Monday, February 28, 2011

Notes from the Weekend

It was a whirlwind weekend, and morning, literally, with at least two tornadoes touching down just a few miles north of here. Schools were on a delayed schedule because of the severe weather. Miss E. was supposed to have a field trip today, so doesn't look like that's going to happen now. How crazy has this winter been??

The Girl Scouts' Father/Daughter Dance was Friday night. Everyone had a ball. Miss E. was beside herself with excitement, seeing all her friends and their daddies dressed up. Apparently a lot of Justin Bieber was requested at the dance and now Miss E. says she loves "Justin Beaver." Uh, that's gotta stop. Hubby said, "In that one song, all he says is 'Ooo, baby! Oooo, baby!' I could do that!" I'd prefer that you not - the less Bieber in my house, the better.

The rest of the weekend was full of birthday parties and mattress shopping. Yep, we took the plunge and purchased a new mattress. My back and neck are looking forward to its arrival. We shopped while Miss E. was at a birthday party. Little Guy did very well until the end, when he was jumping from one mattress to the other. At least he had taken his shoes off. (A few days ago, I blogged about wanting a TempurPedic, but after trying many brands, we settled on the Simmons ComforPedic - same memory-foam concept, but much more affordable. I'm VERY happy with our choice.) 

In other news, congrats to all of the wonderful Oscar winners and nominees. Although,  I have to say I was more than underwhelmed with the hosting abilities of Anne Hathaway and James Franco. Some of the opening scenes spoofing the nominated films were funny, but then it went downhill from there. It was borning and I couldn't stay awake for the major awards. We were cheering on Louisville native, Jennifer Lawrence, on her nomination for "Winter's Bone." She rocked that red dress! Big hopes for the hometown girl, but no surprise that Natalie Portman won - she was amazing in that role. And, dear Colin Firth, you are so very deserving of the Oscar. Cheers to you!

What did you think of the Oscars this year?

Friday, February 25, 2011

And one more thing...

Stop the world...I want Charlie Sheen to get off.

Longing for Spring, Gearing Up for the Weekend

This photo was featured in the late-great "Southern Accents" a few years ago. The article showcased a gorgeous home in one of the Carolinas. I fell in love with the front door, the huge entry hall and grand front porch. There's nothing like an early summer day, a child paddling barefoot on the hardwood floors, swinging open the screen door and then running outside in the summer sun to play. It's been raining cats and dogs here, plus it's cold again, so I went back to this photo for some virtual sunshine and warm weather.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I'm lunchroom monitor again today, so I get to see Miss E. at school and help the little ones open their milks and ketchup packets. Tonight is the Girl Scout troops' Father/Daughter dance at school, so Miss E. and Hubby are getting all dolled up for this special event. He's ordered her a wrist corsage - I promise to show pictures at some point. Miss E. then has two birthday parties this weekend. I can't keep up with this child's social life! 

Next week, Miss E. turns 6. I can't believe it. While picking up gifts last night for her friends' birthdays, Hubby managed to sneak around the store with the salesguy to order her new bike. She's been riding a bike that was a hand-me-down from our neighbor's daughter a couple of years ago. It's been a great bike, but she's outgrowing it. Last year, Little Guy got a bike and I know she's been longing for a new one, although hasn't said much about it. So, last night, trying to be ever-so-sly, we asked her opinion on the bikes in the store. She liked one in particular and then off I swept the kids so Hubby could go into covert action. She never suspected a thing. :)

Happy Friday, my friends! What's on tap for your weekend?
Image from Southern Accents

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Punch of Color

I really love how color can add so much to a room. I’m hoping that over the next year, we’ll be able to bring more color to our house here and there. The house was painted in neutral tones when we bought it. Apparently, the previous owners had wallpaper EVERYWHERE, including the entry foyer ceiling, so their realtor urged them to go neutral or have it sit on the market forever. I thank them for stripping the nonsense before we ever stepped foot through the door.

Anyhoo, it wasn’t until I saw recent photos from the baby shower I hosted that I saw just how neutral everything is. Blah. So, here’s hoping that down the road we can add color - either through paint or fabric and accessories - as a line item to our budget. In the meantime, I’ll share some colorful rooms that I adore. Enjoy!

This living room is so cheerful - very preppy, Lilly Pulitzer - but not overdone. Fabulous window treatments!

I love this shade of blue paired with orange. Here it's featured in a young girl's bedroom, but it can be used in so many different spaces.

