Tuesday, March 29, 2011

French Connection is Back

I don't think I've bought a French Connection dress since right before my high school graduation, when on a trip to New York City, I spent my allowance on a short, ruffled number that I never wore in my small town in North Carolina. I felt like such a grown-up.

Fast forward to yesterday when I was browsing through their website and was pleasantly surprised to see some amazingly gorgeous creations that I would wear today.

I love the last dress pictured, with the white lace. Gorgeous.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Take A Picture, It'll Last Longer

My friends have learned to run and hide when they see me coming with my camera. I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, but I love taking pictures, and I am completely in love with the art of photography. I think I get it from my mom, who has been known to arrange impromptu photo shoots with all 22 of her children and grandchildren. In fact, a lot of my childhood memories revolve around her herding her children together for one photo op or another (at the Grand Canyon, in front of the Statue of Liberty, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, etc.).

I love the idea of a photograph capturing a single moment in time, reminding the world long after we are gone that we were indeed here.

I've written before about how incredibly sweet and thoughtful my husband is, here and here, so it will be of no surprise that I have another to add to the list.

For my birthday last year, Nate got me the Nikon camera that I'd been eyeing for quite sometime, and for Christmas this year, he got me a chance to attend a photography workshop at Dury's. I'm so excited to start learning how to really use my camera, in particular, how to best use lighting to achieve maximum results. In the meantime, I will continue to annoy my friends and family by whipping out my camera anywhere and everywhere. I'd also love to share with you several of my favorite photos that I've taken over the years.

Mt. Adams, Washington State

Castle, Carmona, Spain

Peaches, Georgia

The Coliseum, Rome, Italy

Skipping Rocks, Mississippi River

Trout Lake in Black & White

Nuns, Vatican City, Italy

Christmas in North Carolina

And last, but not least:

Watching the Game with Dad

Thanks for letting me share.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Etsy Find: Allen Company Inc.

This Etsy site sells a lovely array of vintage dresses, shoes, blouses and bags. I'm in love with the white 1950's dress. Wouldn't this be fun to wear to an outdoors Spring party?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Spotted Moth

I've fallen in love with The Spotted Moth. This online store has everything from cute, nautical inspired dresses to artsy vinyl wallets and quirky mouse pads. And the prices are seriously affordable, so that makes it all the better. I'm dying to put an outfit together with the above pictured items.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Walk In The Park

When I think back to the days when Nate and I were still dating, a lot of those memories center around long walks and long conversations. We walked around his neighborhood, my neighborhood, the Vanderbilt campus or just took the long way back to our cars after a date.

We had only known each other for about three months when we took a trip together to New York City. He had never been before, and I was excited to show him a place that I loved so much.

And what better place to be for two walking aficionados than a city that never sleeps and always yields to pedestrians. We were in heaven! Naturally, we found our way to Central Park, where we strolled lazily down the paths as the sun set behind the skyscrapers. 

I knew I was in love with him even then. I told him later that as we were walking in Central Park, I had a vision of us with a couple of little kids running around, playing in the leaves. And for our first Christmas, this is what he got me:

Nate discovered this amazing artist, and I've since fallen in love with his prints. He has this beautifully simple perspective on the human condition that translates into these perfect little snapshots of everyday life: falling in love, walking on the beach with your child, sitting around the dinner table. I really encourage you to check out his drawings. There is sure to be one that speaks to you. You can find him at www.pascalcampion.com.

We also own this one, which is actually the first one Nate gave me. It's a guy serenading a girl with his guitar. Awesome.

(Sorry the detail is a little hard to see in the pictures. Definitely check out his site for better versions.)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Etsy Find: Daydream Designs

I've written before about my love of all things Etsy. I could (and have) spent hours browsing through the almost overwhelming array of handmade jewelry, clothing, art and the like.

Today I wanted to share with you the gorgeous, vintage-inspired jewelry of Daydream Designs. When I had my store, I stocked this jewelry, and people loved it (including Alison Krauss, who now has a banjo and bead necklace from Daydream Designs)!

The designer is also my beautiful sister-in-law (and new mom), Megan, so I love it even more!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's In The Bag

I realized today that I have literally not carried a purse for the past 6 months. Apparently, this is what happens when you become a mother and it's no longer all about you. 

It's all about the diaper bag.

