Saturday, May 29, 2010

Please Send Prayers

I've been MIA the last few days because my mom is very sick in the hospital. She's now in the ICU and it's touch and go. I'm worried and scared, yet trying to remain hopeful and optimistic.

I went into full Scarlett O'Hara-mode when this all started, trying to press forward and not think about the worst case scenario. But when I saw my dad break down today, I completely lost it.

So, all of you dear blogger friends, please say a prayer for my mom and my family. I'm hoping things will improve greatly over the next 24 hours.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

OlovesM Bags

Just had to share this very cool line of purses that are not only fun and stylish, but eco-friendly…

OlovesM is a company based in Aspen, Colorado that makes purses out of reused materials: leftover scraps from the production of yoga mats. I found out about them while browsing Title Nine’s website, where they offer the Three Rs and Three Rs Mini bags from OlovesM. Go directly to OlovesM’s site for a look at their entire line of bags and other accessories. They also have a blog, information about how they give back to the community and great feedback from customers. And guess what? In addition to the company being based in Colorado, the purses are made there, too. Yay, USA!

So, if you’re into yoga, looking for a sporty and durable bag, or just seeking out another way to support the reuse-reduce-recycle movement, check out OlovesM.
Images courtesy of OlovesM

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer Gear

Not sure about where you live, but it feels like spring took a quick exit and summer has arrived and settled in. It’s been in the high 80s, close to 90 degrees this week. Luckily, the pools open this weekend and our vacation is only 3 ½ weeks away – woo hoo!

So, with the warm weather I’ve been thinking about flip flops, sundresses, cute summery tote bags and other accessories that scream “It’s summer, baby!”

I love Eliza B flip flops. Stylish and comfy, you can customize your flips for a look that suits you to a “T.” Eliza B also carries items for that special guy in your life, such as needlepoint and hoof pick belts, among other items.

I’m old-school when it comes to the perfect summer tote for the pool and beach: L.L. Bean canvas Boat and Tote bag. The boat & tote withstands the test of time. I have a large navy and white one that we fill with towels, sunscreen, snacks, diapers, you name it. Although, I now wish I had ordered the extra long straps so that I could sling it over my shoulder.

As far as summer clothes, I love what Title Nine is featuring right now. I’ve been wearing my Title Nine yoga shorts a lot lately. I wish I had a job that allowed me to wear these types of clothes all of the time, or the fitness level and amazing life where I could actually be featured in one of their catalogs. You know what I’m talking about: “Julie is sporting our Hybrid Tunic. She is a brain surgeon, champion surfer, has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and in her spare time, volunteers at orphanages in third world countries.”

So, dear readers, what are you must-have accessories or clothing items for the start of the summer season?
Images courtesy of Eliza B, L.L. Bean and Title 9

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost No More

I'm emotionally spent after last night's series finale of "Lost." Beautiful, poetic, elegiac. I'll miss it terribly. I know this may sound odd that I'm feeling this way about a television show, but I think it was like no other program in the history of television and nothing will ever come close again. Thought provoking, yet very entertaining, it was great escapism each week. I think we all need that now and then.

Cheers to the cast and producers. Thanks and I'll miss you.
Photo from

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Best Barbecue - Who has it?

Okay, dear readers, I’m charging into controversial territory here…which part of the country has the best barbecue?

With Memorial Day coming up, friends and family will gather in backyards around grills and patios across the country to partake in good conversation, outdoor fun and plenty of food. Often, barbecue is on the menu. Many areas claim to have the best barbecue: Texas, Tennessee (Memphis specifically), eastern and western North Carolina, western Kentucky, just to name a few.

Personally, I like a vinegar-based barbecue, more North Carolina-style. There’s a little place in Duck, N.C., on the Outer Banks that has delicious barbecue. Hubby puts coleslaw on top of his barbecue sandwich, in traditional N.C. style.

In Kentucky, the city of Owensboro claims to be the barbecue capital of the Commonwealth, although, in my mind, the best barbecue can be found in the Paducah and Mayfield regions, my dad’s birthplace. It’s been many years since I had barbecue from that area, but I will never forget how good it was!

In Louisville, one of my favorite barbecue joints was Pepperwood, but it went out of business a few years ago. Fortunately, one of the co-owners took his smoker and is now selling his delicious food at the Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot. It’s a total dive and I won’t go in there by myself, but Hubby is brave enough to enter and order barbecue for take-out. The first time he went in there for take-out at 5 p.m., one man was calling a taxi because he was already too drunk to drive home; another man at the bar was talking about all of the pets he had accidentally killed. Umm, yeah. But, the barbecue is great!

So, I want to hear from you – where can you find the best barbecue?
Images courtesy of Martha Stewart Living and Garden & Gun

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Doors

I have some amazing news...we have a contract on our house!! The potential buyers came back with a great offer, more than we had hoped. And, they're willing to give us the time we need to move, given that the sellers of the house we are purchasing won't be out until the end of July. Thank you, God! Also, thanks to all of you who said prayers as well. All things happen for a reason and we are truly blessed to have received such an incredible outcome.

On a related note, the house we are buying features double front doors that are painted yellow. At first I wasn't sure that I liked them, but they've really grown on me. They remind me of the many colorful doors we saw while in Dublin. I call them the "happy doors," because they are such a cheerful color. I'm looking forward to welcoming people into our new home through those happy doors.

Have a great Thursday, everyone!
Photos courtesy of Dan Heller

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Special Offer from Vera

Attention Vera Bradley fans: free shipping on purchases of $75 or more until May 23. Get on it!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Exile on Main Street

In honor of my husband and his great love for the Rolling Stones, I must blog about today’s re-release of the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street, one of their most iconic albums. In addition to the legendary tracks, the re-release also features 12 never-recorded songs, some that didn’t even have lyrics until recently. To catch a sneak preview of some of the new songs, as well as an interview with Mick Jagger, listen to this clip from NPR. I really liked the sound of “Plunder My Soul.” Good tune.

If you like Exile on Main Street, what is your favorite song from the album? For me, it's a toss-up between “Sweet Virginia” and “Tumbling Dice.” Although, I really like “Shake Your Hips,” too. It’s hard to choose! Hubby has seen the Stones several times in concert. I’ve seen them once, with Hubby and a group of friends, about four years ago. They performed at Churchill Downs, in the pouring rain, and it was awesome!

House update: believe it or not, we actually had an offer on our house this past Sunday! We’re going through the countering process right now, so we’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, there’s another showing this afternoon, so we’re getting good traffic. Yea! Thanks to everyone for your prayers and kind words! Whatever is meant to be, will be.
Photo by Dominique Tarl, courtesy of NPR

Friday, May 14, 2010

Charleston Green

If you’ve read my blog long enough, you know that I’m a big fan of Garden & Gun Magazine, and of their associate editor, Haskell Harris. One of her recent online features is about “Charleston Green,” a paint color that is said to have originated in the Holy City during or directly after the Civil War. Many-a-historic home in Charleston features this paint color, either on the shutters and/or front door. Read more on the origin of Charleston Green.

While our home features very traditional black shutters and front door (with a Louisville Stoneware name plaque – a must-have in these parts), I really like this color green. I bet it’s gorgeous on a white house (check out Haskell’s house on her blog). Anyone use this color on your own home?

Happy Friday, everyone! Our weekend is full of soccer, and, if we’re lucky, a house showing or two. Fingers crossed!
Image courtesy of Garden & Gun

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

House for Sale

Well, we made a bold move last weekend by putting an offer on a house and placing our house for sale. Because, you know, we just don’t have enough going on in our lives.

Actually we have been looking at houses for a while, wanting to move closer to town, closer to where our kids are in pre-school, their future grade school, our church, etc. We’ve seen several homes, but nothing quite met the bill. Then early last week I saw a newer listing within our price range and told my husband about it. We called our realtor, walked through it and made an offer. After some back and forth countering, they accepted. We completed the paperwork on our house and the sign went up in the yard Sunday evening. So, my Mother’s Day was spent de-cluttering, pulling weeds and doing other chores to make the house look presentable for showings.

I’m nervous because the purchase of the new house is based on a contingency, so hopefully our house will sell in a timely manner. If you know of anyone looking for a traditional, center-hall Colonial in Louisville, please send them my way!

So, dear blogger friends, if you wouldn’t mind, please say a prayer for us. I bought a St. Joseph statue on Monday and we buried it in the front yard (yes, my Catholic voodoo is tried and true). I’ve been saying a prayer to St. Joe every morning, in hopes that the right buyer comes along. We actually have a showing today, so fingers crossed that good things come of it.

Have a great Wednesday!