While navy and white may not be considered bold choices - more classic in design - you can never go wrong with this combo. And I LOVE the seersucker-appearance of the coverlet.

Look what touches of black and red have done for this living room. And how great is that red door?

While this bedroom features a dark, bold chocolate on the walls, it's balanced with softer-colored linens, therefore giving the room a relaxing feel.

And, because I love combining shades of green with black and white, I close this post with the kitchen of Kate and Andy Spade. What a great space. Sigh.

If you could redecorate a room in your house, which room would it be and what color scheme would you use?
Images from Southern Living, Martha Stewart Living and The Selby

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Weekend Recap

Over the weekend, my mom and I hosted a baby shower for my sister-in-law. Pretty soon I'll have a new niece or nephew - can't wait! It was great fun seeing aunts and cousins from near and far. And, of course, having delicious cake!

The parents-to-be.
My cousin, E., and her six-week-old baby. It had been a while since I held an infant. So sweet!
Here I am with my lovely cousin, P. Girl, we need to plan a get-together soon! Shopping! Art galleries! Good food! Let's put it on the calendar soon!

The new generation of cousins. This was toward the end of the shower, after Hubby returned home with Little Man. They went to see "Gnomeo and Juliet" while the girls partied down. 

Again, it was wonderful seeing everyone and I hope they all enjoyed themselves.

By the way, for those of you who live in Louisville or in the vicinity, I have a great gift shop to recommend, Cartwheels. I stopped by there to purchase some giveaway items for the shower, having heard about the store from friends. A gal I went to high school with (and whose kids go to my daughter's school) along with her mom, own this great little shop. From jewelry and purses to fantastic gift items for babies and kids, there is such a fun varitey from which to choose. In addition to the party gifts, Miss E. picked out two items she wanted to give the new baby and I scored a couple of votives on sale.

And, Hubby, FYI, Cartwheels carries W&M jewelry (also locally-owned, and yet another grade school connection with my daughter), in case you're needing ideas for my birthday in June. Never too early to start planning. :)

Hope everyone is surviving the week so far!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Really? You poison two historic trees because you're a fan of a rival school? And maybe because you're crazy as a loon? How very sad.

To all the Auburn faithful, my sympathies for the loss of the grand, old oaks at Toomer's Corner. All of us in the SEC support you, as do many across the country.

And, hey, people, let's get a grip.
Image from Birmingham News

Thursday, February 17, 2011

From the World of Books...

The high today in Louisville: 72 degrees.

Can I have an AMEN?!

In other news, I received the mass e-mail from Borders CEO Mike Edwards yesterday confirming what had been rumored for months, that the company is filing Chapter 11. While the company isn't completely going out of business, it is closing several of its stores, including two in my hometown.

So, what does this mean? Well, it shows the tremendous impact that online book sellers, such as Amazon, as well as such technologies as Kindles and e-Readers, are having on the book industry. And, I find this all so very interesting, given that it was behemoth stores like Borders and Barnes & Noble that drove smaller independents out of business in the 1990s. Remember "You've Got Mail?"

"They're going hate us at the beginning, but..."

"But we'll get 'em in the end."

"Do you know why?"


"Because we're going to sell them cheap books and legal addictive stimulants."
     - Joe Fox to Kevin Jackson, "You've Got Mail."
I admit, I do like the convenience of Amazon delivering books straight to my door, or with a Kindle, right to my hand. But, I also like to frequent one of the most beloved and oldest independent bookstores in town, Carmichael's. With two locations, this little shop is managing to thrive, or at least survive, in this economy. Why? Well, my theory is it's because both locations are in older, more urban neighborhoods near other local shops and restaurants, and within walking distance of where many of its customers live. Residents of these neighborhoods are passionate about supporting local retailers. And, Carmichael's made the wise move of partnering with local coffee maker, Heine Bros., so that customers can have easy access to the coffee shop while they peruse through the book stacks. The whole David and Goliath aspect of the small independents competing against such giant chains as Barnes & Noble with their in-store Starbucks, resonates strongly with people in our community.

So, what do you think of the Border's situation? And, do you support a local bookstore? If so, which one and why?
Image from IMG, via Google Images

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Exciting Purchases We Make as Adults

Hubby and I need to purchase a new mattress. No, certainly not the most exciting thing to buy; it’s not a vacation or shiny new bauble. But, I’m tired of feeling as if I sleep at the top of a ski slope, and waking up each morning with back pain. Our mattress is far past its prime; it’s time to take it off life support and buy a new one.

