Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The "Look"

I'm going to have this image placed on a coffee mug. If I'm carrying this mug into a meeting, or into the living room - with this look on my face - just know you've been warned.

Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful and insightful comments about yesterday's topic. Great feedback from both sides of the aisle, which I so appreciate. And, a shout-out to my new followers and new folks who have dropped by to say hi. It's great to hear from you! You make this little 'ol blog worth while.
Image from

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I don't know how she does it

A few years ago, I read the novel “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” by British author Allison Pearson. It was a humorous account of a successful business woman trying to juggle career and family life, finding that it's a challenge, to say the least.

Last night I saw the trailer for the film based on the novel, which stars Sarah Jessica Parker as the American version of the lead character, Kate Reddy. The novel was a good read, and while I couldn’t relate to Kate’s executive-level work/life balance (I have a senior level position, but no employees reporting to me, THANK GOD), I certainly can relate to the everyday tug-pull that moms who work full-time outside the home experience.

Just this morning I was included in yet another mass email from one of my daughter’s room moms stating, “Hey, let’s take the kids to the park after school lets out – who wants to join us?” Theoretically, I’d love to join you, as would my daughter who usually heads to the school’s after-care program when classes let out. Alas, I’ll have to offer up another big fat “No,” since I WORK FULL TIME. I want to scream this to the moms in her class because when it comes to the working moms, sometimes the stay-at-home-moms at her school lack a sensitivity gene.

Of course, this feeling is somewhat new to me, because when my kids were both at the preschool childcare program, all of the parents worked. That’s why our kids were there. We shared a common bond. But, now my daughter is in grade school and I feel like I’m surrounded by SAHMs. Not that being a SAHM is a bad thing. Sometimes I wish I could be one. It’s just not part of my life path, at least for now.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not attacking SAHMs, so please don't send me hate mail. I'm just talking about this particular group at my daughter's school. I'm not here to judge people's life choices. We do what we do in the best interest of our families. Period.

I have a friend whose husband is an attorney and with his income, she could probably stay at home if she wanted. But, she enjoys working full-time. She says she doesn’t feed into the guilt because her family is happy. “They (the stay-at-home moms at her kids’ school) don’t want my life and I don’t want theirs, therefore it works out for everyone.”

I guess when it comes down to it, I feel that way most days, too. As women, we should support each other no matter what we do – whether you’re a career mom or SAHM. No judgment, just be there for each other because we’re part of the sisterhood.

So, SAHMs, if you want, I’ll be happy to meet you on the playground on a Saturday morning with my kids and Starbucks in tow. We can chat about life, school, spouses, you name it. Rather than judge each other for our life choices, we can pick apart the skinny 20-something girl running through the park. Ah, that makes me feel so much better!
Images from Amazon and IMBD

P.S. - For the record, the majority of SAHMs at my daughter's school are wonderful women and are sensitive to the fact that there are a number of moms who work outside the home. And, there also is a great group of career moms that I adore.  It's only a small contingent that irk me. But, I guess I can say that about every aspect of my life!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Party Skirt? Yes, please

As a blogger or reader of blogs, you know there are certain designers who, while not household names, have quite a following in the blogosphere. EmersonMade is one. W&M Custom Jewelry is another. (And, yes, designers and artists, just so you know, we will chat you up and declare you darlings of the blogosphere, especially if samples are involved.)

Well, there’s another darling in our midst, and I’m sure many of you have heard of her. If not, meet the designs of Anne M. Cramer.

Known for her signature striped party skirts, anne m cramer (the company) features a number of classic silhouettes that would give Kate Spade a run for her money. I adore everything about her collection. Seriously, I want one of her party skirts. Stat!

You could easily see Audrey or Grace wearing these dresses and skirts, as well as the woman of today. I love nothing more than a classic, elegant design and Anne certainly offers that.

Anne herself is a beauty, with her short red hair and 1950s signature red lipstick. Be sure to check out her "Things I love" list on her website, as well as her blog. Delightful.

It's Friday, kids. Hope you have a fun weekend ahead. And for those of you along the East coast, you're in my thoughts. Here's hoping that Irene doesn't do the damage that's being predicted. Stay safe, friends.
Images from 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oh, Mother Nature, Here You Go Again...

