Friday, July 30, 2010

Random Thoughts: Brain Waves and House Closings

On the way into work this morning, I heard a story on NPR that intrigued me. Perhaps you heard it as well. In a new study released by researchers at Vanderbilt University, they are claiming that highly impulsive people have greater amounts of dopamine in their brains. The story gave certain examples, such as people who have to buy a new gadget, fashion item or other product immediately. And often. The “I must have it now” mentality. Hmm, perhaps in my own brain I’m carrying around some extra dopamine. Although the study also states that highly impulsive people are susceptible to substance abuse and some forms of mental illness. So, not sure if I can lump myself in those categories, although Hubby may argue sometimes on the mental part.

So, part of me felt that I had finally been “diagnosed” with my shopping habit. Perhaps it is actually a chemical imbalance in the brain! Wow, I now have a condition I can blame it on when Hubby sees the AmEx bill each month. :)

Hope everyone has a great weekend! We have our back-to-back house closings today, so fingers crossed that all goes well. I was sitting amid the boxes last night feeling a bit overwhelmed. Oh, well. We’ll survive.

I also want to give a shout-out to a great blogger, stationery designer and neighbor of ours, Crafty Paper Girl, who owns, Paper Doll Stationery. She made us the cutest moving announcements (a sample of work is above) that I picked up last night. Can’t wait to send them out! Thanks again, Amanda!
Image courtesy of Paper Doll Stationery

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Welcome Home

Today is a great day - my mom is being released from the hospital! It was two months ago yesterday that the saga began and she was admitted to the ICU. It's been quite the roller coaster ride and it seems like we're finally getting to a good place. I can't thank my blogger/reader friends enough for your kind words and many prayers. That has helped get us through this very difficult time.

So, that's my big news for today. Tomorrow we have back-to-back closings on the houses, so by Sunday, we can start moving boxes to the new house. Yea! By next Tuesday evening, we will be sleeping in our new home. Hard to believe.

Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I have found my fellow/sister bloggers to be quite a supportive group. You're the best!
Image courtesy of The Find

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An Itch for Stitching

Given all of the craziness that the family and I have experienced this summer, I look forward to quieter evenings where we can sit, talk and perhaps lose ourselves in a hobby.

During college, I really go into cross-stitch needlepoint. I made my then-boyfriend a super-cool belt and a key fob for my mom (Although, I may not have finished the key fob. Sorry Mom! Finals were approaching, papers were due, yada, yada, yada).

I found cross-stitch very calming (and easy!) and I’m thinking of picking it back up and making Hubby a belt. When I lived in Lexington, there was a sewing shop that all of the college gals flocked to to have belt patterns designed. Then, there was an old guy who worked out of his garage who actually completed the belt with the leather and hardware (I know, a bit odd, but he was affordable and did quality work).

So, I need to seek out a decent needlepoint shop in Louisville and a leather craftsperson.

Are there any online needlepoint sites you would recommend? Are the kits already tailor-made? I would imagine it’s hard to have a custom-made belt created online, but the Interweb is such a magical place, perhaps that can be done. ;)

I love the needlepoint belts, hair bands and key fobs at Smathers & Branson. But, the $165 price tag for said belts doesn’t quite suit me. So, hopefully when calmer times arrive, I can sit on my sofa, feet up with cross stitch in hand. Wait, I have a five-year-old and three-year-old; calmer times may be farther in the future than I thought. :)
Images courtesy of Smathers & Branson

P.S. - What do you think of the new blog template? I thought I change things up a bit and see what else Google had to offer.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Southern Flourish

We returned from Blowing Rock, N.C. last evening. It was great spending time with family and navigating the gorgeous grounds of the Chetola Resort. Now we have come down from the mountain and must prepare for the final packing for our big move this weekend. I think I’m in a certain level of denial about this. So, I'll continue to keep my head in the sand and focus on all things pretty and Southern. Sound good? Okay, let's go!

