Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fall boots:

I've had boots on my mind for a while now. Maybe it's because I've been staring at my favorite boots ever, waiting to wear them. 

Last year, I tried to find some good black ankle boots to no avail. It wasn't to be. Maybe I waited until too late in the season. Maybe I was too picky. Whatever. This year, I've decided that I will find the perfect (for me) pair. So, my search has begun. I want something with a low heel. And it has to be comfortable. Piperlime is having a 25% off sale right now on fall boots. These are my top picks. The combat(ish) boots on the top right are sort of calling to me. The more I look at them, the more I want them. Thoughts?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New reads:

This week, I am reading The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel. It's one of my library book sale purchases and even though I only picked it up yesterday, I am already sucked in. It's not often that I read nonfiction but this book is sort of a hybrid between fiction and nonfiction and it's just so interesting.

Here's what it's about:

"Rescued from a dumpster on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a discarded diary brings to life the glamorous, forgotten world of an extraordinary young woman.

For more than half a century, the red leather diary lay silent, languishing inside a steamer trunk, its worn cover crumbling into little flakes. When a cleaning sweep of a New York City apartment building brings this lost treasure to light, both the diary and its owner are given a second life.

Recovered by Lily Koppel, a young writer working at the New York Times, the journal paints a vivid picture of 1930s New York -- horseback riding in Central Park, summer excursions to the Catskills, and an obsession with a famous avant-garde actress. From 1929 to 1934, not a single day's entry is skipped.

Opening the tarnished brass lock, Koppel embarks on a journey into the past, traveling to a New York in which women of privilege meet for tea at Schrafft's, dance at the Hotel Pennsylvania, and toast the night at El Morocco. As she turns the diary's brittle pages, Koppel is captivated by the headstrong young woman whose intimate thoughts and emotions fill the pale blue lines. Who was this lovely ingĂ©nue who adored the works of Baudelaire and Jane Austen, who was sexually curious beyond her years, who traveled to Rome, Paris, and London?

Compelled by the hopes and heartaches captured in the pages, Koppel sets out to find the diary's owner, her only clue the inscription on the frontispiece -- 'this book belongs to...Florence Wolfson.' A chance phone call from a private investigator leads Koppel to Florence, a ninety-year-old woman living with her husband of sixty-seven years. Reunited with her diary, Florence ventures back to the girl she once was, rediscovering a lost self that burned with artistic fervor.

Joining intimate interviews with original diary entries, Koppel reveals the world of a New York teenager obsessed with the state of her soul and her appearance, and muses on the serendipitous chain of events that returned the lost journal to its owner. Evocative and entrancing, The Red Leather Diary re-creates the romance and glitter, sophistication and promise, of 1930s New York, bringing to life the true story of a precocious young woman who dared to follow her dreams."

I think what I love most about it is the day-to-day accounts of what life was like back then. I love that period in history -- the clothes, the culture, the extravagance of it all. It seems like people lived larger than they do now. It's incredibly exciting. It sounds like such a fun way to grow up.

Monday, July 29, 2013

I love:

  1. How cute are these hedgehog measuring cups?!
  2. Lanie stacked heel in warm jade (on sale!)
  3. Everlane's weekender bag
  4. This arrowstack necklace would look awesome with a t-shirt and jeans
  5. I want this hooded cape on my body right now!
  6. A polka-dotted backpack? Yes, please
  7. This is the perfect brown belt
  8. These silk pants look insanely comfortable (and insanely flattering!)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Happy Weekend:

Happy Friday, everyone! Is it just me or has this week flown by?

Got any fun plans for your weekend? We'll be spending some time at the state swim meet. I'm bringing homemade cookies to stuff the kiddos' faces. They've worked so hard, they deserve it! I will be stuffing my face as well, naturally.

Here's a peek into our world:
  1. The weather has been nasty this week so I've been making delicious soups and breads to keep the chill out. I know it's summer but this weather has me freezing!
  2. I bought a collapsible cart solely for the used book sale last week (yes, I'm apparently one of those ladies now) but I'm already finding all kinds of other uses for it. Best purchase I ever made.
  3. Our garden has been exploding with fresh vegetables lately and I've really enjoyed getting to try out new recipes.
  4. Lately, I've become single-mindedly obsessed with capresse sandwiches. I can't get enough.
  5. Now that we're scuba certified, we are starting to collect all the necessary equipment. But seriously, we had no idea just how expensive it is! We will only be able to get a little bit at a time. Any other divers out there have any suggestions about what to buy?
Have a great one! Stay dry out there!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

New reads:

Last weekend, before we went on our scuba adventure, I was able to stop in at the Central Arkansas Library used book sale. And like always (see here and here), I walked away with some treasures.

I got 24 books and 4 albums. See the full breakdown after the jump.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

We love:

Can we talk scuba diving for a minute? Because we are officially certified open water divers. This past weekend, we went to Lake Ouachita for Ocean Extreme's Padi Open Water Diver course. Two days, a ton of fun. Here are our weekend's highlights:

  • First off: breathing under water. Have you done it? I have and I loved it. It was the most freeing experience I've had to date. You should definitely try it.
  • I had a little trouble with the full mask flood skill but practice makes perfect (or at least definitely improved, in my case). I've heard that a lot of people have trouble with this skill (it's called diver's reflex) and that it's actually purely psychological, so that makes me feel a little better. I will continue to practice it until it is second nature to me.
  • We both really enjoyed the navigation part of the course. It felt a little like we were treasure hunters. 
  • After we were officially "certified" we got to free dive for about an hour. I explored a sunken ship (with a canon!) and we picked up a few quartz rocks from the bottom as souvenirs.
  • Did you know that just sitting at the bottom breathing burns 500 calories an hour? No wonder we were exhausted after about 8 hours of diving. We slept for 12 hours both Saturday and Sunday nights. 
It was really a lot of fun. On the way home, we were already talking about taking the adventure diver course next. Because we like going on adventures. Before we even got home, I was already talking about inventing some kind of doggie scuba apparatus so that Tillie could partake of the fun. And look what I found, a scuba diving pup:

Now that we're official, we've been looking at different places that we want to dive. Of course the Caribbean and Mediterranean are on our list but we're thinking we'd like to explore Devil's Den in Florida first. It's closer, cheaper, and I mean, come on! It's an underwater cavern! 


