30 March 2016

Gentleman Gazette's Preppy Style Primer

I came across a post on the Gentleman Gazette that lists the preppy history and style. It gives a list of preppy designers as well. It's worth a read.
Today, the term “preppy” is far looser and a term regularly used in high schools across North America and parts of Europe. It still describes a subculture, but that of a social circle of well brought up men and women who have adopted a manner of speech, vocabulary, dress, manners and etiquette that becomes an integral part of their lifestyle reflective of the traditions adopted from those historic upper-class Northeastern families.
Of course, the prep culture, or coastal culture as I like to call it is still very predominant in those regions, but it has spread into other areas and is often referred to as southern culture and now classic American culture, adopted by men and women in all of the fifty states, as well as abroad.

29 March 2016

Jesus & Instagram

Another Easter has come and gone. It's amazing how fast time goes by the older one gets. I thought I'd take today's post and talk about my Easter, how Lent went, and the forthcoming Instagram changes. I had every intention of posting yesterday but my oldest son was on leave and came here and stayed the night. I was able to make him breakfast and lunch and do his laundry for him...things that I now miss since he joined the Army 3 years ago. Sadly, I did not get any pictures as we were having fun.

Let me back up to Friday. My sister, nephew, and niece  came to Georgia and we went shopping, of course. My niece is a world-class shopper, like myself. Actually, she is a lot like me, probably more than my son. My nephew took the photo so sadly he was not in it. I am sitting weird and look like I weigh 900 pounds but otherwise it's a cute one. Do you see my Lilly wristlet (similar)? It's large enough to carry my Ray-Bans, lipstick. iPhone+, keys, and has card holders. I heart it! It is not easy to find a wristlet big enough to fit my phone. It is gigantic! We were supposed to go to dinner on Saturday night but I developed a bad migraine. 

On Sunday William had the Easter bunny and I made maple bacon pancakes. We went to the late church service. I wore a dress (old similar), cardigan, and ballet flats. Jewelry was a cross necklace, charm bracelet, and watch. Afterwards, we went to Cracker Barrel. When I married, Mother began sending me gift cards to Cracker Barrel every Easter so that I could get the foods that I would be getting back home. We basically came home and watched television until Nicholas arrived for supper and a movie (Spectre). As you can see, I was sparse on photographing this weekend. Other than the migraine, my weekend was swell! How was yours?

Now that Easter is over, I am contemplating how Lent went this year. If you recall, my focus is on lessening the negativity in my life and giving social media a break, except for posting for my blog or if I see something at the top of my feed upon logging on. I am also focusing on hustling, which is my word for 2016. I did find a job during this time, which was definitely hustling. Going off of Facebook was wonderful. In fact, if my blog page and groups I run were not attached to my personal page, I would totally go off for good. I have been on three times since Easter and see so much negativity. There's already enough in the world. I don't know...so should we just give up whatever we chose (sugar, meat, spending money, etc.) and go back without changing? I don't think so.

Okay, now on to the Instagram bruhaha. Bloggers are up in arms over the proposed changes to Instagram's algorithms. Many are afraid they will not get the visibility if it is changed from the chronological platform it is currently. Facebook, who owns Instagram, made this change a year or so ago and it has worked out for businesses, but not the average Joe. I'm not going to say the changes don't concern me, but less so after reading Krista's blog post about it. Krista works in social media for MLB as well as has her own blog business, which utilizes social media for advertising the blog. Yes, I use affiliate shopping so I do get a small payment per click. If I am not using social media to bring attention back to my blog, I am less likely to get as many clicks. That's a fact. However, for me, I want people to come to my blog, any social media platform, etc because they like me, my writing, pictures, or are just wanting to keep up with my family. If you want to do so, then like my pictures on Instagram. That's all it takes. Read Krista's post and her links if you are wanting more info.  

25 March 2016

On My Radar

This has been a very busy but introspective week. I love the Holy Week more than any other as far as feeling closer to Jesus, more than at Christmas. I've been following along with two different studies: She Reads Truth and Southern Plate verses (P.S. Southern Plate's pimento cheese biscuits are ahmazing and can be made gluten free with Pamela's Pancake Mix.)

