Friday, April 30, 2010

Brown Hair!!

Wowser, what a change!  I have been wanting to go dark for a few years now.  Just for a change.  I have been naturally platinum blond for all my years of existence and I just wanted to spice things up a bit.  We all wish that from time to time.


So, after looking and researching and deciding my cut and color, I made the appointment, sweat in my boots and then trekked to the salon.

She began by cutting off 2 inches as to not waste colorant.  Okay, I'm going shorter.  No biggie.  She hadn't colored yet so I could still turn back.

She went and mixed the color as I sunk down in my chair thinking "do I really want to do this?"  She came back and starting applying color.  Well, it is what it is, no turning back now!

She colored, I waited, she put me in a chair to let the color set and then started to wash my hair.  It looked darker wet, but it always does.  Then she started to blow dry it.  After about half way through the blow drying, we both looked at it and said:

"the color didn't take, there is absolutely no difference!"

She mixed color at 3 shades darker than my natural color.  She said that since my hair is very healthy and hardly porous that the color just didn't attached (color apparently likes porous hair).

So, after a few hours *to think about it*, I returned for a second application.  I mean, after the anxiety and anticipation, there was NO QUESTION, I want to go dark!  I was expecting this big dramatic difference and then.absolutely.nothing!  I wanted dark!

So, we did it again, 5 shades darker, and this is what I look like today.

Kind of appropriate that I'm wearing the exact same shirt in both pictures! :-)

It's going to take a little getting used to but so far, Husband and I both like it (though I will be going back to blond eventually).

Happy Friday Y'all!!  Oh, and Happy Derby Day too!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

BOOKS - Question 1 (well, my only Question)

So, I have to honestly say I was a little disappointed that I only got one question!  After all my followers and people that email me, only one person???  But that's okay, it was a good question!  (I will take more though if anyone feels so inclinded :-)

Shannon asked: If you had thirty extra minutes, what would you do with your time?

Answer:  I either craft or read and as of late, it has been much more reading due to the hectic family schedule.  My husband purchased a Kindle as a present for my birthday last year, so in the last 8 months I have read lots of books (see list below)!  I know Husband's cousin is reading this thinking "darn Kindle" as it's not exactly the author's best friend and in that sense I feel guilty.  What I mean is, the authors don't receive nearly as much royalty from Kindle.

Moving on, what are the books I've read in the last few months and which would I suggest.

1.  Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner - That was a great read about an overweight women's struggles with finding true love.  I would recommend anything by Jennifer Weiner.

2.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett - An unbelievably enlightening book set in 1950's deep south about the friendship forged btween a young, white writer and several black women with the nickname "the Help."

3.  The Nanny Diaries and The Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin - I know several friends who have LOVED the Nanny Diaries but I honestly have to say they were just "eh" for me.

4.  Overnight Socialite by Birdie Clark - loved this book!  Would definately recommend.

5.  Prep - A Novel by Curis Sittenfeld - About a young, not-so-rich girl experiencing a well-to-do prep school and all the social struggles that come with it.  By the same author of American Wife, which I've also read, I thoroughly enjoyed both novels.

6.  Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter by Lisa Patton - loved, loved, loved this book.  I really don't want to say to much about the plot as it doesn't really thicken until about 1/4 of the way through and I don't want to give it away.  But basically, it's about a Memphis family moving to northern Vermont to run a Bed and Breakfast.  Loved it!!  Read it!!

7.  Tainted by Brooke Morgan - Okay, honestly, this book completely creeped me out because I'm a mother and this book was just weird on so many levels.  If you're not a mom, read it, if you're a mom, steer clear.

8.  The Swan Thieves: A Novel by Elizabeth Kostova - I loved The Historian but I'm on the edge with this one.  I haven't finished reading it yet so maybe it will become apparent soon and then I'll let you know!

9.  Emma by Jane Austen - I LOVE Jane Austen.  My all time favorite author.  There is nothing by her that I wouldn't recommend.

10.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - the annotated version.  I could read this book a million times over.  BUT, when I read it with the annotations, it became so much more elightening.  I suggest everyone read this book with annotations.

11.  Firefly Lane - I loved this book, but make sure you have a kleenex box handy.  Wow, tear jerker!

12. Sarah's Key - I am a sucker for any book surrounding World War II.  Mainly because my final paper in college was to take my major (applied music) and connect it some other course I had studied in my four years.  I chose philosophy and more specifically the use of music as propaganda in Nazi Germany during World War II.  Ever since I've had a soft place for WWII novels, biographies.  This was a real eye opening book regarding one particular Aryan family's connection to a Holocaust survivor.
There you have it.  I hope you enjoy

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Q & A and a little Home-Cookin'

First off, thank you so much for all the comments on yesterday's post!  But I must give credit where credit is due.  This was 100% Husband's idea, I just executed it by cutting the botanicals and putting them in the frames.  He came up with the idea, picked out the frames and searched (and searched and searched) for the book.  He had a lady at an antique/used book store on the lookout for one and she called him when one showed up!  So, it's his ingenious idea....not mine! :-)

Next, I've had a few people over the past few months email and ask me to do one of those Q & A sessions.  The ones where you comment asking me questions and I answer!  I've been a little hesitant to do this, but since I've had so many people ask, I will go for it.  Of course, I will choose as to whether or not to answer your questions because, as a good southern lady, there are just certain things I won't discuss in public or with strangers (politics and money being the main issues - though I do have my fair share of opinions!)

So, have at it.  Ask me anything!  And be creative.  I can't wait to see what you ladies ask! 

In the meantime (and speaking of southern) - here is our dinner from last night.  Overnight soaked beans, cooked in a crock pot all day with ham hocks and raw white onion, sauerkraut and homemade cornbread (not the stuff in a box).  Usually we also have fried potatoes.  Now, if this doesn't remind you of a southern, home cooked meal...I don't know what does!  Nom, nom, nom!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Husband and I love botanical prints and we would love to have some in our home.  Something like these maybe?

These are from Ballard Designs and are $139.00 each or $499.95 for the set. Wowser!

Maybe these?
Definately not as bad, but at $39.00 each, can still be expensive when you group them.

So, Husband came up with a plan, purchased the plan materials and then I executed such plan. 

Here are the supplies:

5 Ribba picture frames from IKEA ($4.99 each)
Old botanical book found at a used book store ($2.00)
Total cost:  $28.57

Final product (temporary home for all five, until we get a picture ledge for them).

Monday, April 26, 2010


I have been to IKEA once before, when I visited Atlanta a few years ago and it was love at first sight.  I purchased a few baskets and some other knick-knacks at the time and have always wanted to return to the one in Fort Lauderdale.  But, I've never never been able to sell Husband on it.
We received and catalog and Husband decided we could go and check it out.  We drove down there yesterday and had an absolute blast.  It's like a shopping carnival.  Really!  Where else could one go and buy every solitary thing ncessary to stock a vacant apartment, house or condo (groceries excluded - well, except frozen Swedish meatballs)?  You must spend an entire day there to see everything and I would suggest not bringing the children.  The bottom floor was a blur as Lallie was just finished by that point.  At least we could keep handing her interesting $0.49 toys to keep her occuppied!

They have some fantastic chairs.  Lallie insisted on sitting on every.single.solitary chair and couch, proclaiming "I like this one" with great enthusism.  We thought we'd never get out of the living room section!  This slingback rocking chair was SO comfortable, I could fall asleep in it.

Though 75% of IKEA is contemporary, which is not our style, there are quite a few Pottery Barn-ish type things.  I was surprised at how many things both Husband and I agreed upon as we never agree on anything!

We walked away with a trunk-full of stuff, for $80.00!  And, no I would not consider it junk....well, not all of it :-)  Really, we found some quality items that will serve as decor in our home.  We also purchased a few toys for Lallie.  We will be going back to get furniture at some point as it was surprisingly comfortable, and all their couches are slipcovered, so they can be removed and washed....or replaced!

