Thursday Thrift

I just picked these babies up for $24 smackers and they’re comfy as all get out. And I love the chunky white sole.

All hail Tar-zzhhay.


Claudia Gladiators

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Happy Monday!

Black Sesame Ice CreamBlack Sesame Ice Cream, anyone? Yum. 

Well, I missed my weekly Weekending post, so here’s a Happy Monday for you all. In the midst of being a bit overwhelmed with work/life balance (what’s new, right), I have been slowly and surely finding my way to a more simplified way of life, it’s on my mind a lot lately. After accepting too many gigs here and there that have left me exhausted and feeling like I rarely my family, I have decided to study and learn the art of the graceful decline. The problem is- I’m a city girl with a built-in hustle. You can take the girl out of the city but…, well you know. I need to learn to shake the hustle off because the truth is, since having my kiddos, I don’t love the hustle like I used to. I’m actually starting to hate it. I’m in the fortunate position of not having to work full time, but I do work part-time. It’s a constant balancing act of figuring out just how much is enough- financially, logistically and emotionally. You want to do what you love but you also want to be with those you love- the ongoing conundrum.

Whew. I’m exhausted just writing that but it’s Monday morning, it’s a new week and it felt apropos to do so. If you, dear readers, have any advice- please send some my way.

In the Meantime:

What I’m Sipping: Cue the Angels, Go on the Spotlight- AHHHHHH! (read in Soprano)- it’s officially Rosé season folks. Truth be told, I drink the pink nectar of the Gods year round, but spring feels especially ripe to start popping the tops on the pink stuff. Here’s my all-time favorite, it’s a pretty penny and a bit more than I’d like to spend for a Tuesday night wine, but the beginning of a season only comes once a year, so what the hell- Tempier Bandol Rosé it is. Trust me, one sip of this stuff and you will totally get it- it is such a special wine. Maybe I’ll get really motivated and make a proper Bouillabaisse- the perfect pairing for this wine that boasts bright fruit, hints of dark chocolate and tangy spice- a most delicious and unique rosé from a most royal family in wine (The Peyraud/Tempier family has supplied Alice Waters’ go-to juice at Chez Panisse for decades and is responsible for getting their local Bandol grape officially classified in France. More on this stellar family here. P.S.: Lulu Peyraud is a personal hero, she is 90+ and takes a daily swim in the Meditteranean every morning, her cookbook is one of my favorites too.

In Other News: 

I got a kick out of this. Noel Gallagher on Beyoncé, “artistry”, how Apple is ruining youth culture, being a pussy, and much much more.

“25 Expressions You Should Have in Your Vocabulary”. I don’t know about everyday use- unless you don’t mind ostracizing yourself from society at the risk of sounding like you are speaking in tongues- but these are some pretty cool words.

GAP is still having that crazy ass sale at 40% off. Use Code: HOP

Tuscany’s Villa Lena looks pretty dreamy.

Mackenzie Horan’s NYC guide, if you’re due for a trip anytime soon. Good stuff here including some of my favorites- Palma, Rosemary’s, Buvette and Cafe Cluny- the stuff of dinner dreams.

How fresh are your eggs? A quick little test to find out.

Mix yourself up a fresh whiff of spring with this yummy maple syrup lemonade.

A day in Point Reyes and Tomales Bay- one of my favorite spots on the planet, this post sent to me by my pal Amy- she and I explored this pretty part of the world last September. My personal favorite stop on the bivalvian blessed coast is Hog’s Island Oyster Co. in Marshall- I wrote about it here.

I’m digging the Finns.

I love this outfit. This chick is just constantly shopping- it’s enviable.

Which led me to these pretty necklaces. A bit pricey for me at the moment, but so cool.

A day in the work life of Ira Glass.

Ahhh- I need to try this app but am a little scared of what it will reveal. Have you tried it?

This wallpaper! Happy-Making.

The Surf Lodge- Montauk. Another one for the list. Let’s get real- anyone that knows me well knows there’s no way in hell I would ever get more than shin-deep in Montauk waters. Hello Carcharadon Carcharius- but I’ll put my toes in and am happy to soak up a little Montauk goodness anytime.

Silver Espadrilles- yep! Just nabbed a pair of these- will wear through September.

Elizabeth Banks solves all your problems in 68 seconds.

Easter Brunching at home? Here’s a few great recipes.

Put that swiss chard to use.

Cin Cin ya’ll. Have an awesome week!

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Thursday Thrift

I’m constantly on the hunt for tunic-like tees that aren’t frumpy. I just like something a little loose fitting and not so tummy-hugging- is that so much to ask, designers of the world? Cute and comfy- at this point in my life, that’s kind of what it’s all about. I love this little flutter sleeve tee from Gap. The shoulder is so flattering with just the right amount of flounce to put some sass in your step, and it’s long enough that I can wear it with my stretchy legging-like jeans (note: I did not use the term jeggings- I just can’t bring myself to do it).

Thursday Thrift flutter tee

Flutter-Sleeve Tee, $15 with code YAY

Bonus: Check out this cute stipe tunic tee too- crazy good deal with that code.

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Cuckoo for a Straw Clutch

Kayu Design is busting out some crazy cool straw clutches that take me right back to my Mom’s closet circa 1982. Oh yeah, my Mom had some great straw bags that were not only awesome, but also ideal accessories for any 7 year-old’s dress-up closet raid. Do you still have those Mom?

Maybe it’s that nostalgia thing again, but I love these chic little handmade bags. Resort season is upon is and even if I’m not jetting it down to the ‘Hamas (as my little brother used to call the pink sandy Caribbean islands), I can still play like I am. I’m picturing myself here right about now- my new vacation crush- with one of these little straw beauties in hand. I love the Kayu story too.

cuckoo for the straw clutch2

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Happy Weekending!

We had a little taste of summer this past week in Charleston, this photo seemed apropos for the way it made me feel.

Hello good people of the world and Happy Weekend to you. We have just returned from a whirlwind week of Spring Breaking in glorious Charleston- what a gem of a city, I can’t wait to round up my favorite spots. We stayed at the beach so we had the best of both worlds- town and country- we got charming city, crazy good food (I mean, really kind of nuts- full report to come), and long empty beaches with summertime breezes. More on all of that later next week.

What are you all up to this weekend? Spring may finally be peeking its head around the corner for us here in the Mid-Atlantic. At least it’s raining these days and not snowing, it can’t come soon enough.

What I’m Drinking: 

This amazing Loire sparkling wine I discovered at the cuter-than-can-be Charleston coffee and wine shop, The Daily. It’s so crisp and delicious- tasting note to follow, this one’s worth seeking out.

In Other News: 

London opens a bar where you can pet owls- I’m there.

I love these photos of Japanese dancer, Mickael Jou.

Big sale at the Gap. Use code FFBEST for 40% off little numbers like this.

I’m attempting a paleo-esque diet for the next month starting tomorrow. After all of that Charleston goodness, something’s got to give. We’ll see how it goes. This book on baking with natural sugars seems like a step in the right direction.

And speaking of books, I just ordered this one to inspire me to dig a little deeper in my spring clean this year. Spotted on my pal Rashmi’s Insta.

And speaking of tidying up, this cleaning guru shares her secrets for a tidy home.

Green fondue for St. Paddy’s Day? Maybe. This white chocolate matcha mix doesn’t quite jive with my paleo ambitions, but it sure looks fun (and yummy).

This springy green floral cape just made it to my wish list.

Cafe Clover- on my NYC list. This little West Village spot looks fab.

“This is what happens when you put your phone away for a week.”

This raw kale caesar with beet microgreens and poached egg reminds me of a transcendent salad I just had at Charleston’s The Macintosh- except their’s had tiny little pieces of fried cauliflower- what the what!

This book looks fun. The difference between the Queen’s English and our English.

“The sulfites give me a headache.” Chances are this is probably not the reason you’re getting a headache, so pop the cork on the bottle of red. Thank you Lettie Teague.

These flared high-waisted jeans are rocking my world. Let’s hope this paleo thing works so I can get back to zippers post-bebes.

This documentary looks amazing- Sailing the Sinking Sea.

Bjork and The Secret to a Pop Tune Hit on this week’s Studio 360- I loved this episode.

Cin Cin ya’ll and Happy Weekending!

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Happy Weekending!

pink house
Pretty in Pink- Charleston

Happy Weekend dear readers. It has been a long week with my grandmother passing. I will head home today and try to get back to “normal” life. It’s been a wonderful week of celebrating our Meme and spending time with family and friends, a great reminder of what is most important in life. Our post-memorial reception turned into an all-night impromptu dance party and there’s not a whole lot in the world that a spontaneous dance party can’t cure- my grandmother would have loved it.

What are you all up to this weekend? We will be packing up the minivan and heading down to Charleston for some R&R, beach time with the kiddos and some serious eating and exploring. I’ll be sure to take copious notes and sketch out a great city guide based on our time there. We’re staying at a little beach house on the Isle of Palms, hopefully we’ll catch a few warm days. We’re looking forward to eating here and renting a bike to properly tour the charming city. We’re taking a Low Country cooking class here and taking the kids here. And if any of you all have any recommendations, please send them my way. I haven’t been in years so am really looking forward to some Southern hospitality.