I'm excited for it to be Friday as I get to see my sister! She is in town (they stay at her husband's bff's as he has a larger home than us) and we get to hang out tomorrow and hopefully some on Saturday too. Look for some sister pictures on Monday. :)

What happened in Belgium is so sad. #prayforbrussels #jesuisbruxelles

One of my favorite classes in school was History of Fashion. Marie Claire has a slideshow of what people were wearing when you were born. I chose this dress from 1955 because it's cute and there's a basket for Easter. Plus, the clothes from the late 70's when I was born are SO ugly.

Our Dogwoods, Cherry Blossoms, and Bradford Pears are in bloom and so gorgeous.

Draper James has new spring arrivals! They are all so cute! I love this daisy dress, tweet along skirt , and bow guest towel set the best. Reese Witherspoon, owner of Draper James and actress, turned 40 this week. People Magazine compiled a list of her quotes.
I saw this recipe on Tumblr for Easy Strawberry Shortcakes and I could not believe this never occurred to me before to make! I mean, how easy is cupcakes, icing, and sliced strawberries?! I think I'm going to make this for my family this weekend and maybe some Nutella brownies

23 March 2016

easter gifts for teenagers

Once again I am the queen of procrastination. Though I was thinking of what to purchase for the children for Easter in the last week, I actually did not purchase anything. If you recall, my daughter lives 2,000 miles away. Oops. So instead of going shopping for presents and mailing them out I'm going to utilize our Prime membership in hopes that it gets to her by Saturday. Funds are on the short side this year so I am not spending as much as usual. So here's the plan:

Sbux gift card
Amazon gift card
car charger
iPhone case

inspirational Magnets
travel mug
lip balm
Sbux gift card

Dunkin' Donuts gift card (purchased thru app)
Steam gift card
computer fan

21 March 2016

Will's Birth Story

Yesterday, my youngest living child turned 18. William is seriously the sweetest teenage boy in the world. I thought today I would give his birth story. The week before his birth I had been hospitalized because I was very swollen and did not have a ton of movement. His bio-life score was just 3/7. After hydration and monitoring he perked back up. I'd been having pretty severe braxton hicks contractions since I was 32 weeks and this was 35 weeks. I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and told to stay still and drink more water. I quit my job. I was young (20) and so they thought if I could stay still then everything would be alright. Well, he had other ideas.

About 4 days later, when my mom brought down my items from my baby shower, I went into labor. My husband was in Alabama working so she drove me to the hospital. I was not dilated but 3 cm so they sent me home. The doctors decided not to stop my labor this time. My contractions stayed around every 5 minutes so I went to the doctor the next morning and they said just to stay home until they were every 2-3 minutes. The baby was not distressed and I'd labor better at home. They said just to take baths when the contractions hurt. I did this all that night and then they got so intense the bath wasn't doing anything. Around 5 am we went to the hospital. They checked me and I was only dilated 4 cm but they decided to keep me. As they were hooking my stomach up to the monitors they could not find his heartbeat. They were moving me all around. I may have cursed this one time, which was pretty good for natural labor. Of course they panicked. I didn't know what was going on. The nurse checked me again and I had fully dilated. Yep, in 10 minutes after checking me earlier I was ready. The nurse broke my water and out he came. The cord was wrapped so they told me to stop pushing and then one more and he was out. Then my doctor walked in. She said in over 20 years of labor and delivery she has never missed a birth as she lives 1 mile away from the hospital. I suppose that makes us special.

The nurses whisked Will away because they were concerned he had lost oxygen and being a preemie. They brought him back soon after and we tried breast feeding. It didn't work so they gave him a bottle with a preemie nipple. He never could breast feed. I pumped but couldn't long as I was so exhausted. He was feeding every other hour because he was small. Those were rough times. I grew up quickly. We grew up together.

When he was 2 weeks old we moved to Alabama for a year then to Peachtree City, Georgia for a year. After PTC, we moved to north metro Atlanta, where we have remained for 16 years. Will has grown into a sweet person, gentle person, small dog lover, good friend, and one who honors Christ. Because of those things I can forgive the fact that he does not like sports...at all.
William is currently a junior in high school. He attends our local public high school. Because of his traumatic birth and losing oxygen in the womb, he has a slight speech issue and learning difficulties. He's a very smart boy with technology, which he plans to pursue after graduation. But first, he needs to pass biology. Will is truly my world. I thank the Lord for him each and every day. My First Day of Spring baby.