Friday, July 19, 2013

Happy Weekend:

Happy Friday, friends! What are you up to this weekend? There's another library book sale this weekend so we are hitting that up this morning and then it's off to get ourselves scuba certified!

Have a great one, guys! XO!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I love:

J.Crew has released the lookbook for their 2013 Fall/Winter collection. Have you seen it? It's kind of amazing. I know it's about a million degrees outside, but I kind of can't stop looking at it. It's got me really excited to start dressing for colder weather.

And since I am a list-maker, here's what I love most about their new collection:

  1. That dark red lip! Look how well it contrasts with pale skin. Makes you look even paler. Right up my alley.
  2. Straight-leg cropped trousers in luxurious (and warm) wool. 
  3. Those silver metallic pointed-toe pumps with a double ankle strap are the stuff of dreams.
  4. I love that large clutch with the arm strap. 
  5. I need some elbow-length gloves!
  6. There's a lot of different textures happening here (tweed, leather, wool, etc). I can get behind that.
I love all of it. Time to start saving my money now.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I've had a rough start to this week. Seriously, is it only Tuesday? Crap. 

In other news, I've had intentions of becoming a master watercolorist for a long time now. Consider this my official declaration. It's time to get on that. And this tutorial is really helpful. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Happy Weekend:


Happy Friday, everyone! Got any plans for the weekend? I've got a long run and a date with a foam roller Saturday. And then I will be rewarding myself with lots of lying around. Sounds divine, right? I'm excited.

Here's what's been going on around here lately:

  1. I got Andrew hooked on Downton Abbey. It's had us glued to the screen for the past week or so. We finally finished season three. Now we're on to Dollhouse Downton
  2. Still swimming laps every week. Still loving it. My nephew has joined A's swim team so now I feel like some sort of fanatical swimming family.
  3. We've been studying hard for our scuba certification --  taking tests and collecting gear in preparation for our upcoming dives.
  4. All of our runs have been happening in the morning. It's hard to wake up early but I enjoy getting it out of the way before the day really starts. Plus, sprinklers make it all worth it.
  5. Our good friends have started a pet-sitting business. If you live in the area, check them out on the next time you take a trip. They're such a lovely family!
Have a great one! The weather should be hot but nice. Get out there and enjoy it, but be sure to wear sunscreen!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I love:

Check out this video on how to fold a shirt in under 2 seconds:

Isn't it amazing? Did you just run and try to find a shirt to practice on? We certainly did. And then we took a bunch of A's shirts out of the drawer and proceeded to refold them using this new method. Just another Saturday night of fun at our house!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New Reads:

Thanks to one of my lovely running buddies, I've gotten into the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. There are eight books (so far). It's taken me a long time to get through them because each one is a tome. Seriously, about 1,000 pages each. So, slugging through them has taken some time. I'm only now on the fourth installment, Drums of Autumn

If you somehow missed me talking about the series (see here and here), it follows the story of a British WWII nurse who stumbles upon an ancient stone circle and is transported to Scotland in the 1700's. The books tell the story of her journey, her relationship with a certain Scottish gentleman, and the history of the world at that time -- including the Highland clan uprising. Part romance, part adventure, part historical fiction, part a little of everything else, I'm finding it all immensely interesting. I especially like the historical bits. 

So, now that you're up-to-date, here's what's happening in this installment:

"It began in Scotland, at an ancient stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few leads into the past -- or the grave. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice. Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot, who's love for her became legend -- a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in frontier America. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century. Their daughter, Brianna...

Now, Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the stone circle and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history... and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past... or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong."

I love finding new series, especially ones that are already pretty far along. I can travel through them at my own pace, without having to wait for the latest installment. This one has kept me pretty busy for the past few months now. And I've thoroughly enjoyed it. If you're looking for something good to read this summer and keep your mind off something (anything, really), I would suggest giving this series a go.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Weekend:

Happy Friday! It's hard getting back into a routine after a holiday but it's Friday, so hang in there!

What are you up to this weekend? I've got a long run planned for Saturday morning but my knee has been bothering me this week so it may not happen. I've been struggling with knee problems the last few months. My orthopedist told me to dial it back when it starts hurting so I may have to spend the weekend resting on the couch. There may be cookies involved. Tough life, I know.

Have a great one, everyone!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day:

Happy 4th of July! Time to get outside, eat delicious food, and enjoy that wonderful American spirit. Patriotism! Fireworks! Picnics! Yay!

We are eating roasted corn, vegetarian bratwurst on homemade buns, and watermelon! Hopefully we can get a badminton tournament going.

Hope your holiday is magical! Happy Independence day, everyone!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


My high school reunion dinner was Saturday night. We got dressed up and spent time with friends.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

10 years:

Saturday was my 10 year high school reunion. We had a brunch Saturday morning and had the chance to walk around the school. Take a look: