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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

mustard done right

It's October, and while others are seeing ORANGE, I see MUSTARD.



Can you imagine the above dining room with a graphic black and white pendant lamp?


Mustard looks polished and complete all by itself but it also goes so beautifully with other color combinations. It moves easily from Fall to Winter (think greens or reds or even deep fuchsia, depending on your taste).  It can even transition to Spring, which visually speaking, is always my pull...


I think mustard is calling my name.

And the CUTEST mustard of all?

Have a great day!

Friday, October 17, 2014

chubby hands and cheeks

I never felt drawn to this image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Until lately. It's in our "study," a room I am more and more grateful for. It's small, off the kitchen, is more serious in nature with a bookshelf and a couch that can unfold when guests come. It's where I pray best when I can't go to a chapel.

I will leave the contemplation of the expression of her eyes to you. 

If you look closely, you can see baby Jesus' hands wrapped around Our Lady's neck. I never saw that before. It's such a real position, as my baby reminds me of daily. He needs her. He loves her. She makes him safe. And he chooses her, too, not just her, him. 

The time when my daughter's chubby  baby fingers cling to me and she presses her cheeks against mine will not last forever. She will grow and she won't cling to me so literally. For now, I am reminded of the greatest of this tiny gift.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


So, I normally check out decor blogs when I have 5 minutes. But, this morning, I was in some major need of inspiration for style ideas for MYSELF. You see, I keep telling myself when I look in the mirror that that isn't really what I look like. I mean, my stomach and hips just aren't that big.

Do you ever look in the mirror and think the same things? It's hard to come to terms with the less-than-ideal you. And I know I just had a beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful baby. I KNOW! But, I want to feel good about myself, too, now, and not a year from now ( fingers crossed! HAHA).

I am being brutally honest today, my friends! So, after searching for "mom style blogs" I came across the pleated poppy and stacey thacker (through the pleated poppy) "what I am wearing wednesdays." They were fun, spurred my imagination a little, and gave me access to a bunch of pictures of women who have similar problem spots as I do in their own outfits so I could judge what styles best flattered them, and therefore me, before I started out on my shopping day. When I am my best weight, I can get away with a lot. Now? Almost nothing;) ;). I have to be really choosy, I realized.

I stopped by my favorite Marshalls ( a funny aside: my bf Michelle in Md counts the number of times I say Marshalls when we talk) this morning and after trying on 12 pieces, only came out with one. BUT, I educated myself on what looks flattering on me right now so that I present the best me I can. AND, I picked up some Tahari leopard dress shoes with a low heel ( so I don't end up taller than my hubs) for $40.. instead of $250!! That was an investment because I haven't bought dressy shoes in who knows how long and also a nod to my femininity.

Days like these are so vital to us women, and especially moms. I have learned over the years what the job description of a mom entails, and one of the parts we downplay is taking care of ourselves. Part of our job is exercising, pampering ( within the budget), and yes, shopping for clothes that suit us. It's all a part of life.

Have a great day!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

things i'm loving

So, when I look at other blogs, I notice a couple of things I like.
1) Presentation
2) Soul
3) Subject Matter
I am hopeless at number one for the time being. My pictures look fuzzy and my layout is pretty standard. For that, I am sorry, because I know how nice it is to have a clean finish!

But I hope to deliver both 2 and 3. At least, that is why I am here. I like to see personality come through other blogs. If it is flat, no matter how pretty the pictures or how good the subject matter, I have a hard time coming back. It's like having a conversation with someone who just won't take it a step further and keeps everything at arms length. I don't want to invade privacy, I just want to know there is a human being in there, you know? Unfortunately, Americans ( in general!) have perfected the art of hiding themselves from the world. Eyes that look out and will stare you down 'til the cows come home, but won't let you in. There is a woman who worked at one of my favorite stores on the Key that I got to know. One day we were talking about different cultures and she related that while vacationing in Spain, she met someone and knew instantly that he was Cuban by his eyes. Sure enough, she was right. In the words of Michael Franti, "can you say what you mean, can you mean what you say, every single day?"

And here are some pics of things that really caught my eye ( the reason I began this post in the first place! haha). I love to see some recaps of what other bloggers are liking for fun so I thought I would do it, too! I can't remember the sources, but check out the yellow door, the dark blue dining room ( gonna keep that in the back of the mind for the future), and gold grout (and her printed blouse while you are at it)! Awesome!

Have a great day, friends!

Monday, September 8, 2014

things you don't see every day

I was flipping through some magazines and a few things caught my eye. I think they were from Southern Living, but I can't remember. By now you know I am technologically challenged and I can't flip the pictures the right way. I keep forgetting to ask hubby, but wanted to post since its been awhile!

1. The covered desk.

And why not? It is a beautiful way to work, and can be really cost-effective if you buy a sturdy but cheap table.

2. The living nook.

Sometimes living rooms are beautiful but rarely can you imagine yourself really lingering there. But this one is completely surrounded, making it so inviting!! It's like the window seat, only way better. Well done.

3. The cluster room.

You know how family room/kitchens are the catch all but also the places that are seen by everyone? That always bothers me. But this house plan allows for a cluster room off the kitchen and part of the mud room- think grocery bags, laundry baskets waiting to be washed or folded, things you dump from the car like pool toys and backpacks- all this stuff that is too much for the typical mudroom to hold and that ends up in the kitchen. I hope the future of home building takes this route!!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

sad funny man


Like you, I have been checking out Robin Williams clips on Youtube. Watching his breadth of material, especially live, reminds us of the depth of his talent. He is a household name. And all of us wish he had had a better end.

I came across this in one of my favorite books by Josef Pieper entitled A Brief Reader on the Virtues of the Human Heart.

... a person, who in the final analysis is in despair, can appear to be a thorough-going optimist in the penultimate concerns of existence, such as the naturally cultural, to others and to himself, so long as he is able to seal off radically the innermost chamber of despair, so that no cry of pain can erupt outward ( and it speaks volumes that the contemporary man of the world has made a real art of this).

I am not smugly sitting in judgement of Robin Williams. I know he suffered more than I will ever know. Pieper's line, "no cry of pain erupt(ing)" reveals something of the physical/emotional/mental agony a despairing person feels. I am merely suggesting that this is occurring more than we realize in the people around us, perhaps even in ourselves.

Leo Tolstoy is probably my favorite author for many reasons. One of the things he highlights in his books is the living on the surface and according to very nuanced but real social rules required by the Russian upper class. This unnatural way of behaving is pitted against some very natural people who either don't know the rules or know the rules and follow them, but loathingly. Anyway, I bring this up because I see the same thing every day in the world around us. We are not dealing with a war at our doorstep or an outbreak in Ebola ( and lets all stop a moment to pray for these people!), but we are dealing with something just as deadly: the lack of a whole, unified existence.

Ok, so that is sad. What to do? Well, if you haven't read the above mentioned book, start there! I am reminded of the inner order we are created to have by reading things like this. Its not a self-help book. Rather, it is an intellectual study of how man is created within himself. And then, as a good friend put it, "spend time in prayer each day, getting to know God and yourself."

I hope you have a thoroughly happy day, my friends!