18 March 2016

A Few Cute Sundresses

We have had a warm spell the last week which means I really need to switch out my closets. The leggings I have worn all winter will soon be put in the storage bin and the sundresses come out. I pretty much live in dresses from March-November. When I was out running errands earlier I popped into Old Navy and found some inexpensive and cute sundresses. Most are under $20! The gingham (no surprise there) and floral are my favorites.
checked short set (topshorts)

Do you recall when I mentioned Lilly Pulitzer brought the Southern Charm print back? Well, they've expanded the merchandise offered. It won't last long so hurry up and purchase.
Cathy shift (perfect Easter dress!)

16 March 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today
March 16, 2016

Outside my window... the sun is going in and out of the clouds. The trees are blooming (and stinky in the Bradford Pear). With our windows open the breeze is so welcome after being closed all winter. Our 70's will leave tomorrow and 60's come back, but that's alright as it's only for a few days. It will be 90 with 90% humidity soon enough.

I am thinking about... how close Easter and spring break are coming. I must be thinking of what we are going to wear quite soon as well as getting M's Easter basket ready to send out to Cali. 

I am thankful... for so many things! 

I am wearing... nightgown right now as it is quite early.

I am creating... ideas for Easter basket.

I am going... to drop Will off at school, stop by Goodwill, work, pick Bryson up, and home. 

I am wondering... if I would ever want to live without a cell phone again and how to do that.

I am learning... about affiliates.

In the kitchen... supper will be baked cheesy spaghetti casserole and green beans.

I am reading... I just finished Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson and begin The Etiquette Advantage in Business tonight. I need more fiction books in my life.

Favorite Quote... "Storms make trees take deeper root." Dolly Parton

A peek into my day... my son's birthday is this week so this week's throwback Thursday tomorrow will be my baby boy's trip to see the Easter bunny about 15 years ago. Isn't he adorable?!

14 March 2016

Southern Pi

'The most beautiful voice in the world is that of an educated Southern woman.' ~Winston Churchill

This episode of Designing Women is a favorite of mine. It's called "The Women of Atlanta". This was filmed around 1990, so 25-ish years ago. I moved here in 1995 and so I remember the ladies in which Julia Sugarbaker is referencing. Educated Southern women were coming into power, later than our counterparts to the north and west. Two decades after this was filmed, we educated Southern women are essential to the workforce, but most are still traditional Southern women in their homes and hearts. I love talking to these ladies of the South. It's like talking to a character on Steel Magnolias.

Today is Pi Day, and for an educated Southern woman, this is a great day! Because of time constraints I am slightly phoning out my pies today. For supper we are having chicken pot pie with crusts pre-made from Trader Joe's and cream of chicken soup is organic from Whole Foods. Also, the crust for our peanut butter pie is courtesy of Whole Foods too.

When I make these pies, I am wearing one of my aprons and listening to George Strait. If you want more glimpses of my South, check out my Pinterest board, Snapchat, and Instagram.

11 March 2016

Downton Abbey Finale (Spoilers)

