Sunday.

Dress: Anthropologie (very old), Shoes: Elle, Gold cross Bracelet: Susan Shaw (c/o Mayzie’s), Watch: Michael Kors. Earrings: Stella & Dot

A Fancy Flea

I learned today that a flea can, in fact, be fancy. Who knew? Yes, our little community hosted a street market of sorts today, suitably dubbed “The Fancy Flea.” Streets lined with 195 booths packed with vintage furniture, collectibles, jewelry, and and textile, impressed thousands of charm-seekers.  Shabby chic it was, and although it is not my preferred decor, there is just something about a beautiful sunny day, eclectic treasures and urban delight that makes me smile, yet  reignites a yearning for New York City, if I’m honest. In that regard, it was a bittersweet kind of day for me, I guess you could say. No trips forthcoming.  I do appreciate the creativity of others. Re-purposing in all forms speaks to me even in seemingly insignificant things like jewelry, ceramics and furniture.  The idea that someone can see beauty in something worn or misfit,  tired or worthless , and breathe life into it is soulfully inspiring. Vintage is, in a way, a reflection of the perspective I hope to always maintain:

Every person and everything has a purpose, and meaning.  Though the form, shape or interpretation, may change, the significance remains.

It was a hot one. Very hot. You can see here, Olivia is not too happy.

Dress: Target, Belt: Nilla Sheilds, Shoes: Nine West, Shades: Tory Burch

I did come home with a treasure. 4 of these Chair back covers. I think they will be great for the kitchen nook.

National Currency is NOT…

 

One thing is standing between me and a Friday night dinner engagement…well actually 2 things: this blog post and the babysitter.

Let me sum up my state of mind in one sentence,

“I almost paid the Chick-Fil-A drive thru cashier in tampons.”

Enough said. After realizing that feminine hygiene products don’t spend well, I quickly threw the tampax on the floorboard, dug for my debit card without making eye contact and sped out of the line.  I am tired, people. Very tired.

 

My Personal Dewey Decimal.

Mint. Honey Dew (not to be mistaken with “honey do”, which shall be an entirely different post in the future), and other shades of green were on my mind Monday, as I ventured to Jury Duty in my brand new mint crop pants.  I didn’t post that day because I was a bit traumatized, to be perfectly honest.  It wasn’t due to the fact that I was cattle herded to the court-house to serve my civic duty, but rather that I nestled quite snuggly in line with a stout woman making, perhaps, the oddest fashion statement I’d seen since 1999. Back in college, it was quite commonplace to see folks on a pizza run or at Kinkos  wearing pajama pants.  However, the expiration date on this sort of behavior occurs sometime around age 23. My fellow-juror, clothed in ‘well-loved‘ tweety bird flannels, a shrunken grey tank top and puffy pink bedroom slippers, clearly chose a far more irreverent response to “showing up” for service. I, in both shock and horror, had a difficult time hearing my panel assignment because I was distracted by thoughts on what goes through one’s mind when deciding to wear cartoon pajamas to the court-house. Rather than to decide the fate of one’s future, she should have been taken into fashion custody immediately and interrogated on her bizarre presentation.

Shortly thereafter, it was clear that I’d  fallen prey to another oddity:  I had created a type of Dewey decimal system for clothes categorization in my head.  This, seemingly, another benefit of hours waiting in jury duty, enabled me to study and place a variety of different looks internally.  I noticed that juror 456754 was wearing a Bandolino trumpet skirt, with an accordion trim lining the hem, that seemed remarkably familiar. This skirt was one sold by Steinmart in the fall of 2004, and one that I owned.  It was as if the lady checked it out of my memory and all the biographical statistics on its origin, style, brand, retailer were instantly parading around the room, ” Fashion 391.54.  Bandolino. Skirt. Trumpet Steinmart 2004. Due in Two weeks.”

The Dewey Decimal System of my mind. Funny… I couldn’t locate the tweety pants? I suppose some things are without category. I was released early from duty and went for a coffee.

