Blessed Be The Name

Blessed Be the Name is simply the sweetest little trunk show clothing line I've ever encountered.  And I've "encountered" more than a few in my daily desire to dress my littles in classic, original clothing while I can.  I was first introduced to the line by a friend of the owner and designer, Ashley Eiler, during one if its first seasons and instantly fell in love with the classic patterns, sweet fabrics and the mission of the brand itself.  Since then, I have stalked Ashley's blog, admiring her heart, service and faith, and watching her business grow into two lines and a store.  And think I would just adore her in real life.  So, it's easy for me to embrace a brand that not only has a fabulous mommy owner and perfect pint-sized products, but an amazing philanthropy to boot!

So, as much as I wanted to curl up with the littles and a pot of Paris tea this morning, instead I pulled on my wellies and we braved the chilly, drizzly day to attend the BBTN spring trunk show with my sweet sister and baby Bird.  And I'm SO glad we did!  I exhibited great restraint in choosing only two matching outfits for the boys, as I could have easily spent a small fortune if I thought there was a feasible way to hide it from Honey.

I was off on my merry way when very serious and worrisome problem dawned on me - this is quite likely my very last season to dress a baby in bubbles.  Last. Season.  Ahhhhh.  Is another baby worth a few more years of bubbles? Even I am sane enough to think not.  But, I just totally and completely adore them.  I love seeing chunky baby thighs, sweet dimply shoulders and sun-kissed skin in the way that only the bubble has truly mastered.  And, in my expert bubble opinion, BBTN has one of the very best bubble patterns (rivaled only by Hannah Kate) out there.  So, what did I buy? Why, bubbles of course!

The thought of Cookie's pink cheeks, blonde hair and blue eyes on a summer evening at the beach in this sweet little number makes my heart go all aflutter...
We chose this very fabric, Blue Posey, for the babies' bubbles and the PCP's (Precious Cutie Pie = John) shorts.

And for the second set, we chose the same bubble pattern and shorts but in this precious elephant print (much more vivacious in person.)  We have planned a surprise trip to Disney this fall and as soon as I set eye on this fabric I knew it was perfect for Animal Kingdom day.  And since Bird won't be joining us in Disney, a trip to the zoo or two will certainly be in order.
Check out the site - you have all week to order as the trunk is here till the fifth.

Now, both of my boys are napping.  I know, right!?!?  When does that ever happen??  So I'm off to watch a little Desperate Housewives with that aforementioned pot of tea.   Tootles!


A Beautiful Day

After the great snowacane and ice storm that left us locked inside for a week, we ended the month with a glorious weekend full of sunshine and nearly seventy degree weather. It was so beautiful, in fact, that from the time we got home from mass at noon to the time we hit the hay we enjoyed the great outdoors! 

Honey cleaned out and filled up the sandbox, the littles slid and swung on the playset, Cookie started learning to ride John's hand-me-down trike, we fought trees with swords and John dazzled us with numerous scooter tricks.
And, to round out the glorious January weekend, we spent the evening with our neighbors playing ball,  zipping down the zip line and dining alfresco.
Now it's a quarter to eight and the littles are snug in their beds, exhausted from a beautiful day.  Sweet dreams baby boys...


Faithfully Yours

It was sixty degrees in Atlanta yesterday, Honey and I enjoyed happy hour outside on the patio for the first time in months, the littles rode scooters and trikes in the driveway until well after dark AND the first items from the Lilly Spring 2011 collection hit boutiques!!   Each and every season I just think it can't get any better, but alas Lilly has outdone herself once again and the collection is simply swoon-worthy.  While pink will always be my signature color, I just adore all of the ... wait for it ... NAVY in the spring line!  These are a few of my faves:

Paired with white skinny McKims and gold bangles for brunch at the club...
To throw on with white skinnies for running errands...
A classic argyle (which Honey adores) in the perfect shade of green for St. Patty's Day festivities...
An incredibly fun one-shoulder number for cocktails with the girls...
 Easy, breezy asymmetric cutie for lunching at Rosemary...
With silver heels, a perfectly sophisticated tunic for mass...
An over-the-top bold number for date night with Honey...
And for all of these occasions and everything in between...

