Archive by Author

Sleeping Beauty at Disney

2 Apr

I recently learned that adults are NOT allowed to wear princess costumes inside Disney parks, which, age discrimination, WHATEVER. So I decided to create a Sleeping Beauty inspired outfit suitable for a long day at the park.

Start with comfortable shoes, because hello walking. I love these gold Tory Burch flats, but you could do gold glitter TOMS, or any other gold flats. Heck, you could even go with gold sneakers. Comfort, people, it’s all about comfort.

Then, the dress. A dark pink maxi will be comfortable and airy – so you won’t get as hot as you would in pants. Plus, the longer length not only looks more like Aurora’s dress, but will protect your legs from sunburn and scorching hot or sticky benches. This one is lace, because it’s pretty, but in all honesty I would probably go with plain cotton.

The light pink scarf echoes the lighter pink accents in Aurora’s dress, plus it will keep you warm if you’re at the park after dark and it gets cool. You can also tie it in your hair or toss it over your shoulders to keep them from getting burned.

The sparkly headband is just for fun.

And finally, a small white crossbody bag. If you don’t absolutely have to lug a giant bag around the park, don’t. This small bag won’t hurt your shoulder, and the crossbody strap makes it easy to keep on you. Plus, carrying only what you absolutely need makes it easier to find things without riffling through a giant bottomless pit of a purse. (Come on, I know it’s not just me.)

So there you have it, my Sleeping Beauty inspired Disney outfit! This was fun – I may decide to do more princesses later.

Dear Jenna Bean

27 Mar

I’d like to apologize/warn you all in advance – I’m not being funny today. I’m actually being pretty sad. Sorry. But I’m writing a letter to Jenna. Yes, my cat. Shut up.

Dear Jenna Bean,

My dear sweet darling kitty. I knew when I adopted you that you had feline leukemia and I wouldn’t have much time with you, but I was determined to love you for as long as I could. You are such a snuggle bunny, oh my goodness, you always want to be hugged and cuddled and loved. This makes your mama very happy, because I love to snuggle. Your favorite is when I scratch you under the chin – you purr like a boat when I do that!

You’re just shy of eleven months old now, and the news isn’t good my sweet love. You have cancer. There’s a mass taking up 3/4 of your chest cavity. It’s pressing on your heart and lungs. You’ve lost so much weight I can see your skeleton when you walk. Right now you’re on steroids and feeling great. I would feel pretty great too if I got ‘roids every day. But oh, baby girl, your mama is scared. The vet says you have anywhere from one to six months left.

I’m feeling so many emotions right now, and I can’t quite nail them down.

I’m angry. This isn’t fair. You’re so young and so sweet. You have so much love to give, and you’re always such a happy kitten. This shouldn’t be happening to you. It sucks. I want so much more time with you.

I’m devastated. I really don’t know how to handle this. I’m second guessing every decision I make for you. I can hardly hold you without crying, and I know you’re sick of me shoving the camera in your face every thirty seconds.

I’m grateful. I’m so glad that I’ve had this time to be your mama. You really are a special kitty. Even the vet and vet techs doing your chemo told me how loving and docile you are. I’ve had the chance to see you blossom from a frightened alley cat into a playful cuddle bug. When you were tiny, you used to suckle on my finger. Now your favorite thing to do is sit on the back of the couch and knead at my shoulder. You give great massages, baby girl. I am so lucky to have you, and to love you.

When I adopted you, I had never had a cat before. I had no idea what I was doing, but we muddled through together. Well, I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing right now either. But I know we’ll muddle through together.

I love you, Jenna Jelly Bean.

Love,

Mama

Dogs and 90′s Music

25 Mar

There’s some Amazon affiliate links up in here, yo.

Let’s review some books, shall we? It’s fun – we can pretend we read more than Buzzfeed!

The Harm in Asking

The Harm in Asking: My Clumsy Encounters with the Human Race is a collection of funny essays from Sara Barron that will make you snort laugh inappropriately. So, you know, read it at home. Not on a plane. Barron discusses the dramatic trials and tribulations of her life, because she has suffered. I love when she talks about her love of 90′s music. As in, that’s still all she listens to. I can relate. “Genie in a Bottle” is still on all of my playlists.

The Harm in Asking is available on March 25.

Why Do I Chase Thee

You know when you’re reading classic poetry and you think, “yeah, this is nice and all, but why aren’t there more dogs?” Well wonder no more. Jessica Swaim has reimagined some of your favorite classic poems with 87% more dogs. Enjoy classics from the masters, William Shakespaw, Edgar Allan Pug, Dorothy Barker, and many more. This is a really cute book, complete with poet portraits, that would make a great gift for the literary dog lover in your life.

Why Do I Chase Thee is available now.

Guest Post: Donna from Dangerous Cupcakes

21 Mar

A few weeks ago my beloved AJ came up with this fun blog swap idea for some local bloggers. We’re taking turns posting on each other’s blogs, and it’s been a fun challenge to try to write in someone else’s voice, about topics that are outside your norm. Today I’m excited to host Donna from Dangerous Cupcakes. Great name, right?

I’m not a fashionista. There, I said it out loud. I hate to admit it, but one look in my closet and you’ll see what I mean. My clothing choices range from florals to lace to animal print to leather. In short, whatever I like is typically what goes. I’m all over the map with no real “style” or “look.” I buy what I like and what I think looks good on me, though there are cases I know that I’m off the mark.

I do own stylish, quality pieces – too many of them – but the problem is that I didn’t always buy with forethought. Those items I liked, I’d buy, without much of a care as to what I’ll pair them with. That comes back to haunt me every time I go into the closet and I can’t find what I need.

