Wednesday, May 6, 2015

thoughts | a few things running wild in my head...

There are a lot of thinks that happen under this blonde of mine.  As @Brookealline likes to remind me often "stop thinking so much, your brain is going to blow up".

Y'all, that is a very real possibility.

A selection of 5 of the not-so-deep things:

1.  Lilly for Target.

I was going to devote an entire post to this.  But I won't.  Just a few-paragraph rant.

I'm simply too disgusted over the entire matter.  I'm a Lilly girl, I've been huge fan for about 10 years, I'm probably more familiar with the brand than her board of directors.  I collect & wear vintage pieces, I know how to tell a real from a fake & have a deep appreciation for the ALL THE PINK & GREEN!  When they first announced a collab with Target I was excited, then realized that while it would bring more awareness it would also cheapen the brand.  Lilly Pulitzer clothing is beautifully made, with great details inside & out of the clothing.  Lace trim inside the hem, palm tree buttons up the back, gorgeous prints in quality cotton, I wasn't sure a $38 shift dress could stand up to the $200 price of her regular line.  It seemed like a far stretch to me.  I was aware of the online buzz, bloggers posting their plans for securing online & in-store items, & one especially unflattering article on the HuffPo showing you how to wear Lilly for Target if you're not a Palm Beach kind of girl.  Excuse me???  You're not being held against your will, just walk on past.  Thank you.

They released on Sunday.  I figured our Target would be fully stocked for a while & could wait for me until after church and my Sunday nap.  Priorities.  About 5pm, I asked my two littlest sisters if they wanted to go check out the Lilly, they were in.  But, then again, they never turn down a trip to Target.  We walked in, were greeted by huge posters & EMPTY SHELVES.  That sent us on a scavenger hunt of the entire store which turned out one hammock stand (just the stand, no hammock), two candle holders & a string of lights.  We were shocked.  The Target staff just walked around with a glazed look in their eye.  I overheard one of them saying she didn't even know who this Lilly person was.  They said the doors unlocked at 8am & it was a mad rush of women.  Reminds me of the time I also underestimated Midwestern women & their apparent love of Missoni.  By the next morning, they had already taken the signs down at our local store.  Like it never even happened.

Over the past two weeks, as I've made my #targetrun, a few returns have come back to the store.  And a sweet lady who works there recognized me & told me where a few things were hiding. We were able to snag a pair of the palazzo pants, a nail polish in "Capri" (Lilly x Target x Essie, triple collab?) and two nail files.  The quality is terrible on the pants by the way.  I decided that I would keep on wearing my "Lilly for Lilly" and let everyone go crazy on the Internet (I'll keep my thoughts to myself about those who are reselling with a 500% markup).

2.  Woman in Gold

Did you see this movie?  Brooke & I went a few weeks ago & loved it!  Beautifully filmed with great acting & a fascinating story.  I was impressed & loved the historical aspect.  Since we're traveling to Austria next week, I was interested in that part of the story as well.

3.  Fleek

I'm not sure where to begin with this one.  There is something about this word that drives me batty.  Pop culture tends to make my eye twitch anyway, but how do we take a two-second video & turn a made up word into something that otherwise elegant individuals now use in everyday conversation.  My siblings were trying to explain this to me.  Just when I thought I had caught onto "the fleek", they told me to stop.  That is was not "the fleek" just "fleek".  And I'm still banned from the twitter & apparently the chatsnap too.  You won't catch me using this word.  Even on days when my eyebrows look extraordinarily good.

4.  Unbroken

I'm the last person on the planet to read this book (I've not seen the movie yet, I'm not sure that I want to), I'm about 3/4 of the way through it & I hate it.  It's terrible.  Heartbreaking.  The three chapters that Laura Hillenbrand spent detailing every move of those sharks had me crawling up the wall.  The other night I was sitting in bed contemplating googling photos of 30ft great white sharks.  I was so tempted, mainly because it seems unlikely that they would be that long.  But I resisted, because if there is anything in this world that is guaranteed to give a person nightmares, it's rows of shark teeth.  I'll let you know if I end up liking the book any more at the end.

