Archives for September 2010

Finally. The Booties.

You know, I like to think that it takes a special brand of procrastination to mention that OH YES, I WILL DEFINITELY SHARE THE BOOTIE LINKS WITH YOU – and then sit in utter bootie silence for the next two weeks. I have no valid reasons for my negligence, but I do, however, have several excuses that I will present to you at this juncture:

– I was distracted by the slight hint of fall in the air.

– I was consumed with deep thoughts about the fact that there isn’t one person on “Real Housewives of D.C.” who makes me laugh. It’s a problem. How can a show be a guilty pleasure if there’s nothing pleasurable about it? Because then I just feel guilty. And I really don’t need Bravo to add to my ish-ahs.

– I was solidifying my hair-related goals for fall 2010.

– I was re-watching the Mississippi State / Georgia game.

– I was trying to think of new and exciting ways to combine bacon and cheese.

But at last – at long, long last – I have finally gotten around to posting all the bootie links that Melanie sent me a a few weeks ago. And I made sure that she wasn’t planning to use these links in a Fashion Friday, because, as I’m sure you can imagine, I’d hate for us to find ourselves in the midst of a dramatic blog stand-off with shocking allegations of improper usage of bootie links.

That would be just terrible.

Keep in mind that Melanie sent these links as inspiration. I like to look at the higher-end stuff and then find the most affordable alternative, always keeping in mind that comfort has to come first. So there you have it: my shoe-buying philosophy. No doubt your day is now richer than you ever dreamed.

Anyway. The links.

1.

I thought these booties were super cute, but I didn’t think my recently injured ankle (HAVE I MENTIONED IT BEFORE?) could handle that strong of a wedge.

2.
These black booties were a little dressier with their kicky stiletto-ish heel, but the stiletto-ish heel and I parted ways several years ago and have yet to reconcile.

3.

I immediately fell in love with these cuffed booties and wanted to buy them and keep them forever. I adore the cuff, and I love that the buckles offer some adjustable options for those of us with calves issues. I made it my personal goal to find a more affordable option – and I’m tickled to tell you that I found one – but more on that in just a second.

4.
These suede booties are adorable, but my abnormally high arches would be miserable in them. Plus, the fact that they’re secured by some sort of burlap cord leaves me a little uncertain.

5.

These were a little bit more my speed, and I felt like they offered me some good inspiration.

6.
Melanie wrote “LOVE THESE” next to the link for these booties, and I think they are great-looking. I’m just a wee bit uncertain about a cuff that gets into the heel area, mainly because I think I would inadvertently get tangled up with some sort of stick-like object underneath that cuff and fall and break my collarbone as a result. Clearly I have great confidence in the area of poise.

7.

These were my hands-down favorite. BANANAS. Unfortunately I just don’t trust myself to wear them (see #6).

So once I made my way through all of Mel’s suggestions (she really does have great taste, doesn’t she?), I felt like I knew what I needed to look for in the more affordable versions.

The first place I looked was the Payless website (LOOK. I ALWAYS FIND SOME REALLY CUTE SHOES THERE.), and I sent Melanie a link to see if these booties were acceptable.

She responded that they were totally fine, but she suggested that I try them on first because I might find that I wanted to cut them off with a butter knife just to stop the pain.

That’s a good word, my friends.

Melanie then suggested that I check out all the booties at Target, and I was immediately drawn to these

– because of the sensible heel and the fact that my calves would be a non-issue. However, after some deep thought I remembered that I’ve never bought a single pair of shoes from Target that offered me any lasting comfort, and I decided that I needed to move on.

Eventually I decided to look at the Rack Room website, and the booties looked so promising that I drove over to the closest Rack Room store. I had a GLORIOUS time, and I actually found several things that reminded me of the links Melanie sent me.


These cuffed booties are also adjustable in the calves and seem really versatile to me.


I loved these booties so much that I bought them. They come in black, too. Super comfortable and great-looking with leggings or jeans.

And these are really cute on the foot – though not as much in the picture – but I think they’re a great option if you want a bootie that’s more like a regular shoe.

I also bought a pair of booties from Rack Room that look a little bit more like cowboy boots, but they zip on the sides, which is a huge help to someone like me who has a difficult time getting my abnormally high arches wedged down into a flat boot. The side entrance makes it so much easier.

So there you have it. A 2010 Booties Extravaganza. I’m ever-so-thankful to have a sweet friend like Melanie who will spend upwards of two hours on a Saturday morning consulting with me about all my bootie-related needs.

Remember – like it says in Proverbs – a friend loves at all times, and a sister is born for booties research and support.

Or something like that.

Hallelujah and amen.

The Links, They Are Plentiful

– The new Kellogg’s $100 gift card giveaway is up and running.

– The Juicy Juice $100 gift card giveaway ends tomorrow.

