Friday, December 30, 2011

Countdown to Midnight

So, after many of you told me time and time again about your favorite films of 2011, I finally sat down and watched "Midnight in Paris." All I can say is: Thank you.

What a wonderful film. That's certainly how I would want to experience Paris. And, given the date, can you imagine ringing in the new year with the likes of Scott and Zelda, Hemmingway and Dali?

Oh, how much fun. Although, it would likely result in far too much drinking, crying and fist fighting with some odd illustrations as parting gifts. You know, your typical New Year's Eve.

As 2011 comes to an end, I want to say thanks to all of you who have left wonderful comments on my blog and continue to return to each day. While I don't always respond to each and every one of you, I can tell you that it thrills me to read comments left on my posts and to know that people are actually reading what I put out there.

I thank you, as well, for creating such wonderful sites to visit. Each of you have great insight on the world and bring a smile to my face with your wit, charm and accounts of everything and anything.

May 2012 bring you the happiest of days. May you  be able to meet the challenges head-on and come out better on the other side. Each day, may you have a good laugh, a delicious meal and a quiet moment with your thoughts. And may you always feel loved.

Happy New Year, friends.
Images from Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris"

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Post-Christmas Random Thoughts

Ah, another Christmas has come and gone. I can't believe we're heading into 2012. Where did the year go??

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We still have toys strewn about, but at least they're now in neat piles. There's an air hockey table in my living room, but that will be moved to the basement at some point.

Hubby and I tried to keep spending to a minimum, but we still treated each other to few special items, including...

Yeah, I know you're digging the reindeer PJs.

Anyhoo, I'm aware Tebow's a controversial figure in the NFL because of his strong religious beliefs and public displays of prayer, and some believe it's all for show. Listen, we don't know what's in the man's heart, so give him a break. And, personally, I don't know why Mr. Tebow catches such flack for his beliefs when there are players who do drugs, run dog fighting rings and assault women.

Alas, I can't claim to wear this jersey to make a statement on free speech or politics. I'm an SEC fan and I think Tebow is a cutie. Yeah, deep, I know.

Today I'm hosting a playdate for Miss E. with two of her buds, so that should be fun. It's been difficult to keep the kids busy with the constant rain and cold temperatures. We did go see "The Muppet Movie" yesterday, which was fun. Wish I could have enrolled the kids in tennis camp this week to keep them busy. After Christmas, not much left for that, though. Maybe next year. Of course, now Miss E. says she wants to take piano after spending time with a cousin she adores. That would be great if we owned a piano, sweetie. Let's concentrate on the pink guitar you got for Christmas.

So, how was your holiday? What did you do? Any big surprises this year? (And I don't mean a drunk relative crying to your mom while she looked on in horror, not that that happened during our Christmas Eve festivities.)
Image property of JMW A Place to Dwell Blog

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas is Coming...

Christmas Day is almost here, friends. Hard to believe. I'm enjoying a few days off with the fam. It's rainy and balmy here in Louisville - not Christmas weather at all. In fact, I've watched a few runners trot by my front window. Meanwhile, this is my current activity of the morning:
Yeah, that's how I roll on Christmas break.

We're still trying to round out our Christmas list. I know, bad form. But, with Hubby working up until the very last minute and me with the kids in-tow everywhere we go, it's been a bit difficult. But, it'll all get done. At least we're not in the same shape we were last year at this time - stomach bugs for everyone! Yeah, probably the first Christmas in years where Hubby and I actually lost weight.

When I asked Little Guy what we should get for Gigi (my mother-in-law, above) for Christmas, he thought a moment and then said, "Milk, because I drank all of hers." Classic.

Here's Little Man with my parents at his Christmas program last week. Today is their wedding anniversary, so cheers to you, Mom and Dad. We love you!

During the hustle and bustle of the season, Miss E. and I took time to enjoy some hot chocolate during our holiday shopping.

Yeah, looks like product placement for Starbucks. Note to Starbuck's corporate office: I'll take payment in gift cards. Please and thank you.

Today is full of cleaning and prepping for brunch at our house Christmas morning. We're looking forward to having family over and then heading to Gigi's later that evening for dinner.
From our house to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas. Blessings to all!
All images property of JMW A Place to Dwell Blog

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Tour in Shelbyville

The main gallery at Wakefield-Scearce Antiques in Shelbyville, Ky.

