Monthly Archives: October 2012

WIWW: Bon Voyage

Ah, fall. Thank you for arriving. Now I don’t have to feel silly about pairing pumpkin spice coffee with flip flops any more.

pleated poppy

Thursday: At least it was comfortable? Also, I love that shirt but it wrinkles if you look at it funny. (See the elbows? I ironed it ten minutes before this picture was taken.)

Friday: Have I mentioned that I love these wedges? I love these wedges.

Monday: Busted out the infinity scarf for the first time since spring. Had to take it off later because I was sweating in my office.

Tuesday I dressed up as a salted caramel mocha latte.

And today I’m wearing this:

I also love these flats. They’re purple.

Have a lovely week.


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WIWW: Snap

It finally got (relatively) chilly! By which I mean, highs in the upper 70s and lows in the 50s.

I’ll take it.

pleated poppy

Thursday: I love, LOVE, this shirt. It’s made of soft t-shirt material, but still holds its shape as a button-down.

Shirt: Loft
Skirt: Old Navy
Necklace: Honeymoon
Wedges: Payless

Friday: I got this shirt from Goodwill a few years ago, and I’ve struggled to pair it with things that don’t make me look like I’m smuggling watermelons in my trousers. Adding a belt helps, but maybe not enough. If I was thinner, or younger, or didn’t know the Holy Gospel of Leggings Are Not Pants, I could pair it with them. ALAS.

Also! I was inspired to pair the orange top with the purple flats by my friend Sarah, who successfully paired Tennessee Volunteer Orange and Amherst Purple at her wedding in May. Well played, my friend. Well played.

Top: Goodwill
Pants: Dockers Metro
Flats: Target
Belt: Shoe Station

I spent most of the weekend helping Tyler complete his science fair project. It was about Circuits, and he insisted on using the Harry Potter font for the title.

Tank: Gap
Cardigan: Loft
Pants: Loft
Flats: Target
Science: Rad

Tuesday I discovered that I need a colorful fall cardigan that works with this charcoal dress. The dress is lovely, but this cardigan swallows it whole.

(Yes, that is tin foil on the corner of the sofa. It keeps the cat from clawing. It also prevents the aliens from spying on the sofa.)

Dress: Loft
Cardigan: Kohl’s
Flats: Target

And today I threw on a white tee and navy pants, and added a colorful scarf. Done and done. I like the purple flats with the scarf, but later changed to my teal wedges, which ALSO go with the scarf, because these pants are a wee bit long.

Tee: Target
Pants: Loft
Flats: Target
Scarf: Old Navy

Have a lovely week!

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A Pinterest Fail

Hey, sometimes it happens to the best of us. And I’m hardly the best of us.

I was a debutante, which means that I have silver. Which also means that I have to polish silver on a monthly basis. Which consequently means that I have taught Tyler how to polish silver, and he greatly enjoys it.

I have been using these silver wipes, which do a fantastic job, but I have to use two wipes to polish all the silver and they’re kind of expensive. After I saw several pins like this one, and decided to attempt polishing my silver with tin foil, baking soda, salt, and boiling water. I convinced Tyler that it would be like a science experiment. We prepared our hypotheses – he stood by the wipes, while I thought the baking soda/tin foil would work better.

We were both right. In a way.

Please note the “before” picture from the Design Sponge post:

Teapot, sugar bowl, salt and pepper shakers, etc. – in other words, large items. Now look at the size of the baking dish on the left. It is mathematically impossible for all those things to 1) fit in that baking dish and 2) be covered by boiling water.

The only vessel that could conceivably fit all my silver is my large, single-bowl kitchen sink. So I lined that sucker with tin foil and realized my second problem – I could not boil enough water to cover the items in the sink. But by that time the pieces were arranged and had been sprinkled with baking soda and salt. I pressed on.


The water boiled, and I poured it over.

Even though it only covered the large items halfway, I heard pleasing bubbling sounds, and then I noticed black scum floating on top of the water. “Wow, my silver must have been FILTHY,” I thought. I realized that the black scum was emanating from the candle snuffer, because the boiling water was melting the dirty candle wax residue on the inside and SPREADING IT ALL OVER MY SILVER.

“Does this mean my hypothesis was right, mama?” Tyler asked.

When I removed the large items, they were covered with a thin film of wax. I washed off as much as I could, but I foresee another polishing this weekend.

A few takeaways:

1. While I did have some issues, the method itself is very effective. The intricately-wrought areas (such as the top of the coffee server, above) got miraculously clean…. on the side that was underwater.

2. Based on the amount of water a reasonable person can boil at once, this method is better for smaller, flatter items, such as silverware and jewelry.

3. This method is not as good for flat surfaces. The lotus bowls (above, bottom right) did not get terribly clean.

4. The candle snuffer thing was totally my mistake. Oops.

From now on, I will use the silver wipes for large or flat surfaces, and save the science experiment for small or intricate items.

Learn from my mistakes!

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What I Wore Wednesday

Still not quite fall. PUT THE CORDUROYS DOWN.

pleated poppy

I am training Tyler to be an alternate photographer. He tries hard, bless his heart. Let the record reflect that after consultation with my sartorial muse, I removed the belt. Also, that is a dark purple lace cami and dark purple suede ballet flats, both from Target.

Friday: Casual to the point of embarrassing. At least Tyler’s psyched. Sort of.

Saturday: In Thomasville. This was before we purchased the World’s Largest Trivet. See my awesome lemon bag? I love it, but the fabric does not hold up. I’ve only had it for a couple of months and the fabric is all pilled. Thank goodness I got it on clearance.

Monday. I couldn’t resist. I also couldn’t resist those teal suede wedges, from Target.

Tuesday it was near 60 when I went to work. Bring on the sleeves!

Wednesday: My faux piratety sweater. Yar, me mateys.

Have a lovely week.


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In which we throw traditional third anniversary gifts right out the window.

Last week was our third anniversary. The traditional gift for this occasion is leather. The modern gift is crystal. I wish it was big metal chickens, but apparently we’ll have to wait 12 more years for that.

Saturday we took Tyler to Thomasville. The plan was to attend a wine and cheese tasting at the Sweet Grass Dairy store, and poke our collective nose in some antique stores. We admired the beautiful collection at C.H. Whitney, where Tyler fell in love with an ankle-length poncho made from a lynx. I kid you not. He begged for it, promised he would wear it all the time at home (but not at school) and he would love it and pet it and squeeze it and call it George. At $125, it was probably the cheapest thing in the store, a fact he pointed out every five minutes for the next 2 h0urs.

We ended up at Toscoga Market Place, at 209 S. Broad St., which does not have a web site but which you should totally visit because it is filled with amazing things at reasonable prices.

And you know how I feel about reasonable prices.

As we were walking across the parking lot to the front door, a trailer of new antiques was being unloaded at the back.

That’s when I saw it.

It was big. It was metal. It was the perfect third anniversary gift.

And for less than the price of a lynx poncho, it was ours.

As we walked back to the car, I envisioned hanging it above the sofa in the family room, or over the sideboard in the dining room, or even on the wall at the end of the long hallway.

Jason interrupted my daydreaming to inform me that it wouldn’t fit in the back of my CRV.


We hauled it back to the store and arranged to come back the next day (Sunday) to pick it up. This time, we brought the Volvo station wagon. Awwwww, yeah.

It still didn’t fit.

So we launched Plan C – a comforter and some clothesline.

We (slowly) made our way home, never topping 50 mph. That’s when we ran into a snag of epic proportions.

It turns out that the big metal wall hanging is 63 inches tall.  The space between the couch and the ceiling is 60 inches. Same thing for the chair rail in the dining room. Same thing for the width of the accent wall at the end of the hallway.

I was filled with fail.

We looked all over the house for a suitably large location, and I finally picked a spot in the front hall.

Jason was hesitant about the location at first, but it’s growing on him. I like it because I see it every time I walk from the bedrooms to the family room, and also it’s the first thing you see when you walk in the front door.

Nothing says “Welcome to our home” like a big metal wall hanging. Nothing. Except maybe a lynx poncho.







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The Truman Show

Once upon a time, there was a dog.

The dog was semi-nomadic, because his owners did not have a fenced yard and let him roam free. The dog did not like this arrangement, as he loved people and craved company. He showed up at a family’s house several miles from his home one day, and they called the owners to retrieve him. He showed up again two days later, and again, the family called the owners.

The dog kept showing up. But eventually the owners stopped coming to get him.

The family already had a dog, so they turned to their neighbor, who is involved in an animal rescue organization, for help.

It just so happens that the family belongs to Tyler’s best friend, and the neighbor’s husband is an attorney at the firm for which I work.

Initially, another lady at my office was going to foster the dog, but she was told he was a “beagle mix.” This woman is maybe five feet tall, and maybe 90 lbs. The dog weighs 70 lbs. and is two years old. It was, how you say, not a good fit. He lasted one night at her house.

They were desperate to find a temporary home for this dog.

I bet you can see where this is going.

He’s been with us for almost two weeks, and while I would like to say that everything’s been perfect, there’s always one problem.

Our problem is that the dog is FASCINATED OUT OF HIS MIND by the cat, and the cat HATES the dog.

It has been a daily uphill battle, but we’ve made progress. At first, the cat would flee and hide whenever the dog was in the house, and scream and hiss when the dog got within 5 feet.

We’ve now progressed to this.

For her part, Bailey (our older beagle) is thrilled.

Can’t you tell?

To be honest, I’m not sure at this point whether we’re fostering him or whether we’ve just gotten ourselves a new pet. Other than the cat, he’s a gentleman – he walks beautifully on a leash, knows some commands, and wants nothing more than to be where you are.

His “given” name is Cherokee, but he doesn’t answer to it. The rescue lady says this is a sign that his owners didn’t interact with him. We christened him Truman Capote, but instead of a raging cocaine problem he has a raging cat problem.

I suppose there are worse things. Unless you ask the cat.

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WIWW: Not Quite Fall, Yet.

(Note: I’m still a bit blown away by the sweet, quasi-hijacked post from my husband this morning. But I get awkward when I’m emotional! So we’ll just play WIWW and I’ll go back to weeping happily at my desk!)

