Friday favorite

only one favorite this week, because the one is just perfect. this literally just made my day, y’all. i have watched it like 8 times and kind of can’t get enough. messaging and execution, completely on point. i honestly don’t think this could have been cast, scripted, shot or edited any more perfectly. bravo, Lane Bryant and Laird + Partners!

have a great weekend, everyone!

newsflash: basics no longer standard

gap_beigepolo. jpgthat’s right. this post really is about the most boring shirt you ever saw. the image isn’t just a clever metaphor for some deeper statement about the comfort of blandness in our ever-complicated world. this is literally just a story about the un-fucking-believable lengths i went to this morning to be a good mom, and the shock and awe i experienced doing so. check back later if you’re looking for social commentary, y’all.

a couple weeks ago, when Miss Girl came home singing “i’m a mean old lion . . . rawr!” and i found out that her Pre-K class was taking the role of Lion in The Wiz for the school musical, i was beside myself. The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies ever and i have always loved The Wiz on sidebar, as a child of the 80s, Michael Jackson lover and huge fan of Diana Ross, whose early years in Motown i kind of idolized and who was obvs a beloved mentor to MJ. so i was super psyched about childhood memories and cultural diversity the selection brings out.

for the past couple weeks, i’ve glowed over all this — have loved Miss Girl’s occasional song break-out (though, like me, she can’t carry a tune in a bucket) and even hosted the first-grader next door (whose class song is No Bad News) to actually watch The Wiz on a Saturday movie night, complete with several dance party moments for those songs, as well as Ease On Down the Road (obvs) and a couple other of the most catchy tunes. The Wiz is so much more danceable than the original. go figure.

all this time, it was in the back of my head that i’d gotten an email saying everyone needs to wear “brown” from head to toe for the show and there would be some kind of lion mane and tail attached. i mean there 1,000 shades of “brown.” ugh. but khaki uniform pants were deemed okay, so i figured a khaki shirt to match would work and must be the easiest thing on the planet to find. i could get around to that.

fast forward to Sunday morning. T-3 days and counting until the big show. Amazon must have a thousand different options, i thought. a basic khaki or tan t-shirt, what could be easier to find? click, click, click . . . click . . . click . . . wtf?  no really. what the . . . i was coming up with nothing. girls’ shirts. boys shirts. a basic khaki tee i couldn’t get on Prime? um, no. i am an avid Amazon shopper — the evidence is in the 4 boxes i received this weekend with no idea what was in them (i might be seeking a group for help with this. whatevs.) i basically never buy anything i can’t get on Prime because the only reason i order from Amazon is i need this shit now (i mean, or tomorrow). otherwise, i would take Spy’s ridiculous advice this morning and “just go out and find it.” sound of a thousand hyenas laughing. really? on a rainy Sunday in Atlanta, you want me to drive around and pop into somewhere and just hope they have this one very specific thing? i love this man, but he has no idea how retail works.

so i widened my circle. (Google it yourself. i dare you. it’s not pretty.) i was teased with a $39 Polo shirt that didn’t actually exist in anything close to brown/khaki/tan/oatmeal when i got to the site. multiple items that weren’t even close. then these assholes wanted to charge me $115 to overnight ship a $4 Hanes t-shirt. i kid you not. i didn’t really investigate, but assume they were shipping it to me from the moon. again, wtf? i looked at Target, Old Navy, all the usual suspects . . . finally, finally i checked into Gap . . .

finally, i found the star of this post. vaguely the right color to match khaki uniform pants. more than $4 cost, but less than $115 shipping. sold. finally, like 45 minutes later (welcome to my Sunday morning) and like $40 with product cost and 2-day shipping (for a shirt she will never wear again), i hope to have this damn thing in time. nobody tell Miss Girl it’s actually a boys’ shirt. but really, should this have been that hard? should finding the most boring, plain shirt on the planet have taken more than 5 minutes of my time? ugh. we subsequently got an email and link from the class parents for a Prime-available chocolate brown t-shirt. is a lion chocolate brown? no! but i ordered that one, too, just in case.