– I loved this post by Nester about decorating mantles for fall. I myself do not have a mantle, but I do have a lovely 1970s bar in the corner of my living room, and I’m sure it too would benefit from some leaves and branches and also some gourds.

Kate’s post about her wedding weekend left me in tears. So beautiful.

FryDaddy has written a book!

It really is so, so good – Melanie offers a little introductory information over here. I got to read a sneak peek the night before Travis pushed me down the stairs (OH, I KID – it was only a light shove) (REALLY KIDDING!), and in all seriousness I read the whole book in one sitting. Loved it so much that I stayed up until about 2 in the morning to finish it.

Maybe that’s why I did such a number on my ankle the next day. CLEARLY I WAS EXHAUSTED.

Anyway, you can find Surprised by Worship on Amazon, and I’m betting it’s in your local bookstores, too. We’re so proud of Mr. Cottrell and so grateful for his and Angela’s ministry.

And by the way, nobody asked me to post about the book, and I won’t make even a fraction of a penny if you click through to buy it (I don’t do affiliate links). I blogged about it because I happen to love it. And I think you will, too.

– In somewhat related news, I wrote a post about one of my own surprised-by-worship moments over at AllAccess. Feel free to read or not read at will. You have options.

– Finally, if you don’t believe that SEC loyalties run deep in this part of the country, then check out what happened when a mama (who I’m guessing is a ‘Bama fan) told her little boy that she was going to take him in the Auburn store (link via Shannon).

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

Kellogg’s Love Your Cereal – Post 8

This is sponsored content by BlogHer and Kellogg’s.

When I was younger, I always thought I’d grow up to be a pancake mom. You know, the mom whose family woke up on Saturday mornings to the smell of bacon frying and made-from-scratch pancakes cooking on the griddle. Naturally I’d serve the pancakes with fresh blueberries and warm maple syrup, and it probably goes without saying that I’d be wearing a starched apron and a double strand of pearls as I lovingly served breakfast to a table of smiling, grateful people.

(I’m thinking that maybe all those afternoons I spent watching reruns of Leave It To Beaver on TBS may have left an indelible imprint on my hopes and dreams.)

(However, I am happy to tell you that I never bought into the notion that I should clean my house while wearing two-inch heels.)

(Sanity prevailed!)

And the reality, of course, is that while there have been some weekend mornings when I’ve cooked big breakfasts for my family – especially during holidays when our extended family is visiting – by and large I tend to take the weekend off from the hustle and bustle of getting breakfast on the table. We eat breakfast, mind you, but odds are it’s going to be something that does not require me to turn on the stove and/or oven – something like cereal or peanut butter on whole wheat bread or, if we’re out of town for the weekend, something like this:

I know.

But to my boy’s credit, he was not in fact about to polish off a half-dozen donuts when I took this picture. Granted, he can put down some original glazed, but six donuts in one sitting is not a part of his breakfast-eating repertoire, and for that I am grateful. Because quite frankly I don’t think I’d have the foggiest idea how to harness the aftermath of a child who eats that much sugar before 8 AM.

So basically there’s one word that describes our weekend breakfast routine: simple. And we love it that way.

What about you? What does a typical weekend breakfast look like in your house? Leave a comment with your answer, and you’ll be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card (and come back next week to enter again – because these giveaways will continue for the next 4 weeks).

And be sure to visit the BlogHer.com Kellogg exclusive offers page – you have 24 other chances to win $100 every single week that this program is running!

Mom’s Breakfast Club was started to help educate moms and families about kids’ cereal and share the scoop on their nutritional benefits and ingredients. To learn more about the program, visit www.loveyourcereal.com.

This giveaway is now closed.

It’s All Coming Back To Me Now

When I was a little girl, I loved to play in my mama’s make-up. I’d sit in front of her magnifying mirror and put on eye shadow, rouge, powder, lipstick – and then I’d take all of it off with her Merle Norman cleansing cream. I have vivid memories of all of Mama’s make-up brushes and compacts and skin creams, mainly because practicing Seventeen magazine’s easy eye-shadow tricks with the mini-Merle Norman store in Mama’s room was one of my favorite things on earth.

Plus, all that frosted baby blue and leaf green eye shadow wasn’t going to apply itself, now was it?

This past Saturday the little man and I made an unexpected trip to Merle Norman with Sister because she needed to buy some of her beloved loose powder before we walked over to TJ Maxx. I hadn’t been in a Merle Norman store in about ten or fifteen years, but I am here to tell you that as soon as I stepped through the door, it was SENSORY MEMORY OVERLOAD. It took me about five seconds to get my bearings, and then I made a beeline for the display case of powder base and said, “Alex! Come here! This is the smell of Mama’s childhood!”

What? You don’t walk into a cosmetics store and then enthusiastically ask your child to smell a container of foundation?

Well, you have no idea what you’re missing.

