You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2011.

…the new arrivals at my old favorite, J Crew. The Maritime dress and Lemlem scarf are making me especially excited for spring. Wouldn’t they look so great with an easy ponytail and a nice tan? xo


What are you up to this weekend? It’s the end of restaurant week in Baltimore, so tonight I’m going to take advantage by going here, where I plan to eat french onion soup and indulge in a chocolatey dessert. Our reservations aren’t until 9 because we made them last-minute, but I’m pretending that it’s just because we’re cool/European like that. Tomorrow, I’m going to make this mushroom quiche for my friend Thom’s potluck wine party (if you’re looking for a quiche recipe, it’s a true crowd pleaser). We’re all bringing different types of Bordeaux, and I can’t wait to sample!

I’ll catch you back here next week, and in the mean time, stay warm and cozy. xo

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A few things I’m thankful for this week…

–  Friends that make snow days fun. What are blizzards for if not to bundle up, trek through the storm, and meet your friends at the bar? Bonus points for complimentary t-shirts.

–  Power, because after all that trekking, it’s nice to come home to a warm bed and a loaded DVR. More than 250,000 Marylanders were without power yesterday, and I’m blessed I wasn’t one of them.

–  Good professors. I’m on my third class with an economics professor that makes school so interesting that I almost don’t want to graduate. Almost being the imperative word. Still, it’s great to work with people who encourage you to expand your mind and take on new perspectives.

–  This article in O Magazine on 20 questions that could change your life. Because when it’s 20 degrees outside, staying in and doing a little self-reflection sounds pretty nice.

What are you thankful for this week? xo

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I have a love for all things gray and an obsession with stripes (see also: curtains), so I nearly jumped for joy when I saw this duvet cover from perennial favorite West Elm. Classic, simple, and not too expensive. Now if they only went with the polka dots in my bedroom…

P.S. I just found out they’re on sale! Polka dots be damned!

There I am, making my latte in a morning haze when it hits me like a forgotten middle school lunch: the trash needs to go out! I have an anxious flashback of my husband (the family trash man) warning me that it hadn’t been out for a few weeks and the bags were piling up. It HAD to go out this week or the squirrels would think we’d opened an all-you-can-eat buffet. I lean over the counter, trying not to spill the milk I’m steaming as I strain to see if the cans have been put out. They haven’t.

At this point I’m nearly frantic. Hubs was in such a hurry to get to his morning workout that he must’ve forgotten! I silently beg my milk to steam faster and then rush to put on a coat, worrying that the trash truck has already come and gone. Without thinking I heave one of the heavy, dirty cans onto my hip (no time for girliness here) and slip-slide my way down the icy concrete walk to hurl it by the driveway. It thuds down and I head back for can number two, giving a quick glance at the neighbor’s drive to see if their cans have already been emptied. But there aren’t any cans in front of the neighbor’s house…did Betsy not have any trash this week?! Wait—there aren’t any cans in front of anyone’s house on the street. I look around in confusion and then it hits me: it’s Tuesday. Wednesday is trash day. Tuesday is Scott’s gym day. THAT’s why he didn’t put the trash out.

Just how quickly one can go from being the wife that saved the day to the wife that doesn’t remember what day it is at all. xo

My darlings, did you have a good weekend? It’s the beginning of my *last* spring semester of school, so I mostly laid low, but I did venture out to eat here on Saturday (their chicken schwarma was great). I hope you have a happy week, and I thought I’d share some sunshine to kick things off. Can’t you just feel the warmth on your shoulders when you look at this girl? I can get so consumed with the bitter cold of winter that it seems like it will NEVER be warm again, so this is a nice little reminder that sunshine and bare shoulders aren’t gone for long. xo


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My paternal grandmother, Lois Rose Townsend Martin, passed away early this morning. I wrote the paragraphs below last night after learning that her time was coming to an end. xo

My grandmother is dying. Hospice is making her comfortable and she is surrounded by her son (my father) and her two daughters, one of whom was a hospice nurse herself.  She had a heart attack this afternoon, and coupled with the recent trips to the hospital for heart problems and the pretty severe Alzheimer’s they say it’s only a matter of time. And yet, isn’t that what it is from the beginning? It’s always a matter of time.

