Fun Friday: Time For Tea
Posting early tonight because I've actually got an early-evening shoot. It's actually a really fun thing, and I'm hoping it goes well while looking forward to it.

As some of you may recall, I have a kind of rare thyroid disease. On occasion, I will experience what is called a "thyroid storm", though perhaps it could more appropriately be called a "thyroid blowout" (that's what I call it). It just means I'm extremely weary, sometimes so badly that getting up is a grand endeavour. Remember "What Lies Beneath", and the drug Harrison Ford's character gave to his wife that left her fully conscious but virtually unable to move? That's a thyroid storm. Good times! Of course I push myself (which...the doctor...has repeatedly warned me not to do...but...) but it's no fun.

In addition to resting, I'm supposed to take care of myself by eating properly. Caffeine does nothing; one doctor has described trying to fix this as kicking a dead horse. Honest to goodness (this is based on actual personal experience): I can chug down an entire pot of coffee but still drop right off to sleep no matter where I am. It can be quite overwhelming and frustrating, not to mention pretty bizarre. You drink a pot of Dunkin' or Caribou coffee over the course of an hour and a half and tell me what happens to you. ;) But me? I could still fall asleep. Crazy.

(You know, I originally went to the doctor prior to being diagnosed because I was actually falling asleep in the car on America's autobahn, I-696, between the office and school. So in reality, it's quite serious left untreated. And it's only by God's grace and protection that I didn't hurt or kill others or myself.)

One thing, however, I have found extremely helpful: tea. Hot or iced, herbal teas help me feel better even though they've very little caffeine (I buy the decaf stuff when it's black tea). Besides, there's just something indescribably relaxing about brewing up the water, watching the leaves float into the pot, then finally being able to enjoy that steaming, tasty cuppa tea. I buy the vast majority of my tea from the fantabulous SBS Teas and use their amazing tea brewer set, but before I discovered the world of SBS and really smart tea-brewing, even dropping that teabag into the mug of hot water was calming. (People always ask me: which tea is good? My only legit answer can be: "All of them! They're all fantastic!" before I descend into cheerfully overexcited babbling.)

Those Brits are onto something, don't you think? When we Yanks ejected English rule, perhaps we should have retained the joys of tea. I mean, talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater...! I believe tea is still quite popular in India, but their shaking off the Empire happened a little differently.

Anyhow (speaking of babbling), this adorable teacup & saucer ring from Sypria is just about irresistible, isn't it? Just waiting for that squirt of lemon or drop of honey. Merely looking at this ring makes me feel a bit more relaxed (which is saying something today, trust me). Of course, anything that's a well-rendered tiny representation of the real thing is attractive to me, but in this case the subject matter is perfect. I suppose it could be coffee, too, but then that spoon needs a little daub of mint-chocolate chip ice cream (Dad often has ice cream with his coffee, and will dip the ice cream into his coffee before eating it, and...well, anyhow).

A pittance at $6, it's fully adjustable. Sypria has all sorts of cute things in her shop: miniature LP record earrings, playbill brooches, ice cream cone earrings, pretty bracelets, as well as a big, fat buy three, get one free sale. Not that her prices will break the bank, because they'll barely dent your wallet (just about everything is less than a gallon of gas).

Have a great weekend! I hope that summer has at last arrived for all.

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Is anything sweeter?

Few fabrics, to me at least, are sweeter and prettier than a nice eyelet. There's something so wonderfully sunny, feminine, and dear about eyelet. Actually...I wore a vintage eyelet dress (with pink rickrack trim on the bodice) to my college graduation. Of course, it was under the gown, and perhaps not suitable for my business degree, but I sure felt cute and perky once I was able to toss the cap and unzip the gown (the weather was quite stifling that day). Best of all, despite its ladlylike demeanor, eyelet is never cloying or tacky. There's something perfectly wonderful about it.

Christa Taylor must enjoy the lightheartedness of eyelet, too, because she's offering a darling spring and summer dress in white and black eyelet fabric. Just $44 and available in small, medium, and 2XL, not only is the fabric delightful, the cut is simple and flattering, with a smooth A-line skirt and (you know this makes me happy) a square neckline. The sleeves are a barely-there cap, so you probably won't melt or embarass yourself if it's too warm, and nothing is easier than topping off a pretty dress like this one with a soft, pastel- or beachy-coloured sweater if it does cool off a bit too much for your liking.