whatever happens, and whichever shirt arrives in time, i’m sure Miss Girl will be amazing on Wednesday morning. how could she not ? as the crappy, last-minute mom, i’m just interested in seeing who’s wearing what so i can totally judge/feel better about my slack-ass ways. stay tuned . . .

wine Wednesday: we all scream for wine ice cream!

wineicecream_chjust wow. anybody who’s ever had a gruesome, wallow-inducing break-up, something rooftop-shoutingly phenomenal to celebrate or just an everyday case of feeling utterly decadent will totally be able to relate to the sheer awesomeness of this find: Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream. in the ultimate 2-great-tastes-that-taste-great-together combo, the most clichéd and delicious heartbreak/celebration/indulgence go-to foods confirm what i’ve always known: wine and ice cream are made for each other.

no, friends. this is not ice cream that tastes like wine. it is not some paltry fruity sorbet bullshit purporting to have hints of Merlot or Chardonnay. this is full-fledged, dense, high-quality ice cream that is made with real, alcoholic wine inside. yes, you can have your ice cream and get drunk on it, too! okay, well maybe not that much. it is only 5% alcohol, so i think you’d be ice-cream ill before ever really catching a buzz. but i wouldn’t ever, for example, serve it at a 5 year old’s birthday party or anything. i mean, right?

so obvs, i had to find out what the deal was. as you can see, i ordered 7 of the 8 flavors Mercer’s makes and invited some of my girls over for a tasting. why 7? they ship in cases of 7, so i figured we could do without the Spice flavor. for around $100 with shipping (overnight on dry ice), i got the goods. lucky Yankees who can just go to their local market and pick up as much as they want! i also had tons of bubbles left over from the holidays. what could be more perfect and girly than a Saturday evening of wine and wine ice cream? um. only watching a pirated advance version of Magic Mike XXL during. but no, we didn’t do that. no, really. but it was discussed. anyhoo . . .

bein’ that we all sophisticated an’ whatnot, we set up our tasting session in the order you’d normally do a wine tasting (from what we could remember) — white to red with sparkling last. (after a warmer-upper cheese plate and bottle of red, of course.) there was definitely not a flavor we’d throw out of the bed, y’all. notes on each, below. none was super-boozy tasting or anything. and being the responsible ice cream drunks we are, we literally only took mini, 2-bite sized scoops of each. so i have 6 (Ms. M took one off my hands) almost-full pints still staring at me every night from my freezer! ugh.

i can definitely see any of these as great additions to a super-foodie dessert and would enjoy all of them on their own again. rating: highly recommended. let me know if y’all have had a chance to try and which flavors you like!

Riesling
as much as something so creamy can be light and refreshing, this was. with a hint of pear. would be great as a fruit tart topper.

Peach White Zinfandel
as Ms. M says, not your mama’s Sutter Home! it’s actually like a really nice homemade peach ice cream, with the peach surely outweighing the Zinfandel. and the Georgia ladies should know.

Red Raspberry Chardonnay
this was the first one where we could really taste any wine. perfect light mix of buttery Chard and the berries.

Cherry Merlot
now we start getting a lot richer and fruitier. this one’s got deep fruit flavor, with a hint of that delicious red wine.

Chocolate Cabernet
everyone’s favorite by far. of all the wine and ice cream pairings man ever invented, chocolate and Cabernet has got to be the best. this version nails it!

Port
nearly blue in color, this had the potential to be super-sweet. but it wasn’t. would definitely see this served as a dessert with some port-soaked cherries.

Strawberry Sparkling
lightening things back up, this one was definitely perky. i would have it in a champagne float for sure. but that’s me.