Dear Hurricane Irene,

Please spare my beloved Outer Banks.

Thank you,

And to those of you who live in the line of Irene, I hope you have left for safer ground and that Irene spares your homes as well.
Image from the NY Times

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Frances Bean and the Earthquake

Can you believe that this is Frances Bean Cobain, daughter of Courtney Love and the late Kurt Cobain?  She looks like a 1940s film star.

What I can’t believe is that she’s 19 years old; which means I’m old. I remember listening to Seattle grunge music in college, of which Nivana and Kurt Cobain were the founding fathers. I also recall being not only baffled by Kurt and Courtney as a couple, but concerned that they had a child together. Oh, Lord, please watch over that child.

Well, Frances Bean has managed to keep out of the spotlight for most of her life (Courtney, I guess you did something right), only to now surface in a series of artistic photos by fashion photographers Hedi Slimane and Rocky Schenck. Frances Bean – fashion muse. Who knew?

In other random news, did anyone feel the earthquake yesterday? Those of us working on the 11th floor of my office tower certainly felt it. Shew! It was unsettling to say the least and we were several hundred miles away from the epicenter. I went home that evening and while opening the mail, saw our annual statement for our home and auto insurance. I had to laugh when I saw that we waived the earthquake coverage.

It’s Wednesday, friends. Onward and sideways.
Image by Rocky Schenck

And for the record, my headline for this post is not available for reprint. It's the title of my upcoming children's book. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Always Remember Them

Most of the time, I keep this blog light-hearted. There's so much going on in the world, we sometimes need to escape from the craziness. If we don’t take a moment to seek out the fluff in life, we may find ourselves curled up in the fetal position under our desks.

But, there are times when we need to look at what’s going on around us and take in the enormity. Next month, we will commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11. We’ve been at war for close to 10 years. We’ve lost so many amazing men and women to the war on terrorism. Words can’t express the gratitude I have for our military personnel.

I say this because I came across a heart-breaking photo today that really got to me. 

Navy Seal Jon Timulson was laid to rest last week in Iowa. His military K9, Hawkeye, watched over him one last time.

Maybe it is because we’re approaching Sept. 11 and the feelings are beginning to arise again. Or maybe it’s because I take it for granted (knowing that I never should) that my daily routine involves dropping my kids off at school, working 8 to 5 p.m. and going home to my nice house to eat dinner with my family. Meanwhile thousands of military families are spending days and nights apart from each other, or worse, coping with the loss of a loved one.

So, I leave you with this image today in hopes that you’ll take a moment to say a prayer or send positive thoughts to this young man’s family, as well as all military families. It’s because of them, that I’m able to drop my kids off at school, go to work from 8 to 5 p.m. and return home to my nice house to eat dinner with my family.

God bless our soldiers and the wonderful nation in which we live.
Image from CBS Evening News

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fashion Recycled

While I’m holding on tight to the last precious days of summer, because I know how miserable the winter can be, I have to say I am looking forward to a fall wardrobe.

Anyone receive the latest Talbot’s catalog or Brooks Brothers?

I am LOVING this blanket coat from Talbot's. Oh-so-fabulous.
This gray cape from Brooks Brothers is amazing - must have this for fall.
And I'll take this poncho, also from B.B. I'd probably sport a pair of boots or some great leopard-print ballet flats with it. Oh, the fabulouss-ness of it (yes, I declare that a word.)
Last week, I read some criticism in the blogosphere about Brooks Brothers' Campus collection and it's attempt to reintroduce preppy 80s styles to the youth of today, but at exhorbitant prices. On that front, I have to agree. A bit much for some of these items. And I had to giggle a bit when I saw the many rugby shirts, tennis sweaters and down vests.
Seriously, I rocked this look (except for the gorgeous brunette locks) in 1992 or '93. Everything old is new again.
So, what looks are you craving for fall? Seen any other trends recycled of late?
Images from Talbots and Brooks Brothers

Friday, August 19, 2011

Caffeine: My Drug of Choice

So, I've been crafting a wellness-related article, warning folks about the risks of energy drinks, which have high contents of sugar and caffeine. There's been a surge in their consumption and medical specialists are warning against over-use of these drinks and the health implications.