Props to my aunt in Charleston who recently made me aware of a fabulous new publication, Southern Flourish. Their slogan is: Simple. Chic. Modern. Southern Style. Sounds like many of the lovely ladies in Blog Land, huh?

From what I’ve seen online, it’s a fun lifestyle and shelter mag. The all-digital publication is staffed by editors and writers who live across the South, so they bring a combination of views from the many great states below the Mason-Dixon Line. And several of the contributors are some of our favorite bloggers, such as Style Court and Young House Love.

So, in a day and age where we've seen many of our favorite publications fold (RIP Southern Accents and Gourmet), it's nice to see the arrival of a fresh, new read on the periodical landscape. Best of luck to Southern Flourish - I'll check back often.
Image courtesy of Southern Flourish

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Over the Mountains and Through the Woods...

Well, we’re gearing up for a quick getaway to the mountains of North Carolina. This is an annual trip my father-in-law and his wife plan every summer, gathering the blended family for a few days in the mountains. What’s especially nice is that they cover our accommodations at the lodge, so that definitely makes it an affordable option, since we already did our beach vacation in June. It’s nice to get away for a bit, but I’m so caught up in everything going on at home, that it’s hard to leave town for a few days knowing that I should be at the house, packing for the big move and spending time with Mom. Oh, well.

Good news, though. Mom is scheduled for release next Friday and it looks like she’ll be going home with a walker rather than a wheelchair. She’s made some major progress in the last few weeks. She has another MRI today, so please send prayers her way that the MRI will show that the infection is no longer present in the brain. That way, she can have the PIC line removed and no longer need an IV, but rather take her meds orally. I’ve been so thankful for your many prayers along this crazy journey. I do believe that’s what has gotten us through this ordeal.

So, Mom's release is the same day that we close on our house - of course, because that's how my life seems to work these days. Believe me, I'm not complaining, it just seems that everything is happening at once and the stress is getting to me a bit. On second thought, maybe a mountain get-away is exactly what I need right now. :)

Enjoy the rest of your week, my friends. I'll be back and preparing for the craziness of a move. I bet you can't wait for the ramblings I'll post about that adventure!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Within the last week, three people who had an impact on my life, or the lives of my family, passed away after valiant battles with cancer. I felt compelled to remember each of these fine people today.

Dr. Jane – Our neighbor, a local pediatrician and single mom, died last Thursday. She was in her mid-40s. Although I didn’t know Jane very well, when I did interact with her, she was always very kind, often interweaving her wry sense of humor in her dialogue. She leaves behind two children, ages 11 and 9. What made this event even more tragic was that her boyfriend skipped out on her during her treatment and scammed her out of most of her savings. She lost her house, which is now in foreclosure. Luckily, her ex-husband, who is a super-great guy (not sure why the marriage didn’t work, but things happen), helped move her belongings out of her home and continued to maintain the yard, as did all the neighbors to try to lend a hand. He told me that in the end, he and Jane had mended fences and were at peace with each other. She died at her mother’s home. God bless Dr. Jane.

Ms. Carol – My daughter’s pre-school teacher died of cancer last Friday morning. She had been teaching up until earlier this year and her diagnosis came as a major surprise. What’s even more startling is how quickly it took its toll and, ultimately, her life. Ms. Carol adored all of the kids she worked with and while she was quiet and reserved, not as lively and outgoing as my daughter’s other teacher (two teachers per room), her calming presence had a profound impact on the kids. While Ms. Carol was on sick leave, my daughter said, “I miss Ms. Carol. She always patted me during nap time when I couldn’t sleep.” Sigh.

Ms. Carol, we are so blessed that our child had you as a teacher in your final moments on this earth. You will be deeply missed. May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

David Dick – Since Mr. Dick was a public figure, I’ll include his full name in this entry. He died this past weekend.

