Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to all the ghouls and goblins out there!
Yes, it was a "Pulp Fiction" Halloween for us over the weekend. More than one person asked why I didn't have a hypodermic needle protruding from my chest. Given that it was a family party, I nixed the idea of that particular accessory.

Have a safe evening of Trick or Treating. For those of you in the Northeast, stay warm and hope the kids don't have to wear their snowsuits tonight!
Image property of JMW A Place to Dwell blog

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Stop a Moment, Take it In

This morning was dark, dreary and rainy. I was yet again stuck in traffic downtown, about to pull my hair out. While sitting in my car, I happened to look over at the Louisville Ballet building, where, through the large picture window, I saw a graceful dancer, spinning about the studio.

The Louisville Ballet headquarters on East Main Street in downtown Louisville.

I smiled, the traffic began to move again, and I was thankful that life slowed down a bit, at that moment, so I could see the beauty that surrounds me.
Images from The Louisville Ballet and Louisville Insider

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Do You Have Your Pumpkin?

Our pumpkins were picked from the patch on Sunday and now adorn our front porch. One lucky pumpkin will be carved and welcome ghosts and goblins Halloween night.

These days, carving pumpkins has well surpassed the scary face/happy face images we used to place on pumpkins as kids. There are kits, paint and special carving implements to help you create a pumpkin masterpiece.

How do you decorate your pumpkins? Traditional? Avant garde? Here are a few of my favorites from Southern Living magazine.

Dear Great Pumpkin,
I am looking forward to your arrival on Halloween Night. I hope you will bring me lots of presents.
- Linus

Monday, October 24, 2011


When you think of classic beauties and trendsetters, certain names come to mind: Jackie, Audrey, Babe, Grace. In the later part of the 20th century, another name was added to the list: Carolyn Bessette Kennedy.
I look at photos of her taken 14 years ago and I'm amazed to see how her style has stood the test of time. It's so sad to think that she and John are no longer here. Oh, what could have been.

Grace Kelly's eldest daughter, Princess Caroline of Monaco, also has a timeless elegance. Here she is in 1982 and this look is still in fashion with the sporty set almost 30 years later.

Caroline in recent years, still very regal and chic.

Then there’s Caroline's 25-year old stunning daughter, Charlotte Casiraghi, a dead-ringer for a younger Caroline. Her fashion sense is proving to be just as timeless.

And, of course, there’s the Duchess of Cambridge.
So stylish and chic. From the sapphire blue dress she wore during her engagement announcement to the famous wedding gown, we seem to gasp with delight each time we see her.
She’s become an instant style icon and joins the likes of Jackie, Audrey, Babe and others who inspired legions of fashion followers.

What modern-day women do you consider fashion icons? Who has joined the ranks of the ladies who have set style standards for all of us to follow?
Images from Life Magazine, The Daily Mail, Pascal Le Segretain, Vanity Fair and the San Francisco Sentinal

Friday, October 21, 2011


Yep, that about sums it up. Happy weekend, friends!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Reviews - Coming Soon to a Blog Near You

Stay tuned over the next few days for two book reviews I plan to publish. I was again fortunate enough to receive a complimentary copy of Diane Meier’s new set of short stories. If you recall, I reviewed Ms. Meier’s novel, The Season of Second Chances, last year and found it delightful.

Diane Meier, author of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

I’m close to completing Meier's “Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner” (would have whipped through these earlier, but my kids don’t seem to adhere to their bedtime schedule very well), and once I do, I’ll be sure to share my thoughts on the compilation. So far, it’s been a great read - full report soon on the way.

In addition to Meier’s stories, I’m also prepping for Gridiron Belles, a fun look at the Southeastern Conference and a guide for women who are novices to the sport of football.
Christie Leigh Mueller, author of Gridiron Belles

I, for one, am not a novice. I love football and all things SEC. So, when I heard about this book, and the fact that it’s written by Louisville native Christie Leigh Mueller, (who also is an alumnae of my high school), I reached out requesting an interview. As you know, I like to give shout-outs to local writers, artists, businesses, etc., so I thought this would be a fun blog post. Ms. Mueller and I are meeting for coffee next week when she has some down-time from her book tour. And, you Auburn fans are going to LOVE her. Stay tuned – should be fun!

My son's teacher lent me Sarah's Key, which recently was made into a film starring Kristin Scott Thomas. I've barely started it (Yes, I multi-task with a few books at a time; I know, as a friend in college used to say, "That ain't right."), and I've heard great things about it, but the subject matter is already tough to take. A little too Sophie's Choice and I can't handle that, so we'll see where how far I get. If you've read it and liked it, please let me know.

So, dear friends, what are you reading these days? Anything you would recommend? Please share!
Images from and

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Channeling Margot

For some reason, this faux fur from kate spade reminds me of something Margot would have worn in "The Royal Tenenbaums." I love this look, as well as this one:

I really need to watch that film again. Hubby gave me the DVD for Christmas one year. So wonderfully quirky. Wes Anderson is a favorite of mine. He always casts Bill Murray so perfectly in his films.  

Hmmm, now that I look at a still shot from the film, how fun would this be for a Halloween costume?? We're going to a costume party at our neighbors' house on Halloween weekend and as of right now, Hubby and I are planning to be Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega from "Pulp Fiction." All I need is a wig at this point. If we went as members of the Tenenbaum family, though, not sure everyone would get it. Still, the outfits would be fun.

Any costume parties for you this year? If so, what creative ideas do you have in store?
Images from kate spade and lavieboston

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Countdown to Halloween

Little Man taking in the many displays on "The Halloween Street" on Saturday.

Halloween is approaching rapidly and my kids are like spinning tops, wound up with excitement.

Miss E. attended a birthday party of a classmate on Saturday, where everyone was encouraged to wear costumes. So, this was the first of many appearances by Little Red Riding Hood.
Not sure why I opted to take her photo next to the trash can in the kitchen. Not a wise decision on my part.

Our Batman in his bare feet.

So, while our social butterfly was consuming sugar at her friend’s party, we took Little Man on a tour of what we call “The Halloween Street.” If you know Louisville, you’re familiar with Hillcrest, which is a street in the Crescent Hill neighborhood where residents go all-out when it comes to Halloween.

We parked a street away and then walked up and down looking at the spooky set-ups. I can’t imagine putting that much work into a Halloween display, but it’s such fun for passers-by. Then, on Halloween, people come from all over the city to Trick-or-Treat. I’ve heard that the neighborhood association helps foot the bill for the candy, because you can only imagine how much candy is given out on that night.

Little Man wanted to take photos of every house with my iPhone, and he just about did. By himself. We’ve joked for a while now that our son has quite the eye when it comes to photography. He’s our photographer prodigy. Not a bad shot of Mommy and Daddy, huh?
In every other photo, Little Man wanted to give his "scary face."

This is one of the more disturbing displays on Hillcrest. Ah, Halloween!

Outside our own home, we have a few ghosts hanging in the tree in the front yard, in addition to potted mums and fall wreaths on the front door. Pumpkins will follow with a trip to the pumpkin patch this coming weekend.

Do you decorate for Halloween? If so, how?

Happy Monday, friends. It was hard getting up this morning. Little Man was not having it. When we approached his pre-school, he said, "If they're not there, we're leaving." Sorry, buddy. They were waiting for you. :)
All images property of A Place to Dwell blog

Friday, October 14, 2011

Handbags and an Anniversary Weekend

Saw the latest from Tory Burch's handbag line on Facebook yesterday (because, you know, Tory and I are FB friends) and I'm drooling over the blue bag. Actually, the marketers are calling it "Cobalt," while the orange version has been tagged as Habanero Pepper. Hmmm, looks like a combo for a certain school in the SEC. Well, rather than in Gainseville, the Cobalt version would look fabulous in Rupp Arena this basketball season. On my arm. With new wedge boots on my feet. But, I digress.

And, speaking of Gators, how jazzed am I that Tim Tebow will be the starting QB for the Broncos in their next game? Maybe just me, the city of Denver and the state of Florida? Not sure why I've become such a big Tebow fan, since his golden arm always meant doom for my Kentucky Wildcats. But, as I mentioned in a previous post, anytime an SEC player can do well in the NFL, I'm there.

It's Friday, dear friends, and I'm sure you're just as thankful as I. The weekend will be full of typical busy activity. Our daughter has a birthday party, the kids have haircuts, leaves need to be raked and, oh yeah, Hubby and I will celebrate our 12th anniversary on Sunday.

October 16, 1999

I love you, Hon. Looking forward to dinner on Saturday night!

(And, no, the Tory Burch Cobalt Blue purse will not be an anniversary gift; it's only eye candy, as is Mr. Tebow. Although, he doesn't hold a candle to my Hubby!)
Images from Tory Burch via Facebook and property of A Place to Dwell Blog

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Outdoor Decor

Fall is my favorite time of year. The gorgeous colors, the crisp air, bonfires – it’s all there. And while the weather is a bit cooler this time of year, it’s still a perfect time to entertain outdoors and get the most out of an outdoor living space. To give you some ideas on how to decorate the area outside your home, Marissa Alan from Outdoor Living has agreed to be a guest blogger today. Enjoy!

Outdoor Decorating with the Four Classic Elements

Struggling with how to decorate your outdoor living space? You’re not alone. Despite so many great products coming out, the seemingly endless options are almost making it harder to fill out your space – you just don’t know where to start! But today, we’re going to take it back to the basics and make it simple. Here’s how you can decorate your outdoor space using the 4 classic elements:

First up is fire. Everybody loves sitting around a fire, whether it’s just to relax or having conversation with friends, so something like a fire pit is a natural addition to any backyard. They’re perfect as a centerpiece on the patio or for creating a separate area where people can go to socialize while enjoying that natural fire ambiance. As the outdoor living trend continues to grow, these have become one of the must-have accessories for the home.

Water comes next, and with it you have one of the most popular outdoor accessories – the water feature. There are so many ways to go here, and it really doesn’t matter what size space you’re working with. If you’ve got the room, you can put an extra large tiered fountain in your yard to create a beautiful focal point. If you’re working with a smaller area, a hanging wall fountain or a small tabletop design will give you all the benefits of a fountain without taking up as much space.

You might be wondering just how one implements the element of air in their outdoor design. It’s simple – with a wind chime! As the breeze blows and the air strikes the chimes, it creates a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere that will fill your whole outdoor area. And since they’re hung from above, you don’t have to sacrifice any floor space. While smaller than something like a fire pit or fountain, they make a great accessory to put that finishing touch on a patio.

Finally we come to earth, and nothing represents that better than having some plants in your outdoor space. With a few decorative planters, you can add style and greenery to the patio, giving it a lush, vibrant look. From terra cotta pots to window boxes to mini greenhouses, the options for planting on the patio are limitless. And that’s a good thing – an outdoor area can almost never have too much plant life!

As you can see, decorating your outdoor living space really doesn’t have to be that hard. Just keep those four simple elements in mind – fire, water, air, and earth – and you’ll have all you need to make a great outdoor area.

About the Author – Marissa Alan is a writer with Outdoor Living and a design enthusiast, both indoors and out. For more on items like bird bath fountains, fire pits, decorative planters, and wind chimes, visit
Image from Country Living

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Outstanding in the Field

A fabulous farm-to-table event took place last week in Kentucky and, alas, I did not attend. But, I’ve been privy to many-a-photo of friends and acquaintances who were lucky enough to join the feast, so I just had to share.

First, some background on Outstanding in the Field. If you’re a reader of Garden & Gun magazine, you’re likely quite familiar with this event/concept. From the website:

Our mission is to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it.

Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure – literally a restaurant without walls. Since 1999 we have set the long table at farms or gardens, on mountain tops or in sea caves, on islands or at ranches. Occasionally the table is set indoors: a beautiful refurbished barn, a cool greenhouse or a stately museum. Wherever the location, the consistent theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table.

Ingredients for the meal are almost all local (sometimes sourced within inches of your seat at the table!) and generally prepared by a celebrated chef of the region. After a tour of the site, we all settle in: farmers, producers, culinary artisans, and diners sharing the long table.

Milk-braised Duncan Farms rabbit with roman gnocchi, celery, nutmeg and lemon.
To. Die. For.

The Outstanding in the Field movement recently paid a visit to Woodland Farm in Goshen, Ky., which is a gorgeous piece of land overlooking the Ohio River. My neighbor blogged about the evening on Style Blueprint Louisville, so I’m borrowing some of her photos she posted on Facebook, as well as on the blog. Another blogger from Lexington also traveled to Goshen for the event, and her recap is here.

I love the idea that people bring their own plates to the event. 

The main house at Woodland Farm

Sunset over the Ohio River

If you find out that Outstanding in the Field is coming to your neck of the woods, you may want to seriously consider attending. Then, be sure to share your experience with us. Would love to hear about it.
Images from Style Blueprint Louisville and Whitney Pannell, Realtor

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Is it Friday Yet?

Yeah, I'm having one of those mornings. I feel like I've run a thousand miles before even heading out the door.

But, after leaving Casa de Chaos to drop the kids off, I took a deep breath and asked God to slow things down a bit and allow me a quiet work day. No more frazzle. So, as I was exiting the elevator in the parking garage, I saw the semi trucks in front of the arena across the street, with Taylor Swift's giant face staring at me. Yeah, God was having a good laugh.

