Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Post-Holiday, Pre-Vacation

Did you have a nice holiday weekend?

We spent time at the pool, grilling outdoors and catching up with my sister-in-law who was visiting from Charlotte, N.C. She's such a sweetie and arrived bearing gifts, including an early birthday present for moi, the Lilly "Later Alligator" watch set.

Thank you, A. It's perfect! In fact, I'm wearing it yet again today and have already changed out the band for the second one that came with it.

Well, my wish came true for less rain and more sun. Not only has the sun made an extended appearance, but it's been in the mid-90s in these parts. Our time at the pool over the last few days was well spent.

So, Memorial Day has passed and we're into the official summer season, which means Hubby, the kids and I are about to start our vacation. Can't wait! Hubby asked me last night if I was ready. Ready, yes. Prepared? No. I have my OCD list ready and will check and double-check throughout the week.

Any suggestions on must-have items for summer and vacation? Fashion, accessories, books? Do share, would love to hear!

P.S. - Thanks again to those who helped troubleshoot the issue I was having with Blogger - Miss Flo, you're a gem! When you use a free service, I guess you're at the mercy of it. May have to look into a different service at some point, if these types of issues continue to arise. We'll see.
Image from brookemcc.tumblr.com

Monday, May 30, 2011

Seeking Technical Assistance

Okay, blogger, friends, I need your help...has anyone been experiencing issues with trying to comment on other blogs only to have "Anonymous" appear, rather than your Blogger profile name? I am not sure why this is happening, because I am signing in to Blogger to create a post on my own blog, as well as comment on your wonderful blogs. But, for some bizarre reason lately, it won't let me leave comments under my blog name.

I've tried to troubleshoot this via Google Blogger and, well, that's no help. Talk about user UN-friendly. I'll keep trying to figure this out, but if anyone out there knows a solution, I'd be forever grateful if you'd share it with me.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day, my friends. I hope to be able to comment on your fabulous blogs soon!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day - Relax!

Grab the tote bag, sunscreen, your shades and a good book because the pools open this weekend, kids. Yea!!

My sister-in-law is coming to town for the holiday weekend, which is always fun. Can’t wait to see her, spend time with family and just relax a bit. Rumor has it that the sun will be making an extended appearance in these parts, joined by her sidekicks “heat” and “humidity.” But hey, as long as the rain stays away, it's all good.

Have a wonderful Memorial weekend, friends. Enjoy your cookouts, cold drinks and lounging at the pool, lake or beach, if you can. And, as always, let’s keep in mind the reason we celebrate this holiday: the brave souls who gave their lives for our beloved country. Thank God for these men and women.

Happy Memorial Day!
Image courtesy of Google

Thursday, May 26, 2011

That's a Deal?

I had to laugh when I received an email from Title 9 today about their latest sale. Check out this watch:

The Titianim Timekeeper was $100 and has been marked up to $119. Wow, you don't see that publicized everyday. That's right, visit Title Nine's website to see it for yourself.

I'm sure this will be corrected in time (har, har), but folks, when you're sending an email to thousands of customers, be sure to review the content before hitting "send." While it's a cool watch, I won't be paying $19 more for it, no matter how much I love Title Nine :)

We survived the storms, friends. A tornado touched down about 60 miles north of here, leveling homes and sending folks to the hospital. Luckily, there were no fatalities. Louisville was quite fortunate that while there were some downed trees, structure damage and power outages, a tornado did not hit; just strong storm winds. Our power didn't go out and we didn't have to make a mad dash for the basement. Very lucky, indeed. 

Now, if the rain would take a break and leave us be for a while, I'd be a happy camper. Time for the sun to make an extended appearance in these parts. 

How has the weather been in your neck of the woods?Image from Title Nine 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kindergarten and Magicians' Secrets Revealed

As you can see, Miss E. has lost her two front teeth - the Tooth Fairy has been a frequent visitor to our house of late. 

I attended my daughter's kindergarten variety show yesterday, which was such a hoot! From singing along to popular songs, playing the keyboard, demonstrating karate moves, performing magic tricks and telling jokes, these kids kept us in stitches. It was a great program and hard to believe that the school-year is coming to an end.

One of the best quotes of the day came from my daughter's classmate, S., who performed the magic tricks. After the show, I told him, "S., you did a great job! How did you do those tricks? I couldn't figure them out." To which he responded, "Well, magicians are liars."