Where to begin? First of all, when you’re in the market for a new mattress, it can be the most awkward shopping experience ever. Lying down on a bed in a store while strangers walk by you doesn’t induce comfort. Yet, that’s exactly what you’re seeking when shopping for a mattress. In fact, a coworker of mine said you’re supposed to lie on a mattress at the store for at least 10 minutes to get a good feel for it. Yeah, I see that happening. “Excuse me, Mr. Salesman, while I take a quick nap. Don’t mind my kids jumping on the king size mattress in the back of the store. They’ve always wanted a trampoline and that’ll just have to do for now.”

While there are endless mattresses from which to choose, I want the Cadillac of mattresses: a Tempur-Pedic. Yes, there’re expensive, but have you ever slept on one of those bad boys? I did when we stayed at the Gratz Park Inn a few years ago. OMG, the most comfortable bed EVER! And, when I had to buy new box springs last summer (because the gosh-darn queen box spring wouldn’t fit up the stairs in our new house), I tested the new Tempur-Pedic Cloud mattress at the store. I was so exhausted that day from moving that I almost drifted off to sleep, right there on the Cloud. It was like lying down on a slice of heaven. If I could sleep on something like that seven to eight hours a night, and wake up feeling like I’ve had 10 hours of sleep and no longer experience back pain in the morning, then to me, it’s worth spending the extra cash. So, I’ll let you know what we decide. I hope it happens soon because I need a good night’s sleep.

Anyone been mattress shopping lately? If so, what did you get? Happy with your purchase?
Image from aslinaction blog

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Burgoo and Horses

Ever have one of those evenings where you're surfing channels and you stop upon an obscure program or documentary? And then suddenly you realize you’ve been watching it for the last 30 minutes or more?

Well, that happened to Hubby and me the other night and, silly or weird as it sounds, it was a documentary on the food known as “Burgoo.” Yes, a Kentucky favorite traditionally made of mutton, potatoes and other veggies, burgoo is a tasty stew. In some parts of the country (typically the South), it’s known as Hunter’s Stew, and can include just about any meat, often times chicken or beef. There's even a recipe featured on the well-known Louisville Stoneware burgoo bowl, although I'll refrain from adding wild squirrel.

Burgoo has a huge following in Western Kentucky, especially at many of the Catholic church picnics where it’s the main attraction. Apparently there’s quite the competition among churches for best burgoo, with secret recipes and treasured mixing paddles being passed down from generation to generation. Burgoo is serious stuff in these parts.

And, I learned that there are two ways to pronounce it, depending on what part of the state you’re from…in Western Kentucky, it’s BUR-goo, while in other regions it’s Bur-GOO. I think I fall into the latter pronunciation category.

Personally, my favorite burgoo is made at Keeneland Race Course, although it features stew meat rather than mutton. Still, a very delicious meal. Click here for Keeneland’s Burgoo recipe. When at Keeneland, I have to end my meal with the oh-so-tasty bread pudding. Here’s the recipe – not for those on a diet, but given that I only dine on bread pudding once or twice a year, I’m okay with indulging in some of the finest, most caloric bread pudding around. Boy, am I hungry now.

And, speaking of Keeneland, only 51 more days until the Spring Meet. Can’t wait! Gals, get your sundresses ready and guys, tie your bow ties. It's almot time to bet the ponies in the Bluegrass sunshine!Images from Keeneland Race Course, via Google Images and Taste of Kentucky.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Life is Good

Happy Valentine's Day, my friends! Hope you are enjoying this lovely day. In addition to it being a time to celebrate the ones we love, it's also a day to celebrate nice weather, at least around these parts. In fact, I saw some of my daughter's classmates walking to school this morning, which is such a welcome sight. So, Spring, thanks for making an early appearance this weekend and hanging around until Monday. Relax, settle in and stay for a while. We're so happy to see you!

For those of you who celebrate this day, any special plans or gifts exchanged? I would love to hear about it as I sip from my new Starbuck's ceramic travel mug that Hubby gave me, accompanied by a large bag of Sumatra beans. He had to present these Valentine's gifts early because we were out of coffee yesterday morning and he knew there would be a total meltdown by yours truly if I didn't get my caffeine fix before church.

Again, you're a good man, Hubby. (Yes, we're wearing matching sweaters, as did the kids for a family photo session a few years ago. I know, I know, try not to gag. I just had to brag on Hubby a bit. I am blessed. Life is good.)

