Tuesday, June 29, 2010

GPS Henry? I Wish

Actor Henry Cavill from Showtime's The Tudors

We have a GPS, and for the longest time the automated voice that emitted from the device was that of a female. We call her Doris. We always joked that Doris was a bit bossy, at times impatient, even judgmental; especially if we took a different route than what she recommended. You could almost hear the disdain in her voice when stating, "Recalculating."

Then, this weekend's New York Times published an article called "Turn Right, My Love," asking if the GPS has become the new "other woman" in American relationships. I got a chuckle out of it.

Saturday morning, right after reading the article, Hubby called from North Carolina, where he was attending our niece's baptism. He proudly announced that he discovered a new set of voice options on the GPS, and that he now prefers that of the Australian female, whom he has dubbed "Olivia." The article talked about this option, also known as Australian Karen, a very attractive blond whose accent is apparently quite appealing to the male gender. In fact, the article mentions an unnamed actor whose wife caught him sitting in his car, just listening to GPS Karen giving driving directions. Hmm. You call her Olivia, do you?

I understand there is a GPS Charles who has a rather nice voice - perhaps I'll program his voice the next time we take a road trip. If only Henry Cavill from The Tudors would lend his voice to GPS. British Henry, yes, that would be quite nice. In fact, I may have to drive across country for that one.
Image courtesy of Showtime

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lulu by Leah

Last evening, my family and I gathered with friends for a going-away party for a girlfriend in Junior League, Leah, who is moving to Charleston with her family in the coming months. It was a nice, laid-back cookout, although we had to spend most of the time indoors because of the God-awful heat we’ve been enduring of late. But, everyone had a great time, the kids all played well together and it was good to talk, laugh and just enjoy each other’s company.

Leah is a jewelry designer and her work has been getting a lot of attention lately, including some press in Southern Living. Here’s her website: http://www.lulubyleah.com/. Above are pics of some pieces from her new "Gala" collection. Be sure to check out her work – it’s fabulous!

After the dinner, we drove by the house we’re buying, which is right down the street from our friends. It finally has a sold sign on it – yea!! Can’t wait to be in the new house!

Happy Monday, everyone!
Images courtesy of Lulubyleah.com

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Wish List

I am on a shopping moratorium, and I really mean it this time. With us closing on our new house in late July, beginning payments on Miss E.’s new school next month and other general debt, I really have to put a halt on the spending. Because, you know, there always seems to be more month at the end of the money.

Any hoo, if I didn’t have a self-imposed (okay, Hubby may be pushing hard for this as well) moratorium on shopping right now, here are a few summer items that the UPS man would likely be delivering to my doorstep.

New polos from Vineyard Vines – VV is currently having a Family & Friends sale for up to 25 percent off any purchase. Just enter the discount code FFSUMMER10 at checkout (Believe me, it shows great restraint on my part to have a discount code in hand, yet not make a purchase). I love the Five-button Fiona polo, as well as the sleeveless polo. Too cute! My MSL, Ms. A., recently purchased the Gold Coast Halter Polo in Sailor’s Red. Adorable!

Blue Waters Patchwork Shorts – Another piece of VV apparel. Sensing a theme here?

Balance Runners – Title Nine offers these running shoes that are good for the road, as well as trail running. If I had a pair of these babies, I'm sure I would be more inclined to run each day. You don't believe me? Yeah, me neither.

A new Life is Good T-shirt – How about this one for the Fourth of July?

Nantucket Basket Purse – This version of the Nantucket Basket Purse is available on etsy by the Up My Sleeve Boutique. Pricey, but such beautiful work. Wouldn’t Miss E. and I look adorable sporting Mommy & Daughter versions? (Uh, don’t worry, I won’t be doing that.)

So, dear readers, what items are on your summer retail wish list?
Images courtesy of Vineyard Vines, etsy, Title Nine and Life is Good

Five, Count 'Em, Five!

A shout-out to my University of Kentuck Wildcats for making history last night with FIVE first- round NBA draft picks, including the number one overall pick, John Wall, who is going to the Washington Wizards. Go Cats!!