David Dick was a professor at the University of Kentucky, a former CBS news correspondent and author of many outstanding non-fiction and fiction books. He was the first journalist on the scene at the Jonestown massacre and won an Emmy for his coverage of the attempted assassination of Gov. George Wallace. He was also a professor of mine and the reason I switched majors. I started out as a Journalism major, but was not happy with the curriculum. After a discussion with Mr. Dick, he mentioned that he had been an English major at UK. He said it broadened his educational opportunities and honed his writing skills in a way that the journalism school couldn’t have done. I followed his advice and it was the best decision I could have ever made.

Years later, I ran into him at an arts and literary event where he and his wife, Lallie, were selling copies of his many books and autographing them. I stopped by to say hi and he said he would write that moment in his journal, which he did on the spot. I felt honored by that gesture. Mr. Dick, may heaven turn out to be just as beautiful as your homestead in Plum Lick, Ky., which you often wrote about fondly.
Image courtesy of

Monday, July 19, 2010

Kindergarten Countdown

Last week I took my daughter to purchase her uniform for kindergarten. It’s hard to believe that she’s already reaching this milestone. In just a month she’ll be attending a new school, meeting new friends and facing new challenges. Above is a photo that I took in the dressing room, as she strikes a pose for the camera. As you can see, Little Guy wanted to jump in the shot too - Sissy can't have ALL of the attention!

Later this week, we’ll join family in the mountains for a last getaway before the hustle and bustle of a new school year begins. I’m hoping that the mountain air will be somewhat cooler than what we’ve been enduring in this valley. The heat has been stifling to say the least.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and that your ready to face the new week. Personally, I need a little more coffee.

P.S. – Any suggestions on where to get backpacks for school? I used to order mine from L.L. Bean for high school and college, but do you think the ones are Target are just as durable (and affordable)?

Friday, July 16, 2010


Many of you in Blog Land have written about the fabulous company, Emerson Made, the brainchild of a woman named Emerson and her hubby/business partner Ryan (who, are too adorable for words - both are the featured models on their website). So, I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and sing the brand’s praises.

EmersonMade is known for amazing floral brooches, clutch purses, table runners and whimsical decorations. She’s now broadening her line to include a small collection of women’s clothing. Hurrah! She’s taking pre-orders on her new designs as we speak. The collection will be available August 10. I already have my eye on the camel-colored pleated skirt featured above, as well as the giant red poppy pin that she's sporting in the top photo (poppy currently available).

Emerson Made is just to cool for school. If you’ve purchased any of her wares, please let me know. I’d love to hear how you’ve adorned your outfits with her floral accessories.
In addition to her retail site, Emerson also has a blog. Be sure to stop by and say hi.

TGIF, folks. We finally made it!
Images courtesy of EmersonMade

Thursday, July 15, 2010

William Faulkner

For those of you who are devotees of Garden & Gun, you’ve probably seen this feature in a recent e-mail from the magazine. And for those of you who haven't, I’m going to “borrow” the topic for today’s post.

One of Hubby’s favorite authors is William Faulkner: A great writer and true Southerner. Faulkner is featured in this month’s online edition of G&G because the University of Virginia -- where he was the writer-in-residence for two years -- has a new audio archive of the author reading, lecturing and answering questions. It’s now available online and features 15 years of his work and about 30 hours of audio transferred from open-reel tapes.

I had to include the photo above of W.F. dressed in his fox hunting finery – very Virginia, wouldn’t you agree? The G&G folks were quick to point out that the funning looking object in his left hand is a flask, because, you know, that’s always a good thing to have on hand when riding a horse. He’s joined by Grover Van Devender at the Farmington Hunt Club in Charlottesville, 1960.

Can you imagine being a student of Faulkner's at UVA? If you could take a writing class from any author, living or dead, who would it be? I’ll go first: it’s hard to pick just one, so my choice for below the Mason-Dixon line would be Flannery O’Conner (with Robert Penn Warren a close second); above the line would be Edith Wharton.

Happy Thursday, everyone! One more day and we can then slide into the weekend.
Photo from Garden & Gun, by way of the University of Virginia's Library Archives

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

Ugh, I could really use more of this.