On Saturday, a group of girlfriends and I ventured to Shelbyville, Ky. to have lunch at Science Hill and tour the Wakefield-Scearce antique gallery, which resides within Science Hill. If you are ever in this region of Kentucky, be sure to stop by this amazing place. It's just lovely.

Science Hill was once a girls' boarding school. The facility now houses a tea room, a handful of shops and its cornerstone retail establishment, Wakefield-Scearce, which specializes in English antiques. There are several rooms at WS that during the holidays are decorated with the most beautiful Christmas trees and other decor. It really puts you in the the holiday spirit.

The prices are waaaaay out of my league - I fell in love with an $8,000 1850's dresser - but it's fun to look anyway. And, silly me, when I entered the lamp and rug “rough room” to see if I could score a bargain, I came upon a Serapi rug in the corner that I thought would do the trick. I quickly jumped back when I saw the $28,500 price tag. Rough room my a*s.

We enjoyed a delicious lunch in the tea room (shrimp and grits, yum!) and then did some Christmas shopping.

I also spent a long time in The New Silver Shop, oooing and ahhing over many items, including the julep cups.

These cups are the real thing and I hope to add a few to my household. Above is the standard julep cup paired with the smaller "nip" cup. Classic.

The girls and I were saying that this should become an annual holiday trip for us. Do you have anything like this that you do with friends or family leading up to Christmas? If so, share!
Images courtesy of Wakefield-Scearce Gallery and The Shops at Science Hill

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dear Santa,

As you know, my kids have visited with you frequently this season: at the mall, at church, as school. You certainly get around Louisville, don't you? Anyhoo, you are well-versed on what the W. kids are wanting this holiday season. Yet, I'm sure you're just dying to know what to get their mommy. So, for your reading pleasure, because I know you have spare copious time on your hands, here are some items for reference.

Thanks, Santa. Oh, yes, and peace on earth. God bless us everyone.

Burberry, I love you.

This hat for Derby 2012. I love you, too, Audrey.

A pair of Kate Spade "Fiona" flats.

Jackie O sunglasses, and the ability to look more like Jackie when wearing them, rather than a large bug.

A pair of houndstooth Toms shoes. So cute and, as you know, the purchase goes toward a great cause.

The latest album from Adele. Damn, girl, love your sound.

Okay, enough of my silly list.

Here's hoping the holiday season is going well for you. Try not to get too stressed or overwhelmed. Sit down with an egg nog (because dairy and alcohol make everything seem better) and listen to Charlie Brown Christmas music. It'll cure what ails you during the hustle and bustle of the season.
Images from Burberry  of London, Life Magazine, kate spade and Adele fan club

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jewels and Twilight

More random thoughts bouncing around in my head, so thought I would share them here with you. :)

Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry auction at Christie's last night grossed nearly $116 million. Seriously.

I knew Ms. Taylor's had a magnificent jewelry collection, but I was astounded at this news. Heck the La Pelegrina necklace (above) alone brought in $11.8 million. A huge portion of the money raised will go to her AIDS foundation. More of her estate will be auctioned later this week, including film scripts and costumes. In February, her art collection will go up for auction in London.

On another topic, I went with our neighbor to the movies last night. She's invited me to join her book club, so we met up with two other gals from the book club at the cinema. And, what did we see? Drum roll..."Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn." Jealous? Don't be. I went out of curiosity, in addition to getting to know my neighbor better, who is a really great person. But, as far as catching a great film? That didn't happen.

Can I just ask: What is the appeal of Kristen Stewart who plays Bella? Sorry, but I don't think she's the greatest actress. Please, Twilight friends, don't send me hate mail. I can see why the series appeals to teenage girls, and I'm sure I would have loved the book series when I was 14. I just struggled to get past some of the bad acting and dialogue.  Although, with that being said, part one left me hanging so I'm sure I'll have to see the next installment in the theatre come next year. Yes, I hang my head in shame.

Have you seen any good films lately? If so, what?
Image from the New York Times

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Hustle and Bustle

Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. I have to keep doing this so I don't have a holiday season meltdown.

It was a fun, full weekend in our household, full of parties and more decorating. We purchased our tree at a local lot sponsored by the Boy Scouts. Yes, it's too big and yes, it's leaning because something is wrong with our tree stand.