Happy Valentine's, everyone!
Image from Martha Stewart Living

Saturday, February 12, 2011

And How Was Your Week, Honey?

Hubby's home, safe and sound after spending most of the week in California on business. So, knowing I'd had a full week of single-parenting it and craziness at work, he took me out to dinner for an early Valentine's Day treat last night. Chianti, great Italian food and cannoli for dessert - perfection.

Before we left for the restaurant, Hubby pulls out his phone to show me a place where he and his colleagues ate dinner one night.

It's in Malibu. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Yeah, wise decision not to e-mail that to me while he was gone.

He did make up for it with the dinner and by presenting me with a new pair of earrings. You're a good man, Charlie Brown.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Get Your "V-Day" Face On

Well, I survived lunchroom duty yesterday. Actually, it wasn't that bad. I helped during the K-2 lunch session, assisting kids with opening their milk, fruit cups, and when they raised their hands, I answered "Yes, you may go get extra cheese for your tacos," or "Yes, you may go to the bathroom." The best part was I got to hug on Miss E. in the middle of the day. The worst part, cleaning the tables and returning to work smelling like tacos. Oh, well. Goes with the territory of being the mom of kindergartner.

How glad are we that it's Friday? Hubby has been in California on business since Tuesday and finally returns this morning. The kids miss him, I miss him and I'm ready for a reprieve from the role of single parent. We're going out to dinner tonight and I can't wait. Yay!

That being said, Valentine's is Monday, which means there are still a few days left to get a gift for your sweetie. What's it going to be?

Yesterday, I blogged about a great website for readers, Good Reads, so keeping with the literary theme, how about this bookmark from Sundance for the avid reader in your life?

If jewelry is in order, perhaps this Revolving Wishes ring, also from Sundance. It features the words, "Love - Luck - Joy - Bliss." About says it all, doesn't it?

If money is no object (yeah, right), a little blue box is always a welcome gift on Valentine's Day. Tiffany's has a wide assortment of jewelry available for that special someone, like these charm bracelets or this filigree heart pendant.
For the stimulant addict coffee lover in your life, you can't go wrong with a gift card to Starbuck's or a local favorite coffee house.

Consider presenting it in a ceramic or travel mug - always a nice touch.

For the fashionista in your life, well, where do I start? There are so many options.

I'm currently craving these espadrilles from Tory Burch, about as much as I'm craving the weather in which to wear them.
Or, how about this oh-so-fabulous Lindsay Dress from Elizabeth McKay? I've been drooling over this frock for a while now, as well as the Priscilla blouse below.

And, as always, a card, chocolates or flowers are always appreciated. As are the words, "I love you." Any special plans for Valentine's Day? Will you be celebrating on the day itself or this weekend?
Images from Tory Burch, Starbuck's, Elizabeth McKay, Tiffany's, Sundance Catalog and, via Google Images.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Good Reads

Hubby made me aware of this super-cool site, that I thought I'd share with you, Good Reads.

"Good Reads" is a social site for readers, where you can create a virtual bookshelf of your favorite books, connect with other friends to see what they're reading/recommending, join book groups, view countless recommendations, browse through endless genres, titles and more. It's a GREAT site for the avid reader.

Well, it's Thursday, which means the end is in site. Thank, God. I'm volunteering at my daughter's school today as lunchroom monitor. Wish me luck. :)
Image from, via Google images

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Burberry Coats and More Winter Weather

I'm loving this snuggly-warm Burberry coat that Kate Hudson is sporting. If we still MUST don the winter attire, something like this is certainly more than tolerable.

We had more snow yesterday, although only a dusting. It did leave behind some nasty black ice, though. I saw a dad at preschool this morning almost wipe out in the parking lot. Nasty stuff.

It's a large-coffee-kinda-day around here. No one in my household wanted to wake up this morning. Here's hoping my morning fogginess clears soon. How has your morning been so far?
Image from Day Old News

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Case of the Mondays

It's Monday...that's all I got.

Hope everyone had a good weekend. Congrats to the Packers. I'll share my favorite commercial from the Super Bowl, which I actually saw on YouTube earlier in the week. Super-cute.