NaBloPoMo day 25: my Thanksgiving recipes

mmm-kay. so ‘member last night when i said i’d try and post my recipes? (yeah, you do.) well this had the potential to get totally ghetto. y’all almost got iPhone pictures of the ass-old-stained-scribbled-on-now-moldy-because-i-have-no-idea-why pages in my recipe binder. but i decided i was better than that. and these recipes deserve better than that. they are some of my favorites, many of which i’ve been making for 15+ years. so i came downstairs early (i was up worrying about this anyway), brewed some coffee and turned on the Google machine to see what i could find. as best i could pull it together, here’s what will be on my table on Thursday. definitely check out these recipes if you’re looking for some last minute ideas. what are you making for Thanksgiving?

zucchinisoupHerbed Squash Soup
the closest recipe i could find was on atkins.com. mine also calls for 1/2 teaspoon of oregano and a cup of sour cream instead of the heavy cream. (photo: simplespoon.com)

 

Brined Herb-Crusted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy; Anne Burrell

Emeril’s Brined Turkey
recreated at TheTribuneNews.com. this one is different from another Emeril recipe because it includes things like oranges, cinnamon sticks, cloves and brandy, which give it a sweet/savory kind of taste. (photo: foodnetwork.com)

 

 

Mashed Sweet Potatoes — i usually make a butternut squash dish, but Miss Girl has decided she likes sweet potatoes, so i’m giving in. and i’m totally wingin’ it. seems to me some butter, brown sugar and cinnamon should do the trick. i’ll let y’all know how it goes.

sourdoughdressingSourdough, Pear & Sausage Dressing
yes! the original recipe (and photo) from Cooking Light/myrecipes.com. i could eat the entire pan of this stuff. nomnomnom. and here’s a fun little tidbit on the dressing vs. stuffing debate. what do you call it?

 

 

 

 

Garlic Mashed Potatoes — sorry, but if you need a recipe for mashed potatoes, you’re a moron. i add some garlic sautéed in butter to mine.

brusselssprouts
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
this recipe from OnceUponAChef.com is super close, though i just wing the measurements (shock). i’ll also sometimes add bacon. because, um, bacon. (photo: nomnompaleo.com)

 

 

cranberrysauceCranberry Sauce with Crystallized Ginger
woo-hoo! another original from Bon Appétit/epicurious.com. i also add a can of Mandarin oranges because over the years, i kind of mishmashed a couple recipes and that just stuck. (photo: damndelicious.net)

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cakepumpkinspicelayercake
that’s right, y’all. i ordered a cake and i ain’t ashamed to admit it. one less thing to worry about and i just know this’ll be good — Piece of Cake always is.

NaBloPoMo day 12: crazy cats, sleep gadgets & MOAR. COFFEE.

coffe-sleep-when-youre-dead-800x600

at this rate, my time will come probably at some point next week. i have never looked forward to anything more in my life. ever. goodbye, cruel, sleep-stealing world!

okay, i know i post a lot about sleeping. or, more accurately, not sleeping. or sometimes how much everyone else seems to be sleeping while i’m not sleeping. i’m not obsessed, i swear. i’m just so sleep deprived i have to talk about it. and i know y’all can relate. in fact, as i was composing this in my head earlier this morning, i saw that Mother Hen had also posted about it today. it’s officially an epidemic.

i woke this morning around 5:00, much as i do around that time every morning, with my sweet, senile cat climbing all over me just to get to the top of my head for a snuggle. he starts at my feet, then zig-zags his way up and across all 5’6″ of me. when he reaches the apex, there’s a little circling, kneading (why is he not de-clawed?) and finally a plop-down that inevitably pulls my hair, forcing me to re-position — because god forbid he should have to. and then he purrs. when all the stars are aligned, it’s at this point that i also realize that Spy is snoring and that one final REM phase is completely out of the question.

on normal mornings, this scenario occurs at least 3 times before my alarm sounds at 6:30, making for a really awesome last couple hours of snooze time. some days, i also have had the joy of a 3:00 a.m. wake (thanks, hormones) or a 2:00 a.m. thrashing invader (thanks, 4 year old). so you can see how it all adds up over time.

today, i was lucky that Spy had an early meeting, so i was treated to his alarm blaring at 5:15. yay! not. after about 15 more minutes, i accepted the fact that i was never going back to sleep. ever, probably. and went ahead and got up. maybe i could be productive? most certainly i would dig up that Huffington Post article i stupidly bypassed yesterday about 5 gadgets that help you sleep to see if there was any hope for the weary and near dead (a.k.a. me).

okay, so i couldn’t find that article, but i’m pretty sure it came from this Techlicious post. i was really hoping at least one of these gadgets would address needy, roaming kitties, snoring husbands and/or bed-crawling-into preschoolers. no such luck. instead, for $100-$300, i can buy something to track my sleep patterns and then help me adjust light, sound and air to create optimal conditions for my best sleep. for-fucking-real? okay, none of this helps me a bit. none. so for now, i think i’ll stick to my bottle of wine, earplugs and morning venti Americano (or 2), all for under $20.

oh yeah, and the cat? yeah, this is where i found him as i was leaving for work. just. no. words.

