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Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I'm thinking that when I am 30 I will do the Amy Gardner hair, circa season 3 of The West Wing. Loved her character, such a badass.

Here is how we first got to get to know her:

"Something important" being her latest project of balloon animals... yup, that's awesome.

If any couple could make witty banter look good, it's Josh Lyman and Amy Garner on The West Wing. Love love love.

As a blogger wrote, "She likes dancing to Van Morrison, and doesn’t see why balloon-animals could be considered unprofessional. Amy Gardner is good at her job, and doesn’t worry that other people might not like her. She’s an adult, albeit with a personality that is uniquely suited to annoy the hell out of everyone she dislikes."
Hmmm sounds like something an ex said about me one time, "with a personality that is uniquely suited to annoy the hell out of everyone she dislikes." Me likey as that ex, S, was incredibly accurate in his assessment!

"Because I can't make decisions based on the fact that I like your smooth skin."
{loved. them. together.}

So, did any of my readers watch The West Wing when it was on TV? How about now, as it has rerun marathons occasionally on Bravo (although much less often now that they are the reality TV network).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Prayers for Taylor Anderson

Taylor Anderson is a Virginia native. She attended St. Catherine's School in Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from our college, Randolph-Macon College, in 2008. She was a member of Macon's Alpha Gamma Delta chapter and was an Asian Studies minor. I cannot remember her major. She joined the Jet program the summer she graduated and this summer will be the end of her third year. She lives in Ishinomaki which is one of several cities that had 10,000 people disappear after the earthquake and the 30-foot tsunami. She is petite in height. She was last seen leaving the elementary school [likely on her bicycle], prior to the tsunami hitting but after the earthquake had occurred.

Prayers would be so helpful right now, as this disaster now has a face for me. To clarify, I am not saying I didn't care before, but now I am feeling more intense emotions over this situation. I really am trying to be positive while still being a realist. I hope you all feel the same way. Prayers and donations to the Red Cross are likely the most effective, so please join me in caring and giving.

YouTube, CBS coverage:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Forever Prep

Hello ladies! Well this adorable young man was staring up at me when I got home yesterday. Virginia Living is an incredible magazine that my Mom and I have subscribed to since it was first published several years ago. It reminds me of "W" with its oversize format but the pages are heavy and glossy, like national magazines... used... to be. So every month I look forward to getting this magazine at home. This issue is the April 2011 issue and the cover feature is called "Forever Prep."

The story inside (starting on page 102) is fantastic, as it discusses the movement behind the Official Preppy Handbook and how it had a surge that re-occurred last year with True Prep (both of which I own, and enjoy for a good chuckle). More specifically, "Forever Prep" mentions how Virginia really has always been a good bit 'preppy,' but that we have really always referred to it as a 'traditional' lifestyle/fashion statement/etc. instead.

As the article states, summer is a verb (Alice!), and yes, we do go by the Old Dominion moniker. Most of us own at least one Jefferson cup, had cotillion and ballet classes, rode in fox hunts, attended steeplechase and went to a single-sex Episcopalian boarding school. Oh, and by the way, even though some silly young women at Randolph-Macon College wear socks with their boat shoes, if you are a real 'Vuh-gin-ian,' you know that is not acceptable and just looks ridiculous. Do you wear socks with your Rainbows? No. So these are your closed-toe equivalent! I am so happy that they chose Hampden-Sydney College and Sweet Briar as the models for this shoot, seeing as the campus is lovely and these men and women do often wear the garb shown (I would know, I attended SBC... natch it was for one semester... but still I did grow up around here)! Here are some more points from Virginia Living about the fashion of women and men in the Commonwealth of Virginia:
Following up on this article, I was very excited to pick up today a booklet on the 78th Annual Historic Garden Week in Virginia. To say that this event is an event, darlin, it is THE event! It is where women compete to have the best gardens, the most beautiful homes and the event, natch, has the Garden Club of Virginia involved. Okay maybe not all people compete, but a lot of them do as getting on the tour is difficult! As a Virginian with both a mother and two grandmothers as current (and former!) officers of their Garden Club chapters in VA, you know I am socially obligated to attend and I love every minute of it!