This means that thousands will be invading downtown for her concert this afternoon. And, remember that bridge situation I was moaning about a few weeks ago? Yeah, that hasn't been fixed. So, I'll be enacting Plan "Get-the-Hell-Out-of-Dodge" later today.

Really, though, I'm not having that bad of a day. Just a bit tired and coming off a cold. Feeling much better and even went for a run last night. So, thanks for hanging in there while I rant a bit. Because, I know I can do that a lot. :)

Hope everyone has a great week. And to my Canadian friends, happy belated Thanksgiving!
Image of Maxine from Hallmark

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy 50th, Breakfast at Tiffany's

Holly Golightly never needed a reason to throw a party, but there wouldn't be a better reason than the 50th anniversary of the release of the film, "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

A new companion guide to the film has been released and features insider tid bits about the making of the film. For instance, did you know that Truman Capote wanted to cast Marilyn Monroe as Holly? Can you imagine??

Audrey Hepburn will always be associated with the iconic image of the woman standing in front of Tiffany's windows, dressed head-to-toe in Givenchy and enjoying a pastry. The stuff of legends.

TGIF, friends. We made it through another week! Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Will talk to you on Monday!
Images from fanpop and Hollywood Reporter

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.
1955 - 2011

Image courtesy of

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What Would Emily Do?

An 18th edition of Emily Post’s” Etiquette: Manners for the New World” has been published and now addresses issues of the modern age, including Facebook, Twitter, texting, email, tattoos and piercings.

New York Times book critic, Dwight Garner feels that well enough should be left alone. You either get it or you don’t. Is an 18th edition needed? In my humble opinion, for far too many in the world, yes, a copy of this book is needed, and a new edition to boot. Gift wrapped and sat in one’s lap. Or, in some cases, gift wrapped and hit upside one’s head.

I do agree with Mr. Garner’s comments about much of the book being common sense; yet, perhaps he hasn’t interacted with much of the general public of late. Unfortunately, for so many, it’s not second nature. Have you seen any episodes of “The Real Housewives” franchise? Enough said. Although, this comment in his review made me laugh:

It is perhaps overly packed too with advice so obvious you wonder if its authors question its readers’ ability to walk down the street safely. From Page 25: “Use caution going around the corners of buildings to avoid a collision with someone coming round the other way.” Roger that.

But, considering a young woman in my office parking garage recently was hit by a car, because she was staring down at her iPhone and not paying attention to the fact that she darted in front of a moving vehicle, well, that’s why there’s an 18th edition. She’s one who needs a gift-wrapped version to the head.

It is good to know there is a new generation of Posts trying to keep their great-great grandmother's legacy alive. Be sure to visit to learn more. Yes, Virginia, Emily Post has a website. Ah, the irony.

What are your thoughts on etiquette and manners in today’s society? Is it fading? Are you trying to keep it alive? If so, how? 

That reminds me - my daughter needs to write a thank you note. Rest assured, it will be handwritten and not emailed. God forbid. ;)
Image from

Monday, October 3, 2011

One More Reason I Like Football

During the fall season, Sundays at my house tend to involve laundry, something cooking on the stove (likely chili) and football on TV. And, it's not just my husband watching a game; I'm there, too. But, only if it’s a really good, old-school match-up. I won’t be tuning in to the Titans and the Jaquars – sorry. Redskins vs. Cowboys. Packers vs. Bears. Steelers vs. any team. That’s law in our house.

Now, to my girlfriends, this post may seem very football-focused, geared toward my male readers. But, if you hang on, I have something for you as well. I promise.

These days, I find myself cheering for Green Bay, since former Wildcat Randall Cobb is burning it up for the Packers. Any chance I can see a UK football player do well in the NFL, I’ll be watching. And, yesterday, as they played the Denver Broncos, I had hoped I’d see some Tim Tebow action, too. But, no, yet again he spent most of his time on the sidelines, while Orton threw THREE interceptions.

Seriously, when you have such a good guy playing for your team, who isn’t a cad like Tom Brady, or an endangerment to animals like Michael Vick, you would think you’d want to utilize him more. I know, I know. It's not about a person's values. And, there are two other QBs in line. There are politics at play. There's the concern Tebow won't live up to the post-Florida Gators hype.

But, Denver, you're 1 and 3 now. Tebow's an SEC product. And, well, just look at him:

Yeah, that's all I would need to see. You're in kid.

Happy Monday, friends!