Oh, well. It's up and that's all that matters. Two ornaments were broken in the process, but that's life.

Then, Hubby was determined to put lights on the fir tree in our front yard, which we haven't done before. I managed to take a photo from our living room, because it was cold and I was too lazy to go outside last night.

As you can see, it's a lovely blue and white tree, which I have dubbed my "UK Tree." What's even better is that two of Hubby's friends who helped him string the lights (for the low cost of beer and pizza), are big University of Louisville fans, which is UK's in-state rival. It was a Christmas miracle, but one that I've been told not to share with any of their friends. :)

We then had breakfast with Santa after church on Sunday. Here's my little reindeer, who asked Santa for a skateboard.

And, at one point, he was looking ever-so-closely at Santa and even had his hand on Santa's beard. A few of us were holding our breath, hoping that a big reveal would not take place in the middle of the school cafeteria. Luckily, no beard pulling occurred.

I had to include a photo I took over the weekend of Miss E.'s African Savanna diorama, which I blogged about in September. She figured the diorama deserved a visit from the Holy Family, so there you go.

I closed out the weekend at a Chris Isaak concert with a girlfriend. Mr. Isaak knows how to rock it out. He plays off the crowd very well and it was fun to hear some rockabilly Christmas songs, in addition to his many hits. Two thumbs up.

So, how is your holiday prep coming along? Are you getting there? What's been the big purchase this year? We bought Miss E. the American Girl doll she's been wanting. Yep, we finally broke down and got it. But, the best part is that Hubby was the one who ordered it online, including accessories for the doll. I can't wait to see what Kit the American Girl doll will be wearing this season.

Have a terrific Tuesday, friends!
Photos property of A Place to Dwell blog - do not use without permission

Friday, December 9, 2011

C Wonder

So, Bloggerville is all a'twitter over the opening of C Wonder, the boutique and online retailer owned by Chris Burch, Tory's ex-hubby. So, what's the 411 on his store? Fun, colorful and affordable. There are some similarities to items that Tory offers, but again, for MUCH less.

For instance, how about an $8 mug?

Great gift for a teacher or colleague that certainly won't break the bank.

Check out this jeweled-button cardigan (comes in a variety of colors) for $78...

And this horn cuff for $48...

Bring out the inner-princess with these ballet flats, perfect for the holiday season and beyond. ($78)

How sweet is this birdcage charm for only $15?

Love the whimsy of this elephant plate ($38).

I guess my only question is: How well-made are these items considering the price point? I've seen online images of the store and it looks like a place I would be drawn to like a moth to a flame:

Have you been to or odered anything from C Wonder or been to the actual store in SoHo? If so, what do you think?

Wish I could have blogged more this week, my friends, but it was a blur of activity. Enjoy your weekend and soak in the holiday season. We have another Christmas party to attend tomorrow and a breakfast AND dinner with Santa on Sunday. "Mommy, why do they look different?" Gotta work on my answer to that one.

Happy Friday!
Images from C Wonder and

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Window Shopping

A neighbor of mine recently traveled to New York City and sent this photo of a window display at a jewelry store in Manhattan. Would this inspire you to buy jewelry?
"Yes, I'd like to see the necklace, the one next to the dead squirrel."

It gave me a good laugh, nevertheless.

How's your holiday shopping going? Are you finished, almost there, or panicking? I'm somewhere in between "almost there" and "panicking." Need to sit down with Hubby tonight and scrutinize the budget. Should make for a fun evening. We'll have to take a break, though, for "The Middle" and "Modern Family." Love those shows.
Image property of B. Becherer

Monday, December 5, 2011

I Won!!

This morning, I received word that I won two tickets to see Tim Gunn at a lecture series in Cincinnati in January. Woo hoo!

I've said many times how much I love fashion/lifestyle guru Tim Gunn. I can't wait to attend, see him in person and hopefully get a photo taken with him (which will immediatly be downloaded to my Facebook profile).

Seriously, when I heard that I won, I did a little dance. Happy, happy! Joy, joy!

See you in January, Mr. Gunn - make it work!
Image from Project Runway

Friday, December 2, 2011

Random Recap of My Week

Glad this week is coming to a close. It's been busy and I, for one, am ready for an evening with no homework (my daughter's, not mine) and no battles over bedtime.

