Monday, January 30, 2012

Tattoo You?

Thank God when I was in college and my girlfriends and I were thinking, "Hey, let's go to Tattoo Charlies and get a tattoo!", that we quickly sobered up enough to realize what a baaaaad decision that would have been.

If you have a tattoo, I don't mean to offend. I'm just glad I didn't opt for the permanent ink, especially after having two babies (one who weighed 9 lbs, 11 oz.) and a career in corporate America. A Tweetie Bird on the ankle just doesn't work on a 38-year old. And, it always makes me think of Vince Vaughn's line from "Wedding Crashers" where he sees a tattoo on a girl, cocks his head to the side and says, "Tattoo on the lower back? Might as well be a bull's eye." Crude? Yes. True? Also yes. Remember, gals, try to keep it classy.

Sorry if I sound judgmental here (Who, me? Judgmental??). Feel free to disagree. I totally understand free expression and the love some folks have for tattoo art. To each his own. It's just not for me. Or my kids.  ;)

Happy Monday, friends. Onward.
Image from

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cheers to the Weekend

Vodka or gin? Shaken or stirred? Dirty or neat? Best martini ever?

It's Friday, friends. Go have some fun. :)
Image from

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blog Shout-Out

I’ve stumbled upon some new blogs and websites that I’m digging of late. If you haven’t visited these sites, drop in for a spell. Great images and fun detail.

How cute are these Southern kids?

Back Down South – I’ve been a fan of this site for a while a now, so wanted to share it with you. It features brief Q&As with a variety of Southerners and Southern transplants, as well as great photos of each person or product. You may even recognize a blogger or two in the mix. BDS has a cool Tumblr site, too.

Van of Necessary and Proper

Lauren of Necessary and Proper

Necessary and Proper - Lauren, Van and their dog, Summer, live in D.C. and use this blog to capture life in Georgetown and Capitol Hill, but with the main focus on fashion and social activities. (Do young staffers in D.C. have social lives outside of their political jobs? If not, maybe Lauren and Van can help.) The site is similar to Atlantic-Pacific, but with a guy/girl twist and includes updates on parties, home decor and other topics.

Also, have to give a shout-out to Garden & Gun's redesigned website. Be sure to check out the latest issue which features the South's 50 Best Bars (only one in Kentucky, folks?), as well as great interviews with Morgan Freeman and Lyle Lovett.

Any new blogs or websites that you've stumbled upon lately that are worth noting?
Images from Back Down South, Necessary & Proper and Garden & Gun

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On the Road

I was south-bound to Lexington this morning for a meeting. If I have to drive 1.5 hours early in the morning, at least it's through beautiful horse country. The image above was taken on Versailles Road, in Woodford County, the heart of Thoroughbred country. And, I swear, I didn't take my eyes off the road (barely) while taking this picture. (My police officer brother will likely give me grief over this photo.)

Having gone to the University of Kentucky, I could drive this route in my sleep. Central Kentucky is a beautiful area. And the people are great. I stopped into a Starbucks for a pick-me-up and chatted with the guys behind the counter. They even gave me a free pack of the new Blonde Roast to take home with me. This doesn't happen at my Louisville Starbucks. The hipsters working those counters don't have time for chit-chat. (Side note: I like the stronger taste of Starbucks regular coffee better, but I won't pass up free coffee.)

So, onto Keeneland where I picked up a gorgeous framed print they are donating for our school's auction fundraiser. I could barely fit it in my car - thanks for an awesome gift to our school!. It was great driving through the grounds of Keeneland, especially when it's so quiet, the sun is peeking through the clouds and a meet is not in session. It's such an amazing place. If you ever get a chance to take in the beauty of this race course, do so.

So, I'll wrap up my work day in Lexington and then head back 1-64 to the homestead. Like I said, if I have to travel on business, at least it was to one of the prettiest places on earth. :)
Image property of JMW A Place to Dwell

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Movie Love Stories

How true is this?

"Up" is so sweet and poignant. I love films like this that are meaningful and humorous to kids and parents alike. The "Toy Story" series is the same way.  

What do you think is one of the best love stories on film? "Casablanca" immediately comes to mind, but beyond that obvious answer, what else?
Image from

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Good Pair of Boots

My vintage western boots - enroute to my house as of today. Can't wait to slip these bad girls on.

I was inspired by an article in the February issue of Southern Living to finally buy the cowgirl boots I've always wanted and to go vintage in the process. One shop in particular, Goodbuy Girls in Nashville, is said to have the best selection of vintage western boots in the South. So, while my boots didn't come from there, I was still able to get a less expensive and greener option. At least I don't have to break them in.

Ever been to Goodbuy Girls? If so, let us know if they really are the tops in pre-owned boots, clothes and accessories. My girlfriends and I may need to plan a road trip down to Music City.

Do you own a pair of western boots? If so, what makes them special to you?
Image from ebay

Quick update on our friends: Late Friday, our friends B and C officially became parents of Emma! I was almost in tears reading their recap of when the adoption went through and seeing photos on Facebook. They are traveling back this week; in fact, I think B is already home with their 8-year old daughter who has been staying with family for the last two weeks. Thanks again to everyone who said prayers. Such a blessed time!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Goodbye, Etta

I was standing at the lunch counter at an Italilan grocery today, waiting on my Muffaletta sandwich, when I heard one of my favorite songs, "At Last," by Etta James. I think I even swayed back and forth a little bit as I listened to it. Then, upon returning to the office, I learned of Etta's death.

Thank you, Ms. James, for your contribution to the world of music. That voice of yours will be sorely missed.
Image from Argo Records

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

I recently discovered the Nashville band Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. I am LOVING their sound. It's a little Indie rock with some Country influence. 

Drew's wife, Ellie, also is a member of the band - love her voice! Her sound reminds me a bit of Alison Kraus. I checked their site about tour dates and unfortunately, they're not making it to my neck of the woods. Maybe Hubby and I need to take a trip down to Nashville and catch them in their hometown.

Anyhoo, if you haven't heard Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, here's a live version of Drew and Ellie singing "Hung the Moon."

And here's a more rockin' tune of theirs, "Fire and Dynamite."

Any new music you have discovered of late?

Happy Thursday, friends. One step closer to the weekend. Thank you, God.

P.S. - Quick update on our friends, B and C. Baby Emma arrived on Tuesday night. Yay! Now, they are waiting the requisite 72 hours before they can bring her home. So, we continue to p in hopes that everything goes smoothly with the adoption. And we pray for the birth mother who is likely dealing with a lot of emotions. But, what she is giving to B and C, as well as to Baby Emma, is the ultimate gift of love. Thank you again for your many prayers.
Images from, and YouTube.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Technology Addiction

You know you're a frazzled mother when the barista at the coffee shop has to tell you that you have a "Hooray!" sticker on your scarf.

It doesn't help my "frazzledness" (yes, I'm deeming that a word), now that I'm up to an iPhone, an iPad and a Kindle, in addition to my laptop and iPod. Could I be more connected? And when I say that, I'm not bragging. I'm a little concerned.

And while I've been MIA the last few days due to work and general life stuff, unfortunately, it's not because I've been offline. I've been super-online, if that's possible. From work to my email accounts, yes, accounts, I'm plugged in constantly. Do you ever feel that sometimes you're hooked up to too many devices? In a way, it's good. For instance, yesterday I immediately received a text, email and phone messages from my kids' schools letting me know that they were safe and sound after a tornado hit Lousville. (Yes, we had a tornado in January. That's what happens when it's 60 degrees one day and 36 the next. I live in Crazy-town, U.S.A.) In other ways, it's bad, because it prevents you from doing other things you SHOULD be doing, like sleeping.

And speaking of the Internet, what do you think of the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property (Protect IP Acts)? Is it something that could help protect media companies (because, you know, Hollywood needs protection) or will it hurt certain Internet sites and hinder the free-flow of information? While I understand the need to stop copyright infringement, it smells a little like censorship to me.

Wikipedia and Google, among other sites, are protesting today. Try to logon to Wikipedia and see what happens or visit Google and you'll see the image above. I doubt in their current form the bills will pass, but it will be interesting to see the form the bills may eventually take.

And, should the bills pass, will there be a trickle-down effect on blogs? While I provide the source to every image I post and link directly to a source within an article, could I, or any of us, be in violation of certain laws? Something to ponder.

Maybe in the end, it'll be a good thing, because it'll reduce the amount of time I'm online. :)
Images from Google and etsy, via Pinterest

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Progressive Dinner - The Planning Begins

Thanks to everyone for your prayers for our friends. C has been providing updates on Facebook daily, so I’m hoping she has some good news to share very soon. I’ll be sure to follow-up with you once I hear something.