Well, Lilly, you will surely bankrupt me this time.

Faithfully yours,


Just Speechless

While back home over the holidays, I had the luxury of thumbing through my mother's loads of delectable magazines while she chased, fed and diapered the littles.  Time sure does fly because, as I sit here amongst baskets of laundry and mounds of dirty dishes, it's hard to believe I was doing just that only a month ago!  But, back to the point... while there, I came across an advertisement in Savannah Magazine for Ben Ham Images.

Since then, each and every time I've poured through the soulful images on his site it's like I'm falling in love for the first time all over again.  The beauty, clarity and pure perfection of his photographs captures everything that I adore about the Low Country in a way so powerful that I just can't find the words to express how they make me feel.  I am speechless.  Just speechless.  And that, my friends, is rare.

So feast your eyes on these marvelous photographs.  And start saving your change because these beauties cost a pretty penny. 


This Makes Me Smile

All because
two people
fell in love
On a cold and rainy day full of indoor forts and kung fu fighting, I can't help but smile each and every time I walk by.  I keep saying it over and over in my head and it just applies to so very many things in this beautiful life that I am so blessed and humbled to lead.  Much love to bestie S, who is not only one of the best gift givers I've had the pleasure of knowing, but one of the greatest friends I've had the pleasure of making.


Five Things You Need To Know

My dear friend F is the kind of gal that always has something waaaay more exciting going on in her life than changing diapers and  constructing her latest supper menu plan.  After enjoying a night out of berry cosmos and lobster mac and cheese and covering a realm of interesting and fascinating topics, I have boiled our three hours or so down to five things you need to know.

When you have skinny legs and accessorize with a fab top and awesome boots, jeggings ARE quite cute.
F: "Can you believe M posted on FB that she thinks jeggings are stupid?"
A: (Once I got past why on Earth one would ever take fashion advise from M and where on Earth M has been for the last eleven years) "Why waste time on thinking jeggings are stupid?  Has she not heard of pajama jeans? (I feel certain she has not only heard of pajama jeans but was likely sporting them that very minute.)"

Living in a metro-Atlanta suburb that other metro-Atlantans have stereotyped as "snobs" is not at all a bad thing.
A: "Only in our neck of the woods can I go to Publix and see not one but TWO ladies picking up bacon and butter in full length mink coats."
F: "OMG, I love that.  I want to be that."

When you look past the toothpaste remnants in the sink and dirty clothes on the bedroom floor, there are some very valid reasons for keeping a man around the house.
F: "So... I accidentally locked myself out of the pantry."
A: "Do tell."
F: "Well, eighty-nine dollars later I was able to make a PB&J."
A: "No, you did NOT call a locksmith?!?!"
F: "Yep.  He kept looking at me really strangely and finally said 'I thought you'd be really fat 'cause who puts a lock on their pantry?'"

Sequins are always in style.  Even for a Monday night cocktail with a bestie that you don't need to dress to impress.
F: (Upon both arriving in sequin tanks...) "I thought tonight really felt like a sequin night."
A: "Me too.  What night isn't a sequin night?"

Giving extremely explicit gift instructions (or just purchasing the coveted item to yourself from him) ensures that you always get exactly what you want and that you can genuinely squeal "I just totally and completely adore it" and really and truly mean it.
F: "I used to think friend N was crazy in college.  She would circle jewelry she liked in a catalog and give it to BF C."
A: "That is definitely NOT crazy."
F: "I get that now and have recently succumbed to her wise ways."


Monday's Mail

For as long as I can remember, I have always looked forward to checking the mail!  I love catalogs, handwritten notes (that my so-Southern lady friends all still send), and, most of all, packages!!  Much to my delight, I received just that in my mail yesterday - an overstuffed package from Mimi and Anpa.  Yippee!

