Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Many, Many, Hats!

In my past life, when I was  (and I use this term loosely) a head hunter, we used to over use the term "many hats."  The "position will require that the candidate wear many hats" was used on almost every client call, job description and candidate interview that I worked on.  By this, it is implied that the person "will report to Accounting, Legal, Marketing, Customer Service and Janitorial."  And while it is generally understood that all of "Corporate America" must indeed be multi-talented monkeys, let me enlighten you to just some of "the hats" of mommy hood.

So far today I have been a:

*Stylish Mom and Put Together Lady of the House. Why yes, my shower demand was granted at 6:15am! I  even put on a dress because it required almost no thought. Major Score.

*Short Order Chef. Whipped up a not so healthy diet of frozen waffles and apples by 6:45am. (Is that all the butler could remember to get at the grocery store?)

*Gourmet Caterer. Prepared two well-balanced and tasty lunches. Packaged to perfection.Started and completed sometime between 9pm last night and 7:45am.

*Laundress. Washed  one set of sheets and two loads of children's clothing. The maid must have forgotten to run the dryer and iron the sheets. Will have to do something about her or uhmmm, me. Time frame same as above.

*Chaufer.  Drove  two kids to  two different locations and a husband to a Gastroenterologist by 8:30am. Was only late once.

*Assistant Art Teacher in elementary school classroom. Sadie's teacher is a saint, those children are crazy. No wonder they get a break during specials. Reported to duty from 11:20am to 12:20pm.

*Delivery Food Driver. Brought food to husband on the couch. Almost missed my window. Delivered by 12:40pm.

*Pre-School Heroine. Ok not really, but I did get to the Weekday School on time to pick up Cooper. 1pm arrival.

*Strict Dictator of Nap-Time.  Not quite. . .  left Cooper asleep on the couch with Daddy while I changed hats or umm, clothes. Transfered to crib after the fact. Down by 1:20pm

* House Keeper Extraordinaire. Vacuumed, windexed and furniture polished entire downstairs. Ran a load of dishes from last night. Darn, I thought I started that thing. Task Completed by 1:50pm.

*Nurse Taylor. Gave husband cough drops, yelled at him to sort through a HUGE MOUND of Sports Illustrated. Sent him into his clean bedroom to sleep. I have room for improvement under this job description. Charted at 1:55pm.

*Nail Technician. One coat of gold nail polish over old manicure, almost good as new. 1:57pm.

*Administrative Assistant. Coordinated sale of Citipass books, Sadie's tennis lessons, Stella and Dot jewelry party, weekend house painting and closet installation. Still racking my brain as I am sure I am forgetting the reason I sat down at the computer. Oh yeah. . . .

*Writer, Blogger, Stylist and Creative Living Master. Insert hysterical laughing here, I am not even close. 2:45pm

Thank God the bus doesn't come for 30 more minutes and my husband and baby are still napping.

All in a 1/2 day's work girls and yet I know I am not even close to winning first prize.



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fabulous Fabric Headboards

twin beds, zebra pillows, upholstered headboards

Fabric headboards can be the most affordable and easily changeable aspect of updating your bedroom. From do-it-yourself garage built headboards to high-end luxury custom pieces, this is a trend that we can all embrace. Dont feel obligated to order online, you can easily customize your own headboard and  support local business and craftsman or save money for your kids college and do it yourself!

If you are in Charlotte, there are tons of local options, including some of the trendy booth rental furniture stores like Post and Grey in South End and Cotswald Market Place in South Park. Even better, my friend and local seamstress, Jill  Brashear  does a great job and has at least four different headboard designs to choose from. Check her out at or email me for information.

Not in Charlotte and can't track down any local craftsman, Ballard Designs will let you customize with your own fabric and has many different style options to choose from. Just be careful of long ship times and hidden costs. Other stores like West Elm and Crate and Barrel have their own fabrics and many different options. . . .beware of the same problems. My sister has been waiting for her headboard from West Elm since May. If she has it yet, she just got it!

Want to try it yourself?? Go ahead you know you can. . .ok, well maybe read these easy how to's for a little bit of guidance:

Hit up your local fabric stores and search through my favorite pictures for inspiration!

Love fabric headboards!Love the yellow, funky fabric!

HeadboardsAnd the solid orange with geometric pillows!

Love tufted headboards

The high back and  relaxing, spa like feeling of this bed is so inviting!

exposed brick and tufted headboards... loveee

There's nothing boring here!

gorgeous and perfectly attainable room (one day). love tufted headboards.

