What Smells So Good

A delightful little child named Vivian came by one day last spring, peddling magazine subscriptions for a fundraiser at her school. I can’t tell Vivian no. She’s sassy and persistent, just the kind of girl I like to be around.

This purchase has landed me in the middle of what has turned into a magazine mountain. I ordered subscriptions to all of my favorites: the big, glossy Vogue with its labels and designers, the intuitive and gossipy Elle with its fabulous book reviews, the star-studded Vanity Fair with the latest celebrity gossip and album release insights, and finally, the controversial Rolling Stone, for the times when I want to get my Republican blood pressure way up. Four magazines…who has time to read these? Read more

Haberdashing

PC: Instagram @kositcheks

I was married to a very handsome man once, and he never owned a suit. I come from a small town, so did my husband, so I’d have to say, that was probably our main problem. We didn’t know any better. Tailored suits weren’t part of anyone’s fashion repertoire in those Tastee Freeze communities we grew up in. Take, for example, the khaki shorts and Guy Harvey t-shirts we most often see Florida panhandle boys wearing. For those boys, dressing up probably means wearing a Columbia shirt and khakis with a belt, for goodness sake. Read more

Ideal

PC: Instagram @monikaklicks

#relationshipgoals  When you see a sultry black and white picture of a gorgeous young couple tied up together like snakes under blankets on the couch watching Netflix.

#bestfriendgoals  And you wonder who you would invite to go hiking through Europe with you, if  you and a best friend could actually take a trip like that.

#lifegoals But then you come back down to earth because you know you probably won’t ever really own a home off the coast of Greece, overflowing with a garage full of race cars.

#fitnessgoals Because let’s face it, this is real life and we are all just regular, normal, average people who don’t spend hours and hours of each day staying in shape, looking perfect and making millions of dollars.

What is ideal? and What is unrealistic?  These are questions everyone asks themselves quietly, like I do, as I try to set goals for myself while at the same time being honest about who I am as a person and where I am in my life. They’re questions that trick me sometimes because (1) I’m an eternal optimist and (2) I don’t like to think of my behaviors, my habits, my future and my body as things that I can no longer control. Read more

Buy the Shoes

The biggest bang for your buck comes from my favorite designer Vince Camuto. All the timeless style you want at half the price, and worth every penny. Instagram @vincecamuto

The chime of the doorbell this afternoon signaled the arrival of a special purple box. I raced to my front door and there on the porch was the brown delivery package that contained my new Stuart Weitzman Nouveau black patent leather pumps. Stuart Weitzman shoes always come in purple boxes, did you know that? No one in my house gets my enthusiasm when I wake up and scream, ”Maybe it’s purple box day!!!!!!” but please believe me, it’s a big day. Most men don’t understand ‘Shoespeak‘ just like I don’t understand ‘Boatspeak’ or ‘Huntingspeak,’ and most couldn’t tell the difference between a slingback and a wedge if their life depended on it and furthermore, they don’t care. So I looked around for someone to squeal with me. I needed a woman to share my big day with but only the Labrador was here. Read more

Fountain of Youth

Photo Credit: Instagram @sarahpeakemua @destini_dmc @lucysteinerphotography.

If you have perused the pages of this website with any depth you have gathered by now that image means a lot to me. I fight getting old with a furor. I utilize uncomfortable and inconvenient methods for staying young-ish because I am just not yet ready to throw in the towel and start knitting, canning and wearing Christmas sweaters. It’s vanity at its worst. Still, in spite of my dedication, life often takes a jab at me anyway, just to put me in my place.

It’s my knees. They scream and moan at me every day. If knees had naggy voices, mine would say, “Oh dear God, what were you thinking walking a mile down the beach, woman?” or “Yep, this is gonna be a four-Advil day. I hope you’re happy.”

It’s my hair. It looks every bit as old as I actually am. I grieve for the old days when I whined because it took an eternity to blow dry it. (Sigh) Oh, those days are no more.

And it’s my eyes. They are tired and unfocused, handicapped and aimless without a good pair of reading glasses. READING GLASSES!

Read more

bad day

Photo Credit: Instagram Princess and Empire Builder Extraordinaire J. Burch. Instagram: @jm_burch @theburchhouse.

Sometimes my students grow up to be my friends. Sometimes, strangely, my students even grow up to be extraordinarily special to me in ways I never would have expected, like when they turn out to be hugely successful and I actually seek them out for help or advice.

Under strange and special circumstances, a student even grows up to be the kind of person I deeply admire and envy. Now, that doesn’t happen as often as you might guess, because age and wisdom usually only flow in a single direction, in the way the influence of mentors is supposed to trickle uniquely downward. It happened here though, with this young scribe I once graded and critiqued. She has grown into a mammoth talent, a lifestyle photographer with crazy skillz-with-a-z behind the lens. She is becoming her own Southern wedding empire with three small children in tow, and her #dearjason tributes to her husband belong in Taylor Swift song lyrics.

But that’s not what draws me to her — it’s her writing. Read more

Don’t Ever Give Up On Mascara

PC: J. Lemos A. Lemos Instagram @_jessicalemos_

My recent stint in the hospital as my son healed from a dog bite gave me way too much time to sit around and judge people. I did this for nine days.  Nine days of coming into and out of Sacred Heart Hospital, visiting the cafeteria, walking to the gift shop for stamps and exchanging comforting smiles with other exhausted parents in the children’s wing where we were staying. I noticed something about people. Life has kicked their asses and you can see it in their faces. Read more