It is that frustrating time in Florida called Not Quite Fall, Yet. The rest of the country is already in jeans, enjoying cooler mornings and evenings, while we… are slogging through the last weeks of 90-degree temperatures. The kids still get in the pool every day, even as we turned the calendar over to October.

pleated poppy

Thursday I trusted my red pants to divert attention from my red, stuffy nose.

Friday I wore my favorite blue dress. I try to style it differently every time I wear it, and felt this was relatively successful.

Monday I dressed up a little, partly in atonement for my utter lack of trying last week.

And yesterday my photographer was out sick, so I had to resort to less conventional methods.

Incidentally, we’re also dogsitting a very fancy French Bulldog this week, who insists on running around the house with a deer antler stuck in his mouth like a cigar. This is way more interesting than my clothes.

Have a lovely week.


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My Better Half

This post is not by Windy.  I (Jason) have hijacked her blog (with her permission, which may mean it is not actually hijacked) because I do not have a blog, but wanted, on our anniversary, to tell her some of my feeeeeelings in a permanent manner (on the internet, where nothing ever is gone).  So, please know it will be substandard in every way to Windy’s consistently exceptional posts.  Feel free to stop reading here and skip this one entirely if you do not want to later say “Well, Jason is not a writer.”

Gone yet?  No?  Alright, but you were warned

I hear the expression “my better half” every once in a while when a friend refers to his wife or her husband.  With our third anniversary approaching, I started to think about what it meant in terms of my relationship with Windy.  More often than not, it is used casually and that’s okay.  Sometimes it is said with some sarcasm, which is considerably less okay.  However, the more I thought about it, the more it meant to me in describing what Windy truly is.  The statement itself implies one whole from two dependent parts and that the person spoken of is objectively and generally more favorable than the speaker.  There is no better description of Windy.  While we cannot be together every minute, I know that in almost every situation, there is a void without Windy, be it an hour, a day, or (God forbid) a week.  I don’t weep continuously if she is not there, but her being there makes everything unequivocally better.  She improves me and our relationship so much more than 50% without even knowing it.  However, despite so obviously being the better half, she does not ridicule me or maliciously point out my faults (in fairness, my continued ignorance of them requires a occasional reminder).  So, my purpose in this post to tell her what I have been thinking about and how wonderful she is as we celebrate our marriage today and every day.

To my truly better half,

You are the part of my life that helps me to be better.  You inspire me just by my thinking about you.  You encourage me with a smile, a kiss, a hug, or even a look.  Everyday you bring fullness to my life that was absent before I met you.

I cannot imagine a better friend or partner.  In three short years, there have been lows that I never contemplated, but through it all, you and I worked in love for one another and with respect for one another that brought us through each of them and closer to each other.  Certainly, we are not done with some of those occurrences, but there is no person I would rather have as my partner than you to keep on going and face every trouble, known or not, and, eventually, laugh in its face.

Because of how you love me, I want you to always believe in me.  I want to improve myself as a person and as the man who loves you completely, to know you more each day and for you to feel that.  I don’t think it is possible for me to ever deserve the love you give me, but every day I want to try to show you how much love I feel for you and from you.

We have yet to experience a teenager, but we are close.  I am grateful for the help you given me in becoming a better parent.  Undoubtedly, there are single mothers and fathers out there who do a terrific job, but I am certain that your support and guidance have made me a better father.  I would not want to be without it as we try to raise our children to be who they want to be, but at the same time people who make the world around them better.

There is no way to adequately express how amazing you make my life and our relationship.  I cannot do it in one or a hundred blog posts or one, ten or fifty anniversaries.  I can and will every day be grateful for the blessings of your love, friendship and partnership in my life and try to express that gratefulness to you not just today or on anniversaries, but every day I am so fortunate to be your husband.

I love you.


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Living Room Progress, and a Week-End Freak-Out

The subtitle for this living room re-do is, “WHY IS IT SO HARD TO MAKE DECISIONS????”

I finally got around to ordering fabric swatches for the living room, and they’re soooo preettttyyyy:

Of course, because I dragged my feet for so long, the light blue bird fabric is no longer available. CURSES. But you get the idea.

Anyhoo, while I’ve been scheming up ways to make my living room lovely and soothing and restful, I’ve been noticing the impending creep of accumulation in my house.

I like to think of it as a very, very mild form of post-traumatic stress disorder. But since the Fire and Great Displacement of 2011, Jason and I have a hard time getting rid of things. Thankfully, we purged a ton before we moved, and our house is more than twice as big as our old one, so it took a while for the house to feel cluttered.

But we’re starting to get there now. And it’s bothering me.

So yesterday I started with the laundry room. It’s a small room to begin with, so any clutter instantly overwhelms it. We straightened up, and in the process got rid of an old over-the-door ironing board and a leftover shelf from our pantry upgrade. Those two items took up a ton of space in the tiny room. Then Jason found a set of hooks to hang behind the door (“See? Glad I kept these!”) for the dust mop, Swiffer, and broom.

I no longer feel anxiety when I walk in there. Progress!


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