I feel so mislead.
Image property of JMW A Place to Dwell

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's Almost Pool Time

Can you believe that the pools open a week from today? Holy cow, where did this year go?

I'm ready for summer weather - beach towels, sun screen and lazy weekends at the pool. Our vacation is approaching as well, so I'm very much looking forward to taking it easy for several days.

And speaking of weather, God be with the residents of Joplin, Missouri. What a horrific event. We were fortunate to only have had heavy rain and winds where I live. Although, the power is out at my son's preschool, so I'm working from home while Little Man hangs out at the house for the day. Here's hoping that the bad weather is gone for a while, although there is more rain in the forecast.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. We finished soccer season and spent a lot of time working in the yard. It was amazing to actually see the sun!

Happy Monday, friends!
Image from Standard Country Club

Friday, May 20, 2011

Profiles in Style

I am so honored that one of my favorite bloggers, Lily Lemontree, has featured me today in her Profiles in Style series. While I certainly don't consider myself a style-setter in any way, shape or form, my dear blogger friend was kind of enough to think of me and ask me to be a part of this series.
If you haven't visited Lily Lemontree before, be sure to stop by and peruse her blog. It's fabulous. (And I'm not just saying that because of today's post!)
We're certainly looking forward to the weekend in my household. The final soccer game of the season is tomorrow - woo hoo!  Then, we count down to the last day of school - where has this year gone?? Fingers crossed that we are blessed with some sunshine this weekend - we really need it.
So, dear friends, any plans for the weekend? Hope you have time to enjoy the nice weather and rest a bit. It's been a crazy week!
Image from Lily Lemontree

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Future is Bright

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You."
- Dr. Seuss

I recently took this snapshot of my daughter before her dance recital. I love the image of this little ballerina, who still small, has already grown so quickly. I need to stop myself sometimes and soak in these little moments in time and relish them for all they are worth. Because soon, I’ll be snapping photos of prom, graduation, a wedding…it all goes by so quickly, as our own parents can attest.

Many of you out there will be celebrating your child’s graduation this month. Cheers to your children and all that they have achieved. Best wishes to them as they start an amazing new journey. And, congratulations to you, parents, for raising great kids and getting them to this point. They couldn't have done it without you.
Image property of JMW A Place to Dwell

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lulu by Leah

Happy Monday, y'all!

It's hard getting back into the work-week groove, but I'll try my best. Perhaps focusing on some bright, shiny things will help.

If you're in the market for some fun jewelry, a girlfriend of mine who is a jewelry designer is liquidating her collection as she prepares to launch a new career.

All items are 50 percent off, so stop by Luly by Leah to see what pretty baubles - including freshwater pearls - you can find.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. What was on your events calendar? We had soccer and a family gathering to celebrate our son's 4th birthday. The second soccer game of the weekend was rained out Sunday, but, to be honest, I wasn't that upset. It meant I could prolong my nap. :)
Images courtesy of Luly by Leah

Friday, May 13, 2011

Here and There

I would have posted earlier, but Blogger has been down with technical issues. I'm sure many of you were in the same boat, and if not, count yourselves among the more fortunate. (And it appears that all of the very nice comments you left about my son's birthday have disappeared from the previous post. Ugh, gotta love technology.)

We're winding up a busy week and heading into a very busy weekend with a soccer double-header and another birthday celebration. Can't. Keep. Up.

So, because my head is running in many different directions, here are some random thoughts to close out the work week.


The new film "Bridesmaids" is out today and it looks H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S.

I love Kristen Wiig, who not only stars in the film, but is one of the writers. She's joined by fellow SNL alum, Maya Rudolph. The New York Times gave it a rave review.  This looks like a must-see, especially for those of us who have donned a bridesmaid dress or two or five. 

From left to right, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wigg, both from Saturday Night Live, and "The Office's" Ellie Kemper in the new comedy, "Bridesmaids." 

And speaking of "The Office," did you catch last night's episode? Very funny. Dwight + Firearms + Office = Bad Things. Can't wait to see who is hired as the new office manager. Could be the British actress seen in the promos, or perhaps one of their own will eventually fill the spot. Who knows. I already miss Steve Carrell, though.

Did you get the latest catalog from Lilly Pulitzer? It's about the size of a W magazine, so you can't miss it. (I also see these items via their daily emails, but there's something still nice about perusing through a lush, color catalog.) Lilly features some really cute clothes for summer that I'm dying to have.
Love the new Docksider Tote - very summer, very beachy, very pink and navy!

The Emily Crew Printed dress is nice, too. It looks super-comfy; something you can dress up or down. And, it's rare to find a Lilly dress under $100 (okay, $2 shy and, with tax, it'll bump you over $100, but I'm just sayin'). 

And last, but not least, you may have seen this on Facebook or received it in an email recently, but had to share this Disney-style comparison with the recent Royal Wedding. It gave me a chuckle.

TGIF, my friends. May you have a fun and restful weekend!
Images from Universal Pictures, Lilly Pulitzer, drewstuff.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Little Man!

My baby turned 4 today! I love you, Little Man.

Tonight, we shall celebrate your big day with cake, presents and all things Spiderman - after your sister's soccer practice, of course. I promise, we'll go to Red Robin on Saturday. :)

It goes by so quickly, as so many of you can attest. I gave Little Man several extra squeezes before heading out to an early meeting this morning. Can't wait to see that smiling face this afternoon.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!
Photo property of JMW A Place to Dwell

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To My Mom

With all of the hoopla of Derby this past week, I neglected to take the opportunity to recognize my mom in this forum and to wish her the happiest of Mother's Days.

The kids showered her with gifts (more like pushed them upon her with great force, excited to help her unwrap the present as quickly as possible) on Saturday, while she and my dad spent part of the day with them.

In honor of Mother's Day, I am including a photo of two women who had a big influence on my life: my mother and grandmother. Wow, I'm probably around my son or daughter's ages in this picture. My grandmother has been gone for several years now - miss you, Irma!

Thank you Mom, for everything.

Hope everyone had the chance to spend Mother's Day with the women who have nurtured and cared for you throughout your life. It's a special day, indeed.

And, because I have felt like a terrible mom in not planning properly for my son's birthday tomorrow, I'm going to take an early afternoon and get some shopping done for Little Man. Can't believe my baby is going to be four!

Have a terrific Tuesday, friends!
Photo property of JMW A Place to Dwell

Monday, May 9, 2011

Kentucky Derby 137

A fun time was had by all on Derby Day. I didn't cash a single ticket, but still had a heck of a time! It's always great to spend such a special day among friends. No one around us had the winner, Animal Kingdom. That horse came out of nowhere. Oh, well. We'll certainly be cheering him on in the Preakness in two weeks.

Here's a sampling of the many photos we took that day. I'll have to add more as I gather them. And God bless our friend, D., featured here in the black and white dress. She's six months pregnant and made it out to Churchill for the full day. You're a trooper, girlfriend!

The weekend ended on a lovely note as we celebrated Mother's Day. Hubby and the kids brought me breakfast in bed and showered me with gifts. There is nothing better than Mother's Day gifts your kids make at school (Hubby, I love my earrings and Derby prints, too!) We enjoyed beautiful weather, as we sat on the deck and grilled out.

Ah, feet up, kids playing in the yard and Hubby cooking my dinner. Doesn't get any better than this!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. The next big milestone is our son's birthday - he'll be four on Wednesday. I better get cracking on this. It caught up with me fast!

Happy Monday, y'all!
All photos property of JMW A Place to Dwell

Friday, May 6, 2011

Derby Day - It's Almost Here!

Here's a sneak peek of what will be adorning my head tomorrow - what do you think?

After I blogged about the odd line-up of celebrities that are attending or have attended the Derby, I had a funny thing happen yesterday. I was at the nail salon having a pedicure and everyone was talking about Derby, of course. The lady sitting next to me was quite the Chatty Cathy, so she just had to share what happened to her husband while he was shopping for a tie that afternoon at Von Maur department store. Apparently the young sales woman was providing him with a variety of options, many in pink, which he didn't like. Then, a random blond woman jumped in and started picking out ties for him, telling him he would look good in pink. He wasn't sure what to think, but apparently just went with the flow as two women tried to pick out his Derby attire. When he finally went to purchase the tie, the sales woman said, "You know who that was, right?" The man said, "No, should I?" The sales woman said, "That's Kate Gosslin. You know, 'Jon and Kate Plus Eight?' The man still didn't know who she was, so he had to call his wife and get the scoop.

So, that's how life is here in Derby City, it's like a weird little game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Today is the Kentucky Oaks, the Running of the Fillies. For those who are going, have a great time.

Happy Derby! May the sun shine bright on my old Kentucky home, at least until the winner crosses the finish line. I can't have rain touch the new hat - that would NOT be good.

And Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there. Enjoy your day on Sunday - your deserve it!
Image property of JMW - A Place to Dwell

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The 'Celebrities' Are Coming to Town

We're another day closer to the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby. As I was driving the kids to school this morning, I saw a lady in her car, wearing a big, pink hat. Yep, she was heading to the track this morning, along with many other folks in town (the spring meet started last Saturday, so regular racing is taking place, in addition to the Kentucky Oaks and Derby). By this time during Derby week, the traffic is a bit lighter, there are fewer cars in the parking garages and offices become ghost towns.

The Vineyard Vines pink tractors are out in full-force at Churchill Downs, prepping the track before each race. Apparently VV will have tents set up in the Jockey Club and in the Infield. For those VV folks working the Infield, may the force be with you. All I'm sayin' is it's not the same crowd as the Foxfield Races or Carolina Cup. There will be plenty of alcohol flowing, but very little preppy clothing. Often times, very little clothing period. You're doing well with the Jockey Club; definitely more your demographic.

Today is the Pegasus Parade. There will be floats, inflatables, marching bands and countless other people and characters marching down Broadway. And, for some bizarre reason, Kate Gosslin is going to be in the parade and will be a guest at the Derby. Seriously?? Why??

I don't get it, but each year there are D-list/scandal-prone guests who are invited to Derby. Not sure if it's the party promoters seeking extra media attention or what, but these folks manage to snag a coveted invitation as if they're more worthy than others. The likes of Kato Kaelin, Larry Birkhead (Anna Nicole's baby daddy), a Kardashian or two, Heidi and Spencer (especially gag-inducing), and the list goes on. Spare us.

On the other end of the spectrum, I've seen such dazzlers as Queen Elizabeth II, Jack Nicholson, Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Bo Derek, Dennis Hopper, Alice Cooper (who is a super-nice guy and avid golfer; saw him arriving in Louisville sans eye make-up, wearing a pink golf shirt) and Justin Timberlake. Not that these celebrities are especially deserving, but they're well-known for having actual careers that have taken them to great heights in their respective fields, not for roles in sordid reality programming.

This year, Martha Stewart will be attending her first Derby. I've heard she's planning to craft her own hat from flowers, straw and other organic materials from her own garden. For her juleps, Martha will have her own mint flown in from her Bedford, N.Y. farm, with ice made from special Fountain-of-Youth mineral water. The ice will be crushed by one of her five assistants who will walk behind her -- five feet exactly -- throughout the day. And, no eye contact, of course. I also understand that members of her staff joining her on this trip will be partaking in their usual cocktail, the "God Help Me," which is a vicodin with a vodka chaser. Insert snarky smile here.

So, if you're watching the Derby at home, see if you can spot any celebrities. People-watching is one of the best things about the day. The hats, the dresses, ties and high heels are such fun. And when Jack Nicholson walks in front of your box on the track, smoking a stogie and waves at you, well, that's pretty darn cool, too.Images from Vineyard Vines Twitter Feed and phyllisaylse.wordpress.com

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Book Recommendations and More Derby Prep

Just finished Josh Kilmer-Purcell’s “The Bucolic Plague,” as well as Julia Reed’s "Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns and Other Southern Specialties: An Entertaining Life (With Recipes)." I now want to be a lady farmer and market my own goat soap, a la the Fabulous Beekman Boys (Purcell and Brent Ridge), and make about every wonderful recipe in Reed’s book. Her epilogue featuring an ode to pimento cheese is great. In fact, at the art fair last Saturday, I dined on pimento cheese and Benedictine sandwiches, which I LOVE. Mmm, mmm.

Both books are entertaining reads that I highly recommend. You may not want to read them on an empty stomach, though, because the descriptions of fresh veggies, fruit and decadent Southern dishes will make your mouth water.

