Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jack Rogers or Bonannos?

I’ve always loved the look of Navajo sandals made famous by Jack Rogers of Palm Beach. But, then there is the Bonanno sandal, pretty much identical to JRs, which are very popular as well. So my fashionista friends, if you have these sandals or are in-the-know, is there a difference between Jack Rogers and Bonannos?

They’re pretty close in price, although Bonannos are about $10 to $15 more than the basic Jack Rogers sandal.

Here's Jacqueline Kennedy sporting Jack Rogers on a Grecian holiday. Hey, if they were good enough for Jackie...

Perfect shoes to sport around a beach-side town. My birthday is coming up - may need to send a gentle reminder to Hubby. Not that he needs a reminder because we have the same birthday. But, more like a suggestion, such as "Hey, these are the shoes I want for my birthday. How 'bout it?"  Too subtle?

Happy Thursday, friends. The weekend will soon be here!
Images from the Associated Press

Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer State of Mind

Happiness is the beach.

In the not-too-distant future, we shall make our annual pilgrimage to the Outer Banks. I've been dreaming about lazy days by the water, sand between my toes, the smell of sun tan lotion, the sound of the waves crashing, cocktails at dusk and daily naps.

Thanks to those of you who provided feedback on the Scout bags. I ended up going to a local boutique and walked away with the largest-of-the-large, the Scout Four Boys. The young woman at the store said it's very popular for the beach and the pool. But, as I put it on my shoulder again last night, full of towels, it just dwarfs me (I'm only 5'2 as it is). I can see where it got it's name - I think you could fit four actual boys in it. So, maybe I'll head back today and exchange it for the next size down.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, friends. Our pool opens tomorrow, so I hope to put my feet up, soak in the sun and slip into a summer state of mind. (And, yes, I'll be reading book two of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" series by the pool. Don't judge me!)

Images from and designismine.blogspot

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

'Scouting' for Summer Totes

Has anyone ever purchased a Scout bag? Are you pleased with it?

I'm looking for a new beach/pool bag that will carry our many towels, sunscreen, toys, etc. I like the look of them, but I wonder about their durability, since they're not canvas. Also, what size would you recommend? The Original Deano? Is it big enough? Rather than ordering online, perhaps I need to visit a local shop that carries them. Thanks in advance for any consumer info you can provide!

Can you believe Memorial Day is almost upon us and that the pools will soon be open?? My daughter's last day of school was yesterday - where did her first grade year go? It all goes by crazy-fast.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Image from

Monday, May 21, 2012


Last week, I told you of our friend, Jim, who has been battling cancer. Jim passed away yesterday afternoon, surrounded by his family. We can take comfort in knowing he went peacefully and is no longer suffering.

Thank you again for your prayers. We'll continue to pray for his wife, son, mother and sister, as well as his extended family and friends. I don't know how to make heads or tales of why this happens. All we can do now is pray for the ones left behind.

Image from

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey

So, I finally finished "The Hunger Games" trilogy. Even though it's young-adult fiction, I couldn't put it down. Great series of books. Now, I have to find time to see the movie (and, yes, I'm still Team Peeta).

My book club's next read?

Oh. My. God.

Have you read it? Thoughts? Probably difficult to share in a blog forum such as this. I'm about half-way through. Again, OMG.

Universal Pictures has acquired the film rights to the trilogy and now the buzz is about who will play Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. Ever since I saw a number of the suggestions on various media sites, I've concluded that these two need to play Christian and Ana:

Henry Cavill

Elizabeth Olsen

There you go.

Images from Amazon, Vanity Fair and screenrant

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thoughts and Prayers for Jim

Dear friends, please keep a friend of ours and his loving family in your prayers. I've known Jim for several years, having worked with him at a television station and then when he started his own graphic design business.

His valiant battle with cancer is about to come to an end. He's in the ICU now, experiencing renal and heart failure. The priest is there and aunts and uncles have been called in from near and far. Jim is only 42.