Onto the question of the day: Have you ever hosted a progressive dinner party?

I may have mentioned this, but Hubby and I were strong-armed talked into hosting a progressive dinner party with three other couples. The dinner party will be an auction item at our school's fundraiser next month. Hey, anything for the kids, right? Ugh.

Now, the pressure is on to make the event extra nice - worth bidding on. So, I'm a little uptight about the whole thing. Pleasing the auction winners, creating the right mood, serving the right food and drinks, worrying about how my house looks compared to the other, larger houses hosting the event. (The dinner will take place in mid-to-late April.)

We've opted to host the first part of the evening: cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. One thing we're going to do to take a little pressure off is hire a bartender. Oh, and did I mention that the group (before I was asked to join) decided on a Willy Wonka theme? Well, that came out of one mom's desire to host a candy bar at the end of the night. So, when I heard about it, I just nodded with my crazy-eye face. But, I have to say, it has added some creativity to the evening. Hubby has come up with some great signature cocktail names: The Wonka Whiskey Sour, the Veruca Salt Magarita, to name a few.

So, dear friends, would love to hear if you have hosted a progressive dinner, or attended one, and tips you would offer for its success. What did you do to prep your house in advance? Any dos or don'ts worth sharing? What were some of your favorite things about one you attended?

Thanks for putting up with my party-planning anxiety. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sending Prayers to Mississippi

I know all of you in Bloggerville have big hearts and are supportive beyond belief, so if you don't mind, please say a prayer for our friends.

"B" and "C" are a wonderful couple at our church. Their daughter is in second grade at our daughter's school and the girls played on the same soccer team two years ago. They are involved with everything and help everyone. I think we all know a couple like this.

Right now, B and C are in Mississippi, awaiting the arrival of the baby they will adopt. They've waited many years to have another child after experiencing secondary infertility. They've had other adoptions fall through, so the fact that they've come so far is such a blessing. But, now they wait in a place far from home, far away from their 8-year old, worrying about what the future holds.

When they arrived last week, the doctor said he couldn't induce yet. Then, once the baby does arrive, B and C must endure the 72-hour wait period for the adoption to go through and for them to be able to leave for Louisville with the baby. On top of all of this, if the birth mother is not back at work by Jan. 22, she'll lose her job. (This part I don't fully understand - what the heck kind of employer is this??) As you can see, there are a number of factors making this a stressful time for all involved.

So, if you don't mind, please say a prayer for a healthy birth for baby and birth mom. Pray that God gives B and C strength as they wait this out. Pray that the adoption goes through so that B and C can return home with their baby girl in a timely fashion. And please pray for the birth mom that she has the support she needs from family and friends and does not lose her job. (Seriously, I still can't get over this part. I really need to find out where she works and add them to my "list.")

Thank you so much for considering my request!! God is good and prayer is powerful.
Image from via Pinterest

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Morning Routine

Me before my coffee in the morning:

What my first cup of coffee looks like to me as I take it my hands:

Yeah, coffee is my rock star.

I wish my morning routine involved getting up early (earlier than normal), hitting the treadmill and then partaking in a cup of coffee in a civilized manner. But, my reality is falling out of bed, stumbling to the shower, then grabbing coffee with a shaky hand because my body needs to feed its caffeine habit. Oh, well. Such is life.

What does your morning routine entail?

I am proud of the fact that I got a run in before the sun went down yesterday. The weather was mild and I craved an outdoor run rather than the treadmill in the basement. When I returned, I learned I missed an interesting conversation between father and son.

While watching a program on the Disney Channel where a mom was pregnant and about to deliver, Little Man asks, "How are they going to get the baby out?"

Hubby: "They're going to the hospital." (Safe, round-about answer.)

Little Man: "Oh, does she then open her mouth really wide?" (Pointing to his mouth like a doctor with a tongue depressor)

Oh, Lord.
Images from Aaron Corter Photography and Starbucks via Pinterest

Monday, January 9, 2012

All-Sports Weekend

How was your weekend?

Our weekend was centered around basketball and football viewing, which I imagine was the case in many households across the country. 

Saturday we ventured down to Lexington to watch the University of Kentucky take on South Carolina. It was an easy win for us, so not very suspenseful. But, it's always fun to cheer on my Cats in person.

