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Last night I used leftover money from my birthday to buy David Yurman’s XL oval link chain bracelet, which reminds me of a supersized adult charm bracelet. I love its chunky, textural feel and think it’s a great contrast to the slim pants and crisp button-downs that feel like my go-to uniform lately. I’m wearing the bracelet today and like any new piece of jewelry, I can’t stop looking at it. I hope I don’t trip as I’m going down the steps! xo
My father was born 68 years ago today in what is still listed as one of the top 5 worst blizzards in our state’s history. The snow-covered roads blocked the way to the hospital, so this 10-pound baby boy, the first child of my young grandmother, was delivered by an aunt in the living room of his parent’s home. My Dad knows how to make how an entrance.
He grew up rambunctious on a small dairy farm where he tormented his three sisters and helped build his childhood home using massive stones from a nearby creek. He fought in the Vietnam War, went to the infamous Monterey Pop Festival, and traveled everywhere from Singapore to Germany. He lived in California for years after the war before returning to his hometown to put himself through college.
My Dad is an entrepreneur from the bottom of his toes to the top of his head. He built multiple businesses from scratch using nothing but sheer will and trust in his word. He is the definition of determination, the embodiment of hard work. He is as tough as nails. I am in awe of his ability to make educated leaps of faith and take the chances necessary to make his dreams come true.
As a kid, my Dad read me Mark Twain and snuck me into the local horse track on summer nights. Instead of complaining about having four daughters, he gave us the same experiences he would’ve a son. He taught us how to play baseball and shift gears. He took us fishing and go-kart riding. He let me use a chainsaw. He told us we could do anything and then showed us how to do it.
My Dad taught me to stick to your word; like when he made good on a $200 bet to my 9-year-old sister on a game of ping-pong (she had gone quadruple or nothing). He taught me that education was important; like when he would test my sisters and me with the most complex made-up math problems on road trips. He gave me a love for travel, taking me across the country to places like Nashville, Northern California, and New Orleans. But most of all, he made me understand the meaning of family, from when he drove 6 hours to pick me up when I became ill in college, to now, when he is spending his own retirement dedicated to caring for his Alzheimer’s-ridden mother.
Happy Birthday Dad. Words can’t describe how proud I am to be your daughter.
I must have pleased the TV gods or eaten too much of the delicious but completely radioactive I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray, as last week I randomly clicked on an HBO channel expecting to get the “You Must Subscribe…” message but instead the channel came through free and clear! I definitely don’t have a subscription to any movie channels (that’s what Netflix/Hulu is for) and I should probably feel guilty or call someone about the glitch, but every time I think about picking up the phone I remember that time I waited four hours for my Verizon FIOS guy to come set up our cable and I promptly hang up. So rather than turn down my free movie channel, I instead frantically clicked around every possible HBO channel and HBO On Demand show to see exactly how far this gift would go. And I gladly report that I have the whole she-bang: HBO Family, HBO On Demand, HBO Espanol…more HBO than you could ever want or need. It’s like the Easter Bunny came early.
In my quest to consume as much HBO as humanly possible before someone fixes this error, I stumbled upon a not-so-little known gem called Band of Brothers. Now, normally a World War II mini-series is not my thing, but I gave it a shot in the name of Verizon revenge and let me tell you that I am so glad I did. It’s full of wonderfully talented, little-known actors who bring courageous true stories to life in a way that makes me understand–and actually believe–the old men who I always seem to sit next to on airplanes that call themselves “the greatest generation.”
My favorite character by far is Sgt. Richard Winters. His unlikely combination of tenacity and empathy make the war seem relatable, his good looks get me through the gruesome war scenes, and his quiet virtuosity makes me feel a little guilty for watching him on stolen HBO. Here he is, in all his uniformed-glory. Isn’t he adorable?
Image care of IGN.
What do you think about red lipstick? I’m usually a chapstick-only kind of gal, but lately I’ve been seeing gorgeous photos of red-mouthed beauties everywhere, and they are inspiring me to change my ways. Shea from OldSoulNewHeart pulls it off beautifully in the photo above, don’t you think? She makes me want to run out and buy a tube of lipstick right now. I’m not sure if I would look quite as lovely as she does, but it would be a nice, fresh change of pace for the spring months. Any tips for helping me pull it off?
Today’s sunny skies have me dreaming of summer barbecues…I just can’t wait for long warm nights to spend outdoors eating and laughing with friends. My home is fairly small and gets crowded quickly during a party, but my patio can accommodate a pretty big group. I am dying to fix it up and have been prowling the Web all month for comfy patio sets. This one from Crate & Barrel is my favorite–I can just picture my friends sprawled around it on summer nights, eating and laughing and looking at the lightning bugs.
Have you heard of chat roulette? It’s a site that randomly places visitors into video chat rooms with one another. You never know who you’re going to get—be it a hip Brazilian girl or a lonely teenager looking for companionship. Take a look at this ingenious piano player’s hilarious take on chat roulette. I watched it last night and laughed until I cried! Hope you enjoy too. xo
My sister Katie (of church giggling fame) is in Africa this week for work, and aside from being slightly worried for her (she’s not in the safest of areas), I am mostly daydreaming about the sights she’ll see when she’s there. Aren’t these photos of Africa lovely? I can’t wait to hear all about her adventures when she comes back. Xo
I (finally!) watched The September Issue tonight, and was struck by the complete contrast between Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and Creative Director Grace Coddington. The perfectly-coiffed, tight-lipped Anna is the epitome of British restraint, impossibly thin and always detachedly poised. Grace, on the other hand, sports a wild red mane of frizzy hair and walks with the awkward stride of a lanky 13 year old. Yet Anna’s perfect composure comes off as cold and boring, while Grace’s clumsiness seems artistic and is utterly endearing. It’s hilarious to watch Grace tell it like it is, and you feel like she’s conspiring with you when she sticks up for the cameraman’s potbelly or purposefully brings up budget issues on camera to make Anna squirm. The film is meant to show the Vogue bar of perfection set high, but instead it’s a study in imperfect beauty.
I recently bought the Chilewich for iPhone cover, and I can’t tell you how much I adore it. The light grey version that I bought has a rugged, metallic feel, and the lovely woven texture adds a bit of interest. It’s such a nice change from the plain black cover I’ve used in the past, and I get a little smile every time I pull it out of my bag. Who knew textiles and phone covers could be a great combination?
Darling readers, what did you do this weekend? I had a delightful dinner with an old friend on Friday, followed by a little window shopping and then ice cream and bowling. It was so wonderful to catch up with my friend Kelly—we had lots of laughs and caught up on all that’s been going on in our lives. She’s getting married this summer, and it was fun to hear about her wedding plans and reminisce on when we were planning my wedding together. I can’t wait for her big day this July!
On Saturday I took a day trip to Annapolis, Maryland, which is so beautiful in the spring. My husband and I strolled along the water, ate delicious seafood (yummy Malpeque oysters and fish and chips!), and did a little bit of shopping. It was so nice to get out of town, and I came back feeling so refreshed and more excited than ever for summer! I think my husband is ready for summer too—he brought home a dozen steamed crabs this afternoon, and we ate them in our living room with thoughts of lightning bugs and baseball games. It won’t be long until those long days are here again.
Whatever you did, I hope you had a wonderful weekend, and I hope that wonder extends into your week too. xo
Image via Irene