Little Guy after a hard day of play. Don't you wish you could fall asleep this easily?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

VV on the Cheap

Random guys sporting their Vineyard Vines attire - I'm guessing they're well into their imported ales at this point, especially the guy with the pink whale stickers on his legs. Buddy, you better have a few more drinks before you peel those puppies off - ouch!

I received an interesting tidbit of information this morning, and I’m sure it’s true, because our intern told me and those kids are always in the know. :)

A local establishment that I’m quite fond of recently hosted its big summer sale, one of the few retailers in the area that carries Vineyard Vines. The last time I was in there, though, one of the sales people said they were phasing out their line of VV. Hmm. So, our intern told me this morning that she hit the sale and, alas, there were no women’s VV polos to be found. So, she asked the owner, “What gives?!” According to the owner, VV is now being carried by Stein Mart and she could not compete with $20 ties and polos. What?? Apparently – and I’m hearing this second-hand, so keep this in mind – VV had so much inventory due to the difficult economic times, that they had to find a way to unload their merchandise on the cheap. VV found that in this economy, even their target audience isn’t shelling out $75 for polos and $80+ for ties.

So, I’m planning to head over to Stein Mart for some “research” on this topic, to see if I need to dispell any rumors here. And for those of you with Stein Marts in your town, let me know if you see any VV on the shelves.

For the record, I don’t want to take anything away from the Murray brothers who built this company. I do admire their “Ties for a Cause” endeavor which donates all of the proceeds from sales of custom-made ties, totes, etc. to a charitable organization or cause. They are currently featuring the Gulf Fish tie which will benefit Gulf-based charities that are assisting with the oil spill clean-up along the Gulf Coast. So, if you have a little cash to spare, you can order a dapper tie and know that your dollars are going to a good cause. Okay, this PSA is over. Back to our regularly scheduled blogging.
Photo courtesy of

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bow Ties and Other Ramblings

I saw a young guy waiting for the bus this morning, wearing a bow tie. He was chatting with the fellow next to him who was wearing, well, I don’t know because all I noticed was the green bow tie. It made me smile – not only is he making an environmentally-friendly choice by taking public transportation, he’s doing it in full preppy style. Or, if I want to be cynical about it, perhaps he doesn’t have a car, is still living with his mother and she made him wear the tie. But, I prefer the eco-friendly/preppy guy version.

Many of you have asked how my mom is doing, and I so appreciate it. She’s still in the rehab unit in the hospital, but is expected to come home in about two weeks. She’ll be using a wheelchair when she returns home, because her left leg still has a while to go before it’s fully functional. But, she gets stronger every day. Yesterday I visited her after church and I helped her with some leg exercises. Sunday is her “homework” day, in that she doesn’t have formal physical therapy sessions, so she has to work on exercises they assign to her. I’m very thankful to have her with me. In the last week, two of my friends have lost a father and then a mother. Seeing what they’re going through and how close we were to losing my mom, and now how far she’s come, makes me so grateful.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! We had another fun-filled two days of packing for the big move, which will likely happen in early August. My hairdresser was commenting on how many of life’s “big stressors” I’m enduring right now. Then she said, “Well, at least you’re not pregnant.” Amen to that, sista friend. :)
Image courtesy of Southern Proper

Friday, July 9, 2010

Red, White and Blue Recap

Well, I've re-entered into the world again. Still not feeling 100 percent, but there's so much to do and too little time to be sick. Given my current state, I neglected to post photos from our 4th of July celebration. As I mentioned previously, our neighborhood holds a bike parade for the kids. Everyone dons their red, white and blue, decorates their bikes and then we march around the neighborhood, led by a police cruiser and followed by a fire engine. The kids get a real kick out of it and so do the adults. People even dress up their dogs for the occasion. Then, after the parade, everyone gathers in the common area for popcicles. Lots of fun.

Please excuse Little Guy in some of these pics. He decided to pout early on, but quickly came out of his funk once the parade was underway and treats were offered.