5. Forever 21 Classic Knit Scarf

I bought this over the weekend in the Blush pink & it's perfect!  The color is not very pink at all, just a very light cream color.  The weight is nice & about the size of a blanket.  I wore it the other day wrapped around my neck twice & then tied in a bow in front.  It looked pretty cute.  It's $8.90 & comes in several other colors.  I'll be sporting this on the plane next week, along with my black Gap knit pants & sleeping mask.  I texted my travel companions about my plan to change into sweats on the plane, they weren't too amused, but with the timing of the flight, I need to sleep, so I'll just pull my mask down further (I have sleeping mask problems due to the fact that I have a pug nose, they never quite block out ALL of the light) & ignore their glares.  Haha!  In all reality, we travel great together & we're all excited about our trip, sweatpants or no.

I should get back to my packing list.  Or my book.  Let me think about that...

Monday, April 20, 2015

quotable | imaginary cats

As pervasively mentioned several thousand times, Brooke and I share a room.  Oh and Miss Grace, she shares a room with us as well.  It's a two to one messie to clean freak ratio.  I'll let you guess who's who.

Anyway, we spend a lot of time together and sometimes, such as last Saturday night, we come up with clever names in case we were ever to get a cat.  Which we will not.  Because we've promised each other that we will never allow the other to become a cat lady.

That is not something that the women in our family aspire to be.

Friday, April 17, 2015

finds | weleda creamy rose

I recently ordered this "creamy wild rose body wash" from Weleda and it's wonderful!  There is something about this romantic, timeless, scent that is lovely and calming.  In a way, it reminds me of my great Aunt Mae (for whom I'm named) and the way her bedroom and bathroom, which were so deliciously covered in all manner of chenille fabrics, always smelled powdery and perfectly "old lady-ish".  Mint green, Revlon cosmetics and the smell of bacon gravy with refrigerated biscuits always bring Aunt Mae memories to mind.  

She was such a precious little thing (our similarities end with our shared middle name, she was the tiniest! Although, I can wear her size 4 wedding band.  Okay, fine, it's a little tight...) and as my Mimi would say, she was "fix-y", which I think is the absolute best term for those people who like the chance to get all "fixed up and go out".  She wore sassy wigs (isn't that divine!), outfits that matched everything from head to toe and carried a "pocketbook". 

She was married to a Lutheran minister for decades, although she was raised Mormon (I'm not quite sure how they made that work).  She was a seamstress and always sewed a tie out of her leftover dress fabric so that her and Lawrence could match on Sundays.  I'm telling you, she was the cutest!  Apparently, he always had an opinion on what she was wearing and the rumor goes that if he didn't like her outfit, she changed.  They never had children, but she adored my mother and when I was born my parents called to tell her "it's a girl and her name is Abigail Mae", she was just beside herself.  I'm not saying I was her favorite, but when she passed away, I was the one she left her diamond earrings to.

Golly, how did I manage to get lost down memory lane?

All of that to say, I just adore this rose scented product.  The aroma is perfect, the packaging is beautiful and the product just feels luxurious.  Try it and see if it doesn't remind you of your favorite fancy elderly lady.  Tell me, do you have a beloved great aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother?  If so, what scents or products remind you of her?

Available at

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

thoughts | it's spring, emma

So I've grabbed a few minutes.  Office work is done for the day.  I had some student spreadsheet work for this summer's Lamplighter Guild that I've been procrastinating on for, oh, I don't know, a while...  The weather has changed and its lovely here.  High 60's otherwise known as "steamy hot" if you're from Wisconsin.  It rained last week and everything just burst into color, green grass, the ice finally melted off the lake and its a lovely blue color (sometimes greenish and sometimes grey, I love living near the water.)  I decided that spreadsheets just go better with fresh air and iced coffee, so I grabbed my things and walked the approximate one block to my Starbucks.

I was right.  That coffee made me breeze through the latest batch of updates.