Since it had warmed up for a quick spell, I delightfully fell into my spring, summer and fall routine of sitting outside in my patio (read: driveway) chair with a sweet iced tea to savor the mail while soaking up some sun and watching the little monsters race scooters and trikes.
(Above: Perfect representation of my littles - Cookie wearing brother's shoes on the wrong feet and John in the reflection trying to insight his "henchmint" to perform some dastardly deed, I'm sure.)
Anyhoo, after flipping through a few lackluster catalogs (LL Bean becomes exponentially worse each time I look at it), and scanning the phone bill (why do I even have a home phone?), I dove into the package.  Inside were perfectly adorable red fleece outfits, a longall for Cookie and a pullover for John, with precious horse appliques, both lovingly made my Mimi.
She also included a darling handmade red and gold bird toile card addressed to the boys, wishing them a happy early Valentine's Day and expressing her intent for wanting to keep them warm.  I suspect her pain meds must still have her a bit loopy since she dated the card 2/22/2011.  That or her bestie B has been mixing cocktails again...

You really have to know Daddy-O, and many of you do, to appreciate his contribution to the package.  He always types his notes and there are a few products he is a bit ridiculously fanatical about - zip lock bags (he has every size, weight and configuration ever invented) and Shout Color Catchers (I think he must own stock.)  Both good products, I must admit.  So, I was surely grinning like the Cheshire cat when I got to his inclusion... a typed note and, safely tucked inside of a zip lock bag, a color catcher to be used for my first wash of the sure-to-bleed red garments (they already washed them once.)  I undoubtedly have the best daddy in the whole world (who the best baby in the whole world just so happens to be named for)!!!
I've been a bit homesick for my parents lately (my mother had surgery on her foot and they haven't been able to come up this month) and the sweet treat for the boys let me know they just might be missing us a bit as well (I assume they have now sufficiently recovered from our Christmas visit.)  Oh, and I am certain that my sis received an exact replica of this package in her box yesterday.  What the do for one, they always do for the other.  And we do love to have ALL the littles match...



Felt Fortune Cookies

Continuing on my theme of Valentine's Day, while Cookie napped and John helped Honey in the basement Saturday afternoon, I caught up on Desperate Housewives and, feeling much like Bree, whipped out Martha Stewart's Felt Fortune Cookies.

The link has her explicit instructions, but I worked with supplies I already had on hand and simplified her instructions a bit. I do adore Martha but sometimes she is just a bit extreme.  I like to call myself Martha-like.  I get similar results with much less fuss.  And I'm okay with that.

Hot Glue
Floral wire, twist ties, pipe cleaners or something similar that you already have on hand
Paper for fortunes
Hershey's Kisses or other small candy (I haven't filled mine yet because there's no way the candy would last another week in this house.)

1. Trace 4 1/2 inch-ish circles on felt. I used an ice cream dish as my template.  Cut out circles.  The twist ties I already had on hand were the perfect size so I didn't have to cut mine.  You will want them to be just shorter than the diameter of your circle.
2. Using hot glue, affix the wire to the middle of the felt circle. Using one twist tie for each cookie didn't give it enough strength to hold the cookie shape.  So I used two on each cookie.  
3. Fold the felt circle in half, using the wire as a guide, so wire is inside cookie. Next, angle the sides toward each other, bending the wire at its halfway point and forming a fortune-cookie shape. 
4. Assemble the fortune cookies. Carefully peel back one flap of the felt cookie, and insert a paper fortune and a few candies. Fold the flap back over to close cookie around contents.
Fortunes (I used Bible memory versus but you could use anything here!)
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
I will love you, O Lord, my strength.
Let brotherly love continue.
We love him because he first loved us.
He that loves not knows not God; For God is love.
Keep your heart with all diligence.
Your law is within my heart.
Love works no ill to his neighbor.
Love the Lord your God.
Search me, O God, and know my heart.
Keep yourselves in the love of God.
If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
Greater love has no man than this.
These things I command you, that you love one another. 