Anyhoo, I was feeling good about myself reading these stats because I don't drink Red Bull, Monster or any of these energy drinks. Never have. Yes, I look down upon you energy-guzzling poor souls who require your jolt of energy from a multi-colored can!

But, oh yeah, I consume coffee on a daily basis. So, I must dismount from my high horse, because I do require several butt loads doses of caffiene each day.

According to the publication "American Nurse Today":

Caffeine is the most widely ingested psychoactive drug in the world.

Well, as long my psychoactive drug is presented to me in a pretty cup, I don't mind. So, I'll continue to stop by the mommy crack house, aka Starbucks, on my way to work and consume my drug of choice. Hey, don't judge me. I have two kids and a full-time job; I cook, I clean and make sure that my house runs like an well-oiled machine. Who am I kidding? After the kids go to bed, I stay up late reading a novel or watching the latest train wreck of "The Real Housewives" series. Thus, the need for giant cups of coffee in the morning.

So, dear friends, do you need caffeine to get you through the day? Coffee? Diet Coke? Other energy drinks? Or are you one of those healthy sorts who only consumes natural liquids into your system? If so, you know we hate you, right? :)

Note to Hubby: You accidentally broke my ceramic Starbucks travel mug the other day. I forgive you. But I'm waiting for the replacement model. Remember, I'm on a psycoactive drug. You've been warned.
Images from Starbucks and Lilly Pulitzer

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Day of First Grade

My eldest child started 1st grade today, so we took the requisite photos in front of the house, as well as at school. I can't believe she's already into her second year at this school, a school we have grown to love so much.

In addition to it being the first day of school, the Tooth Fairy paid yet another visit last night. Seriously, this girl has teeth falling out of her head left and right. And, of course, by the time Hubby and I got our act together, we found we had only one dollar bill between us. So we added some quarters to the loot.

Then Hubby asked, "Should we add a note about how this will help her learn to count coins, now that she's in first grade?" Which meant, "Are you going to write the note?" So, I found some pretty stationery and used my best curly-cue handwriting with hearts over the i's, because, you know, that's how the Tooth Fairy rolls. I even had the TF give a shout-out to our son, who thought that was the most amazing thing.

So, now we return to a more structured routine since school is in session. Before you know, Halloween will be here. Yikes!

For those of you with kids returning to school, starting school for the first time or if you're heading back yourself, best of luck to you and your family. It's going to be a great year!
All photos property of A Place to Dwell

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to School and A Day with the Ponies

Today marks Little Man's first day in the 4-year old Pre-K program at his school. Next stop: Kindergarten. So, I had to take a few shots of him before he left for school, because as the second child, poor little guy has far less documentation of his life than his older sister (I know, bad mommy.)

Then, of course, said sister had to join in the shot for a funny-face photo.

Big sister, aka Miss E., has been having quite the time of it over the last week, as her first day of school approaches this Wednesday. Between alternating days with my dad and my mother-in-law, she's been living the life. Last week, Grandpa took her to the backside at Churchill Downs to watch the morning workouts, visit the horses and have breakfast at the track kitchen.

Ah, breakfast of champions.

The action is literally right outside the window at the backside track kitchen.

She met a 14-year old cat who keeps the horses company and the barns rid of mice.

After spending the day experiencing what most people will not - a special behind-the-scenes tour of the world-famous Churchill Downs - she later said her favorite part of the day was going to the movies to see "Smurfs" with Grandpa. Sigh.

So, friends, for those of you with kids, are they ready for school? Are you? The local public schools were supposed to start today. But, a major windstorm swept through Saturday evening, knocking out power across the state, along with major damage to homes, trees, etc. Therefore, school has been postponed for one more day.

Sometimes I feel like I live in the extreme-weather capital of the world. Sheesh!

Have a great Monday, folks!
All photos property of A Place to Dwell

Friday, August 12, 2011

New Old Home

As I mentioned in a previous post, now is the time of year for new home tours, as well as show house events which often benefit local charities. The latest here in town is the Tour of Remodeled homes. It’s another way for local builders to get their names out there, but it’s also fun and inspiring to see how older homes have been updated to accommodate modern families.

One home in particular is right around the corner from us and I often pass by it during my morning/evening walks. So, I just had to share some images of this fabulous place.