One of the more exciting events at the game was during half-time when a fan won $10,000 after making a basket from half-court. The crowd went wild. Kroger, the grocery store chain, was offering the prize. Hubby joked that while the guy was doing his victory dance, Kroger reps were saying, "Damn it!"

After the game, we walked back toward campus to grab dinner. Along the way I took photos of some historic homes on Mill Street that I just love.

We toasted the Cats at hubby's grad school hangout, Pazzo's. I'll spend the rest of the week trying to burn off the beer and breadsticks.

Sunday was full of more basketball, the grade school variety, as we cheered my cousin's son on to victory.  

My kids adore him and he's such a good kid. His future high school is itching to have him. He's only 13 and already more than 6 feet tall. 

We closed out the weekend with one final sports event: The Denver Broncos versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hubby sported his Steelers-wear and I wore my Tebow jersey. Can you believe that touchdown pass?? Tebow is the man. I hope the Broncos can pull off a win against the Patriots next week. 

So, that about covers our weekend, minus the laundry and other mundane tasks.

Happy Monday!
All images property of JMW A Place to Dwell

Friday, January 6, 2012

Absolutely Fabulous

Oh, how I wish I had BBC America on my cable line-up. This Sunday marks the return of Pats and Eddy in the first of a three-part "Absolutely Fabulous" 20th anniversary special.

I loved the irreverent humor and over-the-top excess of this show when it ran in the 1990s. "Ab Fab" is a scream, but it's not for everyone. You either like it or you don't. If you don't, I doubt you and I would get a long. (Just kidding. But seriously, your sense of humor needs to be a little bawdy and twisted to like this show. And be my friend. Just sayin'.)

What's on tap this weekend, friends? Any big plans? I have tickets to see my Cats play ball in Lexington, so I'm looking forward to that. Then, on Sunday, Tebow's Broncos take on Hubby's Steelers in a wild card game. And best of all, it's 62 degrees and sunny in January. I won't question it if it's global warming. I'll just embrace it for now.
Image from the NY Times

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Finding Your Passion

It's a new year.

What's your passion? How do you go about finding it and making it a way of life?

Image by Neil Conway

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Winter Blues, Grays and Whites

The tree is down. The lights outside no longer twinkle. The days are cold and gray. Not the best way to start back to school and work after a colorful holiday season.

Many of our houses look so bare now, inside and out. As a remedy to this, I came across a DIY project, courtesy of Style Blueprint that could add some warmth to your front door and make the gray days a little more tolerable.

I love the look of this yarn wreath, featuring winter colors, but because of the materials, adds a little warmth to the scene. To learn how to make this wreath, visit StyleBlueprint's site.

Another post-holiday option is the magnolia wreath. You may already have one hanging on your door, or you can make one yourself. Just remove the holiday-themed bow and there you go. Or, add a bow with winter colors (again, the blues, grays, off-white, etc.) and you have a great winter wreath.

When you take down your Christmas wreath, do you replace it with another seasonal wreath or door decor? Or, are you finished for the season?
Images from StyleBlueprint

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mama Has Another New Bag

Just had to share one of my Christmas presents: a new Henry Brown bag. I've posted about Henry Brown in the past and how much I like this brand. First of all, it's the creation of a Kentucky gal and made locally. And, they are so darn cute! I have two of the totes, but this time I wanted a smaller option, the Charlie Bucket. I loved the red with brown trim, but couldn't decide on the monogram color. HB recommended a couple of colors, but said that turquoise adds an unexpected punch. So, I presented these details to Hubby and low-and-behold, it was under the tree on Christmas day. ;) Drop by and see what they have to offer.

So, is everyone ready to return to school and work tomorrow? Yeah, me neither.
I've put it off long enough, so today the Christmas decorations will come down. It's very cold and there is a chance of snow showers, which makes it a good day to stay indoors and work on bringing the house back to normal. It's a little sad. I hate to see the lights go away, especially as we head into the cold, gray season.

The new year is off and running as I've already committed to join a book club and assist with my daughter's school's gala fundraiser. I must have been high off the University of Kentucky's win on Saturday to agree to not only serve on the auction committee, but also host a stop on a progressive dinner that will be up for auction. Oy, vey.

So, friends, is 2012 off to a good start for you? Any New Year's resolutions you'd like to share?

Happy 2012!

Image property of JMW A Place to Dwell blog