I made fourteen cookies for each little - so we will start on February first and go through Valentine's Day.  John immediately picked red so Cookie will get pink.  I foresee issues with this arrangement in the future.

We're off for a last minute playdate with bestie C.  She's saving me from my housekeeper, who will certainly be here for hours upon hours today since he skipped during the great blizzard.  And she made chicken pot pie...

PS. While finishing up this post, I overhear this conversation... John: "Coo Coo, do you want to be my hench mint [read: henchmen]?"  Cookie: "NO!  I a cookie."  I love those kids!


A Lovely Welcome

I love love love holidays and Valentine's Day is no exception!  I have already starting decorating, crafting and making lists of things I want to do, make and bake between now and February 14.

First on that list was a new wreath for my front door.  I used to have loads of wreaths that I made for each and every holiday.  However, when we moved I tossed all but two.  My last home had an exposed front door and they were pretty ratty from spending so much time in the blazing sun or pouring rain. While John was having a play date last week and Cookie was napping, I made a simple door decoration out of a basic grapevine wreath and some greenery - both picked up from Hobby Lobby at half off!  I love that place!

Using Honey's wire cutters, I snipped off all of the stalks from each of six greenery bunches and then tucked them into the grapevine base until it was full enough to cover the entire front and sides.
I wanted a wreath comprised solely of greenery so that I can simply switch out ribbon and maybe add an ornament to suit my fancy over time.  For Valentine's Day, I added a thick double faced satin red ribbon (also half off at Hobby Lobby!) and a red glittered heart that Honey sweetly picked up for me at Michael's (with very explicit instructions on exactly what to get and where to find it in the store.)
I always dress my dogs in matching ribbons for the holiday.  And I usually try my hardest to have something semi-living in my pots, but those that know me know that I am a horrid gardener.  After living under a sheet of ice for ten days, these pansies have seen better days.
I hope that all of the satin and sparkles will make for a lovely welcome as my friends, family and neighbors arrive for my Pampered Chef Cooking Show this afternoon!
See y'all there!


I Love {Reese Witherspoon}

I LOVE Reese Witherspoon.  So much that I would call it a girl crush.  She's elegant, stylish, entertaining, a mommy... and so, so Southern!
I first "met" Reese in Pleasantville.
I really got to know her (and desperately idolize her) in Legally Blonde.  I will never forget the bend and snap, I own the Barbie, and Legally Blonde is still at the top of my Broadway list.
I fell in love with her in Walk the Line.  She was an amazing June Carter Cash.
And, now that I really sit down and think about her, it's almost like we're the same person.  I mean, one of my sorority sisters grew up on her street (or something like that), we are the same height, we were both high school cheerleaders, one of my new besties A is her doppleganger, we are exactly two weeks apart in age and bestie H's youngest daughter shares the same first name as Reese's daughter and her oldest daughter shares the same middle name.  Are you with me people?

So the point of this was not to impress you with how very close we are (ha!) but to say how very excited I am about Water for Elephants.  Reese will surely dazzle on the screen as Marlena, where she looks every inch of old Hollywood glam in the trailers.  I fell in love with this marvelous story when I read the book a few years ago and am just giddy with anticipation over the movie!
And as if that's not enough, the cherry on top is that R-Patz will certainly be smoldering as the lead character Jacob.  Be still, my heart.
So y'all know what I'll be feasting my eyes on exactly three months from today!


Bye Bye Bottles

We said bye bye to the bottles thirteen months ago, but this ghastly plastic drying contraption lived on.
Every day (yes, you read that right) when I performed my most dreaded chore of unloading the dishwasher I piled loads of sippys, tupperwares and other various items that came out a tish wet into the plastic bottle drying rack.  Luckily, Daddy-O came to the rescue, as he often does, to upgrade my plastic to a sleek stainless solution.
Now, that was one baby item I was NOT sad to see go.  The crib will be another story...
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