P.S. - Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes that you passed along to my son. He had a great day. And one of you asked if he's a little ornery because of the expression on his face. Yes, my son can be quite the pistol. But while he can be mischievious, he can also be the sweetest child. He's constantly telling me that he loves me and when I say I love him, he says "Thank you!"
Image courtesy of

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Birthday Wishes to My Son

Happy third birthday to my Little Man! Hard to believe how quickly my baby is growing up.

Hubby called Kids Place Live radio show this morning and requested Michael Buble's version of "Spiderman" - Little Man loves that song! They wished him a Happy Birthday and he was thrilled to hear his name on the radio.

Then, with Cookie Monster cupcakes in tow, we marched into pre-school and he proudly held up three fingers telling people how old he is today. We'll be gathering with family this evening to celebrate.

Happy Birthday, Little Man. We love you!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lena Horne, 1917 - 2010

Just learned that the legendary Lena Horne has died. She was 92 years-old. I can remember seeing the footage of her as a young woman, singing "Stormy Weather" and thinking she was so beautiful and had such an amazing voice.

My first introduction to Lena Horne was as a child watching Sesame Street. She sang "It's Not Easy Being Green" with Kermit the Frog. It may seem silly, but I loved that scene. I still do.

She was a major musical talent. May you rest in peace, Ms. Horne.
Photo courtesy of The Globe and Mail

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

To my mom, I wish you the happiest of Mother’s Days. You raised me, you loved me and often times (my teen and college years) you endured me. Thank you for everything. And, as you watch me interact with my kids and know certain moments and experiences that lie ahead, I’m sure you are smiling and thinking, “Paybacks are hell.”

Seriously, though, to all of the moms, grandmothers and mother-figures out there, Happy Mother’s Day!
Image courtesy of Martha Stewart Living

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wall Art

Quick tip…if you need to remove crayon from a painted wall, I found that baby oil does the trick. Then, clean the spot with soap and water to take off the oily sheen.

As far as getting both of your kids to own up to the artwork is another story. My almost-three-year-old gladly admitted to his Crayola -blue flourishes strewn about the space. My five-year-old daughter did not. Even though her name was written on the wall.

Image courtesy of Photo Bucket

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Spoon Rings

Are spoon rings still the fashion these days? I remember in college many girls wore them, but for a long time after that, I didn’t see them. Perhaps it’s something that younger women in the South wear? Not sure.

Anyhoo, as I was perusing the Dixie Patches site, I noticed that they feature the “Grandmama’s Spoon Ring,” in sterling silver. It’s a sweet ring – really like the look of it. Of course, all of the gals featured on the site are probably between the ages of 18 and 21, so that’s likely why I haven’t seen spoon rings in a while!

By the way, thanks to everyone for their lovely comments on my Derby postings. You guys are so great!
Photo courtesy of Dixie Patches

Monday, May 3, 2010

Back to Reality

Actress Diane Lane at the 2010 Kentucky Derby. She's starring in the film "Secretariat," due out October. 8.

The hoopla of Derby has come to an end and now it’s time to return to reality. Hope I didn’t bore you last week with the endless talk about horses, juleps and hats.

Our party went off without a hitch and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Okay, there was one hitch. For about 40 minutes, we lost power. Apparently a car hit a utility pole in the area and about 1,300 households were out. But, once it came back on, all was good. Alas, I didn’t have the winner, Super Saver. Why I didn’t bet on this horse is beyond me. Jockey Calvin Borel has an amazing racing record and Super Saver is a mudder, so considering the horrible weather we had that day, it was a match made in heaven. I bet Paddo O’Prado to win, but he came in third. Oh, well.

The Hollywood and sports celebs were out in full force this year, staking their spots on Millionaires’ Row. Those in attendance included Justin Timberlake, Diane Lane, Tom Brady, Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell, Terry O’Quinn (Locke from “Lost), Bode Miller, Johnny Weir, Dr. J., Jamie Pressley, Terrell Owens, Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz, Oscar Nunez (“The Office”), Smokey Robinson and so many more. Not sure when it happened, but Derby has turned into quite the star event.

Diane Lane is such a class act – loved her ensemble for the Derby (see above). She also served as grand marshal of the Pegasus Parade, since she’s starring in the film “Secretariat,” based on the story of the amazing Triple Crown winner. Of course, a great deal of it was filmed in Kentucky. The film is due out in October 2010.

If you bet on the Derby, hope you had a winner. By the way, did you see the guy who won the Visa contest and bet the $100,000? He bet Super Saver and won $900,000! Now he can buy a decent toupee. Sheesh.
Photo courtesy of The Courier-Journal