First of all, can I just say NOOOOOOOOOO! COME BACK! Okay, now that I've got that off of my chest, let's discuss the last episode. It was just perfect. It wrapped everything up in a tidy bow, and of course I love bows. Here are my thoughts:
  • Part of me kind of hoped Lady Sybil would magically appear, but alas she did not.
  • Lord Robert Grantham is proud of his wife, not just love, but proud, and as a wife that is a great feeling. Fellas, be proud of your wives when they are doing something significant other than taking care of you. I always loved the fact that Robert and Lady Cora truly love each other. With Cora being a rich American there to save Downton, there was no guarantee they would fall in love. They did and to me that makes it so much better. They are a Team.
  • The fashions were breathtaking. Edith's wedding gown was different than Mary's to Matthew but just as lovely.
  • Daisy and Andrew need to ride off into the sunset. I am glad that they will stay on the estate, that is if they get married and Daisy's father-in-law allows them to live there. When he said she looks like Clara Bow was the ultimate compliment to her vanity and heart.
  • It took several years, but Lady Mary has finally matured and come off her high horse. The way she has loved her new financially poor husband and then helped Edith get her Marquis. On top of that, she has shown love to her ladies maid, Anna. Back in the day, she would have just let Anna have miscarriages and not taken her to see a surgeon (And Pay For The Surgery) then allow Anna to deliver the baby on her own bed! 
  • The only person Lady Mary has always loved more than herself is Carson. She dotes on him and he on her. I think Mrs. Hughes may be a little jealous as she makes so many snarky remarks about their friendship. I feel for Carson having Parkinson's. I like that Lord Grantham says they'll take care of Carson, but I'll be honest, I do not like that he gave Thomas Carson's position. Thomas doesn't deserve it. That was proven when Carson was gone for a bit and Thomas had to take over. 
  • Edith has come into her own. The sweet words Lord Grantham spoke to Edith when they were alone at the staircase before he walked her down the aisle were so heartfelt, and deserved. In the first season, Edith was her own undoing by scheming about Lady Mary and Mr. Pamuk, but now she is finally happy and successful in her own right, thanks to Michael Gregson.
  • Anna and Bates are finally happy and parents. To happen on NYE is especially nice. They've certainly endured more than their share of problems but it seems like everything is settling down. I think Anna has the biggest heart of anyone on the show. 
  • Tom is probably my second favorite character. I admire someone that has their own convictions yet can keep calm. He loved Lady Sybil to his core, and has his place in the family; someone needs to be the voice of reason. He is smart, capable, kind, and hunky to boot. I wouldn't be mad if there was a spin off showing his romance that seemed to be blossoming at Lady Edith's wedding with her Secretary/Editor. 
  • After 6 seasons, I am glad that Mrs. Crawley has found love and happiness again.
  • Last, my favorite character, Lady Violet Crawley...oh how I'll miss you! She was the best. Dame Maggie Smith is obviously a brilliant actor. It is fitting that she had the last line about not looking backwards, no matter how much you want to.
I will miss all of these people, Highclere, and most of all...the drama. I hope Mr. Fellowes (creator and writer) will bring something else for us soon. 

09 March 2016

Does One's Style Change?

Like every morning, I have to decide what I'm putting on to leave the house (if I'm not leaving the house I will be in my pajamas all day). Now that I have a job (!), I have to be more thoughtful of what I am wearing rather than my shirts and leggings to wear to drop of Bry and go to Trader Joe's. I began thinking of my style as a child, teen, college girl, mom, and working girl. Has my style really changed?

On my wall is a picture of me as a child in a sailor dress, another in a Woolrich birds eye sweater and turtleneck, and another in a red polo. Mother dressed me in preppy clothes in the preppy heyday, the 1980's. Now she also loved to put me in Polly Flinders dresses with smocking that pouf out with patent leather shoes. Those were so cute! Muzzie and my Aunt Sunny bought me clothes from Ruff Hewn and Ralph Lauren in middle school. I went to a ultra preppy private school and so it was the de rigeur to wear those clothes. The only time I slightly deviated from prep was when I worked at The Limited for 2 years in high school and Laura Ashley in college. We had to wear their clothes but at least that was when the Rachel Green on Friends plaid kilts were in so I was good. After marrying I still pretty much wore polo shirts and khaki shorts, plaid dresses, etc. Of course I wore other items as I was on a serious budget but my core has always been pearls-twinsets-plaid-penny loafer-kinda girl.

Now that I have to be more thoughtful of what I am wearing in the mornings to get out the door, I was perusing J. Crew and Ann Taylor, I realized, I still really do not like most of those clothes. A few blazers on J. Crew are fine, but most are just not me. I looked at Brooks Brothers and loved their Red Fleece items. How cute is this?!

I assume I will be like Muzzie in my polo shirts, khakis, and vintage Coach purse all day every day as a senior. That's just my style.

07 March 2016

Miss Sandy of Ossabaw Island

I have a Sunday ritual which begins on Saturday night when I lay out my clothes for the next morning. I arise around 8 and put on my clothes, grab my coat, keys, and wallet, and head out the door. My first stop is for Starbucks, of course, then on to Publix where I get a few groceries and a double paper. After coming home and putting away the groceries I put bacon and biscuits in the oven. While I eat I open up the paper, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and read every section. After I look at the ads and cut coupons and organize the coupons in my handy dandy coupon file book. In yesterday's edition, in the Features section (my favorite of all sections) was an article about Sandy West and her Ossabaw Island.