So, dear readers, what's on the agenda for your weekend? My weekend will be full of packing and more packing. My aunt sent me the best quote the other day, and it certainly rings true: "War is hell and moving isn't so great either." Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sick Days

Sorry I haven't posted lately - I caught a virus and I'm not feeling well at all. Perhaps I've worn myself down with everything going on in my life, therefore I was ripe for the picking. Trying to get as much rest as I can. But, I'm ready to get back to the real world, because if one more news channel leads their newscast with Lindsay Lohan's jail sentence, I'm going to scream.

P.S. - To the kid down the street who is still setting off fireworks: Cut it out! It's now the 8th of July and I'm tired of it. You don't want me marching down there in my current state. It won't be pretty.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Whale Sale

Hey, kids, just got word of Vineyard Vines's 40 percent off sale. You know I love me some VV, and it's going to be hard to resist this while I'm on shopping hiatus. So perhaps I can live varcariously through some of you while you shop at the Whale.

Hope everyone had a fabulous 4th of July. Our neighborhood had the traditional bike parade for the kids, complete with fire engine and police cruiser to lead the way. I hope our new neighborhood does something similar. If not, we may have to start a new tradition! The rest of our holiday weekend was spent packing for the move. My MIL took the kids to the pool each day while Hubby and I purged as much as we could, in addition to packing. It's amazing what you can accumulate over a seven-year period.

Good to start the week already one day down. Although, it was not fun getting the kids up this morning. Daycare was meltdown city, so glad to know we weren't the only house where the kids were channeling the devil. :)
Image courtesy of Vineyard Vines

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fourth Fashion

Red Sperry dock shoes for Hubby...

a white Vesitito Rosa summer dress from Capri for me...

and the blue Sid Mashburn gingham shirt, also for Hubby.

Have I mentioned how glad I am that it’s a three-day weekend? So ready to catch up on sleep, get the house organized and enjoy the 4th of July holiday.

Tonight we’re joining friends for Downs After Dark at Churchill Downs. Churchill introduced special evening racing this season and it’s really turned into a great social event. Folks get dressed up, enjoy cocktails and bet on the ponies. Tonight’s theme is "An American Party: Boots, Brew, and BBQ.” Although, I don’t have any cute Fourth of July sundresses in my closet. I’m planning to wear a black and white sundress I’ve had for a few years. It’s cute and paid for, two pluses when you’re on a shopping hiatus (although, the temptation to run out at lunch to find a great sale item is quite strong!).

So, if Hubby and I were to don a patriotic wardrobe this evening, some of these red, white and blue items featured above, and available through the online specialty store, Taigon, would be my choice.

Thanks again to those of you have asked about my mom and how’s she’s doing. She’s still in the hospital and will likely be there for a few more weeks. She's making progress with her therapy and has been able to walk a bit using the parallel bars. Her speech has greatly improved and she’s really progressed with her occupational therapy. Thanks for your prayers – it makes a huge impact!

Happy 4th everyone!
Images of Sid Mashburn, Sperry and Capri clothing courtesy of Taigon

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fourth of July Festivities

Miss E. enjoying a post-parade donut during our neighborhood's Fourth of July celebration last year. Little Guy is in the background tearing into an ice pop.

A three-day holiday weekend is approaching and I’m SOOOO ready! Friends asked us to Lake Cumberland for the weekend, but given all of the work that we have ahead of us for the move, and the fact that our yard looks like a miniature jungle, we figured it best to stay closer to home. Plus, I’ll be visiting Mom at the hospital as much as I can over the next few days.

Although we’re staying close to home, there are plenty of 4th of July events in store. Our neighborhood has an annual bike parade and since this will be our last one at this house, we’ll be sure to participate and make the most of it. Other activities will take place throughout Louisville - more parades, concerts - and we’ll likely want to get to the pool at some point to cool off. And, there’s a watermelon sitting on my kitchen counter, ready to be devoured. What’s more American than kids eating watermelon on the 4th of July?

So, dear friends, what are your plans for the Independence Day weekend? Hope it involves great food, cold drinks, friends and family and colorful, yet safe, firework displays!