Have a good one, folks. May the force be with you. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Canvas Cool

Have you received the latest Land's End catalog featuring the Canvas line's spring collection? I am so loving just about every outfit! Such classic looks, as well as new spins on preppy staples.  
You can't imagine the restraint it's taking to not order this sweater right now. I'm on another self-imposed shopping hiatus, so I can't go spending willy nilly. But, boy, this nautical sweater jacket is making it VERY difficult!
I had a chambray skirt in college, although much longer. I wore it with a tennis sweater and white dock shoes. Yeah, I thought I was so cool.
How classically preppy is this outfit?? I need those Chinos. Pronto.

This boat-neck dress is perfection.  

Ugh, I long for spring in such a bad way! Bring it on!

TGIF, brothers and sisters. Boy, it's been quite the week. So glad we're heading into the weekend and Super Bowl Sunday. And, as much as I admire Aaron Rodgers, I have to cheer for Hubby's Steelers. GO STEELERS! Will you be watching the Super Bowl?
Images from Land's End

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Random Ramblings: Hairstyles and Champagne

Ok, I don't like posting photos of myself, but after blogging about my upcoming haircut, I went ahead and took a photo, since some of you requested an "after" pic. What do you think?

Yeah, it's pretty much the same style I wore last summer. But, hey, if it works, go with it. Thanks, again, Gwyneth.

By the way, I just had to share a funny food/drink tip that I learned about last Friday. As I mentioned, we gathered with friends at a restaurant in Old Louisville for a special “Big Game” dinner. The dinner featured venison, elk, wild boar, quail and pheasant, among other game foods. For dessert, we had a scrumptious bread pudding, which I LOVE. It was definitely an evening for the carnivores and it was oh-so-delicious. And, yes, I hit the treadmill the next morning.

Anyhoo, during the dinner, we learned from the wine connoisseurs among us, as well as the chef, what food goes best with champagne. And guess what they recommended? KFC. That’s right, Kentucky Fried Chicken original recipe. Apparently, something about those special herbs and spices really works well with the champagne. They were dead serious. One of the couples swore up and down how awesome it is to pair these items together. Hmmm. Hey, there’s an idea for Valentine’s Day…a romantic evening in front of the fire with a bottle of Dom and a bucket of chicken. Now, that’s classy.

Can't wait for the weekend to get here. Hope everyone is staying warm and well. Hubby is taking our daughter to the doctor this morning. She went back to school yesterday, but then the fever returned last night, along with a horrible cough. Ugh, I'm done with this time of year. Puxatony Phil, I'm holding you to your prediction of an early spring!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

And We Thought We Had it Bad...

From the file "It Could Always Be Worse," I share a photo one of my husband's colleagues sent to him today. She is based at their Wisconsin office and this was taken from inside her front door:

Yep, that's snow. And, nope, I could not live there. No offense to my northern/midwestern friends; I am just not a hearty, cold-weather person.

But, I also share this photo with those of us who live in the South to demonstrate that THIS is the type of weather forecast that should send you running to the grocery for milk and bread, not the stuff we get. I've seen pure craziness this winter at the grocery and gas stations and we haven't had near the weather that these poor folks have had. So, buck up, neighbors!

Kindness to Christy for sharing this photo. May the force be with you, girlfriend!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Think Gwyneth Got it Right...

Well, I'm at it again. I'm tired of my current hairstyle, so I've bumped up my appointment to tomorrow to try to do something with this messy 'do. I'm sure I'll get an eye-roll or two from my stylist, but I've not been happy with this current cut and I need something more manageable. I'm at a point in my life where low-maintenance is key. I'd rather spend those precious few extra minutes each morning catching some shut-eye, than using the flat iron on my hair.

I have been growing my hair out a bit, which I tend to do in the winter. My latest style is similar to what Winona Ryder is sporting in the film Black Swan:

...minus the crazy her character also sports.

I think the best option is to return to my tried-and-true hairstyle, a la Gwyneth Paltrow in the film, Sliding Doors:

Gwynnie gets it right with this look. Can't go wrong with this one.

What a silly cycle...oh, well. 

I'm curious, do you often change up your look or do you have a signature style that you've kept because it works best for you?

Thanks for indulging me in this super-superficial post today. Wish I had something profound to say about the world's events right now, but given that I'm working from home while caring for a sick child (Miss E. is running a fever), I can't seem to muster anything of great importance. I'll leave that to the diplomats.

And, to all of my friends and family in the Midwest and Northeast, I hope you weather this winter storm as best you can. Fingers crossed that your power stays on and that you are able to stay warm and cozy in your homes!
Images from of the films Black Swan and Sliding Doors