The basket was only $12.99 and now sits on our kitchen table filled with those decorative landscapy ball things (you know the twig and moss balls?)  The frames were $4.99 each and quite frankly, pretty darn good quality.  You'll see in a future post what we're doing with those.  The kitty cat, can you tell it's female (look close)?  LOL!!!  We died laughing!

Alas, we could NOT leave without trying the IKEA food!  All three of us gave it the thumbs up.  Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes and ligonberry sauce for $1.00, chicken tenders and fries, swedish cookies (a whole package) and mac n cheese for Lallie.  It was actually very good and we almost bought some of the meatballs on the way out!

We will be visiting IKEA much more often in the future!  (By the way, it wasn't strange at all for us to be taking picture at IKEA, everyone was documenting their special trips.)

Busy, busy, busy!

USB cord found!!  Pictures from last weekend.

Friday night was the Relay for Life.  Here's some of my JL friends who walked in the relay.

Saturday, we went to our friend Niki's house for a "Niki passed the bar" party (as in attorney, if you were wondering).  That was so much fun!  Niki has also opened one of those gourmet cupcake businesses.  Talk about yum, yum!

Sunday, we had our friends Mike and Rachel over for microwave Stauffer's dinners!  Ha, you know you're good friends when you can eat nothing but microwave food at each other's homes!  They brought the food, we provided the ambiance! :-)  Here's Lallie with one of her Godmothers, Rachel.
This weekend, we spent Saturday with Niki's family over at our house.  We swam, ate pizza, swam some more, the kids took a warm bath.  And then, it got late, and the kids got angry, there may have even been a plastic baseball bat involved.  But not after running up and down the road a few times and jumping off the top of Sean's big truck.  Me, oh, my!  (I should note, the kids had close supervision).

Look at my little swimmer go.  We are so proud of her.  She starts swim lessons on May 10th!

Sunday, well....I'll make a whole other post about Sunday! :-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nantucket Bedroom

(Still looking for camera cord - soon, I promise!)

Husband has finally won what I call the "Lallie Bed Debate."  I want twin beds with adorable little fabric headboards, or even a trundle with a pull out bed underneath (she's eventually going to have sleep overs....she's already been on one. Well, sort of.  Husband and I freaked and picked her up even though slept soundly.  But I digress). 

Husband just thinks we should move right to full size bed so we don't have to go buy a whole new bedroom set (I have some old Ethan Allen furniture - the stuff never dies - that can be painted and used, with adorable little knobs).  I digress again.  After I saw this spread in Pottery Barn Kids, I changed my mind and decided to agree with him (we women can agree once we get what we want right?  Lallie certainly doesn't know what she wants, well, not when it comes to decor anyways, not yet).  So, we are doing the full bed.  Insert naughty witchy laugh as I smirk and rub hands together thinking wicked snide thoughts.

Is this not the most gorgeous little girl's room you've ever seen?  I am in love.

I love the pink and blue and the adorable sail boats and beach motif.  How appropriate since we live on the water, sort of.  Okay, it's a pond, but we live 1/2 mile from the ocean (okay, inlet).

Of course, being the thrifty and crafty mom I am, I will not buy some of the other matching things at their retail costs.  I can make them and have my own little mommy touch, right?

So, if I stick with this theme, I will use my new friend, MOD PODGE, and make a life preserver (because that's just so cute).  I will paint something similar to these lovely little pictures:

and I will MOD PODGE (don't you just love that phrase) and make fabric letters (seriously, $15.00 a piece? Yeah right!)

And pink and blue is so fitting considering the dollhouse I'm going to remodeling is pink and her big playhouse is pink and blue with a Cape Cod feel.

Ahhhhh.....I can see now.  Do you think I'm setting myself up for a Chevy Chase National Lampoon's Vacation expectation?  It's going to be great!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hello L.L. Bean!

Ahhh, new office.  Finally moved however, in the transfer, my camera cord has managed to become MIA.  So, no pictures of the new office or weekend for right now.  Oh well, as the saying goes "it is what it is."

Moving on.  I receved a L.L. Bean catalog in the mail yesterday.  Wow, definately not your mother's L.L. Bean anymore!  It is chock full of the cutest, affordable and colorful clothes and shoes this season.  It was actually quite hard to choose my favorites.