The original house was built more than 50 years ago. The remodel resulted in quite the transformation, and being more than curious over the last year as I watched the extensive construction taking place, I was so glad to see photos featured in our local paper’s "Home" section.

The family worked with local architect, Tim Winters, who specilizes in creating "new-old homes." He's well known for retaining a home's original character during a remodel. Or, when designing a new home, he's able to create something that looks like it's been there for many years, yet has the wonderful amenities that new homes offer.

Tim, if I win the lottery, I'm coming after you, buddy. Your life will be designing my home.

Happy Friday, friends!
Images from The Courier-Journal

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Do You Have a Crush on Emerson?

Did you see the interview with Emerson Bethany Fry, founder/designer of EmersonMade in this week's New York Times Style Magazine? If not, check it out.

From the interview: If you’ve read an indie fashion blog lately, you’ve probably found yourself on the Web site of the studio EmersonMade, whose chief designer and model, Emerson Bethany Fry, seems to have inspired 1,000 girl crushes.

How true is that statement? Yep, I have a girl crush on Emerson. I mean, the design business, the organic farm in New Hampshire, super-cute hubby Ryan (her partner in many of the photos on her website) and voyages to far-away lands to scout out the latest fabrics for her clothing line - what's not to love? Seriously, I'm crushing hard on that lifestyle. (Not that I'd give up my own, but a day-in-the-life of Emerson would be pretty darn cushy-cool.)

EmersonMade began with a few signature pieces, primarily floral pin accents and clutch purses. Her brand then grew to include a clothing line and other accessories. How fabulous is the London 1960s coat, above, that is part of her fall line?? Oh, to have a few spare hundreds lying around, what damage I could do.

So many of you know this story, because, like the NT Times article notes, EmersonMade is a legend among bloggers. Just thought I'd add another entry to her Google search list. :)

It's Wednesday, folks. A week from today my daughter will start first grade. Where did the time go?? I'll sign off now before I launch into a rendition of "Sunrise, Sunset."

Later, alligators.
Images from New York Times Style Magazine and

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Missoni for Target

How excited are you about the arrival of Missoni in Target stores? Can’t wait! And I love the use of Missoni family member, Margherita Maccapani Missoni (above), in the Target ad campaign. But, Missoni will only be available for a limited time – Sept. 12 through Oct. 22 – so don’t blink or you may miss it.

Now, if only kate spade and Tory Burch would do a discount line for Target…
Image from Target, via The New York Times

Monday, August 8, 2011

Starting Your Monday Off on the Right Foot

It's Monday, folks. It was extra tough to get up this morning. And, you could cut the air with a knife thanks to this oppressive humidity. So, I was in need of something refreshing to start my day, something delightful to look upon and that would make me smile.

This one is for my girlfriends; may I present Henry Cavill, the next Superman:


He was one of the main reasons I tuned into the "Tudors" each week and I'm looking forward to his take on the Man of Steel.

It's always nice to start the day off with something pretty, wouldn't you say?
Image from

Friday, August 5, 2011

Football Season Approacheth

Summer is officially winding down. Miss E.’s day-camp ends today and then she has one week of “freedom” before first grade. We ordered her a new backpack last night – her one from kindergarten is apparently too small. At least this one will get her through a few more years. I told her she better like purple and green for a while, because I’m not buying an L.L. Bean backpack every year. Those things last forever anyway, so that’s good.

Little Man is wrapping up his time in the 3-to-4-year-old room and will be moving to Pre-K in about a week. Where has the time gone??

So, even though we’ll likely have this super-hot weather for the next several weeks, I’m looking forward to what fall has to bring, especially college football. Woo hoo! I’m trying to line up at least one excursion to Lexington for a fun day of tailgating and football with friends. I get almost giddy thinking about a big spread of food, drinks, skipping around campus and cheering on my Wildcats. I know my UK and SEC friends join me in the excitement of the season. Bring it on!

Hubby and I at a UK game in year's past. My freshman dorm is in the background. Ah, memories of living in a matchbox with a view.

I made him wear that sweatshirt. Hubby grew up a University of Louisville (blech) fan, but I'm quick to remind him that not only did he earn his master's at UK, but he's married to me. Therefore, Blue rules in our house.