What I’m Drinking: 

Mint Juleps on our Charleston porch- rocking chairs required. Here’s a classic recipe from New Orleans bartender, Chris McMillian. And apparently Charleston’s The Gin Joint’s got one of the best Mint Juleps in the country. I might have to see for myself.
In Other News: 

This Geico ad is hilarious, I want to be in the room when these things are thought up.

How to get the most out of your cookbook collection- great tips from Lauren Salkeld.

A Secret Weapon Stir Fry Sauce- this is awesome.

The new meaning of luxury (read: why Instagram is flooded with so many photos of delicious cups of coffee).

Yay- a new Tina Fey sitcom.

I love this easy breezy long dress for summer.

Headed to South Beach but can’t spring for The Raleigh (my personal fave- that pool!)? Park it at this chic hostel- I promise this is not your momma’s hostel. There’s one coming to Chicago too.

My friend Anna wrote a Food & Wine piece on this mother daughter duo last year. Here they are again, their Burgundy Cook’s Atelier’s is on my list! I’d love to go with my mom.

Tom, Katie and Suri- a Scientology Story. I read the book that this new documentary is based on, it is unbelievable. Can’t wait to see what the filmmakers have done with it.

The Keurig cup inventor feels bad that he ever did it. :-(

Vince Vaughn and pals pose for cheesy stock photos that can be all yours for free- hilarious.

Andrew Knowlton spends 24 hours straight at the Waffle House working as a line cook.

Cin Cin ya’ll and Happy Weekending!

{photo by Doug Hickock}

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Her Last Dance

Frances Thomson
Frances Chapman Thomson 1924-2015

We said goodbye to our dear Meme this past Sunday. I will forever feel grateful and fortunate that I was present to share in her passing, it was truly one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I have never been witness to someone leaving our world, a true blessing.

Surrounded and literally enveloped by her children and grandchildren, our dearest Meme went on to her next adventure this past Sunday, March 1st. She had been terribly ill trying her dammdest to recover from major surgery and was not ready to give up until that very last day. She looked me right in the eye, just the day before, recognizing me and calling me by my name, then pin-pointedly letting me know that she wasn’t able to do it. I have to love and cherish that maybe more than anything about my grandmother. She had such a fierce determination, will and spirit, she needed us to know that she tried as hard as she could and this one wasn’t going to take. If it was left to her, in strong and sound mind, there would be no contest. I don’t believe I know a soul as strong as my grandmother but at 90, her body was ready for another adventure. I truly believe that seeing us all there with her helped her come to terms with that reality so that she may move on.

The power of music however, cannot be denied. My cousins had the brilliant idea of playing her a little Frank Sinatra at her bedside, on the last day of her life as she struggled with each labored breath. The minute she heard the music, she opened her eyes for the last time, and soon began to ease into her last breaths. Always a fan of dancing to her favorite Big Band Era tunes, I think this was just what she needed. We immediately enveloped her in words of love, kisses and hugs, sending her off to her next dance. I’ll never be ready to really let go of her, she was our matriarch, our fearless leader, but I know we all take great peace and are grateful for her loving sendoff and the 90 years that she graced our world. Thank you for your love, dear grandmother. Thank you for teaching me to look at the world with an artist’s eye and thank you for showing us the importance of living life with a heart full of happiness, love, energy, excitement and a wild spirit. I love you.

Meme and Me
Meme and Me at my mother’s 60th birthday party, 2009

Frances Chapman Thomson’s Obit, as printed in the Abilene News Reporter:

Frances Thomson 1924-2015

Frances Chapman Thomson, a longtime Abilene resident, local artist and beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away on Sunday March 1st. She was 90 years old.

Born on October 10, 1924 in her family’s farmhouse in Haskell, Texas to parents Hallie Elmer and Tillie Pearl Chapman, she grew up with her sister Mildred in the West Texas town. As a child, Fran, as her loved ones and friends called her, loved riding her horse Dolly the two miles everyday to and from grade school, and sang alto alongside her father in a local Gospel singing group. Frances went on to become Lead Majorette and Halloween Queen at Haskell High- where as a sophomore, she met the love of her life, Joseph Edward Thomson. She and Joe married in Duncan, Oklahoma on July 2, 1944.

Frances and Joseph traveled across the States during Joe’s service in the U.S. Navy, her favorite spots being Jacksonville Beach and Hollywood, where they loved to dance and dine at Ciro’s and The Brown Derby. After the war, they moved to Abilene where they settled to have a family and run their business. Frances later worked as the Secretary to the Principal at Cooper High School, and in her retirement years enjoyed life as an accomplished painter, traveler, avid bridge player and lover of life, family and friends.

Frances is survived by her children Craig Thomson, Cheryl Huey, Carol Davis and Charles Thomson, her grandchildren Brian, Kelly, Tracy, Ashleigh, Mandy, Ben, Brett, Colby and Paxton, and great-grandchildren Bradlee, Peysley, Taylor, Kalia, Kai, Jake, Georgina and Thomson.


Meme's Art Studio Desk

Meme’s art studio desk just as she left it. I wonder what she was mixing her palette for next? 

My father-in-law, Jacques d’Amboise, wrote a beautiful little poem in memoriam to her passing:



                                                             Life flows, Leaves fall,
                                                     And you know its time to say,
                                                               “I love all of you.
                                                                         And go. 


We will never really be ready to let her go and we don’t have to. She lives on in our hearts, so much to celebrate and remember. It has been one of the great honors of my life to celebrate her this past week with my dearest family. I love you all.

Cheers Meme- to a life well lived.


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Thursday Thrift Part Deux


A sweet little gray tee with a pretty little floral appliqué for $9.99?

Come on now.

Thursday Thrift: J. Crew Floral Applique tee for $10 bucks

J. Crew Floral Appliqué Tee (Use the code SHOPPINGTIME)


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Thursday Thrift

You know how I love me some leopard- it is afterall, the ultimate neutral.

For those of you that share my passion for leopard, hatred for wet feet and love of a plump wallet, I give you the J. Crew Chelsea Leopard Rain Boot for $48. Use the code SHOPPINGFIND to get your tally down to this here total.

Go forth my friends and stomp stylishly in those soon-to-be spring puddles.

Thursday Thrift : J. Crew Leopard Rain Boot

J. Crew Chelsea Leopard Rain Boot


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On Location: Roxanne


It’s probably been over 25 years since I’ve seen Steve Martin’s Roxanne, I don’t think I’ve seen it since it was first released. I remember seeing it with my parents and little brother at our local AMC, we went to the movies together as a family a lot which I always loved. More recently, I caught this clever comedy on a snowy day last week during my kiddos’ naptime, it was playing on the Retro channel or something, I’m really dating myself here- just all around. A genius idea to rework Cyrano de Bergerac, Martin’s modern day Rostandian characters are living full out in 1987 and as a creature of nostalgia, it really makes me smile. It’s also pretty great. Daryl Hannah has never been better, the script is terrific, tight, funny, and makes me wish Steve Martin would write more adaptations. “I’m afraid of worms, Roxanne, WORMS…”- anyone?

Shot in the small ski town of Nelson, B.C., watching this movie really kicks up my quixotic tendencies. I have this thing about small towns. I probably need to wind up in one at some point. Maybe it’s because I’ve never lived in one but they always make me swoon, those darling little Main Streets, the Cheers effect-what with everyone knowing your name and such, the volunteer fire departments, the community bingo- I’m in for it, all of it. On the reality side of my brain (appropriately nicknamed Sancho), I know these darling small towns cannot possibly be so perfectly picturesque and quaint and are sure to be riddled with the same problems that my big cities boast, but a gal can dream. Quiet down Sancho, I’m waxing poetic here.

The forest green pines that fill the screen and serve as Roxane’s nature-made backdrop are so beautiful, I feel like I can almost smell the fresh mountain air- or maybe it’s just Steve Martin’s giant nostrils in the movie that are igniting my olfactories to an inanimate image. Oh Steve Martin, why are you so awesome? The Insults to a Nose scene at the local bar- genius. I always wish I had that kind of a comeback.

In case you’re like me and you’re pining (no pun intended) for a small mountain town escape, here are a few to chew on. Bend, Oregon- I’m looking at you.

But back to this inspiration. Imagining myself in this quaint little mountain town in the midst of this old love story turned anew (well 80′s anew anyway), we go on location, here’s what we may look like in pretty Nelson:

On location- Roxanne

Crossbody Leather Bag- just like the one Daryl effortlessly sports throughout town. Not dated, just cool.

Boyfriend Jeans- just like in the 80s without those awful pleats.

Rib-Collar Cardigan- Daryl wears it around town and in her house, wear this little number year-round and it goes with everything.

Couple Hiking in an Alpine Meadow atop Whistler Mountian, B.C.- by Chris Cheadle at Getty Images- it’s nice to look at and a little retro too, goes quite nicely with our theme.

Red Plaid Rancher Cap- remember when Chris shows up on Roxanne’s porch wearing this hat while C.D. feeds him his lines through a wire? I  had to include it, plus it’s cute.

All Weather Booties- stylish and warm to boot because we’re not trying to wear platform heels in our dreamy mountain town.

If you haven’t seen this movie in a while (or ever), do yourself a favor and give it a watch. I think it might make you happy too.

P.S.: Do you remember Damon Wayans and a tanned Fred Willard being in this movie? I love the 80s.

Here’s the original trailer.

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