I am really loving dresses this season.  Last year it was the capris (which I still love), but with the heat on it's way, I'd rather where a dress for breathability.

I think I need this new tote (*want* I should not say need as I truly don't need anything).  It's lobsters and crabs in pink and green!

I really like the lattice look this year, very nautical and summery.  Perfect for some boating evenings that we have planned (eh hmmmm.....Niki/Sean) :-)

I love yellow, it happens to be Lallie's favorite color too (this week anyways).  It's just cheery and sunny.  I really like these shorts (hope you can see the print).

I love whales right now.  In fact, I'm thinking about some whale motif for Lallie's big girl room.  How preppy is this cardi?!?!?

Seriously, I'm having issues trying to figure out when to stop posting pictures.  Look at these shoes....these are a must have for boating season!! (again, for those boating evenings... eh hmm, eh hmmm...Niki/Sean).

Okay, just a few last pictures (I'll make them small to end this little post before it goes into the entire L.L. Bean New Arrivals section).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Picks - Colors that Make Me Smile

I LOVE Spring.  I adore wearing bright, bright colors to work or to play as I just feel great when I'm wearing bright colors.  Of course, my staple is Lilly Pulitzer.  During Spring and Summer, I wear at least one Lilly a day whether it be shoes, a scarf or a dress.

My faves from Lilly this year are:

The alligator Bermuda shorts.  My Husband despises Bermuda shorts, but I love them.  They are comfy, can be worn to work or play and I love these because Lallie loves alligators.  In south Florida, I could totally get away with wearing these to the office with some cute wedges.
This is my absoulte favorite Lilly this Spring.  It is just so colorful, it makes anyone smile.  I love tube top maxi resses anyways, they feel classy without showing too much skin and are super comfy.
Wedding season has begun!  This halter would be so pretty with some white flowly long pants and adorable sparkly heels.  The beadwork along the neckline just push the top from "eh" too "umph"!
Ah the romper.  I just don't feel like I could wear the romper.  But if I could, I would wear this one.  It's tasteful (as in the shorts aren't unbelievably short) and since it's silk, it would be comfy with an air of class. 

Moving on.  Vineyard Vines.  I'm not so much loving Vineyard Vines as I used to.  Their colors aren't as appealing to me this year, maybe because their too pastel.  I like the "in your face" bright colors.  But I do like this Beach House dress.
I am loving turqouise this year.  Someone told me turquoise is the color of the year, so I'm kind of surprised it was so difficult for me to find skirts and dresses that I liked.  I really would love to have this Angela Moore Lucky Day print in the necklace.  The pink and turquoise is just so happy!.

What to pair with this gorgeous necklace?  How about the Angela Moore Carly Dress.

Or this cute little tee-shirt skirt from Old Navy with just a plain white tank and the necklace to
Or the Shana Dress by Antonio Melani.  With a cute cardi for the office, I'll feel like a 1950's housewife in this one I think.

So what do you think?  What are your favorite picks this season?

Monday, April 12, 2010


Since I have caught up on weekend family activities, am not really crafting anything right now and don't have anything better to say, I'll tell a story.  Do you remember THIS story I told a while back?  Oh yeah, I have LOADS of these stories and after the fact, I (and multiple others) can laugh until our sides hurt and eyes tear.

My husband says that I'm one of those book smart people but have absolutely zero common sense.  Not the common sense as in everyday life and activities as I do tend to make good choices.  I mean, common sense, as in trying to understand jokes, getting witisms mixed up etc. I am just like Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation when he says "burn my road grit and eat my rubber."  I don't usually get the jist of things the first time around.

On top of all that, I tend to say exactly what is in my mouth and not in my brain.  My dad can attest that this has been a problem all my life.  However, this is only in my personal life.  Too date, in over 10 years of being in the work force, I can only count two times when I've let my mouth get ahead of my brain while on the job.  I'll tell those stories some day as well as they are doozies!

So here comes a "Jennifer Story" as told by my Husband.