Blouse: Elle for Kohl’s (current), Pants: The Loft (current), Scarf: Target (old), Shoes: Charles David (old), Sunglasses: Chole (old)

Simple Saturday

It’s a simple Saturday.  Easy Breezy.  I felt creative. I took it out on my clothes…and a collage app on my iphone.

Skirt: Loft (current), Tank: Target (current), Belt: Target (old), Wood Jewelry: Birch Hill (VERY old),

Turquoise & Gold Jewels: Stella & Dot (Spring 09/10)

The Coffee Guest

Thursday afternoon, I met my husband at our local coffee shop for a moment of caffienation. About 5 minutes into the visit, we were approached by a most unusual young man.  He was tall, dark and handsome, clearly frazzled and drenched in sweat. He carried a laptop case and a cell phone that he glanced at periodically as he began to speak. It was clear to me that he had identified us as “nice” people and was prepared to appeal to our soft side. His petition went something like this,

Hi my name is William, and I know you are going to think i’m crazy, but you seem like nice people. The thing is, I need help. I’m trying to get to Daytona to pick up my 19 year old sister.  She is in an abusive relationship and I have to get to her, but I’m a little out of luck. You can only imagine how hard it is to be so young and in such a dangerous situation. I’m her only help, but I’m having a hard time myself and don’t know how I’m even going to get to her. You’d really be paying it forward. It would be a blessing and I would really appreciate it.”

At this point, I’m keenly aware that he is going to ask us for money. So I, looking at Steve, suggest “Do you have any money?” Anyone who knows us will tell you we NEVER carry cash. I often put $1.61 cup of coffee on a debit card and don’t think twice about it. Steve looks at our newfound friend,

“I don’t have any money, but I have a free coffee card you can get anything you want to drink.”

“Are you serious!?  You’re going to give me a free coffee? An iced coffee, right ’cause it’s hot!  For real!? Oh my gosh! That is so nice. That’s why I love the Lord and love being a Christian. I am so excited. It’s hot and I am so thirsty. Oh my gosh. Really? THANK YOU! I knew y’all was nice people. It’s just radiating off y’all I just wish I could go to y’all’s church. Thank you Jesus.”

WHAT? We didn’t tell him we went to church or that we were even Christians, for that matter. We shared nothing spiritual. We simply offered him a drink.  Steve and I went back to our conversation, chuckling over what we just experienced.  A mere 3 minutes had passed when William resurfaced,

“Okay, y’all gonna think I’m crazy I know, but, that girl was making my drink and she started talking about Creme Brule cake and I thought, Oh Lord that would really be good. I would love a piece of that cake. So, if you could get me a piece of that cake, it’d be a real blessing!”  He continued to hover over us as we stared at each other and back at him, a bit astonished, but equally entertained. I said, “William, didn’t I just tell you we ain’t got no money?! Didn’t we just give you a free coffee card in lieu of cash? And, if you get that big piece of cake, you gonna share it with your sister or you gonna eat the whole thing???”  He began to laugh hysterically,clearly surprised that I’d engaged him in such a comedic way.” And just like that, Steve summoned the server to get William the cake and put it on his tab. But, our coffee date didn’t stop there, William jumped up and down, waving his hands, exclaiming,

“Oh my Lord! Thank ya Jesus. I just love y’all. He grabbed his cake, ran over to us“Give me a hug girl. Steve, gimme some elbow!” (Gimme some elbow? what?) He went on, “I just love the Lord! I love being a Christian and I love America!!!”, and scurried out the door.

” I love America?”  I laughed for 2 hours over that encounter and thought to myself, “God, help me to be like him…overwhelmed by goodness and seeing  you in everything, even in something as simple as coffee and cake.

Pants: Loft (recent), Blouse: J.Crew (old), Scarf: (thrifted), Shoes: Guess (old) Earrings: Stella & Dot: Current, Bracelet: Mayzie’s, Clutch: Hobo Itnl.

Wearing Wallpaper.

Perhaps you’ve wondered what it would be like to be clothed in wallpaper.  I, willing to oblige any reasonable request, decided to grant your wish:

Yep. That’s me in the middle, wearing the wallpaper.  These are my friends who attended the Polk Museum of Art’s Spring Fashion Runway Show.