Just $44. You'll want to check out the clearance rack as well; there are dresses, swishy skirts, and jackets to be had, as well as those ever-useful denim skirts.


Warmth and Sleeveless

This time of year, when it can go from balmy to just a bit chilly rather quickly (such as in the time it takes one to run into Lowe's to grab fertilizer and out), it's nice to have a few pretty, sleeveless sweaters to turn to. Yes, you'll still have goosebumps on your arms, but it's amazing how keeping one's core warm helps prevent the sometimes inevitable collapse into a pathetic, shivering mass because, hey, it was 70 and climbing when you put this on, and there was no way you were going to believe the temperatures would truly drop to 59 the very same day!

Trust me, cozy sleeveless sweaters are a very good thing to have if you have decided to rebel against the winter a few days too soon.

Tonight we find a very pretty lilac sleeveless sweater, hand-knit with soft cotton blend yarn. If you're smart (or just don't have five thousand other things on your mind), you'll remember to grab that trusty fitted denim jacket for when it actually does get cold or, goodness forbid, you have to grab something from the arctic air-blasting supermarket cooler on your way home (brrrrr!).

From Iryna, it's $29 and a size small.

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Fun Friday: Vintage Roadside

A man? Featured on girly stop Pretty/Modest?

Yes, I thought that might get your attention. ;) Perhaps as this is the first man featured, we should figure out who he is or something? He looks suspiciously like Clark Kent...

As y'all know, this girl love all things vintage — at least all things 40s and 50s vintage (seems to me the culture began sliding downhill in the mid-60s). So it's no surprise that through Flickr I've met fellow-travellers also savouring the nostalgic wave we have for days gone by — in many cases, days we weren't even around for — and the things that represent bygone years.

Vintage signs and advertising fit right into that affection for me. One of the things I was most anticipating about our planned trip across the nation via Route 66 last fall was seeing all of the old signs and advertisements for the old shops, motels, and attractions along the way. Just because our trip had to be cancelled (something about...buying our first house...) doesn't mean I don't still yearn to hit the Mother Road and visit the many icons gracing her path, though.

And I'm not alone. There's a growing interest in things vintage, perhaps because they remind us of a more optimistic, secure, confident, proud (and I don't mean "pride" in the bad way) time in our past. Even more than nostalgia, though, we can't deny that vintage ads seem to have a lot more personality and spunk to them than the too clever by half advertising we now see everywhere.

One of my Flickr pals, Vintage Roadside, has a shop on their website feeding a small part of this nostalgia through t-shirts celebrating the "golden age of the American roadside". You know...diners, bowling alleys, motels, flashing neon signs, wacky attractions, motor courts, tiki, and more.

Shirts are available for ladies and the gents, so perhaps this is the perfect place to shop for Hubby, Dad, or Grandpa. (You know your dad would love to have a shirt that matched yours. Oh, yes he would. You're still his Little Girl, like it or not.)

Each Vintage Roadside tee features an ad or sign from a real, once-live (sometimes still alive) place fragrant with real Americana cool printed in fabulous swanky, full-colour graphics. Each shirt is 100% soft cotton, pre-shrunk, and ladies' tees are fitted (thank you, Vintage Roadside) and come in sizes ranging from Small to XXL. Even more fun is the fact that on each item's page, you can get information about the represented piece of the American Dream: fun stories, location, whether or not it's still in operation (for instance, the fabulously googie Indio Bowl is now a home and garden center). Not only can you snap up some swank gear, you'll have a story to go along with it!

Tees are a mere $20, and a portion of all proceeds are donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. I believe you can even get a complimentary year-long membership to the Trust with a purchase, if you so choose.

Vintage Roadside also offers (gratis) a nice list of retro roadside links for your enjoyment, a list of skating rinks, drive-ins, diners and bowling alleys, links to online photo archives, information about that gorgeous architecture, information about preservation of these links to our past, and more. There's even a list of books about the great American roadside and the places and people that made it such a wonderful place. It should keep you very busy...even after you your tees. It's probably the most informative gift shop I've ever seen.

Have a great weekend, everyone. No post on Monday, Memorial Day, so I'll post Tuesday instead. Please do remember why it is we celebrate Memorial Day: there are men rough enough who will and do defend our liberty, often at the cost of their own lives. If you see a veteran (no matter when), please thank them for all they do.

And if you can manage it, sneak-pay their bill or something (they won't let you do it any other way than sneaking, believe me).

Thank you, vets. We can never repay you.

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New Tradition
With the hope that y'all don't mind, I thought I start sharing a photo here every Friday (or perhaps Thursday, but it's Friday right now). Fear not, you'll still get your fun Friday treat, but...I am a photographer. More than that, though, I just love sharing the little things I see with people (hence the photography thing). Please enjoy the pictures, and if you don't mind my being a little self-promoting, they're all available as prints, too. Everything is hosted on Flickr, so if you'd like to see related pictures, just click the image.

All of the puppy porn can be found on my Flickr stream as well...

Anyhow, enjoy. :)

Miss Independent

Miss Independent

At Ash Cave park in Hocking Hills, Ohio. This tiny little flower was standing straight up in the middle of one of the walking paths.

Enjoy large.

Back with your Friday cute a bit later!

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Men's eyes: looking for the opportunity to imagine
A friend directed me to this short, snappy post about...well..the girls. I highly suggest you read the comments, too, as many of them are from men, and not your average guy; these are born-again men who are commanded to and try to remain pure in their thoughts. The title of this post is from one of their remarks.

One thing we hear a lot of, especially recently (including the comments of the above post), is the comparison between Muslims and Christians. This is a really absurd comparison...really, there isn't one. The reason Muslim men can be aroused by something as simple as an ankle or wrist is that they are often kept from women for reasons of "honour" and because according to Islamic theology, women are both lowly and almost satanically enticing. Desirable but dangerous. In many cases, the daughters are nothing more than tools to cement family bonds (many are married to cousins). There are also social mores that keep the young men and young women separated from each other, and not just at the beach; even in homes, the men have a living room, and the women have another living room. So it's no wonder that, barred from having normal, day-to-day contact with women, many young men in these predominantly Islamic nations find themselves frustrated and aroused by the simplest hint of the feminine. It's a very strangulated culture (Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book will leave you in culture shock). I'm not saying ours, where present-day women display themselves like prime rib, is much better (it clearly is not), but certainly something is amiss in Islamic cultures.

Christian theology is a 180 from this backwards view of femininity and the female form: it is a good thing, a wonderful thing. Many women throughout the Bible are referred to as "beautiful" and "comely"; the only sexually dangerous women in the Bible are the promiscuous, ungodly women whose tongues drip honey, as the Proverbs say. Women are to be protected, defended, provided for, and loved as dearly as Jesus loved the church. Indeed, in Christian theology, women are rather set upon a pedestal, and in marriage, for a man to enjoy his wife is seen as a very good, very right thing. Women are indeed to be modest and covered (within reason - y'all know how I feel about that) so as to help head lustful eyes off at the pass, but also because as the ones whose bodies were hand-formed by God Himself...hey. We're treasures inside and out. One does not leave things of great value just hanging about, exposed to the elements, so to speak. (Don't believe me? Where's the Hope Diamond? The Mona Lisa? The flag which inspired our national anthem? Okay then.)

There's also something along similar lines from my friend's pastor (who looks way, way too young to be pastoring a gigantic church, and I'm probably the same age he is). However, I must again caution the ladies: we can't take what my friend or my friend's pastor have written as excuses to dress inappropriately for church, saying, "Well, it's their responsibility to keep their eyes on my face and their minds clean!" No, it is an equal responsibility, on both sides: one, to be considerate of the others' weaknesses, and the other to do his best to stay pure.

That alone should suggest that God doesn't rank men as better or higher than women when it comes to sin and spirituality.

(Though as a complimentarian and not an egalitarian, yes, the husband is the head of the family, just as God is the head of Jesus Christ.)

Summer Apple Pear Dress, available in custom size from Jane Bon Bon


A teal to match the frost you scrape from your windshield

Surely we can't be the only ones trudging through one of the coldest springs in my memory. Though we'd planned on putting our garden together this year, I'm thinking it will end up being mostly annuals (ugh) with a few perennials that I already have in pots until next year; spring is over, but it's been so cold nothing could possibly transplant or take very well at all. Sigh. This is a bit disappointing...I've always loved flowers and gardens, and was so looking forward to one this year! In the fall we may pick up a peony bush or three, and perhaps luck out and find some half-off foundation plants (hey, we bought two apple trees for just $30 last October and they're doing wonderfully), but...no lilies, no iris, no other wonderful goodies. Not this year. Next year, though. At least I'll have all summer and winter to plan, right?

Anyhow, it's difficult to pick all of these cute springy items, because I just know it'll be in the 40s one day (like today) and 80 the next, the temps rising from there. Doesn't it seem like that's how it happens nowadays? Not that I'll complain when the warmer weather does come about; no, I love it, and admittedly become peevish when someone blessed enough to live in a balmier clime sits whining and complaining about how hot it is. More people die of cold than they do of heat, you know...and besides, isn't steamy weather a great excuse to have a fruit salad with mint sprinkled on top, some lemon or lime-ade, and sit on the porch or lawn with a good book? Silver lining, folks! It's always there.

I'm wearing a heavy winter sweater today (albeit one of my favourites)...instead of this charming teal blouse from Amanda Archer. The raglan sleeves with the lace and ribbon trim are just delightful, and the lacey collar and appliques add just the right touch. The cotton top comes with a removable belt, meaning you can wear it tunic-style or cinched as seen here. Handmade, it comes in sized 4-10 and is $60.

Accessories? To add a little subtle heat, try these bamboo and sponge coral earrings from Artwear by Mona, or Golden Stiletto's vintage-styled carved cinnabar and coral Monica earrings. For simple elegance and grace, try something like Kim's Jewels white pearl silver wrap ring. Finally, for a little whimsy (and y'all know I'm all about the whimsy), why not this Bird's Nest Hair pendant featuring Regency-age dames and their wacky hairstyles from Adorapop or this wonderfully fun bangle featuring candy rubber duckies in resin from Reinstated Goods?

This is a versatile top, suitable for wearing with skirts or pants (but no dress shorts, please). It also looks to be very comfortable and is clearly flattering without being revealing at all, very important things here in Pretty/Modest land.

Have a great night! I'm off to make some hot cocoa. ;)


Blue, Green, and White Monday

And y'all thought I could only bring out fun prints on Fridays, eh? No, no! We must have fun! We only live once, and should enjoy ourselves while we're here (why, yes, I will have another soft serve, thank you). Check out this cute 60s - 70s shirtwaist dress. Darted bust, the folded cuffs...the adorable print. Interesting little periwinkle and white flowers dance across a field of blues and whites. Is this perfect for spring and summer or what? It's just so adorable. Flattering in cut and easy to wear...its' just 99 cents. That is under a buck. 38-36-42.

But the auction ends tonight. Tonight. So buy now, now!

As a topper, I really like this green chalk turquoise necklace from An Original Jewelry, or Clevergirl's Lime Loop Earrings. Voleur de Bijoux offers these gorgeous Mata Hari earrings featuring aventurine and pearl, or if you just want to head out the door free and easy, why not this cute ring with a green coin pearl (for only $4.50 to boot)?

Have a great night!

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Fun Friday: Ah, whimsy
Novelty prints are a wonderful thing. These days, they seem to be be limited to kids' clothing, but diligent searching will scare them into the open. And thankfully, there are always vintage items made from these fun little prints available for squealing over and purchasing.

Tonight I found two darling treats from Snappy Shop. First, we have this button-front blouse, aptly titled The Cutest Blouse in Town. You have kitties, puppies, and bears literally dancing their way across while a puppy tries to escape his yard, kittens fly kites, bears are walking about with balloons, and everyone in general seems to be having a jolly, merry time. It's all rather fantastical, to tell the truth, but isn't that what we want sometimes? The blouse is actually a handmade, one of a kind item patterned after 60s blouses, and it is topped with vintage seashell buttons that have metal shanks. Mahvelous!

It will fit a medium: the bust is 36.5", the waist 32.5", and the hips 40". $32.

Also capturing my eye was this extremely joyful wrap skirt made up of several different whimsical fabrics, resulting in a very playful and delightful multi-coloured skirt sure to make plenty of folks around you smile. There are funny chefs, Eiffel towers, polka dots, gingham checks, florals, pups & kittens, musically-themed prints, elegant toile, and even sock monkeys adorning this skirt. Even the model wearing it seems to be having a blast!

To provide some continuity, the waistband is black. As a wrap, this flared skirt should fit a broad range of sizes; it's 42" across in total with 18" ties. I daresay just about anyone ought to be able to wear this, but no matter her size, she's sure to love every moment of being in it! Handmade with loving care, it's $52.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! It's supposed to rain all day tomorrow, so no roto-tilling the spot we've selected for our garden just yet. *sigh* I have decided we'll be putting blueberry bushes in front, though; they're the right height and apparently make nice shrubs, turn a gorgeous blazing orange in the fall, and the branches themselves are a lovely hue. Best of all, though...our own blueberries! I very much want to have a veggie & fruit garden from whence we can gather much of our own food, at least as far as produce is concerned. And as much as I love food...it's a good idea. Anyone else ever done this?

Anyhow...see you Monday!

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It's always interesting to me, reading the profiles of Etsy sellers and other independent artists. Many are moms, there are quite a few teachers, some (like myself) have health problems I'm pretty sure I've seen at least one lawyer...the crafters and artisans selling their work have wonderfully varying backgrounds. So whenever someone says, "Accounting...that's not for creative people," don't believe them.

Today's designer is Madbeader, who has studied psychotherapy but does a pretty bang-up job designing jewelry, too. She's also a Yorkie mom with an interest in physics, neuropsychology and photography. Still, it's her fun jewelry which caught my eye, particularly her unique cloisonne pieces like Cocktail Party and Cats. These two pendants are actually double-sided and the artistic style on the pieces is very interesting, isn't it? They remind me of some works I've seen at the DIA. $32 and $28, respectively; each is suspended on an wire mesh cord.

Also available are things like this turquoise necklace & earrings set made with turquoise glass beads and silver findings. It's simple yet pretty, a standout treat that doesn't appear to be trying too hard. It's lovely, don't you think? $42.

If you ask me, having pretty jewelry is not just a way to perk up an outfit, but perk up your mood and that of those around you. Jewelry allows for splashes and sparks of bright colours, vivid designs, and artistry that might be too brash or brazen for our clothing; chances are, you can't wear a skirt or jacket with the "cocktail party" artwork to a work meeting, but you can certainly use the funky, cheery piece to top off a standard suit or your regular workday attire.

We're tuning in to see if my Wings can end the Dallas Stars' shot at the Stanley Cup tonight, so...Go Red Wings!


Ohhhh, if only this were my size...

Wow. This is a dress that, were it my size, I would be utterly evil and keep from you in order to buy it myself. I am not kidding.

But...alas. It's too big, and it's also way too cute not to point out. It's also a nice opposite to the dress I featured on our not-really-fun (but still pretty) Friday. This vintage sundress features white and red trim on navy cotton. By Sherbet Originals (how cute a name is that?), it includes a truly fantabulous red, white, and navy patent leather belt. There's even a pocket on one side that is perfect for dropping in a lip balm and a few bucks for ice cream. It's a 40-32-46 and features very flattering clean lines that are far from boring. It zips up the back with a sturdy hidden metal zipper, and
bidding starts (yes, it's another auction, but you really expect me not to share the eBay cuteness with you!?) at just $20.

Were this my dress, I'd finish it off with red slingbacks for dress or my cute little slides for just bumming around town (though my white sandals would look nice, too...). Add cherry-red beads on the wrist and I'd be good to go, don't you think?

Bid now, the auction ends Sunday!

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Yeah, I know it's Fun Friday, but...

I saw two really cute, fun dresses and just have to share them. Since we have family visiting this weekend, I'm trying to get things done early and fast anyhow, and when these popped up from eBay...

First up is this red cutie. A vintage dress from the 60s, it has a fabulous drop-waisted flared skirt. The trim is in dark blue and red, a punchy compliment to the bright red knit. This one is perfect for, really, just about anything. The lines are so clean and flattering...overall, this is darling. There is a small soil mark on the back of the collar, but it looks like it should come out quite easily; if you have at least shoulder-length hair, it may not even be a problem if you or the cleaners can't remove it entirely.

The measurements are 41-35-45, and the bidding starts at just $9.99. Auction ends next Thursday, the 15th.

The other dress I stumbled across is this one, another larger-sized vintage dress, this one apparently a homemade wrap dress.
Though it's a little difficult to discern the pattern, the colours are soft and lovely, a springy combination of blues, creams, and browns. It's very pretty and another versatile piece. The measurements are 46/48-42-56, and it even comes with a matching belt. Bidding starts at $13.50, and the auction ends Sunday.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Two From Jeweled Elegance
Heather, artist extraordinaire and owner of Jeweled Elegance, never ceases to amaze me. Not only is she super-talented, she is super-nice and super-productive, too. As a writer, I guess I'm more of a reader, too, and that takes up what would otherwise be crafting time. Until I can hire someone with a wonderfully dulcet voice or train my computer to hijack George Takei's voice (no, really, the man has a terrific voice - take it from a former radio and ad agency girl) to sit and read news articles to me, I have to do it myself, and 'till then shall be held in thrall of those who pump out gorgeous crafty things with seemingly effortless skill. Of course, it is work, even for them, but...heck, even after I do train my computer I'll still be impressed by some of these folk.

Anyhow, I thought it was past time I featured Heather's work once again. Her shop is so varied - from whimsical, sweet treats to truly elegant, sophisticated pieces. Tonight there are two for you: one elegant, and one fun (but still elegant...funny how she works that angle...).

First up is this stunning, one-of-a-kind Mermaid's Pride necklace. I'll be honest with you: it stopped me in my tracks because it made me think of the (wonderful) book I've just finished, Perelandra. If the leading lady were to wear jewelry, this strikes me as exactly the sort of necklace she'd choose: it seems to be made from pieces of the sea itself, the shell like the reflection of the moon upon the waters, the double strand like the soft waves caressing the seashore. The necklace features amethyst accents and sterling findings. Handmade, $130.

Also irresistible, though in a different fashion, are these earrings featuring carnelian, new jade, and red mountain jade that
fairly seems to glow on their sterling wire. The gentle curves in the wire add a sophisticated touch to the cheery, fun colours that are simply perfect for the coming warm summertime. Another one-of-a-kind treat, these are $18.

Both from Jeweled Elegance, where you can also find Heather's latest stroke of wonderful, a fresh take on bird's nest necklaces you are really going to appreciate. Honestly, with Mother's Day just around the corner, I'm surprised she has any left, since they're a perfect gift for Mom! Heather has a new shop on Etsy you'll want to check out as well.

I was also tagged by a pal with a "Six Random Things" meme, which I promised to do yesterday but did not after being overwhelmed by other events. I won't tag anybody else, but feel free to play along and link back to me, letting me know! You just have to offer six random things about yourself, so...here goes.

1. We have finally, finally picked out the colours for our master bedroom! This has been an odyssey I'd rather forget, but...finally. If they look hideous, I don't care. We'll buy new bedding. This has gone on too long! Whew.

2. I still miss Remmy. A lot. Terribly. These past two weeks have been nearly as painful as the first few days after we had to let him go. I don't know why this is, but all there is left to do is trust God and know He has all in His hands, and He sees and even understands my hurting heart. Hubby is ready for a kitty, methinks, but...some days I am, and other days I'm not. So I wait. And just know Remmy is up there, knocking over God's wineglass and wondering where the marshmallows are hidden.

We're planning our garden now, and part of it will be a memorial garden for Rem, featuring blue flowers, to remind us of those sweet blue eyes of his.

3. Yes...I have eaten Nutella straight out of the jar. We all have our guilty pleasures. (Fortunately, Nutella is so rich and tasty, a little bit off the teaspoon is quite satisfying.)