Highlights of the week:
  • One of these little buggers called 911 the other night (my bet is on the 4-year old). Luckily, I answered the phone when the operator called back, rather than having a police officer show up at my door. I apologized profusely, then ran upstairs to have a "chat" with  the kids. I've never seen such scurrying in my life.

  • Several multi-hour meetings with company executives and other co-workers this week. It took every bit of patience, energy and creativity I have within me.

  • Idiot drivers - that's everyday, but for some reason, when it rains in this town, everything goes to hell.

  • Bad headaches - I think trying to read on my iPhone is doing a number on my eyes, which therefore gives me raging headaches. Human beings were not meant to read the New York Times on a tiny hand-held device. (Yes, I'm doing this to myself. Let's move on.)

I'm not trying to have a pity party here, so forgive me if I come off that way. While my little man called and hung up on 911, he also gives me hugs and kisses every day and told me this morning that I looked beautiful. It made me smile and I tried to stifle the skeptic in me who wonders if he's up to something.

Also, my darling girl was named "Star Student" in music class this week. Apparently this is a new honor the music teacher is awarding to her students and Miss E. was the first recipient. Cheers to my daughter!

Oh, and one more random thought - although it does align with my crazy week - did anyone hear the story on NPR this morning about working moms vs. working dads, Study: Multitasking Multistressful For Working Moms? The American Sociological Review has done a study on working mothers, concluding that moms multitask more than working dads and that leads to multi-levels of stress. My reaction to this study? No sh*$.

But, it's an interesting report and adds credence to what I've been feeling for the last few years. I plan to print a copy, tie a nice ribbon around it and give it to my husband tonight while I do laundry and read a book to the kids, while checking email and brushing my teeth.

TGIF, friends. We made it through another week.
Photo property of A Place to Dwell blog

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

Here are a few things that I'm digging lately...

Trader Joe's Candy Cane Green Tea (Decaf) - Apparently when this tea was first introduced in 2009, it sold out in record time. But, it's back and there's plenty to spare. And, at $1.99, you can't beat it. It’s goodness in a cup, y’all.


Old Try is the Southern-inspired brainchild of Marianna and Micah Whitson, printmakers who celebrate the soul of the South through their business. The print above is on my Christmas list. Lord knows my kids hear me say it enough, so it might as well be hanging on the wall at this point.

Each southern state, including my beloved Kentucky, is featured, in addition to other musings associated with life below the Mason Dixon Line. The longitude and latitude of said line is captured in a print as well. May have to ask Santa for this one, too.

Christmas came early for this gal last Friday when I ventured to a favorite shop, Celebrations, and picked out the green and yellow agate necklace I've long wanted, designed by the gals at W&M Custom Jewelry. (Sorry, not the best photo in the world, but you get the idea.)

I know, shame on me for not waiting for a wrapped gift under the tree, but with several holiday parties and get-togethers approaching, I wanted a fun piece of jewelry to wear hither and thither this season. So, Hubby acquiesced.

A friend of ours recommended the music of King's Daughters and Sons, and gave us their CD over the Thanksgiving holiday. His wife described the sound as “mello-Sunday-afternoon music," which is perfect for my drive home after a crazy day.

Good tunes, but I'm not crazy about their name - it sounds like a hospital that I often pass on I-64 near Frankfort, Ky. Just sayin'.

College Basketball
The number one men’s basketball team in the country: the Kentucky Wildcats. ‘Nuff said.

So, these are a few of my favorite things (cue Julie Andrews). What are you digging these days?

Oh, and a P.S. for Santa,

I would LOVE to have this box pleat skirt from Ann Mashburn, paired with the white boyfriend shirt or one of the many gingham options.

Seriously, Santa, if you have time to drop by Ms. Mashburn's store in Atlanta on Christmas Eve, see if you can throw some frocks in the sleigh before heading to Louisville.

Please and thank you.

Images from Trader Joe's, Old Try, King's Daughters and Sons, Ann Mashburn and necklace image property of A Place to Dwell blog

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Swagger Wagon - Anthem for the Van Rollers

After my recent experience with the Jaguar-turned-mini-van saga, a co-worker of mine sent me this video, courtesy of the folks at Toyota. This is hilarious.

So, for those of you out there driving a "swagger wagon," holla!
Video from Toyota, via YouTube

Monday, November 28, 2011

Start with Turkey, End with Zombies

On Thanksgiving morning, I embarked on a morning run through the neighborhood. Other than folks letting their dogs out to do their business, I encountered no other runners or joggers. I was really surprised that I was the only turkey trotter out and about. Perhaps most folks were preparing their Thanksgiving feasts, or smart enough to stay in bed an extra hour. Oh, well, I enjoyed the quiet along my route and smiled at the thought of having the next few days off.

I, for one, didn’t get up at the crack of dawn on Black Friday to shop. I don’t play that game. Do you? Miss E. and I did head out later in the afternoon while the boys went to the barber. I supported some local merchants and avoided being crushed or pepper sprayed by the hoards of humanity. It was a good day.

So, after a few days of parties, play dates and overeating, as well as three days in a row of running (woo hoo!), I ended the weekend by watching the finale (or mid-season finale as they kept hyping it) of “The Walking Dead.” Shew, that was quite the episode, wasn’t it?

Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes in AMC's "The Walking Dead," killing the zombies in last night's episode. 

Hubby has been a fan of the “Dead” since last season, but I didn’t start watching it until recently. I became a regular viewer once I realized that the lead character, Rick Grimes, is played by Andrew Lincoln from the film “Love Actually."

Andrew Lincoln's character, Mark, declares his love for Keira Knightley's character in "Love Actually." Sigh.

Yes, it was Lincoln who drew me in, but the storyline and those crazy zombies kept me coming back for more. Anyhoo, last night’s episode was shocking and sad. Anyone see that coming? The second half of the season begins in February.

Hope you had a great weekend, friends. It’s hard to get back into the swing of things, especially when it’s cold and rainy like it is here. But, I only have three weeks left until Christmas vacation, so that keeps me forging ahead.

♪ It’s the most wonderful time of the year…♪

Images from, IMBD and AMC.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving and Small Business Saturday

Happiest of Thanksgivings to my friends in Bloggerland, and to your families as well. I hope you enjoy a day full of laughter, love, good food and a nap or two. We all have so much for which to be thankful this year. And for those of you going through trying times this holiday season, please know that we are thankful for you and wish you the very best. 

For you brave souls who venture out for Black Friday, best of luck to you. I'll be snuggled warm in bed while you're getting great deals for the holidays. Although, have you noticed how much earlier stores are bumping up Black Friday? Many retail outlets are starting the madness on Thanksgiving night, which I think is wrong, wrong, wrong. Give your employees a chance to enjoy the holiday with their families! I mean, do we really need to score a new iPad or game station at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, as opposed to 5 a.m. the next morning?

One of many wonderful items available at The Urban Farmhouse Market, a new gift shop in Louisville.

I've heard that there's a movement to label the Saturday after Thanksgiving "Small Business Saturday," to encourage people to patronize local "mom and pop" shops. I think this a FABULOUS idea. I always find the most wonderful items at such places. In fact, there's a new shop in town that I can't wait to visit, The Urban Farmhouse Market.

It's across the street from my son's preschool and every day I pass by looking longingly at their beautiful store window. I hope to drop by on Small Business Saturday, and if you have similar shops in your town, consider doing the same. Shop local! (Whether branding this day picks up steam or not, I still like the idea.)

Should I awake from my food coma and have the urge to blog over the weekend, I will do so. If not, again, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and I'll chat with you on Monday!
Images from Style Blueprint Louisville and The Urban Farmhouse Market

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

'Turkey for Me, Turkey for You'

My kids are already in the holiday spirit, can’t you tell?

On the way to school this morning, Adam Sandler’s “The Thanksgiving Song” came on the radio. I laughed and started singing along while my daughter looked at me as if I had three heads. When I pulled into the school driveway to drop her off, Miss E. said, “Mommy, turn down the radio; the kids will think you’re crazy.”

So, it’s official. I’m the crazy turkey lady. And my 6-year old is already trying to prevent me from embarrassing her in front of her classmates. Oh, darling girl, this is only the beginning of embarrassing parent moments. Bwaa haaa haa!

“Turkey for me, Turkey for you…”
Image property of A Place to Dwell blog