IMG_3475

NaBloPoMo day 7: Friday favorites

yay for Friday! seems like things are finally getting back to normal with Spy back from all his travels and me getting back to some semblance of a routine. as much as i hate to admit it, i thrive on routine. just wish i could be disciplined enough to stick to one for any length of time! anyhoo . . . this week turned up a few fun finds. enjoy and have a great weekend!

warmer runs

okay, y’all. when i went out for my run Monday morning and it was 36°, i nearly died. but it was light out, so i pushed forward and, in the end, was glad i did. but it was clear that if this is going to become a thing, which it needs to be, i need some new gear. enter the lovely items above, all from Target. Champion Hooded Stretch Tech Fleece: this is awesome. so lightweight, but really warm. it’s got a hood (obvs), all kinds of pockets and even a reflector strip. i have never owned any clothing with a reflector strip before! Champion Beanie Hat: i needed it to keep warm and wanted a pop of color (they only had the jacket in black in my size). it’s got a reflector strip, too, and i just thought it was fun.  Isotoner Smartouch Technology Gloves: because i always have to change the song on my iPhone and taking off gloves to do it sucks. i haven’t been out since to test this stuff, but soon . . .

finding it fast

minted.001

we finally got a preview of the family photos we had taken a couple weeks ago, with the promise that the full set will be ready soon. i didn’t waste even a minute before taking my favorite of those and starting to design our Christmas card. i love, love, love minted. great designs, super easy process/interface and beautiful product. i used them for Miss Girl’s birthday invites and party accents. so i was even more psyched to log on this week and find the “find it fast” feature. it lets you try out a photo on an entire page of card designs all at once. i honestly cannot think of anything more convenient. fingers crossed we get all our photos tomorrow and i can get this done and ordered this weekend!

design by AI

i’m glad there’s a video because i don’t even know how to explain this one. i’m completely intrigued. basically, The Grid lets you input all your content and it designs a website around it. it’s supposed to be completely custom, seamless and awesome. i can’t even imagine how it works, except that they have a crap-ton of templates with oodles of variations and some mad algorithms. i signed up to be founding member #7130 for the spring release. and they even take Bitcoin for payment. this shit is legit. . . . or either it’s the biggest scam on the planet and i just wasted $96 . . . stay tuned!

wine Wednesday: reds blues

it’s been a while since i’ve done one of these. with all this writing, i definitely need a glass of wine, thought! i was hoping to have some good news to report out of the last Naked Wines box, but alas, i got down to the reds and they’ve been kind of disappointing. that’s Southern for “they sucked.”

labriebordeauxi’m currently revisiting the Jonathan Maltus Labrie Bordeaux and agree with a lot of the other reviewers — it tastes watered down. not light, but literally watered down. i’m not sure i’ve ever had this experience with a red before. weird. i’m afraid it might suffer the same fate as the last one . . .sweetangel

the last one i had opened (and literally threw out halfway through, which i never do!) was the Jim Olsen Sweet Angel. sweet, it was indeed! i won’t go so far as to say it was actually bad. i just don’t enjoy sweet wines. for sure, this one is listed as “sweet & exotic.” i mean, maybe, maybe as a dessert wine, but no way could i drink this stuff with a meal or on it’s own.

so in good news, i did find these adorable wine glasses from One Kings Lane! love! i certainly don’t need a set for myself, but a girlfriend who just closed on a house might need them as a housewarming gift . . . and if a set somehow ended up in my shopping cart, well . . . i’m sure i could find room for them.
tipsy_wine_glasses

cheers!