And, for Hubby and many of his brethren, there’s much excitement (and a huge sigh of relief) that there will be an NFL season as well.

Because, my gosh, what were they going to do with themselves on Monday nights and Sunday afternoons?? The chicken wing industry was in great peril as well, so I'm sure BW3s and other chains like that are quite relieved that the season will go on.

Are you looking forward to football season?

TGIF, my friends. I’m planning to drop head first on the sofa once I get home this evening. It’s been a long week and I’m tuckered out. Hope you have a good one – talk to you soon!
Images from someecards, and property of

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Enjoy your day, my friends. Live life to the fullest!
Image source unknown - borrowed from Facebook

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cheers to the Happy Couple

Zara Phillips on her wedding day. She wore her mother's Greek key tiara, which had been a gift to Princess Anne from Queen Elizabeth in 1972.

Another one of my favorite royals (although her mum opted to not have royal titles bestowed upon her children), Zara Phillips, married her rugby man, Mike Tindall, in a lovely ceremony in Scotland over the weekend. Zara is the only daughter of The Princess Royal, Anne.

Zara Phillips, daughter of Princess Anne, married Mike Tindall in Scotland last Saturday.

Yet again, we were treated to a lovely dress and an adorable couple who have been together for a few years, appear to be best friends and well suited for one another. She's a world champion equestrian, he's a well-known rugby player in the U.K. You not only see Zara on the sidelines cheering Mike on, but he's right there by her side at many of her competitions. Clearly they are partners.

The stunning dress was designed by Stuart Parvin.

Prince Harry, along with newlyweds the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, attended their cousin Zara's wedding.

I've always liked Zara; she seems so down-to-earth. Perhaps that's because she doesn't have to live the fish bowl-like existence other royals do, making all of the requisite royal appearances. Granted, she is privileged - she is the granddaughter of the Queen of England after all - but she appears to have her head on straight and doesn't get caught up in the trappings that are associated with the "Life Royal."

I love this ad that Zara did for Land Rover - a nod to her life in the field and muck with her beloved horses.

A honeymoon will have to wait for the newlyweds, as Zara returns to training for her next big equine competition and Mike has an upcoming game for Glouscester Rugby. 

Cheers to the happy couple!
Images from Reuters, and The U.K. Daily Mail

Monday, August 1, 2011

Friday Night Musings

One of my Friday-night destinations, where all the cool kids hang. They let me in, too.

Friday night was Girls’ Night. While I had been looking forward to it, it took all the energy I had to head back downtown for dinner at 7:30 p.m. after a long week. But, it was one of those things that once you do it, you’re glad you did.

Dinner was great, although the AC was on the fritz at the restaurant, so while the food was fabulous, our hair and make-up were worse for wear.

Afterward, we walked to a new place called Garage Bar, that’s become known for their excellent pizza, oysters and drinks. It’s housed in an old filling station and has a really cool look and vibe. But, to say I felt a little out of place in my Lilly Pulitzer dress is an understatement. It’s where all the hipsters go, although there were some “regular” folk like us scattered throughout. I did feel a bit old. Oh, well. At that point, all that mattered as the AC was going strong, so the girls and I saddled up to the bar, order some of Garage Bar’s specialty drinks and stayed put in the cool air.

Garage Bar also is known for many of their non-alcoholic drinks, carrying a wide variety of sodas and creating a number of specialty concotions, including the P&H Soda line made in Brooklyn, as well as the Louisville Egg Cream.

One thing I found so curious that night was the immense popularity of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer among this hipster set of 20-somethings. Seriously? When did this happen? When I was in college, PBR was among the cheap skunk-juice beers that you bought because that’s all you can afford. Now, at events and bars/restaurants, I see these young professionals walking around with PBR tallboys and such. I don’t know about you, but when I got to a certain age and started making a certain amount of money, PBR was far in my rearview mirror. I’ll have an import or microbrew, thank-you-very-much. Actually, make mine a gimlet or Dark n’ Stormy and leave it at that.

So, friends, ever have one of those “Boy, I feel old” or “Why are the kids these days doing that??” moments lately? Please share so that I know I’m not alone.
Images from Garage Bar and Garage Bar's Facebook page