Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Poor House @ much more than $20.00 at a time.

Yes, we have returned back from the BIG CITY (as us southerns say) with shopping bags full and wallets empty. This post is for all the husbands who accompany their better halves to the city. The sis-in-law, MC & Wifey (aka Kiki) have informed me of a wonderful new slogan I learned from being in NYC. "There's no price that's too high for a wonderful pair of shoes." I came to this resolution very abruptly in NYC as Kiki and I were directed to a designer shoe outlet in the city by one of my mother's close friends. There are several things the wifey is addicted to: purses, DC's, and shoes to name a few. I knew immediately that I was going to be in trouble as we entered the place. I've attached the pic below for your reference...

As you can see, my immediate thoughts were CRAPPPPPPPPPPPP!!! Talk about a fish in a barrel moment. Each box contained a different pair of designer shoes. The store was no bigger than 15x20, yet it contained 3x's the normal amount of any average DSW. Within 5 minutes, Kiki had sighted 7 pairs worth trying on. I felt like I was part of the paparazzi as I was taking pictures and forwarding them to MC and her mother for instant approval. It was unbelievable to watch the people in the shop work, yelling out European shoe size conversions for Kiki (why can't they just use our size system? I mean really, why is everything so complicated over there). Need I say as they were doing this, they were hanging from a ladder throwing shoe after shoe down to her to try on. As any good husband would do at this point, I sat back smiled and most importantly kept quiet. It never ceases to amaze me how women try on shoes. Anyone ever been to a Target at the end of the day and cruised through the shoe section? If not, I suggest you do because you will enjoy the aftermath. It's quite amusing to see how they're ravaged over at the end of the day. We've often times been there close to closing time and Target calls the ENTIRE store in to rearrange the dept for the following day. Needless to say, we were almost getting to that point at the designer shoe place. I will say one thing about my Wifey that I'm proud of, it's her practicality. After she had all the pairs in front of her, she started narrowing it down to the most sensible choices. I commend her for doing so (Lucy does need new food this weekend). In the end, she we settled on 3 pairs. I've pictured them below. They are so SHISHE aren't they? In the end, I'm thrilled that we got to go away together for the first time in a while. It's always a blast to get to go on a trip with your best friend who happens to be your wife. To that I say I am looking forward to many more trips with ya, your hubby....

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lucy's Glad We're Back Too...

I just couldn't resist sharing this picture. My sweet sister, MC, and her hubby, Dr. W were so wonderful to keep Lucy while we were gone. She had a great time with her Aunt and Uncle and cousin Bailey, so great that she is wiped out. As soon as I brought her home and bathed her she assumed this position on the couch. Too cute.

Back from NYC!

Coco and I are back from NYC! We flew in late last night...or should I say very early this morning and while I spend the day working through piles of laundry, attempting to restock my refrigerator and panty from weeks of neglect, and nursing my sore and aching feet from days of schlepping it through the city (mani/pedi anyone?), I promise to be back to regular blogging very soon. And I promise to post tons of pictures from our trip (at first glance I think we took 500 photos - may take a few days to sift through those and don't worry I won't post them all!). For now I will leave you with this...just a little snap shot from the trip.

Who does this? I mean who in their right mind can walk through the city in these? Yes, I was that tourist who attempted an incognito photo of the two women sashaying walking in front of us on the Upper East Side. My poor swollen tootsies couldn't bare the sight. Maybe if I lived in the city and had months of practice I could do this. Who am I kidding?

And yes, I too noticed their perfectly pedicured feet. And their sculptured calf muscles. Maybe this is how you get them. Not. Worth. It.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


While Coco and I were in Macon visiting his family we were able to steal away a few minutes to stop by my favorite spot, Ginger Michelle. They have great clothes, fabulous accessories (including their own line of handbags) and adorable shoes. I got lost in the shoes and snapped some pictures (with my trusty camera that stays at home in my purse)...and here are some of my favorites for the fall!

Poetic License Sweet as Candy flat

DV by Dolce Vita Skye heels

Seychelles Compliments of the Chef in teal (yup, these went home with me!)

I love these brown boots but cannot remember who makes them!

Has anyone found anything they cannot live without for their fall wardrobe? Do share!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ethan is here!

Ethan Walker Smith was born this morning at 8:35 am to our sweet friends Kate and Donnie. He weighed in at 6 lbs and is 19 1/2 inches long. I don't have any fabulous pictures of the little man as he was whisked away to the NICU because he was born a wee bit early (3 1/2 weeks) and had some irregular breathing. We are praying he gains strength every minute and his breathing regulates quickly. Momma and Daddy are doing well, just anxiously awaiting that first precious moment of holding little Ethan in their arms. I, too, can't wait to snuggle with him! Pictures to come, I promise!