Friday favorites + Blogtober14 catch-ups

well this was inevitable. so much blogging, so little time. i fell behind on the #Blogtober14 prompts. again. but lucky for me (and you!), i think i can wrap up yesterday’s, today’s (since they’re both kind of about favorite things) and my semi-usual Friday favorites in one neat little package here. so overachieving of me, huh? don’t get used to it. enjoy this week’s favorites and have a beautiful fall weekend, everyone!

glossing up (today’s Blogtober)
L’Oreal-Color-Riche-Lipstick-–-Mica-3technically, the prompt is “the 1 beauty product you can’t live without.” i’m not sure there’s any beauty product i really can’t live without. i’m pretty minimal (and generally drugstore) when it comes to product. but the prospect of not having some L’Oreal Colour Riche in Mica (#620) around actually is just a weensy bit panic inducing. it is the absolute perfect everyday/year-round lipstick. a shimmery plum that isn’t too light and too dark, and and somehow works both when i’m tan in the summer and pale in the winter. it’s good as both an everyday color and a night-out color with more done-up eyes for contrast. it’s totally moisturizing and never gets cakey and crappy. (great review and this photo from makeupandbeauty.com) i’ve been wearing it for, gosh, maybe at least 10 years now . . . or more. and i’m constantly terrified it’s going to get discontinued. i can’t always find it in stores, which always makes me nervous. but i can still find it plenty of places online and order at least 2 at a time . . . just in case.

editing to perfection (yesterday’s Blogtober)
tools.001yup. technically, the prompt on that one is “photo editing/blog tools/apps you love.” or something like that. again, i’m pretty basic here, but i do have a few go-to moves. i usually just use the Instagram filters, but once in a while will pull out Photoshop Express if i need a little something more. LVL CAM is another awesome tool i’ve kind of toyed with, but don’t use that often. i know a couple of the guys who helped create it, so i figure a shout out is in order. i rarely (maybe never) blog from my phone. but, hey i’m new and it could happen! i do religiously check in to my WordPress and Bloglovin’ apps to see who’s doing what and get any messages. on the old MacBook Pro, i’m even more boring and basic. straight-up iPhoto for any photo editing, and occasionally Preview for some cropping and stuff. i briefly used CollageIt for a few collages. until i recently realized the WordPress gallery feature for my theme is awesome. if i need to do something more graphic (like a call-out or caption on a pic, chalkboard quote, etc.), i’ll throw it together in Keynote and save it out as an image. i used to know enough Photoshop to be dangerous, but at this point, i’m not sure the learning curve (and price) is worth it for how often i’d use it.

well-spoken young ladies

okay, i’m kind of torn about this one. i just quickly closed it down so Miss Girl wouldn’t watch/hear it. but the point is, it’s not for her. it’s about her. and all the other girls and women out there who should have the same standards of judgement, opportunities and freedoms as their male counterparts. not gonna get on a soapbox, but watch and see what you think. and let me know. or just don’t worry your pretty little heads about it too much.

a good ol’ fashioned pig pickin’
pigpickin
so excited to go over to a girlfriend’s home tomorrow for the ultimate Southern backyard culinary event. best food, best people to meet and between the flowing cocktails and a big, giant porcine carcass prominently displayed, y’all never run out of anything to talk about. nobody ever really did these in Richmond, but wayback in my younger history in Louisiana, they were kind of a staple. love that they’re making a comeback in my life in Atlanta.

a pig ain’t nothin’ without some pimento cheese
louis-osteens-pimiento-cheese-lalso looking forward to the “pimento cheese bar” tomorrow. wuuuut?? sounds divine. this Southern delicacy is one i’ve never tried my hand at. and i frankly didn’t realize there were so many variations, until i checked into a few things today. thankfully, we’re not asked to bring an offering in this realm. but, after reading up on Southern Living’s top 5 pimento cheese spread recipes, i feel hungry. but also fully equipped to pull out a version of my own on short notice. any of these look great for fall football parties. do you have a recipe you like?