Have a great weekend everyone!
Image courtesy of uky.edu

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Go USA!! We've made it to the next round of the World Cup, baby! Landon Donovan (above), made the only goal of the match (or at least the one that the terrible officials decided to count at least), just as time was running out - USA 1, Algeria 0.

Now that I have kids who have played the sport, I'm really enjoying keeping up with the World Cup this year. And, of course, it doesn't hurt that the U.S. has a decent team. The only thing I don't like? Those vuvuzela horns. Seriously, I don't think I could attend a match in person. That sounds drives me ape sh*$ crazy.

Happy Thursday, everyone. The weekend is almost here!
Image courtesy of msnbc.com

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Return of the Native

Shew, it's hard to get back into the groove after spending several days at the beach! We had a great time. The hardest decision to make that week was whether to go to the beach or the pool. A nice break from what had been going on leading up to our vacation.

The above pic was taken in front of the cottage we rented with my husband's family. It's in a really nice community called Seawatch, which is just a short walk to the beach. As you can see, Hubby is sporting an arm splint. He and his brother took our son and nephews to go crabbing and while there, Hubby fell on some rocks, injuring his wrist. Luckily it wasn't broken, just sprained. But, because he also cut it, he had to get a tetanus shot. So, this is the second time we've had to visit a coastal ER on a vacation (our son had an allergic reaction a couple of years ago, which landed us in the Nags Head hospital).

This was our first visit to Kure Beach, since we are long-time OBX travelers. Kure was nice, although to access it, you need to go through Carolina Beach, which is very commercial. I detest commercial beach areas, hence our many trips to the Outer Banks. So, I was a little disappointed with the carnival atomosphere of that stretch. But, once you get into Kure and beyond it's really a nice stretch of beach (hope I'm not offending any Carolina beach lovers - to each his own). We flew into Wilmington, which is a nice area as well.

Update on my mom: she's now in the rehabilitation unit at the hospital where she's been staying. Each day, she goes through intense physical, occupational and speech therapy. She's made great progress, so we're thankful she's on the road to recovery. And, God bless my dad for all he's been through. The one thing he asks for is eight straight hours of sleep and a round of golf, so I'm hoping we can make that happen for him!

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Beach Bound

In a few short days I will be here...

With these little guys...

Drinking pitchers of this...

All while doing this...

I'll be back in a few days. Meanwhile, I hope everyone has a great week. Thanks for the lovely birthday wishes and again, for the prayers for my mom.

By the way, the above drink is a Southside, a perfect summer cocktail. Here is the recipe, should you feel like making a pitcher this weekend.

The Southside
2 ounces gin
¾ ounce simple syrup
¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
5 mint sprigs, plus sprig for garnish
2 pieces lime or lemon
¾ ounces club soda

Place mint leaves and lime or lemon pieces at the bottom of a cocktail shaker and crush with back of spoon or muddler to release essential oils. Add and shake well. Pour into goblet or Collins glass filled with ice, top with club soda, and garnish with mint.

Variations: For a Southside Royale, add dry Champagne rather than club soda. Hendrick’s gin is especially good in this combination.For a pitcher of Southsides, do the math according to how many you want to serve, muddle the citrus and mint at the bottom of a pitcher, add remaining ingredients and stir vigorously until blended. Top with the club soda.
Images courtesy of Kure Beach, Taigon and Flickr

Thursday, June 10, 2010

June 10

June 10 is a special day that Hubby and I share: it's our birthday! What are the odds of marrying someone with the same birthday as you? It's like Christmas when we exchange gifts. In fact, our kids think that all mommies and daddies share a birthday.

This birthday I am thankful that my mom is making progress after her life-threatning illness. I'm sitting with her in the hospital and she's having a much better day. In fact, she said she was glad it wasn't 37 years ago, since it was a hard labor. Thanks, Mom. While she may be a little confused at times due to the stroke, she certainly didn't forget my age. Great.

So, before heading to the hospital, I stopped by Starbuck's with my birthday gift card, treated myself to a Grande Mommy Crack, a.k.a., medium coffee with low fat milk, and went on my way. The sun is out, Mom is improving and a beach vacation is on the horizon. That makes for a darn good birthday in my book.

