This Old House” to get some tips from the experts. Plus, I have a slight crush on the host, Kevin O’Conner. :)
Image courtesy of This Old House

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gerard Butler as Robert Burns

Have you heard? My Gerry is going to play Scotsman Robert Burns in a biopic based on the poet's life, loves and much acclaimed work.

Gerard Butler. Sigh.
Image courtesy of connect.in.com

Friday, March 5, 2010

Temporary Workspace

So, I'm working from home because our newly-minted five-year-old has a stomach bug. Not fun. Luckily, I can telecommute. Our painters are here today working on our bedroom (so long Santa Fe-inspired wallpaper!). Our contractor should be here soon to work on the framing in the kitchen and then the flooring folks are set to arrive tomorrow. (We had to postpone the flooring for a few days due to a pipe leak. Don't ask.)

In the meantime, I'm working at our dining room table, which is stacked high with kids' artwork, cookbooks, and my paperwork/electronics, in addition to my centerpieces. I like to think of it as a controlled chaos, if you will, which describes my workspace in general. I know where everything is and how to get to it. It may not be pretty, but I make it work. But, yes, it could use some organizing every now and then.

The mess around the house is getting to me a bit. I don't normally like to clean, but right now I would love to start dusting and picking up the clutter strewn about. I know dust comes with the territory when doing a renovation and our contractor warned us of this. Although, living in the midst of it quickly gets old. I'll stop complaining, though, because progress is being made and you know how much I love progress!

So, I'll look on the bright side. The lighting is good in our dining room, so it's a pleasant place to work. The sun is out today and the temperature is rising. Spring appears to be making an appearance and I welcome its arrival. And, I'm spending time with my little girl, who will hopefully feel better soon.

Have a great weekend everyone! My Kentucky Wildcats play Florida this weekend - last game of the regular season before the SEC tournament and March Madness. Go Cats!
Image courtesy of CartoonStock

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Well-Dressed Child

For those of you with kids in your life, be it your own, a niece, nephew, or a friend’s child, I highly recommend Bella Bliss. A clothing company founded in Lexington, Ky. (a shout-out to my college town), Bella Bliss features the most beautiful, classic children’s clothes. Besides its flagship store in Lexington, other boutiques across the country carry their clothing.

My son has an adorable hand-knitted sweater from Bella Bliss (the one pictured above, although he doesn’t wear a pink coat with it :). And, Miss E. just received the sundress featured above for her birthday. This will be perfect for the beach and other special summer days.

Another line of children’s clothes that I love to look at, but will likely never purchase unless I win the lottery, is Papo d’Anjo. I learned about this clothing line after reading about the founder, Catherine Monteiro de Barros, in Cookie Magazine (may it rest in peace). The business is based in Lisbon, Portugal and the clothing is exquisite. I've been invited to a couple of their trunk shows (you should see the invitations to these things - gorgeous), but I declined, knowing that I couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money on something my kids would grow out of so quickly. (Yeah, yeah, I know I just went wild at Lilly Pulitzer, but that was for charity, so that's justified. Right??) Check out the driving shoes for six year-olds. Um, yeah.

Do you have a favorite children’s store or clothing line that you often frequent for special occasions, holidays, etc.? Sometimes it’s just nice to dress the little ones up every now and then. It may be a brief moment between the time they step out the door and into the mud, so try to snap a photo if you can. :)

P.S. – Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes for Miss E! She had a wonderful birthday, full of pink, princesses and plenty of cake. She woke up this morning and said, “Mommy, can you believe you have a five-year-old?!” No, sweet girl, I can’t.
Images courtesy of Bella Bliss and Papo d'Anjo

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday to our darling girl, Miss E., who turns five today. This photo was taken as we were heading out the door, with cupcakes and fruit juice in tow, for her celebration at preschool.

One of the highlights of the morning was Miss E. hearing her name and favorite song on "Kids Place Live," the Sirius/XM radio station we listen to each day. I e-mailed a request a few days ago, asking them to play "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music (she LOVES Julie Andrews as Maria), between 7:15 and 7:30 a.m. Sure enough, Kenny the morning host announced her name, our hometown and that she was turning five today. When the song came on, we were sitting in line at the Starbuck's drive thru and Miss E. was grinning ear to ear.

So, tonight we dine like kings at Red Robin, Miss E.'s favorite restaurant and then we'll head back to our house for cake and presents with the family. Hopefully there's not too much dust in the house, after the drywall application for the last two days. Our new hardwood floors go in today as well, so I'm really excited to see how they look. It's amazing to come home each evening and see the progress.

I can't believe my eldest child is five - where does the time go?? I love you, sweet girl. Can't wait for the evening's festivities!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Date Night with Leo, Mark and Scorsese

Hubby and I had a date night on Saturday and saw Scorsese's Shutter Island. Tell me, does Leonardo DiCaprio age at all? I think he's a great actor, but seriously, he's Dorian Gray. There's a portrait in an attic somewhere that's growing old while he remains youthful looking.

Great tribute to Hitchcock - I recommend seeing it. Mark Ruffalo stars as well and I think he's such a cutie (probably not the best description for him in this serious role, but I can't help it - he's adorable). We figured out what was going on fairly early in the film, but there are some moments that throw you off. It was definitely one of those films that had you talking about it well into the next day.

Have you seen this film yet? Did you like it?

We're gearing up for my daughter's birthday this week - she's turns the "Big Five" on Wednesday. Yep, five years ago at this time I was on bed rest, not knowing if we were having a boy or a girl. The big adventure was about to begin! More details on the birthday girl later in the week.

Have a great Monday everyone!
Image courtesy of New York Daily News