My grandmother had four children and ten grandchildren—fifteen if you count step grandkids. I was right smack in the middle and a total momma’s girl, so we were never exceptionally close. But she lived nearby and so we spent a good deal of time with her and my Pop Pop.  They had an old nickel slot machine that all of the grandkids would fight over and their freezer was always stocked with neapolitan ice cream that she would hand out in little porcelain bowls rimmed with green flowers. I remember loving the strawberry.

They would stop by after church on Sundays but they would never play cards because they didn’t think it was right to gamble on the Lord’s day. They were superstitious like that. They would always go out the same door they came in.

As my grandmother got older she became forgetful but was quick enough that it took us years to find out just how bad the Alzheimer’s had become. She understood her disease but pride kept it hidden with a good sense of humor that would only crack when she felt like someone was trying to discount her because of the disease. She was always witty, always living in the moment, always determined to stay a part of the conversation.

Eventually she moved in with my parents full time, and between visits back home I think I spent more one-on-one time with her in the past year then I did all of growing up. She would tell me about her childhood; her mother died when she was little and her father was an unreliable traveling salesman so at a very young age she was sent to live with a great aunt in Baltimore. She loved city life, and loved it even more because it was in the city that she met my grandfather, whom she always said was the most handsome man in town. “But he didn’t know it, and that was what made him so great,” she’d add with a wink.

They were married for 66 years—she was 19 when they wed and 85 when he passed away. Naturally, that track record made me curious for her advice when I was preparing to marry my husband. She thought about it, then told me that there wasn’t any secret, just be good to each other and have fun together, and not pick on the little things, which I have to say is about as good of marriage advice as I’ve ever received. She never remembered Scott during the more than six years we’ve been together, but nearly every time they saw each other she’d pull me aside and whisper “he’s a keeper.” Memory notwithstanding, I trusted that instinct.

Soon my grandmother will forever walk back out the door she came in. Though I will always miss her fire and sparkle, I find comfort in knowing that she is going to be greeted by the most handsome man in town, with whom she will play cards and eat ice cream and hold hands for as long as her heart desires.

I’ve been looking for new nightstands for only, oh, about three years now, and after looking in dozens of stores I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I hate all of them. This is most certainly bad news to my darling husband, who has been living with one broken and one missing drawer in his two-drawer childhood nightstand that sits next to our bed. Despite living with this situation for more than a year, he’s still patiently waiting for me to find something that I can stomach putting in our room; and if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

Now, normally I’m not this picky about these things, but I swear that the only nightstands I’ve come across are ridiculously bulky and dense…especially for a bedroom the size of a postage stamp. The only ones I can find that don’t seem like complete ogres present another conundrum—they offer absolutely no storage. So imagine how excited I was when I discovered these chairs with drawers. There’s plenty of room for books and an alarm clock on top, and a nice little drawer with storage underneath. Plus, they can be repurposed for extra seating when we have parties! Now I just need to convince the hubs and our little nightstand problem will be solved! xo

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

I laughed out loud when I read this quote! It’s a little silly, but so true…you can plan all you want but life often has other ideas. So here’s to living loose and feeling free! I hope you have a spontaneous weekend filled with happy surprises. xo

P.S. These images of people getting “ghost punched” crack me up, especially this one and this one. They look ridiculously real!

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Scotch nail colors, that is. What did you think I meant?


P.S. They’re eco-friendly!

Via Design Crush

A photo of me.

About me

Hi, I'm Pam. I'm a runner, reader and recent MBA grad living in Baltimore with my husband. I work in PR, but I spend my off-hours writing here about my life, which mostly revolves around family, friends, fashion and fitness. Sometimes I throw in the occasional food photo just to make sure you're paying attention.


For questions or freelance opportunities, contact me at theinspirationfiles {at} gmail {dot} com. I'd love to hear from you!

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