They renovated our Starbucks last week.  We now have outdoor couches.  I'm currently enjoying them.  But not the music selection, per usual.  I'm not the person you want to have around when hip music is playing (music is so distracting for me, I'll pick up the words and make comments such as "did you just hear that? what is she trying to say?").  It's a problem.

Life just seems a little brighter in April.  It reminds me of that part in At Home in Mitford when Father Tim walks through the door and Emma peppers him with questions about why he looks different, he sighs and says "It's spring, Emma".  I feel that.  The relief to have made it through another winter and the joy of looking ahead to summer.  Even if it's still a few months away, there is a light at the tunnel kind of feeling.  I think everyone's just a little happier to be alive.

I've begun the search for the perfect white jeans.

Let's let that sink in for a few moments.  The white jean hunt is virtually the same as going out to look for a unicorn.  Possible, but highly unlikely.  If you know of any that are heavy denim, wide leg and come in a long length, be sure to send them my way!

On second thought, white jeans don't do so well when you spill coffee on them.  I spill a lot of coffee.  Most of my wardrobe is coffee colored.  It's practical to my life.

One more thing before I go, has anyone else been dealing with the nasty spring cold?  I've been down for 10 days, and just when I thought it was done, I woke up with a sore throat.  I've been trying to keep up my Crossfit workouts, but golly, you try doing burpees when your lungs don't want to cooperate.  Last night was a struggle.  The thought crossed my mind to just lay down on the rubber mat and take a nap.  You'll be happy to know I pushed through.  Inside I was crying.

My coffee is down to it's last sip, the playlist has switched again and I've got some cactus in the fridge that's calling my name (a post for another day).

Cheers!  And if it's sunny where you are, be sure to step outside for a minute or two!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

doings | martha stewart wedding party

I was flipping through Martha Stewart Weddings a few months ago, because, well because WEDDINGS, and saw an ad for the Martha Stewart Wedding Party.  It looked fabulous, so I checked it out and was overjoyed to see that it was a fancy bridal show put on by the brilliant folks over at Martha and it was coming to the Ritz Chicago!  

Walking in, we passed Lauren Conrad, which was funny and unexpected.  I knew that she was coming, but I wasn't expecting her to walk past looking EXACTLY like herself.  That girl is a master of the personal uniform, and it's always perfect on her!  (I did not have the chance to tell her my thoughts on her recent Cinderella collaboration.)

 I was so inspired by this booth with the all-green tissue flower backdrop.  In fact, I came away from the show just dying to make an over-the-top backdrop.  Is anyone of need???

What would a bridal show be without china and linens?  It was so proper and lovely, wedding china is my favorite.  We checked out some beautiful new designs and chatted with the lady from the department store.  Talk about a delightful job to have!

I had checked my instagram the night before and saw that Darcy Miller (editor of Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine) had posted a photo of Intelligentsia coffee.  It took this fan girl approximately 0.03 seconds to realize that she was in Chicago and most likely going to be at the show.  I may have had a moment.  Okay, I totally had a few moments, and then again when I saw her in person.  Right after I'd popped a chocolate cupcake in my mouth, there she was, looking like the darlin'est thing I've ever seen, mingling around in her platform heels.  It was too much pressure, I couldn't think of anything witty (I'm a huge fan!) and then she was gone.  I didn't get the chance to say hello, it was a bummer.

We left with the best swag bags I've ever seen!  Magazines, earrings, note cards, sugar cookies, tea towels.  Fabulous!  But not before a lesson in boutonniere pinning!  Apparently the secret it placing it at a "rakish" angle and then pinning behind the lapel.  Now we know.

The entire show was fabulous, we sampled food and tons of cake, a live band kept the place hopping and all of the vendors were so nice.  We kept getting asked, "who's the bride?!?" to which Brooke and I would both point to Emily and say "she is!".  Haha!  I'm sure she loved that.

I'm hoping they choose to host this wonderful show in Chicago again, as a sometime wedding planner and wedding cake enthusiast, you can't keep me away from these things!