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Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Facebook, both the devil and my saving grace at the moment, has been flooded these past few weeks with people posting daily about what they're thankful for. These posts tend to fall into two categories:

1. People who genuinely use this as a way to pause and be mindful of the things in their life, both good and bad, that deserve thanks.

2. People who use this as a way to brag about all of the "blessings" in their lives. I hate that word because it means that there are some people who are blessed and some who aren't. It also lends itself to the belief that if you follow a certain set of rules you will get these "blessings". Conversely, if you don't you won't. That's crap! These so-called "blessings" also usually consist of a giant house, a really nice car, children who are perfect (news flash no one believes you!), "besties" who are your friends but really your "frenemies" and an amazing husband who showers you with Pandora jewelry and dinners at Chili's. 

I won't delve any further into number 2 on the blog less I offend half of the population of Richmond. Instead, I'll share my list of what I'm actually thankful for this year not some list of things designed to make you feel that I'm better than you. Because news flash......I'm not. I'm just trying to find my way like all of you, my lovely readers. I screw up some times, make mistakes and act like an idiot. But I like to think that even when I'm doing all of these things I'm doing it from a place of love so you'll eventually forgive me.

Anyway, here's my list for 2013......

1. Wine! I love it and it gets me through most days. I could lie and say hot tea (which sometimes does help). But it's really that amazing glass (or two) at the end of the day that's awesome and I wouldn't trade it for anything. It feels like a luxury even if I'm enjoying a $10 bottle from Kroger (which is what I normally buy)  and hopefully it's with a friend who's making me laugh or someone special who's making me smile. 

2. Tipulater- It's an app. I don't care how many times you people say just move the decimal point blah, blah, blah! The numbery/sciency part of my brain doesn't work and without this app I would be offending fabulous waiters in all 50 states on a regular basis.

3. Thai Food. No explanation necessary.

4. A friend, you know who you are, who has listened to me babble on and on and on and on and on and never once told me what to do. You just listened. THANK YOU!

5. A pair of Michael Kors shoes that I bought for a wedding. You can check them out in a previous post here. I swear to God they have magical powers. I put them on and suddenly I walk differently, feel differently and, on occasion, find myself walking up to handsome strangers and asking them if that's a gun in their pocket or are they just happy to see me? Works every time!

6. Tears. An overwhelming emotion can sometimes overtake you like a storm.....stress, fear, anxiety, happiness, confusion, love. My body has a hard time keeping things like this inside. Although the tears may not be comfortable or convenient for the person standing in front of me, they are necessary so I can get the emotion out of my body and calmly communicate how I'm feeling and what I need. The alternative is that they'd stay inside, fester and rot and then I'd probably kill you with an axe in your sleep:). 

7. Did I mention wine?

7. Just kidding real number 7 is my dog Miss Austen. She's only nice to me because I feed her, but I'm willing to lie to myself and say it's because I'm such a good doggie mom. She's there when I get home, falls asleep on my shoulder and can't speak English so she can't yell at me when I'm being a bad doggie mom. Now if I can only figure out how she can generate some income?

8.  I'm thankful to be an Aunt and a Godmother. I really love kids but I don't feel any overwhelming need to have any of my own. Being an Aunt and a Godmother allows me to love these little angels (monsters), feel connected to their lives and have them in mine.

9. Death. On January 7 it will be four years since I've hugged my father, but because he died I decided to start living. I decided to stop being afraid. I stopped caring so much about what other people thought and realized that if I didn't make myself happy no one else would. All of the wonderful things in my life now would have had exactly zero chance of happening if I hadn't lost him. He would understand this, applaud it and say I love you baby girl now go knock 'em dead! And don't forget to thank me for your good looks and innate ability to piss people off, especially Republicans!

10. I am most thankful that I got to spend time this year with someone who made me laugh, made me cry, made me think and made me love. It has been one of the very few times in my life that I didn't feel alone. Whatever happens I will be forever thankful. 

I'll be taking the rest of the week off so Happy Turkey Day everybody! Mine will be filled with food that someone else is making for me (SCORE!), hugs from my nephew Jack and laughs with good friends. I hope yours is exactly the kind of day that makes you happy as well!