For a while now, I’ve had the self-imposed motto of: one item in, one item out. I started that a few years ago as we decided to make a cross-country move; we had to downsize in order to fit all of our belongings into a moving truck and my closet wasn’t immune from The Purge of 2010.

Fast-forward to 2013, and we were doing another purge. It’s amazing what I’d again amassed during that three-year period, but this time? It felt GOOD. It wasn’t a chore, it wasn’t a moment of “I can’t get rid of this, I worse this when I found out I was pregnant with my now 18-year-old daughter” but a moment of “YES, this feels good to not have such an attachment to clothing!” I enjoyed it so much that even after the move, after packing it all up and storing it until we bought a new house, I went through it one last time, this time with a very harsh eye. I cut loose two more garbage bags full of stuff I’d recently paid to move! (Donated it all! Please consider making someone else’s day by giving clothing away to those that may need it way more than you imagine, as your clothes can go to those that had to leave their home in the middle of the night to escape an abusive situation as well as those looking for a job and in need of an appropriate interview outfit.)

Now that we’re settled into our house, my closet is nowhere near as big as the old one. Not only do I need to stick with donating one item every time I bring one home (okay, almost every time) but I have learned to shop more discriminately. No longer is it just okay for it to be a cute top, but it has to match at least a couple of other items. The exception is when I’m buying an entire new outfit for a particular event, but honestly, that’s infrequent. With enough classic purchases throughout the years, pieces of clothing or footwear that are evergreen, things that last through the ages as fashion trends come and go, I can almost always put together a new, trendy outfit by just purchasing one item.

I envy women who can walk into a store, grab specific items and head to the register. You know next time you see them, they’ll be wearing yet another gorgeous outfit because their fashion seems instinctual.

That is not me. For me, fashion takes work. I hear about an event or business trip or night out and instantly I do the “What will I wear??” A few ideas pop into my head, but usually of the one-item variety. That skirt I bought last week…. Great, a chance to wear my new black boots! Oooh, I can finally wear that red blouse I bought on sale last month. Where do you go from there? I head into the closet and stare. I look at the shoes. I look at my shirts. I look back at the shoes and then towards the pants. Towards the pile of jeans. To the dresses. My head spins and as I’m standing in an overstuffed closet, I’m considering not going because I have nothing to wear!

Thank goodness I have two daughters who are able to objectively walk into my closet and pull together an appropriate outfit, in about 1/10 of the time it takes me to realize I’m overwhelmed.

I love fashion, don’t get me wrong. I like to look good, and I want my clothing to befit the event. I want to look good for my husband, my kid(s) or my business. Sexy wife, cool mom, professional businesswoman… but it’s not nearly as effortless as it looks! I also love to shop, and the piles of shoeboxes attest to that, as they are my favorite secret that’s no longer a secret. I love shoes. I have 150+ pairs and would buy another pair tomorrow if I saw one I liked. (I truly believe that while it’s an unnecessary luxury, you can never have too many pairs.) I just need to be sure I wear them, so I have learned to pay attention. I pay attention to fashion mags, what celebs wear, what other women wear, and what the professionals say. It’s taking work, but I’m getting there. Earlier today, I went to a business event with a lot of women that knew how to put an outfit together, and I didn’t stand out like a sore thumb. Would I call myself fashion-forward? No, but there’s still time.

Thank you so much, Donna! It’s been fun playing host today! Be sure to check out Donna a Dangerous Cupcakes and @DangerCupcake.

Happy Birthday, Pa!

17 Mar

Today is my grandfather’s 93rd birthday, and since I can’t be in Florida to celebrate with him I wanted to share one of my favorite memories. My grandfather has had a very interesting life. He was part of the team that planned the invasion of Normandy, he won the first outside contract from communist China when they started to open their borders, and he’s got amazing stories from his travels all over the world. But to me, he will always be Pa. My partner in crime, with a wicked sense of humor.


This is us a few years ago when Pa was honored as a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor. We can clean up and be respectable when absolutely necessary.

When I was in high school my grandparents lived right down the street, and when I had time off from school and my part time job, we used to go on road trips. We never really had a plan, just a vague destination in mind, and we would get in the car and go. Once we went to Lafayette, LA because I was taking French in school and wanted to practice. We spent a lot of time in East Texas, where my grandfather grew up. It was on one of these trips that we went to the Salt Palace Museum in Grand Saline.

The Salt Palace Museum is a fun, slightly kitschy, small town museum that honors the area’s history of salt production. It also has a display featuring my grandparents, who were among the last people allowed to go down into the actual salt mines. (This is not unusual, I’m pretty sure 70% of museums in East Texas feature my family in some way. I’m even in one of them – a fashion history museum has a display featuring me in my debutante gown.)

What makes the Salt Palace Museum different from other small town museums is that the building is made entirely of rock salt.

When we arrived at the museum, Pa told me that it was tradition for visitors to lick the building. Because, you know, salt. I protested a bit, but he kept insisting that it was tradition and everyone had to do it. So I licked the building. That’s right, I put my tongue on the exterior of a building. And I would like to remind you that I was 15 when this happened, not 5. Pa promptly burst out laughing and said that he’s taken a lot of people to this museum and no one had actually licked it.

Great. Now I’m known in my family as the one moron who actually listened to him and licked the freaking building. I’ve asked around, no one else did it.

It’s worth noting that on this same trip (and remember, I was 15, old enough to know better) I got stuck in a tree that Pa insisted I could climb. Between his sense of humor and my blind willingness to go along with him, it really is a wonder we never gave my poor grandmother a heart attack.

So Happy Birthday, Pa. Don’t lick any buildings.