Your man will love this one!

I've always liked leather for headboards, but I'm liking this canvas style too

This look is just right!



Thursday, September 22, 2011

If You Havent, You Should: Tuesday Nights at The Mint Museum UPTOWN (are FREE!!)

Tuesday night my friends Liz, Christy and I left the children at home with the husbands, and ventured  to the "new" Mint Museum UPTOWN. We left the main level, home to the ever popular children's wing, and took the escalator up to the third and (gasp) fourth floors.

If you have been to the "old" Mint Museum of Craft and Design, then much of the work on the third floor will feel vaguely, if not totally familiar. Sadly, I can no longer confirm this as my patronage to most all museums has been recently put on hold by "post baby mush brain" and then by an "absolute lack of desire" to bring crazy todllers with me, to said museums. But I have good news for me. . .I am back  and I might have more of a desire to learn than ever before!

Through the white walls and huge, expanding spaces, we move casually around the Glass and Wood section. We  can and do, spend as much time as we want reading and taking notes. One new acquisition is the 1988 Etruscan Glass Chair by artist Danny Lane.  At first it is hard to believe this piece is a product of the 80's. It's age is given away by the rough, rusted metal supports and legs, floating blue glass with a vintage sea glass feel. Totally 80's!

As an out of practice, ex-artist, possessing a somewhat formal and mostly unusable education in Art History; I feel amazingly comforted by the inviting, open feel of the front gallerys. The humble wood sculptures are so unassuming that I forget for a second that I am not at a local craft gallery. I desperately want to purchase the Lace Turned CocoBolo Rosewood bowl by William Hunter.  Done in 1997, Kinetic Rythms embody's so much motion and energy, that it would appear to observers that it could possible begin to spin on it's own. Hunter quotes "My motive is to embody an essence of life and growth." Mission Accomplished.

In Studio Furniture, we learn about Irish craftsman artist Joseph Walsh,  whose work embodies everything modern americans lack: purity, craftsmanship and quality. In Jewelry we study Emiko Suu, a Japanese artist, who displays kinetic motion in her 1996 neckpiece made of spun and sculpted stainless steel, wire and 24k and 14k gold-leaf.

Two hours fly by and we barely make it to the main exhibit  Romare Bearden Southern Recollections. We cruised through, but our stomach were growling, and  I make a promise to myself to come back and pay it the attention it deserves. The exhibition is in town until January 8th 2012.

We stroll next door to popular farm-to-table restaurant Halcyon Flavors From The Earth and grab a seat on the patio. One bottle of wine and three appetizers later, we vow to start our own art club and hit up as many openings and exhibits as possible. Liz suggests we call it "The Culture Club."



Please go to for more inforation.

Check out Halcyon Flavors From The Earth at

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fighting Materialism: A Mothers Struggle

As I  ran to the bus stop today to meet Sadie,  the  bus doors open and we embrace in huge bear hugs. We practically skip back up to the house. A magical moment and yet I could have never guessed the next thing out of her mouth.  . . "MUMMMMMMYYYY . . . Where's MY PRESENT!" Wait, what just happened here? One second, we are embracing like long-lost relatives, and the next second, she is in a full-blown state of materialism.

Apparently she had already noticed the small, black, batman doll in Cooper's hands. Uhmmm, excuse me,  Cooper just got a present because he, for the first time on his own, requested to use the classroom bathroom and actually produced results. Worthy of a reward,  for sure!

So what do I do? Well, like a novus, I  produce a pair of Missioni Rain Boots that I found for her today at Target. . .BIG MISTAKE!  Sadie continues her fit with " Those are NOT A PRESENT!!"  Right before I slap myself back into reality, I hear myself promise to buy her a present the next day.

Flashback to a couple of days ago at a wine tasting party at my friend Emily's house. At some point during the evening,  I boldly declare that my hardest mommy challenge is "keeping it real." I feel compelled to continue speaking (oh why, oh why) on the importance of providing a strong sense of reality to our  children. . .blah, blah, blah. . .we must NOT SPOIL them!  I have been begging to give up our golf club, I want to join an "old school" neighborhood pool, I am going to give our children the most grounded childhood ever. . .they will battle bugs for boiled hotdogs and others for space in a lane. They will pray at the end of the summer their bathing suit is not see through (and it will be) and next summer they will remimber to wash the chlorine out.