Oh, and my presence in blogland may be a bit scarce this week (forgive me!). Coco and I are preparing to depart for our trip to NYC on Thursday. I promise to be back at it when we return with a well documented experience. (And thank you Ethan for making your debut while Aunt Kiki and Uncle Coco were in town!)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Waiting on Coco

It has been raining for days here in Alabama which has everyone in our household a little stir crazy. This morning I woke up before 7 WIDE awake. After laying in bed for a few minutes I decided to get up and make myself useful. I am not sure what you were doing before 8 this morning but I made cookies...

I snapped this to prove just how early it was!

All finished - ready to eat!

While I was getting my bake on in the kitchen, Coco headed out to grab some yummy bagels for breakfast. All was quiet in the house so I began to wonder...where is Lucy? I peeked into the family room and this is what I saw.

It was too cute not to capture. She was waiting on Coco to come back home. She melts my heart sometimes.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Drink Much?

I recently revealed to ya'll my addiction to DC. Well...I think my problem is bigger than that. Take a close look at the above picture that I snapped from my desk yesterday at about 2 pm (yes, we already established that I keep my camera in my purse for just these occasions). 44 "super" ounces of sweet nectar (aka DC), an almost empty (and twice refilled) Preppy Travel Mug of coffee (with splenda and creamer of course) and a 24 ounce bottle of water (twice refilled as well) all consumed since 8 am! It is no wonder I spend the better part of my day schlepping to and from the ladies room. Is anyone else similarly afflicted?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Let there be Light

Coco and I went on a "quick" trip to Lowe's the other night to pick up some outdoor spike lights to replace some that were broken in our front yard. Um, yeah. Quick trip all right. It was quick but we managed to pick up a little more than some replacement spike lights. We were perusing through the lighting section (we always do) and found this, Sylvania 2-Pack LED Puck Battery Operated lights! I have been wanting some under cabinet lighting but we didn't want to deal with all of the wires and figuring out a way to plug up the lights. Problem solved! LED lights that operate on batteries.

It took all of ten minutes to put these up. They adhere underneath the cabinet with magnets. No tools necessary, just a measuring tape! We just took some measurements so that we could space these just right. Oh, and the batteries are included - no purchase necessary. The lights have two different settings - low and high and they turn on and off by motion. They also have an automatic one hour shut off so you won't have to continually replace the batteries if you forget to turn them off.



All lighted up! Doesn't it cast a pretty glow?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Etsy Find!

I have a throw pillow problem - I collect them and I don't think they were meant to be collected. I like to change them out with every season and it seems that every season I end up buying a few new ones to add to my collection. Oops. I use the same inserts (my fave are from Pottery Barn) and just buy new covers to freshen things up. I had to share with you my latest purchase for my fall/winter collection that I found on Etsy...

I L.O.V.E. this burlap Ampersand pillow. It arrived over the weekend while we were away and I was so excited when I came home to a package! Petit Coterie has some fabulous items and they leave no detail undone (the bottom corner of the pillow has a little silver guardian angel tied to it). You must check them out! I haven't quite decided where in my den I am going to put it. It looks so cute in my pin dot chocolate chair but it also looks comfy on my couch...maybe I need another one. Here we go again.

All this talk gets me in the mood to "switch over" my decor! Is it too early to decorate for fall? What day/month is acceptable? Isn't September 22nd the official first day of fall? Do I really have to wait until then? I want to get out my pumpkin spice candles and decorate with pine cones that smell like cinnamon! Hmmm...would tomorrow be too early?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A trip to Macon

I mentioned on Friday that Coco and I were headed to Georgia to visit his family. Coco's family lives in Macon and we headed that way Thursday right after work. Our trip was not without a specific purpose - Coco's brother, Matthew, had some pretty serious surgery on Thursday so we went to spend the weekend attempting to entertain him in the hospital. The patient would not allow me to take a picture of him (can't say I blame him - I obliged just in case I am ever in his shoes!) but I did manage to snap a few pictures of the care taking crew.

Home Sweet Home...Room 344

Coco and his Dad taking a break at the house to catch up on some work on Friday afternoon. Doesn't look like much work is going on.

My first attempt to get Coco's Mom to take a picture - we got to giggling and couldn't concentrate!

Attempt #2 or maybe #5...

We were so glad to be able to visit with everyone and lend support through this tough time. I am happy to report that Matthew was released from the hospital on Monday and able to come home to recover. Coco and I hope our next trip to Macon doesn't involve any dreary hospital rooms and that Matthew fully recovers in a few weeks! Oh, and Lucy managed to have a fantastic time with Rocky (Coco's parents' boxer), so much so that she is still not fully recovered. Below is a shot of her on our way tired puppy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hello, Cupcake!