4. My weekend treat is traditionally a "fancy coffee" from my two favourite coffee places: Caribou Coffee or Dunkin' Donuts, though the latter has fallen slightly from my good graces due to their inexplicable decision to hire Rachael Ray. There is not a Dunkin's for roughly an hour, and last month...they closed my Caribou! *sob* Back to my Mr. Coffee machine. It's just not the same...

5. Joseph and King David are my two favourite Biblical people other than Jesus. Joseph was just an all-around good guy who was abused, wronged, and seemed abandoned by God, yet he continued to trust in the Father and His faithfulness. Moreover, Joseph was such a tremendous man that after he'd been put in charge of the Egyptian prison for a while, it was considered strange for some of the inmates to be unhappy (no, really). David was just...David. He wasn't God's first choice, he was adulterous, conspired to murder a loyal man, his family became a disaster due to his adultery...yet he loved God so much, God considered David to be a man after his own heart. David's Psalms, of course, have brought comfort and joy to countless souls over the years.

Moses would have to be up there, too. He was willing to be separated from God for eternity so the Israelites wouldn't be punished for their sins. God called Moses "friend", which is definitely something to aspire to.

6. Jimmy Stewart is my favourite actor of all time, and "It's A Wonderful Life" my favourite movie. What would have been his hundredth birthday is May 20. "Harvey" is another terrific Jimmy movie, and we often pair it up for a night's viewing with Cary Grant in "Arsenic and Old Lace" Two very funny films, of the kind we'd never see come out of Hollywood today!

Have a great night!

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I'm so impressed by the beautiful things at Colorada. Tops, dresses, bags, skirts— even a skirt named after the book I'm reading right now. She combines vintage-inspired silhouettes with modern florals and fresh touches like satin or velvet ribbons, appliques, tiny ruffles, and fabric rosettes. When matched with quality fabrics and fine workmanship, you have beautiful products that are going to be comfortable and lovely to wear. Especially appreciated is the fact that the majority of her clothing covers well without being frumpy; indeed, I have to say the apparel sold is elegant and stylish, not dowdy. While the lines are simple, the designer has added the aforementioned feminine touches that contribute to the prettiness in a unique fashion without being garish.

The North Carolina-based Colorada's goods are made in a smoke-free, pet-free workshop, and the prices are very fair; dresses range from $30 - $150, with most being in the $35 - $55 range (the more highly-priced are clearly formal or wedding attire). Skirts are from $27 - $62. All things considered, particularly the apparent quality of the work, this is an extremely, extremely fair price for handmade clothing!

Colorada is a great place to shop if you want comely things in your closet. It appears that custom work is available, so if you have something special in mind or need an item already offered in a different size, I wouldn't hesitate to email!


Fun Friday: Silly Symphony Ducklings

It's always interesting to learn what inspires people. A Sweet Magpie was inspired to make these sweet duckling earrings by the 1939 Silly Symphony version of "The Ugly Duckling". Both ducklings are glass with big, adorable eyes and even come with their own bouquet of fruit and flowers. Handmade and perfect for spring - maybe even for mom - you can give these two a home for just $18.

Tomorrow is Derby Day, and for the first time in my life...I'm not sure of any horse. Too many questions, too little experience. Thankfully, I'm not alone; even the best handicappers are mystified. Court Vision is nice, and of course everyone is going gaga over Big Brown and Colonel John, not without reason...

I love the story of Gayego's owners; both men had been prisoners of the regime in Cuba, one being sent into forced labor for 21 years by Castro and his thugs. In the early 70s, both men managed to escape with their families to Spain, then came to America, became successful, and met in California. It was the start of a wonderful friendship, and they've bought one yearling every fall at Keeneland. This is their first trip to the Kentucky Derby, and they're clearly thrilled; one of them yesterday told a reporter, "Oh, my God, from jail to heaven!" What a great story; talk about the American Dream! They could win the Derby! Gayego strikes me as more of a sprinter (yeah, I'm serious about this horse thing), but he really did impress me with his Arkansas Derby win. It wasn't a difficult trip, but he was challenged there at the end, but didn't budge. And that story...!

If nothing else, I guess I have a sentimental choice. I spent several hours writing my pre-Derby story last night, though, and moreover, I doubt y'all want to have me rehash it here.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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