Promises, Promises. How is it that, with truly the best intentions, even my children are evidence of a world full of materialism. Am I too blame? Probably. Can I change it? Maybe.

I can "hear" my negative flaws in Sadie frequently, her voice harshly telling her brother what to do or not do. Ugh, Do I really sound like that?  How often do we "see" our behaviors in our children?  Do I verbally declare, where's "my diamond earings" or "I want a new-----"   or "She has more than me." I wouldn't dare. Yet I know Scotty  can "see" the longing in my eyes and I know he wants to give me those things and can't.  So while my husband can read my secret wants, so  can my  children, and they are learning to keep score with each other.  I know I have to stop it,  I just do not know how.

As for me, I love style. . .I love living with style. . . .but "materialism" is not what this blog or myself is about. It is about reinventing, reusing and in some cases, relearning to love what you already have. It is about learning to experience our world, it's amazing cuisine, inspiring design and embracing other cultures; and  too living a life all your own.

It is not about keeping score.



Friday, September 16, 2011

Falling Hard into Fall

I was born in Boston in 1977. I have spent the better half of my life in Connecticut!. I am a New Englander. I crave bulky sweaters and jeans, layers of shirts and colors in the "not always so flattering" neutrals and browns. I love college football and not the ACC kind. . .IV League baby!  (Yale v. Harvard is home this year, so here come the Clarke's.I can not wait!)

This morning I woke up and it is all "FALL" outside! Here are some inspirational pics to get you all excited about our next season!!!





Fall outfit. Love..

Split hair as if you would to make pigtails, braid away from your face, then tie into knot and pin loose ends. Need to try this!

Marc Jacobs knows what he is doing!


Cheers to warm apple cider and long cozy nights by the fire!


Oh and Ash this one is for you! embrace that awesome bump of yours!!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago.

Everyone has their story about today,  ten years ago. They can not help it. It is as if the entire country was in the same fiery car crash, and its horrific memorys keep an entire country of survivors up at night. It is impossible to forget.

I feel guilty that I was safe in  Charlotte, when most of my family was in the heart of the tragedy.  I woke my sister up in Boston, she was still asleep. I couldn't reach my father in Connecticut or New Jersey, did anyone know where he was working that day?  My Grandmother lives in Fairfax, Va. My Aunt Sarah in Alexandria, Va.  My Uncle was in the Pentagon. My mother was a mess. My father said one word "Osama Bin Laden." Uhm, Who?

At 9:30 that morning  I jumped in my car and drove to the YMCA, I did not know where else to go. I still see most of the people I sat with that day at the round table in the common area. We watched the news all afternoon. We prayed in the chapel. Do they remember that I was there with them? One little person in a sea of panicked people. One little city, far from Pennsylvania, New York and Washington, DC.  No one felt safe.

Ten  years ago I had just graduated from college, and I did not have a job. I was fresh from the "security" of  the small, southern (mostly) women's college, I graduated from. I was excited about the future and I was focused on me.

Today I have a husband and two children and I live in that happy place that young motherhood requires of its particpants. Nick Junior blares way more often than the news. Mommy website pop up more than CNN. I go to parks and I don't worry about my safety. I focus on my family.

The thousands of people who lost their loved one's do not get  the same opportunity.  The memory's and loss will continue to influence their every day  life.  I expect that they will grieve forever. I pray for them.


If you get a chance, please read this article by Allysa Torres:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fashion's Night Out 2011: Charlotte, NC

Alas, Fashion's Night Out 2011 is finally here!  Allison and I are headed to Neiman Marcus for the Fashion's Night Out event and then uptown to Metropolitan, to support our favorite local shops!

Here are some looks I hope we see:


Miu Miu Glitter BootieMiu Miu Glittered Open-Toe Pump

This shoe is the most controversial and "game changing" shoe I have seen hit the main stream in a while!! Cult Fashion Shoe AHHHHLOOOOLICCS are worshiping this shoe. Love , love it in the second version as well! If we didn't need power and food, I would already own them:)

2. Marc by Marc Jabobs is an urban legand!

MARC by Marc Jacobs Michaela Silk Blouse

Hugs and Kisses for this shirt! If Neiman Marcus wants to continue to keep the urban cool kids around, this  is a great way to start! Me, I would probably pair it with a pair of 70's inspired flares and a great wedge. . .maybe some simple gold hoops and a boho brown leather cross boday bag! I might also wear it tucked into a vintage pencil skirt,  30's style T-Cross high heel shoe and a killer  bag. Too many ways to wear this, and worth the investment!  A total 2010 Gucci Knockoff, of course, but the closest designer to hit it, HECK YES!!! Worth the money!!!