You may have seen the cupcakes that were on display at my friend Kate's baby shower. Well, I thought I would provide a little insight (and laughter) into how they were made. I love to cook, absolutely love it (oh, and have I mentioned that I love to eat too?). Bake? Now that is another story. It seems as of late that I have been a bit more adventurous in all aspects of my life and baking is no exception (it could be Bakerella's fabulous blog!). I had seen some adorable cupcakes at a baby shower months ago and wanted to try my hand at recreating them. Enter my patient and good natured friends Ashley and Brooke. Oh dear friends, the things you let me get you in to. I think you are going to stop saying yes to my crazy ideas soon. Even though I get some hair brained ideas, I like instructions and I like pictures so I found the book Hello, Cupcake! (written by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson) at my local Barnes and Noble (you can find it on here).

I used their "almost" homemade recipes (see below) at the back of the book (pages 218, 219 and 227) for the cupcakes and the icing and flipped through their amazingly illustrated book for inspiration and decorating tips anyone can use.

Perfect Cake-Mix Cupcakes - Chocolate Chunk Surprise

1 box (18.25 ounces) devil's food cake mix
1 cup buttermilk (in place of the water called for on the box)
1/2 cup Vegetable oil (the amount on the box)
4 large eggs (in place of number called for on the box)
24 Milky Way Miniatures

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Follow the box instructions replacing the buttermilk for water and the number of eggs mentioned above. Add a Milky Way miniature to each paper cup before the cup is filled with batter. Spoon half of the batter into a ziplock bag. Snip a 1/4 inch corner from the bag and fill the paper liners two thirds full. Repeat with the remaining batter. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the baking pans, place on a wire rack, and allow to cool completely.

Almost-Homemade Vanilla Buttercream
(makes 3 1/2 cups)

1 container (16 ounces) Marshmallow Fluff
3 sticks (3/4 pound) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus additional sugar if necessary (Kiki's note - additional WAS necessary!)

Spoon the Marshmallow Fluff into a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low. Gradually add the butter pieces, beating well after each addition, until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and the 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Scrape the bowl well to incorporate. Add more confectioners' sugar, if necessary, to adjust the texture.

So, Brooke was sweet enough to come to my house and help me bake these cupcakes using the recipe above. That went swimmingly well. The bottoms of the cupcakes were a little more brown than I would have liked but I am still learning my new stove (a post about that to come) and haven't baked in it until now. We used these adorable paper cups from

The next night (night before the shower) Ashley volunteered to help me ice and decorate these babies. She even opened up her home to the disaster since the shower was at her house and it would be best not to transport the cupcakes once they were decorated. I think she was sorry she offered. The pictures below are proof enough. We had MAJOR issues with our icing being too runny. We ended up icing and refrigerating IMMEDIATELY in order to avoid droopage. After about 2 and a half hours we had all of the cupcakes iced. Keep in mind these cupcakes were supposed to be "flesh" colored (I found online that Wilton "Copper" food coloring is the best to use for this effect). Hmmm...I am not at all versed with food coloring so they looked more orange colored than flesh colored (i.e. I used WAY to much). I couldn't bear to use it so we combined different batches of icing to avoid orange babies. In the end the color looks nothing like any flesh I have seen - maybe little ghost babies.

Anyhoo, we called it a night with only iced cupcakes (no decor). I headed back over to her house the next morning before the shower began to finish up making the cupcakes look like baby faces with pacifiers (just in case you don't get that from the pictures!). They ended up looking cute but not exactly how I originally pictured. Practice makes perfect so you know I will try again! I have some serious brushing up to do on my baking skills. Does anyone know of a good basic "baking for dummies" type book that would help me establish hone some skills? We had a hilarious time trying to figure it all out and my friends were great sports. A special thanks to Ashley for documenting it all (you will notice she keeps herself out of the pictures)! Oh, and I would absolutely recommend the Hello, Cupcake! book - it was a great resource. Everyone said the cupcakes tasted good (that is really all that matters, right?) and they loved the little "surprise" in the middle!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Georgia on my mind...

Georgia on My Mind
Lyrics by Ray Charles

Georgia, Georgia,
The whole day through
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

I'm say Georgia
A song of you
Comes as sweet and clear
As moonlight through the pines

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you

I said Georgia,
Ooh Georgia, no peace I find
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you

No peace, no peace I find
Just this old, sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

I said just an old sweet song,
Keeps Georgia on my mind

Coco and I are off to the great state of Georgia this weekend to visit his family. Coco's parents, grandmother and one of his brother's live in Macon and we are headed there for a visit. I will do my best to document our trip and I will be back to blogging soon! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Time for Cake...Diaper Cake!