And let me tell you: that powder base took me RIGHT BACK to 1983. Before I knew it I was singing Duran Duran songs and tying a big lace sash around my head.

Before we left I saw a bunch of other products I hadn’t thought of in years: cleansers, toners, masks – you name it. I saw the cream that Mama used to slather on her face every night before bed and could instantly remember how it smelled. I’m telling you: I was flooded with memories. And just as we were about to leave, I looked over at the check-out counter and saw these:

OH SWEET MERCY THE LIPSTICK SAMPLES. I can’t tell you how many times I pulled out Mama’s gold lip brush (it was retractable! and fancy!) and opened up one of those little blister packs. In fact, I had so many of them (thanks to sweet Miss Sara, the lady who owned the Merle Norman in my hometown) that I probably didn’t own a real tube of lipstick for the first two years after I started wearing make-up. I’d forgotten all about them until Saturday, but as soon as I saw them I remembered how much I used to adore them. And I told myself right then and there that the next time I need some make-up, I’m going to go to my local Merle Norman store.

Because if I buy some powder? THEY’LL GIVE ME FREE LIPSTICK SAMPLES.

The thrill of free never dies, does it?

What about y’all? What products or smells stir up all sorts of happy childhood memories for you?

If you’d asked me last week, I’d have said “Mentholatum” in a New York minute. With Dial soap, Mama’s White Rain hairspray and a big ole jar of Noxzema as distant runners-up.

But no kidding: Merle Norman totally trumped the Mentholatum.

That is no small feat, my friends.

All You Do Is Win

All righty. Here’s an updated list of the giveaways that are running on various and sundry parts of this here interweb blogsite.

Initals, inc. – $50 gift certificate (I got my new Verbena tote this past weekend, and IT. IS. DIVINE.)
The Laughing Cow – $150 Visa gift card
Juicy Juice giveaway – $100 gift card and gift basket (ends 9/30)
– New Kellogg’s giveaway coming tomorrow, so stay tuned – but in the meantime, last week’s $100 gift card giveaway is open for a few more hours.

Hope y’all are having a great Monday!

There Was Fall Weather, And There Was Also 24-12

The little man and I went to Nashville to see Sister this past weekend. The drive from Birmingham to Nashville is my ALL-TIME FAVORITE EVER, so I was a wee bit giddy when we hit the road Friday afternoon and I knew that I was going to spend the next three-ish hours heading north on I-65. It was the first time we’d been to Nashville since March, I think, and we were way overdue for a visit. NASHVILLE, WE’D MISSED YOU TERRIBLY.

Some of y’all may remember that Sister and B had to tear the first floor of their house down to studs after the Nashville flood this past spring. They lost everything that was downstairs (with the exception of a few keepsakes they managed to move upstairs before they evacuated), and they just moved back into their house a few days ago. The new and improved first floor is absolutely beautiful – and now it needs furniture.

I don’t know exactly how many hours we spent looking at rugs and tables and chairs and accessories this past weekend, but WE PUT IN SOME TIME. We found some gorgeous rugs at super-reasonable prices (Home Goods, I adore you), along with some great-looking dining room chairs on sale (World Market, big hugs to you, too). Sister has a good sense of what sort of look she’s going for, and I took some “before” pictures this weekend so that I can show you how everything comes together over the next few months. I think it’s going to be classic and eclectic and modern and fun. In other words: very Sister-y.

As an added bonus to our weekend, the MSU/Georgia game was on TV Saturday night, and we had a blast screaming for our Bulldogs. OH MY WORD WE HOLLERED. You probably heard us. We spent most of the first half screaming, “WHY CAN’T WE TACKLE?” and most of the 4th quarter yelling, “WE GOT A FIRST DOWN! WE GOT A FIRST DOWN!” Since our husbands weren’t there with us, they were spared the spectacle of us screaming at the TV like a couple of real-live contenders in a hillbilly ‘coon-callin’ contest. Not there’s any such contest, of course. But if there were, I think we’d bring a lot to the ‘coon-callin’ table – what with the sophisticated tenor of our understated elegance.

As I’m sure you can imagine.

Anyway, Alex and I got home tonight, and I’m already planning a return trip. Because when you leave Home Goods with the car looking like this –

– at some point you’ve got to figure out where all that stuff is gonna go.

By the way, when we were in TJ Maxx I saw a pair of boots that I thought were really cute, and I took a picture of them so I could show them to Melanie.

On a whim I turned over one of the boots so I could check out the price, thinking that they were so pretty that they probably cost $80 or $100.

Well.

You’d better know that I dropped that boot like a hot potato. Because EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS?

Since when did TJ Maxx get so fancy?

And who pays $800 for boots?

And if you pay $800 for boots, do you actually walk in them? Or do you put them behind a glass case and admire them from afar, LEST YOU SCRATCH THE PRETTY LODEN GREEN LEATHER?

Obviously I have some questions.

How was your weekend?