This is the look I was going for:

Not bad, eh?  Truth is, I liked the dress when I bought it, but loathed it after one night’s wear.  Can’t win em’ all.

But let me show you a couple of the looks:

When I saw her (above) wearing wallpaper, I was encouraged. Although, her execution was much more appealing. Go girl.

Neiman Marcus did a fantastic job showcasing their styles.  To top it off, I was able to peek backstage at all of the merchandise. This bag had to be pried from my hands:

I’m currently accepting gifts if anyone feels so inclined. 😉

Go Shorty…

Yep. It’s a short one. It’s been a long day, and while I had envisioned a bit of story-telling this evening, I must table it until tomorrow.: Ta

shorts: Target (current), Blouse: Marshall’s (old), Shoes: Aldo (old), Jewelry: Stella & Dot, Shades: Tory Burch

“You Are Going To Africa!”

In a very passionate discussion around activity prioritization, my son, Owen made a rather bold declaration.”MOM! You are going to Africa to be with those crocodiles!” You see, when lagging in the negotiation process, let’s say, to skip a nap or leverage a park date, he gets a bit hostile. He makes very audacious assertions; usually ones that relegate me to the jaws of some ferocious beast he saw on animal planet.  Today, quite frustrated that we were not going to Family Fun Center, he lashed out. Or, so I thought.

Yikes. Crocodiles.  For a moment, I felt the need to swoop in with stern parenting prowess and discuss the reasons why we should not offer up the one who birthed us to wild animals. For a moment I wanted to sort out the details of his frustration, reminding him that an agitated and disrespectful tone would only land him in a swamp of misfortune. I was preparing a watered down version of the CASCADE coaching model, when suddenly, my delivery was interrupted by the realization that Owen had not meant harm. In actuality, he is BRILLIANT and he was only giving voice to the obvious:

Look at me! I’m dressed for Africa!

Dress: Hattie’s Branches (old), Shoes: Sam Edelman “Trina” (current), Sunglasses: Tory Burch “Spectator” (current)

All at once, my angst and disenchantment with the expressive 5-year-old was erased by the reality that he identifies fashion trends and knows how to put them in conversational context. He wasn’t angry at all. He was only giving a nod to the exquisite tribal theme he observed.

How savvy. How bright! For to acknowledge and praise mommy’s outfit, would prove to give up the upper hand in our debate. Wow.   For this, he won negotiations on an additional episode of animal planet. And yes, baby…I’m going to Africa.

Who Wears The Pants?

My husband and I recently had one of those rather uncomfortable marriage conversations. You know, the kind where confusion around gender roles and responsibilities began to muddy the waters and the signs of resentment seem to intensify. We don’t exactly  subscribe to traditional family roles. In fact, Steve is a better cook than I and much more patient with the children.  I have a day job and handle some finances (the quality of this is still to be determined). Our philosophy on gender roles is more like “whoever’s-closest-to-the-broom-sweeps.”  At least that has been my interpretation. I won’t get into the mechanics of the Saturday’s verbal exchange here, but will note that my husband is an integral part in my ability to accomplish anything.  I hope never to suggest an iota less than this truth when sharing about our family.

That being said, may I suggest that other young families begin to approach their family management strategy like corporations are attacking investments and acquisitions:  via shared risk.

Let’s take the pharmaceutical industry for example. In today’s marketplace, it’s not unusual to find large companies sharing the cost of research and development, promotional budget, and liability. In a ever-changing, and volatile environment, it makes sense to have a variety of players equally vested. In the event that tragedy strikes, or an unforseen situation occurs, nobody is left fully exposed and vulnerable.

We both work. We both cook. We both clean. We both love the children. We are both present. We are both all in.

If you’re wondering, Steve and I reconciled, spending some time appreciating each other a little more. A worthy investment, for sure. Speaking of investments and, dare I say, wise stewardship, I found myself with one hour today that wasn’t hyper-scheduled. Weighing the options of how to spend the time, I quickly settled on a visit to a local consignment outfit. The return was monumental, as I made a remarkable discovery:

“We may not be clear on who wears the pants, but we KNOW who wears the shoes!”