Monday, November 25, 2013


My friend Karen recently completed a momentous feat....her first novel! Set during the Revolutionary War, this fictional account of the signing of the Declaration of Independence has been a labour of love for her for many years and I am ridiculously proud of her accomplishment. The amount of research she had to do was staggering, and I've loved listening to her recount battle scenes and describe the interesting characters our hero will meet on his journey. One of those research areas was espionage and when we heard that author John A. Nagy was giving a lecture in Williamsburg about his book, Invisible Ink: Spycraft of the American Revolution, we decided to make a day of it. 

We made it just in time for the farmers market and then aimlessly wandered, snapped these shots and people watched {my favorite thing ever}. She introduced me to a fabulous restaurant called The Blue Talon Bistro for lunch where we forced ourselves to have champagne and other assorted goodies. I hope you'll indulge me because I do have to take a moment here to stop and write about their hot chocolate. Take a deep breath.......close your eyes........and think about the best hot chocolate you've ever had. Yea....this was better. It was thick and rich and decadent and amazing and wow! Did I mention it comes with a homemade marshmallow? Sorry! Back to the history!

We capped off the day with John's lecture and I'm excited to report I'm ready for undercover work. The Pigpen Cipher was my favorite, but I also loved hearing about how savvy the Colonists where at providing the British Army with misinformation about troop size and movements. It was lovely to meet John as well and I highly recommend picking up his book. Such a fun day and I'm so glad I have these photos to remember it by. Cheers!

Friday, November 22, 2013

It's Friday, Love

It's been a busy week so I'm a little beat, but full of really great things so I can't complain. Here's the rundown.....

  • Monday morning I had a big presentation for work and I'm happy to report I didn't trip or flub my lines too badly so we'll call it a success! That means our bill moves forward for this year's upcoming Virginia session so I'm really excited to have something I believe in to work on in the coming months. 
  • The rest of Monday and Tuesday was spent in Columbia, SC for work. I really love SC so any excuse to visit is fine by me.
  • The band tried out some new songs on Wednesday and I'm excited to see where blue grass versions of some U2 and The Supremes songs go. Who knew right?:)
  • Drinks with friends and some major house cleaning have rounded out the rest of the week.
  • I officially hate leaves and am wondering why we need trees at the moment?
  • I wish my dog wouldn't wake me up every morning before my alarm goes off just so she can eat and then whine incessantly until I get up. 
  • Really sad to see The Cheney family going through this in the media. I'm not a political fan of theirs by any means, but still feel very sad for them. 
  • "My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Imperfect Home : Jason, Heather and The Boys

Inspired by the work and design philosophy of Ralph Lauren's Mary Randolph Carter {check out the recent interview I did here}, I decided to start a new series on the blog called The Imperfect Home. I hope to highlight homes and families here in Church Hill that showcase the warmth, beauty and diversity of the wonderful neighborhood we are privileged to call home. So why call it "Imperfect"? Well, Mary, or Carter as she likes to be called, said it best....A perfectly kept house is the sign of a misspent life. 

Each house will have its own feeling and design aesthetic, its own story, prized possessions and caretakers. They may also have a toy lying around, a creaky board here or there and in the case of my home, yesterday's coffee still in the coffee pot {stay tuned:)}. The perfect home is boring, lifeless and the kind of place where you're afraid to sit on the sofa. The imperfect home is real, beautiful and loved-in. 

To start us out on our journey through Church Hill I'd like to introduce you to Jason, Heather, their two adorable boys Parker and Oliver and pups Fiona and Pickle. It's been an absolute joy getting to know them better over the past year so when Heather, who happens to be an Interior Designer herself, agreed to participate in this project I was thrilled to say the least! When you walk into their home you are immediately struck by the love within its walls. Built in 1901 and cared for by Jason and Heather for the past six years, this home is impeccably designed, yet livable. I found myself drawn to the warmth of the color palette and the stories Heather told about each carefully selected piece. The paintings, pictures and personal treasures hold memories that surround your senses with a comforting gravity that begs for an invitation to return.

Plans for an expansion of the kitchen and master suite are already underway and I'm crossing my fingers that Heather will let me photograph the transformation when it's complete! For more information about Heather's design services email her at A graduate of both the University of Michigan and Savannah College of Art and Design, she focuses on both residential and small commercial projects.