We had just finished eating at a restaurant and were walking out to our car when Jennifer said, "Hey honey, did you hear about Vanilla Ice and the Wallaroo?"  Knowing full well that a great story was going to come out of Jennifer and knowing that she'd get it all mixed up, I egged her on and said, "no, why don't you tell me" even though I knew the story full well (it was about a goat and a wallabee in "real" life). 

Jennifer:  "Well, you know Vanilla Ice lives just north of here.  And his pet Wallaroo got loose"

Stuart:  "Really Jennifer, a Wallaoo, what exactly is a Wallaroo?"

Jennifer: (looks at me extremely condescendingly, like I am stupid and says) "Don't you know anything, it's the cross between a kangaroo and a goat!"

 Can't you just picture that?

Hahaha....have a great Monday!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Weekend Festivities

This past weekend, we went to the Palm Beach Zoo.  While small, it's extremely well organized, has wonderful animals and activities, and is just big enough for a toddler to stand the entire park in a few hours.  Lallie LOVES animals and her attention span is quite impeccable when it comes to animals, so doesn't get bored at all.  Have you seen that show Life on Discovery, the one Oprah narrates?  She loves that show and will sit through hours of it laughing and talking about the animals.
Another neat thing about the Palm Beach zoo is all the plant life they have for viewing pleasures.  Isn't this flower neat?  It's a Shave Brush flowering tree from Mexico.  Husband mentioned that it reminded him of his granddaddy's shaving brush.  It's an interesting and very beautiful tree, wish we could get one to grow here.  We would totally have one in our yard.
Our outfits of the day were all about Spring.  Lallie's little outfit was from Tar-jay.  They have the cutest, yet inexpensive clothes for toddlers.  Perfect as Lallie always stains them on the first outing!  That's okay though because dirt equals FUN!  Me, in my staple spring Lilly fashions.  I love this skirt, I have a couple of them that I bought from Hopsy a while back.  They are so comfy for casual outings.  Also wearing my fun pink and green Steven Bonannos.  These sandals, so comfy and once you wear them out, take them in for an overhaul and wa-la, new shoes!

I thought this was a funny picture, me at my best!  I'm always being silly in some way or another, and I'm also extremely gullible.  Husband convinced me that a bird pooped on me and I was searching for the poop when Husband surprised me with a picture.

Lallie, again loves animals, and isn't the least bit scared of them.  I am totally creeped out by reptiles and snakes (seriously, things without legs belong in the water).  Husband and I try our very best to not be negative about reptiles as Lallie is fascinated by them.  On the show, Life, the reptiles are her favorite and she laughs at the slo-mo reptile shots of them running.  SO (and that is a big "SO"), in order to put the creepiness aside, Lallie and I got to pet a three year old alligator.  I was proud of Lallie AND myself for taking such a risk!  It really wasn't so bad, it was actually kind of neat.
The other interesting animal.  The Bearcat.  Isn't it adorable? It uses it's tail as a fifth appendage.  It's name was Scooter, but he was so slow, I wouldn't say Scooter was the appropriate name.  :-)

At the end of our zoo trip, we let Lallie play, fully clothed, in the fountains.  Not blog appropriate, but she's such a little princess and she didn't want to get wet in her dress and leggings, so I took the leggings and shoes off and she proceeded to run across the 50 foot wide fountain area.....with her dress held up and her underwear hanging (and when wet, sagging)...out from under her!  Look at this face, not a care in the world, only fun, love and laughter.  At this age, this is all they know and I wish it could stay this way forever.  These are the days to remember!
In other weekend activities, we had the moments we don't want to remember so much.  Ah, the Meltdown.  Despite the meltdown, she's still adorable to me!

And she loves tee-ball and man, does this tiny little body have a swing!  I try to stand to catch the ball and it stings she hits it so hard!  I taught her to play a minature form of baseball.  Hit the ball, drop the bat and run to the tree before mommy can catch her.  She loves to do this over, and over, and over, and over, and over.....again.
We had a great weekend and we sure hope you did too!  Now that work has slowed down, we've moved to our new office, and company has left, I hope to be back to regularly scheduled blogging next week!