I mean, how else are you supposed to carry around diapers, wipes, burp cloths, a nursing cover-up, toys, pacifiers, hand sanitizer, an extra pair of clothes for the blow-up that is sure to happen at the most inopportune time, a changing pad, and Goldwyn, the fluffy stuffed puppy?

I've got a great Kate Spade diaper bag that I love, and also a gorgeous 31 bag given to me by my cousin, but I must confess, I do sometimes miss carrying around a cute little purse with just my wallet and lip gloss. 

So in honor of my current state, I am posting a few purses and bags that I've been eyeing. Come to think of it, some of these could even double as diaper bags!

Mulberry Oversized Alexa Bag

Alexander McQueen Brittania Punk Clutch

Lanvin Happy Shoulder Bag

Dorothy Perkins Vintage Style Cross Body

Balenciaga Giant City Rose Gold Bag

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bon Voyage. My Travel Wish List: Terra Mar at Big Sur

Nate and I will be traveling to California next month and will be spending a little time in Big Sur. I think that staying here would make us feel like a couple of movie stars.

I can just see myself curled up in the hammock with a good book, being swayed to sleep by the gentle ocean breeze. 

Or better yet, curled up with Nate and little Munchie, singing silly songs and cuddling until we fall asleep with the sun on our faces.

And how about that skywalk? Geez.

For only $2800 a night, it's all ours. Umm, I think we'll probably just stick with all the hippies camping out here, and save Terra Mar for when we are celebrities.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Who You'd Be Today

I'd like to think you'd still be climbing mountains, always searching for the higher peaks. And still be walking around with a guitar in your hands, ready to serenade at a moment's notice.

I know you would still be the person everyone wants to be around. You could make us feel like we were the only people in the world when you talked to us. How did you do that?!
You would still be funny and in the running for world's best practical joker. And I'm certain you'd be driving around in your yellow '68 Chevy. Hopefully with the cracked windshield fixed, but maybe not. 

Maybe you'd be famous by now, or a father. Those things we'll never know. And so, we will have to remember you as you were.

I hope that you'd be proud of me. I'm married now. To the most amazing man. He's kind and gentle and I feel like I am breathing again after holding my breath for so long. I think you two would like each other, be friends even. He keeps me laughing constantly and nurtures my adventurous spirit. Like you used to do.

And I'm a mom. Wow! I'm experiencing love in a whole new light. I wish you could meet the little man. I'm sure you would get him into all kinds of trouble, though.

I often think of all the things you've missed. You've become an uncle several times over by now. I see you in some of those kids. 

It's unfair how life keeps pressing on, but beautiful at the same time. Do you know what I mean?

I think of the gigs, the travels, the births and marriages, the sunsets you didn't get to see. But I imagine you are seeing far greater things, where you are.

I've had some crazy adventures since you've been gone. I think you'd be happy to see that I didn't curl up in a ball to get swept away by a strong wind. It took awhile, but the sun has returned.

We still talk about you. We tell old stories, again and again, and laugh until we are blue in the face. And cry.

Don't worry. We have not forgotten. That would be impossible. And so, we remember you, today on your birthday, and every day in between.

Rest easy, my friend. All is well here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I Wish I Could Sew

When I was about nine or ten years old, my mom sent me to the woman across the street to learn how to sew. We decided to make it part of a homeschool project, and I would have something that I could wear at the end. It sounded like a good plan, and I remember getting so excited, thinking of the rad pink and green shirt with gold sequins splattered all over it that I would get to walk away with.

Those dreams were quickly dashed however, when on the first day I discovered that the neighbor had already picked out the fabric, as well as the most hideous dress pattern she could possibly find. It was like a mutant "Little House on the Prairie" dress and I hated it (I also hated dresses back then, but that is a different story).

Naturally, I lost all interest in the project, and barely remember a thing about those sewing lessons. I did walk away with a completed dress, though, which I believe lies dormant in my parent's attic.

In retrospect, I do wish I had paid a bit more attention. I've been doing little drawings of dresses for years now, and so wish I had the skills necessary to bring them to life.

Enter my adorable husband, Nate

For our first Christmas, unbeknownst to me, he took one of my drawings to our friend Helen, an amazingly talented fashion designer and seamstress. He had her make the dress, which he then presented to me. Did I tell you he is amazing?
The Drawing

The Finished Dress

Helen had Nate write an inscription, which she then sewed on the inside of the dress, in his own handwriting. Breathtaking.