He is such a fun guy and I enjoyed getting to know him and his wife over the years. She and I were pregnant with our first children at the same time, after both struggling to start families. Miss E and Mr. J. are our miracle babies. To see her go through this is heartbreaking, as is the thought of a 7-year old losing his daddy. But, Jen has come to terms with this, as has Jim's mom. They don't want for him to be in any more pain and are preparing to let him go with God.

I know you are a supportive community of bloggers and readers, so I thank you in advance for thoughts and prayers you send to this family. God bless, Jim.

Image property of the Montgomery Family, via Facebook.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Big 5

Happy 5th birthday, Little Man. We love you!

Image property of A Place to Dwell blog

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Summer Jewelry

One of the many things I love about summer is pairing certain pieces of jewelry with sun-kissed skin. I know, too much sun is bad and I certainly don’t advocate tanning your hide until you look like Tanning Booth Mom. (Seriously, that woman looks like she uses a Nutella skin-care regimen. So. Very. Scary.) But, some jewelry looks so much better during the summer months after a day at the pool or at the beach.

Repinned this from Alice Richardson's (Summer is a Verb) Pinterest page. How gorgeous is this?? As well as this one...


Rope bracelets are a sure sign of summer, like the one above, available from Kiel James Patrick.

How about rope bracelets paired with a YSL ring? Yeah, I'd be fine with that combo.

These rings are phenomenal. Do you have go-to jewelry for summer?
Images from Samirah Shoeva on MyStyle,, dezsosara, neiman marcus, esther boutique and 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Derby Daze 2012

Another Derby has come and gone. Our house is still in disarray from the party we hosted, but that's part of having a big shindig at your home. I didn't have the winner, I'll Have Another, but I did have a show bet on Dullahan. Can't recall what a $2 show bet paid - probably enough to buy a Coke.

Tons of celebs were in town, from A-list to D. Ashton Kutcher made the rounds, as did Tom Brady, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, Mary J. Blige, Debra Messing and many, many more. And, apparently being a Real Housewive garners you an invite to the Derby, because there were a few of them floating around as well. Don't get me started.

Here are some of the glitterati from Friday's galas, as well as Derby Day itself.

Stefi Graff and Andre Agassi. I've always been a fan of both tennis stars.

Debra Messing - love her ensemble.

Cyndi Lauper, who also served as Grand Marshall of the Pegasus Parade the Thursday before Derby. Apparently she let the F-bomb drop on live television during the parade. My kids were with my mother-in-law at the event. Hopefully they weren't paying attention at that point. 

ESPN's Erin Andrews at the Derby - love her dress, too.

Country singer Miranda Lambert was among the many celebrities who attended the Barnstable-Brown gala the night before Derby.

Here's Mr. Kutcher, clearly missing Demi, at the gala.

For those of you who bet the Derby, did you have a winner?

Now we countdown to the end of school and our beach vacation. I cannot wait. The Outer Banks is calling my name.

Happy Monday, friends.

Images from The Courier-Journal

Friday, May 4, 2012

Boat Race Party

Wednesday evening we joined friends at the Louisville Boat Club for the annual Boat Race Party. One of the events during the Kentucky Derby Festival is the Great Steamboat Race in which the Belle of Louisville takes on another steamboat in a race down the Ohio River. This year, the Belle competed against the Belle of Cincinnati and the American Queen from Memphis. It’s quite a sight to see these boats coming down the river, especially the American Queen which is HUGE.

The kids waving to the American Queen during the Great Steamboat Race 2012.

The Boat Club throws a great party – plenty of food, fun and entertainment.

Enjoying the boat race, trying not to melt in the 91-degree heat. In early May. As a friend of mine in college used to say, "That ain't right."

After this photo was taken, a wake from one of the boats splashed Miss E.'s dress. You would have thought it was the end of all creation.

From inflatable jumpies and face painting for the kids, to good libations and conversation among the adults, a fun time was had by all. The kids were especially thrilled to take what they called “the secret tunnel” under River Road to access the boat docks.