These Marc Jacobs mini-wedges were beckoning. With flower detail reminiscent of vintage Bakelite and a price point I could not resist, they are now planted in my closet!

Did I mention that Steve and I watched a Gloria Steinem documentary together last night?  The irony.

The Checklist

Life has become, for me, an unapologetic quest to defeat the checklist. The problem?  For each item I conquer, another one mysteriously surfaces.  What’s up with that? Do we ever really get ahead?

I would love to be able to give more time to content this evening, as typing is therapeutic for me. But tonight I just can’t.  Kids are needy. Hubby’s needy (I know this because he’s in quiet mode. I’ve heard 16 words in 24 hours). The dishes need me, as do the clothes in the washer, the suitcase that needs unpacking and the checklist goes on. I suppose breaks are non-existent for the mommy-wife-with-a-job. Who takes care of her when she is needy? I’ve yet to really discover this. Or maybe I have, in a superficial sense: Nordstrom? Facebook? Something like that?  I polished off another work week with 18 hand-written thank you’s to the people who invested their time into my professional development. Now, I’m wondering if anyone at our home notices my contribution to their personal development? I also completed a product re-certification exam, participated in a conference call, chugged a starbucks…and kept on checkin’ that list. Keep on keepin’ on, I guess.

The Future Is Looking Bright!

Absolutely no way to sugar-coat it: I’ve been swimming. In a fishbowl. Literally…a corporate fishbowl.  Front and center of  the u-shaped parade of chairs filled with our company’s top leadership and many of the senior management team, I had a my time in the spotlight.  I won’t bore you with the details, but for the last 72 hours, I’ve presented, coached, negotiated, facilitated, analyzed, and managed a multitude of highly complex scenarios in an effort to demonstrate my leadership skills and tactical thinking processes.

high exposure. high pressure. high stakes. The feedback was priceless; my gratitude immeasurable.  Last night was the graduation dinner, where I, and only the 5 other candidates selected, received praise, a certificate and special gift.

Because of my strong conviction on commemorating life milestones with meaningful gifts, I wasted no time in purchasing the perfect one:

New shades!  The future is looking bright!!

E-Day.

Happy Easter!  As I celebrate the tremendous sacrifice of Jesus the magnificence and majesty of his resurrection, I can scarcely grapple the reality:  that during the journey to the cross, his mind was on you and me. The Redeemer.  It’s mind-blowing, really.  And daily, He miraculously revives through the dwelling of His Spirit within us, so that we may walk in fresh revelation and knowledge of Him. Wow. Speaking of resurrections, I needed some uplifting in order to make it through the day’s festivities.  Luckily, I found rejuvenation in my old faithful…

Starbucks is survival, people. Really. And, without it, I can hardly handle these….

Yep, the Double O’s. Live and fully charged, they hopped right into the Easter festivities including 2 large-scaled family meals with intermittent sugar uploads over the expanse of the days events.

Skirt: Halogen, Blouse: Zara, Jewelry: Stella & Dot/J. Crew, Shoes: Nine West, Shades: Chloe

Fashion Show Luncheon

Who says you can’t have a big time in a small town? Last weekend a non-profit organization, “Live The Life”, held its first annual Fashion Show Luncheon. I was thrilled to be invited to help organize and MC the event.It’s amazing what a small group of people, with a love for fun, fashion and helping others can do!  With the contribution of local retailers, magnificent models, and hospitable volunteers, we ushered in Spring Style with nearly 100 guests. Guess what? I even took a stroll down the runway! How fun is that!? Livin’ the dream, I tell ya. Livin’ the dream!

Fashion Defiance

Yep, these shoes are pastel pink. Nope, not wearing any pink. My feet are sick of running around nude all the time. It’s embarrassing. Now, they’re blushing. Other examples of fashion defiance noted here are the full length trousers transformed into crop pants, a mini dress turned tunic and  load of mis-matched necklaces that decided to meet up for lunch. I took them to J. Burns Pizza. It’s Friday, people. Let’s get happy!