My next book purchase may have to be Reed’s “The House on First Street” about the home she purchased in New Orleans’ Garden District, four weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit.

So, dear friends, what are you reading these days and any recommendations you’d like to share?

Derby update: Found my cigar box purse! Yep, it was sitting right in front of me on a shelf in my closet. It may be time for another trip to the opthamologist

Had a video conference call with some colleagues in Pennsylvania this morning who asked why I wasn't wearing my Derby hat. Just because it's Derby week, doesn't mean we wear hats the entire week. But, it’s primed and ready, thanks for asking. 

So our kids can get in on the fun, I’m going to let Miss E. pick out one of my past Derby hats to wear during the race and Little Man is going to pick out one of Hubby’s bow ties. They’re excited. Last year we had a party at home, so they spent the day amid the craziness of a big Derby shindig. This year they’re perfectly content spending the day at home again, this time with Grandma and Grandpa. I know my parents are hoping naps for all are in order at some point that day.

Again, fingers crossed, hands folded in prayer and any other ritual you can think of to keep the rain away from these parts on Derby Day would be much appreciated. Last year it poured down rain and we lost power during our party. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen again.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!
Images from Harper Collins Publishers and Amazon

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Handbags and the Oddest Invitation Ever

Do you think if I started carrying this kate spade bag that I could will the sun to make a special appearance in these parts? Because, right now, I feel like I’m living in the Pacific Northwest, sans ocean and mountain views.

Maybe the purse should read: Hello?? Sunshine??

Actually, if I’m going to shell out $275 or more for a purse, it’s not going to look like a crocheted tiki hut. I much prefer the Point Breeze Small Coal...

 or the Cherry Valley Adeline...
 How cute would this Royal Plantation Elephant Basket be at Derby?

Yeah, I can already tell that after a few mint juleps, one may have difficulty figuring out how to open the darn thing.

I'm currently trying to track down a purse I carried to Derby a few years ago. It's a cigar box that was converted to a handbag and features an equine scene on one side, as well as a cute tassel hanging off one of the handles. But, with the move last summer, Lord only knows where that thing went. Hopefully I'll find it soon.

Oh, and I just have to share what may win the "Random Invitation" of the year award. Yesterday, I received an invite via Facebook (always classy) to a post-Derby dinner at a local German restaurant, which isn't too far from my house. I think it's a charitable fundraiser, but for what charity, I'm not sure. One of my fellow Junior League ladies is helping organize it.

Anyhoo, the "guest of honor" - and I use that phrase loosely - is Vickie Gunvaleson from "The Real Housewives of Orange County." Really? What the heck? Well, I guess I'm officially part of the D-list gallery now, if I'm getting invited to these kinds of affairs. Think I'll pass this year, although, the can't-stop-watching-the-sideshow part of me wants to peek in on the action. Nope. Be strong. Resist the urge!
Images from katespade.com

Monday, May 2, 2011

Quite the Weekend

First off, happy birthday to my dear sister-in-law, Ms. A. Hope you have a wonderful day, sista! This is your 29th, correct?

Cherokee Triangle Art Fair in Louisville's Highlands neighborhood

Did everyone have a great weekend? The sun made a rare appearance on Saturday, so we took full advantage of it, spending as much time as possible outdoors. After our daughter's soccer game, we hit one of our favorite annual events, the Cherokee Triangle Art Fair, perusing the streets filled with wonderful arts and crafts. The kids joined in the fun at a music tent and children's craft area. Their favorite part, though, was petting the police horses. Yep, they were enthralled with the beautiful on-duty equines. Thank, God, I didn't get the question, "Mom, may I have a pony?"

We ended the weekend at a baby shower for some good friends who are welcoming their first child in June. The gathering took place at a beautiful home where we dined on a gorgeous veranda by the pool. Our friends were even able to open a few gifts outside before the rain began. Oh, well. At least Mother Nature kept it dry for a little while.

So, let's see, what else happened this weekend? Pope John Paul the II was beatified and London is trying to recover from the royal wedding activities. All good things.

And, there was something else, hmm. I'm trying to recall. Oh, yeah, the world is finally rid of Osama Bin Laden.
Cadets at West Point celebrate the news.

Members of the New York City Fire Dept. cheer the news.

U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!

Images from MSNBC, NY Times and panrambio