Happy Thursday, everyone!
Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Living

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Caldrea Essentials

During one of my recent trips to Target, where I went for underwear for my son and left with $200 worth of items a half-hour later, I came across the Caldrea Essentials line of cleaning products. Being the consumer that I am, the display and packaging immediately caught my eye. I really liked the scent of the Olive Oil handsoap and lotion, as well as the Citron Ginger countertop cleanser, so of course I came home with all of the above.

I highly recommend Caldrea. The products also are eco-friendly, so if you have kids or pets, that's always a bonus for home cleaning products.
Image courtesy of Caldrea

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hospitals, the Beach and Caffeine Addiction

The roller coaster ride continues. Mom was improving last week and then she had a setback where she didn't speak for three days and didn't seem to recognize us. Here's the deal: Mom contracted bacterial meningitis which caused a mild stroke. On top of that, she has a type of anemia that attacks her immune system, therefore making it very difficult to fight infection. So, to say this is a serious situation is an understatement. But, after three days of quiet, she started speaking last night. She's still confused about some things, but then spot-on about others. The brain is a mysterious entity. We continue to pray and hope that things will improve. You just have to take it a day at a time.

My husband, kids and I are supposed to fly to Kure Beach this weekend. Not sure if I'm going to be able to make it. If I go, I'll feel so guilty leaving my family behind to care for mom. If I don't go, my kids will be crushed (they're already getting weepy over that prospect). Plus, this has been such a stressful year and I could use some time away. Perhaps if Mom is showing greater progress later this week, I can entertain the idea. Just not sure. I know, sounds very selfish of me. All I know is I was so happy to hear her voice last night, to hear her say my name and for her to remember that I am a voracious coffee drinker and addicted to caffeine (Dad was teasing me about my upcoming birthday and supplying me with a Starbuck's gift card, a.k.a., Mommy Crack. It made Mom smile).

While at the hospital last night, I saw a rainbow in the pink sky; I'll take that as a good sign.

So,while I'm longing for the beach, I found this photo from last summer when we went to the Outer Banks. It makes me smile thinking of the fun we had there. Yes, it's random, but so are my days of late.

Cheers everyone - enjoy your Tuesday!

Friday, June 4, 2010

He's Just So Pretty!

Sorry if you find this photo a bit explicit, but it certainly made me smile. He's just so pretty! I had to share.

I was paging through the latest edition of Vogue and I turned to a photo spread featuring Matthew Morrison from the television show “Glee.” I must say, OMG. Why have I not been watching this show? Oh, yeah, it was on at the same time as “Lost.”

So, I plan to catch up with Hottie McGlee during summer reruns and see what I’ve been missing the last few months. Sigh.

I can’t tell you how glad I am that this week is coming to an end. My mom is supposed to move out of ICU today and into a regular room. Fingers crossed that that happens. Hubby and I are attending his grade school reunion tonight at a local pub. After the week I’ve had, I can promise you that I will be having a drink or two.

Have a great weekend everyone!
Photo from the June Vogue

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Do I Really Need That Outfit? Yes!

Good news - my mom continues to make progress! She is still in ICU, but doing better each day. I can't thank you enough for your many prayers and kind words.

Given how how things have improved for Mom, I feel that I can return to somewhat lighter fare in my blog today. The other day, I broke my shopping hiatus and ordered the Schooner Dress from Vineyard Vines and the white Whale Sandals. I justified this purchase because the shoes were on sale and then if I spent a certain amount, the shipping was free. My husband doesn't understand this logic, but it works for me. ;) The dress is so comfortable - perfect for warm evenings after a day at the beach! And, the sandals go with just about anything. So, how can you argue with that??

Hope everyone is having a good week. The weekend is almost here!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I have wonderful news to share: my mom is making great progress! She's still in the ICU, but has, according to her doctors, made dramatic improvement and they are quite pleased. This is a major change from Saturday and Sunday when we were being asked if she had a living will and to get our affairs in order. We even had the priest come on Sunday to perform the Annointing of the Sick; the situation was that grave.

Then yesterday we started to see an improvement and we were elated, to say the least. I can't thank you enough, dear friends, for your kind words and prayers. I really believe that prayer can work miracles. I look out on this sunny day and I am thankful.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad.
- Psalm 118:24

Photograph by Dan Heller