I found inspiration on yet another blog for my sweet friend Kate's baby shower. I was perusing some of my favorite blogs and came across a post on All Things G&D that highlighted some diaper cakes she had done for some of her friends. As soon as I saw this post I knew I had a project! I knew this would be an adorable centerpiece at the shower and would be a fun way to equip the mom-to-be with some essentials (who doesn't need more diapers?).

Let me start off by saying this is super simple and can be accomplished in about an hour depending upon how much of a perfectionist you are - and by now you know that I am a bit type A so this took about an hour and a half. My very patient friend, Ashley came over to help with the project and we had lots of fun figuring it out together! Two sets of hands are definitely helpful in the process!

I am sorry to say that I did this before I started blogging the details of my life so I have no fantastic before pictures. Just some cute pics of the finished product! A few tips...
  • Get some diapers - lots of 'em. I am not sure how many diapers we used for the three tiers but it was at least 40. Ash - if you have a better idea please leave a comment! If you can find all white diapers (rumor has it Walmart carries some) that would be best but we just rolled the diapers so that you couldn't see the Disney designs!
  • We used lots of rubber bands (thanks Ash!) and individually banded each diaper and then banded together groups of diapers for each tier so we could more easily work with it.
  • Once you have the tiers created that is the hardest part - now you can use your creative genius to decorate how you want! I knew for months that I wanted to do this so I picked up items along the way (found this in June and the shower wasn't until the end of August). You can make this as inexpensive or elaborate as you want.
  • Oh, and we put the "cake" together about two weeks before the shower - it was so nice to get it done ahead of time so I wasn't rushing around looking for things at the last minute.
Now for my source list...
  • That fabulous burp cloth came from none other than Monogramchick! - the perfect addition to the diaper cake and a useful item for the recipient! MC's burp cloths are bleach-able too - she uses colorfast thread!
  • Ribbon from Smith's Variety in Birmingham, AL
  • Receiving blankets by Dwell Studio for Target
  • Baby spoons and pacifiers from Target
  • Miscellaneous Michael's items like straight pins for keeping it all together with style
So, what do you think? Will you be tackling this project for your next baby shower?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I found it on a Blog

It seems that every time I open my mouth these days the words, "I found it on a blog!" come rolling out. I think my friends are starting to get annoyed. :) It is true though, I got lost in blog world long before I started my own blog and have found some fabulous things to share along the way. There are so many creative folks out there and they are so nice to be willing to share their thoughts, ideas and creativity! I am convinced that my friends will begin to see the light - I mean it can be so helpful! Not only do I find great people and fabulous ideas in the blogosphere but it sparks my own creativity! Never before have I been so willing to take on projects - big or small. I love the inspiration so keep it coming! Now for just a few of those, "I found it on a blog" moments that I have actually shared with my friends in just the last few days...

Fantastic plate hangers found over at The Lettered Cottage. Seriously, oh so nifty plate hangers aside - she is amazing and super talented.

A furniture painting tutorial on YHL. Okay, I have to admit YHL was my first blog crush. They are inspiration at its best.

Craft project to spruce up your own organization found over on Design Sponge. I am new to Design Sponge following but I can't wait to tackle this project and see what else they come up with to get my creative juices flowing!

Those are just a few! Any of you have a fabulous blog you can't wait to share with the world or have you found inspiration from someone in the blogosphere? Do share!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A trip to the City

Coco and I are headed to New York City at the end of September for a long weekend getaway. I have been to NYC many times but Coco and I have never been together and we are really looking forward to getting away just the two of us! We are trying to plan out a few things in advance and were wondering if you had any suggestions or favorite things to do in NYC. Any restaurants you can't resist, fab spots to shop or Broadway show that shouldn't be missed? What is your favorite "attraction" - a particular museum, the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building or Radio City Music Hall? Share your favorites and suggestions with us!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Baby Shower Bonanza Part I

As promised a week ago (yikes!), I am finally posting the pictures from the baby shower for my friend, Kate. We all had lots of fun together and baby Ethan received lots of fabulous things! Ashley was the "hostess with the mostess" and opened her home to all of us for the shower (thanks Ash!). Enjoy the photos! There are a few little projects you will see in the photos that I will be sharing with you in future posts (I promise!).

Kate, the Mommy to Be

Kate and Kiki

Check out those cupcakes - post to come later!

Diaper Cake made by yours truly and Ashley!

Marlee and Eleanor

Sweet Baby Eleanor

Too cute Polo outfits that are Daddy approved!

Kate is holding up the fabulous Bubble outfit that Marlee handmade for Ethan. Wow!

Sweet little basket given by Kate's Aunt Karen

Jordan and Brooke

Ethan is a future Alabama fan

More gifts for Ethan - these are from Aunt Kiki and of course they are purchased from Monogramchick!


The hostesses with Kate (minus Marlee - Eleanor had to go home for a nap!)

It was so much fun to help host this shower. We anxiously await the arrival of Little E!

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