Ossabaw is a barrier island near my favorite places in Georgia, Savannah and Saint Simons Island. The Golden Isles (the barrier islands) are the best part of Georgia, in my opinion. I may live in Atlanta, but we have vacationed down there for a decade. The weeping oaks, untouched beaches, piers where my city children crab, friendly people, are some of it's charms. I actually have not been to Ossabaw, but will as soon as possible! You see it is about as untouched as possible. Jekyll, Sea Island, and Saint Simons have hotels, beach clubs, etc., but you see Ossabaw Island has been owned by Mrs. West's family since the 1920's. She is 103 years old and though she has spent most of her life in the North and Midwest, they vacationed there and when she was older she moved to her pink stucco home permanently.

"Stuckey’s tour ends at the 1924 Spanish colonial revival mansion — Sandy’s home, called the Main House. It’s an imposing, 20,000-square foot, red-tiled, pink-stuccoed structure with a great lawn leading to the sound. Lulu Belle awaits upon entering the front hall. She’s a 75-year-old beeswax mannequin wearing a green gown from Ghana and flowery white shoes that belonged to Sandy’s mother. A paper tiara stenciled with “103rd Birthday” rests atop her thinning black hair in need of a wash. Most of her fingers have snapped off."
Unfortunately, the Main House is falling apart. A few years ago the Georgia DNC purchased Ossabaw Island as Mrs. West's money has run out. The problem is it costs $10,000 per month to keep it up and running. The state has been generous to not have commercialized the island while she is living. The thing is nobody imagined she would live this long and they are running out of money. There is land and buildings to maintain (including tabby made slave quarters which Sandra Bulloch helped) and a hunter to be paid to kill the wild pig issue. They have set up a Go Fund Me so that while Miss Sandy is still living she will not have to leave her home.

You can go now and take a day tour to the island, which now that I know about, I will be touring this summer.

Here are a few resources on the Golden Isles:
The Woman Who Saved An Island
Foods of Georgia's Barrier Islands
Guide to Barrier Islands

Post Script: I will post my Downton Finale thoughts either tomorrow or Wednesday so stay tuned!

03 March 2016

Nail Care

My hands and nails have been so incredibly dry lately. When I was sick for about 3 weeks I let my nails go au naturel and I'm applying lotion throughout the day. To be completely honest, I am sure it is because I am not getting my 70 ounces of water that is recommended. Too much makes me nauseated because of my acid reflux. If I was drinking as I should then I guarantee I would not have the dryness issues that have plagued my skin for the last month or so. It's winter as well so that does not help the situation. Seeing that spring is in just a few weeks, I decided that it's time to pick out some new nail products.
When I began taking care of my nails a few years ago, I began pushing my cuticles back as I was taught in modeling school. Then I decided to try cutting them, which was disastrous. Poor painful cuts all over the place. So, I tried using cuticle oils and creams. After using Burt's Bees I tried this one by Perlier as it promotes nail growth and has vitamins. It smells so good as well.

Essie is by far my favorite nail polish. The colors are vibrant and it lasts a few days, unlike most traditional nail polishes.
Though I stopped wearing gels, this Revlon ColorStay Gel polish is inexpensive and lasts much longer than any regular polish. They have a wide array of spring colors. 

Y'all, I cannot tell you how much these drops have saved my polish. I tend to do my nails right before bed, after bathing and moisturizing. Within seconds my nails are dry.
There are probably better hand moisturizers out there but I love this one. I have used it for years, it costs $10, works well, and smells yummy. If I do not use this one I use Aveeno. I try to keep the products I put on my skin on the natural side. The foot creme is also perfect.

At my husband's old office they had parafin wax machine and lawdy that was the best. These products will have to take it's place for now.

01 March 2016

March! March! March!

"March! March! March! They are coming 
In troops to the tune of the wind. 
Redheaded woodpeckers drumming, 
Gold - crested thrushes behind; 
Sparrows in brown jackets, hopping 
Past every gateway and door; 
Finches, with crimson caps, stopping 
Just where they stopped before. 
March! March! March! They are slipping 
Into their places at last. . . 
Literature white lily buds, dripping 
Under the showers that fall fast; 
Buttercups, violets, roses; 
Snowdrop and bluebell and pink, 
Throng upon throng of sweet posies 
Bending the dewdrops to drink. 
March! March! March! They will hurry 
Forth at the wild bugle sound, 
Blossoms and birds in a flurry, 
Fluttering all over the ground. 
Shake out your flags, birch and willow! 
Shake out your red tassels, larch! 
Grass blades, up from your earth - pillow. 
Hear who is calling you. . . March." 
-  Lucy Larcom, March  


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