 

The Daily Tay

Friday favorites

one work week of single-mommydom almost down! if that’s not a reason to celebrate Friday, i sure don’t know what is. somewhere between running double-duty on carpool and hostessing Barbie show marathons, i managed to come across a couple cool things that a preschooler would probably hate. enjoy and happy Friday, y’all!

being a card carrying Bitter Southerner

bs_gear

for the past year, i’ve totally enjoyed all the well-told and well-photographed stories of the South and its “cool, smart, groudbreaking people” that have come out of The Bitter Southerner. so i was more than happy to open my wallet recently and show a little love during their inaugural membership drive to help them keep going. my membership gear arrived this week. i’m officially a card carrying Bitter Southerner now, y’all! additionally, there are a few beautiful photos, postcards and bumper stickers in the package. new stories about Southern music, art, culture and life come out each Tuesday. you you should go check ’em out — for the sake of the story, for the sake of the South.

venmo_onphone.001

settling up, sans cash

totally loving this app! between pre-k, the silent killer, and my temporary status as single mommy, i have needed a lot of help to keep things running smoothly and keep from running around like a chicken with my head cut off. to that end, i’ve hired a nanny for just a couple afternoons a week and some extra hours during this epic Fall Break situation. so i can actually work like a normal person. anyway, until we decide that this is going to be a permanent thing and formalize payments, i asked her if i could PayPal her or something instead of always having to have cash on hand. i got the oh, you cute old lady look and a request to venmo her. come to find out a ton of people i know are using this app to pay each other for everything from rent to splitting dinner checks to . . . well, some of the posts are only detailed in emoji, so a lot is left to the imagination. anyway, i highly recommend checking it out if you need a quick, easy way to pay/get paid or transfer money between accounts with someone else.

 

 

Spring shoppingspring_onphone.001

hello, lover. this fun new way to stay on top of rends and get nearly instant gratification has the potential to be seriously dangerous. discover collections and shop favorite women’s, men’s, beauty and lifestyle brands like Theory, Billy Reid, Coach and Levi’s. then simply swipe to buy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rocking the vote

i try not to get too political on here, but got kinda pumped when i saw the latest Rock The Vote effort earlier this week. everybody thinks nobody cares about midterms, but there are so many crazy things happening in our country and in our world right now, that i feel like it’s more important than ever for everyone to have their voice heard and elect people who can get some of these problems solved. there’s an issue for everyone to care about. what will you turn out for?

Friday favorites

just a few funsies this week. looking forward to beautiful fall weather and a productive weekend with the whole family at home before Spy runs off to Europe for a bit. TGIF!

 

perfect passtimeboots

over the past couple weeks, i at least started the process of cleaning out and organizing my closet for fall. not fun. unfortunately/fortunately, i remembered/discovered i am absolutely without any dressy boots after tossing both my brown and black pairs at some point last year because they looked like i’d pulled them out of a dumpster. i tend to hold onto things way too long. a search for perfect replacements led me to these beautiful Nine West Passtime Riding Boots (after a misstep with a pair of gorgeous, but inconveniently tall Victoria’s Secret ones). they come in 5 colors/materials. i went with the black and brown suede ones and will probably go back for red. hope the mercury drops below 75° next week so i don’t feel silly wearing them!

 

soft, shiny hairshampoo

along with the new haircut a couple weeks ago, i went ahead and sprung for some salon products. i rarely do it, but am always glad i did, then immediately feel guilty for spending the money. honestly don’t even know how much i paid for  the Moroccan Oil Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner. and right now, i don’t care. i can’t confirm it’s the product and not the elimination of 5 inches of dried out strands, but i’m loving how great my hair feels, looks and smells.

 

cocktails on the patio
FullSizeRenderso glad i got a chance to catch up with a couple of my favorite Atlanta ladies last night at one of my favorite Atlanta watering holes. Westside’s JCT Kitchen & Bar is always a great spot for some al fresco cocktails, live music and Truffle Parmesan Fries (not pictured because they were devoured too quickly!). with cocktail specials and a yummy menu of small plates, it’s easy to camp out for happy hour and beyond. i’m just bummed i couldn’t stay for the beyond!