3. The Return of ladylike: If I were a princess, I would wear this! I would of course be 6 inches taller, lacking a football player's shoulders and have a trust fund immune to a double dip recession. Nope not me, but be on the look out for inspired looks, in time for your husbands/neighbors/charity  holiday party:)

Stella McCartney Lace Full-Skirt Dress

4. The Power of a Women in a Bad A$$ Hat! I am in love with the 70's, bell bottoms, suede, felt hats, wooden wedges.. . . ahhh, all me baby, all me!!! This piece, makes me wobble in my heels. . . .

Eugenia Kim Carly Boho Cloche Hat

5. I know I will NEVER be able to afford it, but these shoes are just bad! In my dreams I  would wear them NOW with a tea length knit skirt (think Missioni)  and a silk cami. Oh and maybe the hat from up above!

6.Colorblocking is KEY this season. I love the clean lines and the use of color in this dress from Jill Stuart. The perfect blend of 70's meets modern.

For Winter try this look from modern design master 3.1 Philip Lim, available at (of course!)

7. The perfect accessory to both the lady like look and boho chic? Estate jewelry of course! Check out these awesome earings from Stella & Dot.

Cant wait to share with you our favorite looks from the night!



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Life in a Tree House

Our house was built in 1924, and I  love it.  I imagine that the man who built this house must have been a romantic. We are the third owners, the women before us, lived here for 2 years. The family before that built not only our house,  but the house's around us.  Mostly, I feel like I was destined to be here and I do not know why.

There are more windows than wall space. Most of them casement, and crank outwards like we should be looking out on the Cape.  None of them are standard. The light floods the house in the morning and I am overcome with a half-awake happiness. A calmness that only the gentle soft morning light could achieve over my cranky morning self.

The ceilings are 10+ feet. They feel huge in comparrsion to me.

There are old pine floors that go one way, vary greatly in width, and excite me in the romantic way they should.  There are oak floors that go the other way, are perfectly symmetrical,  and bore me most days. They require 1/2 the work.

Not one of the doors is level.

The house is full of life in the summer. The southern humidity brings everything together. The littlest cracks that drive me crazy all winter, all swell and fill with the summer heat. They keep the cool air-conditioned air inside, where we need it most.

In the winter, while my neighbors tree shaded houses are all creaky and cold, the same sun light that prevents me from ever growing the smallest flower, keeps our house warm and compensates for the gaping spaces in the casement windows. I never have to check the weather channel in the morning, I only have to stand barefoot in front of the sink.

Did I tell you that our house is framed in the same red cedar that sides it?  The studs are magnificent. It takes a fully muscled man and large power equipment to hang so much as a mirror. That mirror will be there as long as the house.

On top of the frame-work, lives our plaster walls.  It too, is alive in a way that some human beings are not. I fix cracks, we plaster, we paint, they come back, they want to be here . .to be seen. . .there is no other explanation.

My kitchen is in the back of the house,  where modern floor plans do not allow. There is no "Great Room", yet I am grateful for my alone space. No one bothers me back here. I am here now, typing away, while the sound of the television blares from the front room. They will find me when they are hungry, but not before.

In our house, the dirt rises from the ground below, the windows bring the fresh air in,  and light fills the space in its natural glow. Our house in its aging imperfection, economic shortcomings and modern inefficiency's, clearly represents what Scotty and I stand for. We are romantics, drawn together by something stronger than we are, and we do not know why.



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Get the Look: Star Lighting

Lighting, the older I get, the more important it becomes. . . crows feet be gone!  Choosing the right chandelier or fixture sets the mood for the whole room. I  saw this AMAZING look online  this morning (at Elle Decor) and thought it looked familiar:

Choose This (Charles Edwards Star Lantern ) for This ($ So expensive I couldn't find a price anywhere. . . what, what!)

04-gwyneth-paltrow-shortlist-ed0911.jpgGweneth Paltrow has three hanging in her hallway!


Choose This (Worlds Away  Star Chandelier) for This ($185)

Clear Star Chandelier

*Almost hung this in my hallway but I can part with our original fixture? Gweneth I am not:)