Thanks again to our wonderful friends for inviting us!

Derby is knocking on the door, kids. Do you have a pick in this year’s Run for the Roses?
Images property of JMW A Place to Dwell blog.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

On Fire Baby

Tomorrow is ladies’ day at Churchill Downs and by saying that, I mean that it’s The Kentucky Oaks, which is an all-filly race. So, girls rule on Oaks Day!

If you’re heading out to the track to watch the Run for the Lillies, I have a horse to recommend: On Fire Baby. Honestly, I don’t know a lot about how well this horse has fared in other races, but Jockey Joe Johnson, who will ride On Fire Baby in the Oaks, came to my daughter’s school yesterday and spoke to her first grade class. He wore his jockey silks and handed out autographed stickers and button pins. So, as you can imagine, Miss E. is all about On Fire Baby and I greatly appreciate Mr. Johnson taking the time to talk to the kids.

In addition, On Fire Baby is considered an ambassador for Horses and Hope, a program that helps those who work on the backside at the track get cancer screenings. In a recent TV interview, Baby’s trainer, Anita Cauley said "Backside workers don't get a chance to go to doctors or get these appointments set up. Their schedule is very hectic.” And, in most cases, the workers don’t have insurance. So, the Horses for Hope program provides free mammograms and other breast cancer resources to horse industry workers and their families. The Kentucky Oaks has become known as a day to commemorate breast cancer survivors and attendees are encouraged to wear pink to support the cause. Another great reason to cheer on Team On Fire Baby.

Also, On Fire Baby is on Facebook! Her team is trying to get 1,000 “Likes” before Oaks Day, so if you have a chance, stop by her FB page, give her a thumbs-up and check out this beautiful filly.
Ladies, if you're going to the Oaks tomorrow, be sure to wear pink to support the cause. 

Gents, you can get in on the action, too, with a pink tie. And, be sure to enjoy the traditional drink of the Oaks, a Lilly, while cheering on the fillies. Go, Baby, Go!

Images from and On Fire Baby's FB page

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

College: Public or Private?

I heard a story on NPR this morning about the rising costs of liberal arts educations and the question of whether or not these top-tier schools are preparing students for the workplace once they graduate. With the decline in the economy and lack of jobs, many parents, educators and employers question studying Plato and Socrates for four years, while amassing tens of thousands of dollars in debt, with no job prospects in sight. While a young person may have a degree in philosophy or French from an elite private college, will his or her counterpart who studied business or engineering at a state university be far more likely to find a job? (For the entire story, see and listen to an excerpt from “Economy Puts Value of Liberal Arts Under Scrutiny.”)

This can be argued both ways and my husband and I can view it from both sides.

Hubby went to a small, private liberal arts college (above). Here he is enjoying that fine education and all it had to offer.

I went to a large state school (above). Sorry, couldn't track down a photo of me in the early 1990s. Count your blessings.

We both majored in English. We’re fortunate to be English majors who are gainfully employed in the corporate world. And, Hubby one-upped me by earning a masters in international diplomacy and commerce. From my alma mater, though. :)

So, when it comes time for our kids to start looking at colleges, we can see the pros and cons of going small-private or large-public. Of course, finances are going to have a huge bearing on the decision. From the time they were babies, I tried to teach them to say, "scholarship." Seriously, if I have to send my kids to a learning center or tutor to bump up test scores, or enroll them in every sports clinic available to get an edge on athletic scholarships, I’ll consider doing it. Education is the foundation for success. I truly believe that.

That being said, mommy and daddy want to retire one day, kids. And we can’t borrow for our retirement. So, be ready to help pay your way. Yes, I’m serious. No, you can’t go to the University of Hawaii and minor in surfing.

What are your thoughts on higher education? Public or private? And for those kids who may not mesh with a 4-year college setting, what are your thoughts on trade schools? Please share!Images from NPR-Boston Radio, Centre College, University of Kentucky and final photo property of JMW A Place to Dwell blog.