As you can see, Virgina Living's "Forever Prep" included a list of Virginia's Preppiest Events, which I have kindly included below:

And yes, you can see that #1 event listed is the thing I speak of above. Coincidence? I think not! ha!

"Forever Prep" really is a flattering look at what life is like in Virginia. For me, a native, it is one of the most realistic reflections into this world that is not necessarily about money anymore. It is about culture, tradition and embracing the values that you hold to a highest standard.

Photo Credits go to Virginia Living magazine and photographer Cade Martin. Text in the images provided was written by Caroline Kettlewell.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Okay guys, some people may love me for this maneuver while others may tease me for it. I have signed up for Tumblr. I do not have any clue as to what I am doing, but I hope to be using it as an inspiration point for blog posts.

What do you use Tumblr for?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Muted Monday

My Gaga is a lovely lady - she is on the far right here (with my Mom and her sister N on Easter in 1979).

A great lady in my life is my Grandmama. She is a lovely person, too. (you know I had to throw in the picture of me as a bebe! ha!) <3

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.

-Margaret Thatcher

Another great lady is my Mother.

All are ladies as well as people who come from "good, hearty stock." They take pride in education, critical thinking and all the good things in life. They are powerful female figures in my life, while still being ladies, too! Love love love them all.

[thank you to Issue One of Matchbook Magazine for that quote]

Friday, March 4, 2011

Honeymoon Locations in the South: Part 5

Just down the road a bit from yesterday's feature, the Grove Park Inn, is the lovely Inn at Biltmore Estate.
No, you do not get to stay at THE Biltmore Estate, seen below...

...but you can always tour it if you would like. Especially if you stay in the Cottage on the grounds - yes, a 2 bedroom, 2 bath cottage on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate is available for you to vacation, or honeymoon, at. It is definitely the man-made highlight of the Asheville area.

This lovely Inn comes a close second and, as you can tell, it was designed to mirror the Estate it was named for:

How could you not love the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from this dining room?

Don't you just love the stone details?

Would you like to take afternoon tea from this lobby?

Maybe you would rather take a nap in your room, with its own view of the lovely landscape?

Maybe once you check in to the Inn, you decide to go to the Spa for some treatment. A mani-pedi or massage, perhaps? While you decide, sit in the relaxation room:

I normally go for a massage, so this room is where you would find me!

On a side note: The Biltmore Estate is still family owned. I would like to point out that yes, that huge monstrosity that is based off of various features of Italian palazzi and French chateaux is STILL family owned. What the Biltmore family, today primarily the Cecil family, has done is diversify the massive amount of lands that they inherited (8,000+ acres, yup). Frederick Law Olmstead designed the landscapes. These diversifications are what has led to a very successful winery, spa, the Inn, Land Rover driving school, horseback riding, etc. - most of them made public in my lifetime. They have come a long way and I wish them the best as they continue to be successful!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Honeymoon Locations in the South: Part 4

For my special series, Honeymoon Locations in the South, we move from Virginia down further to the South...

Welcome to North Carolina!

More specifically, welcome to the Grove Park Inn, located just outside of Asheville.

I have fond memories of this beautiful resort from family vacations as well as from conferences during my Mom's former career in the fashion industry. We had an English woman on the Housekeeping Staff who would babysit us when my Mom was at fashion shows and meetings. My Dad would try his best at golf and/or tennis. We would sit on the big, broad back "deck" (massive balcony) which overlooked the Blue Ridge Mountains and just gaze out towards the horizon.

This resort is a beautiful place to travel to as a family or as a newly married couple. It is both historic (opened in 1913) and respected throughout the hospitality industry. It was added to the National Historic Registry in 1973. Both families and couples would enjoy sitting next to the fireplace... just don't actually walk into it (yes, it is that big)! When it is cold you can get hot chocolate and it is delicious.

As per the Grove Park Inn website:

This lobby is known as The Great Hall — and for good reason. Measuring 120 feet across, the hall features 24-foot ceilings and two gigantic 14-foot stone fireplaces. It’s famous for the elevators cleverly hidden in the chimneys of the stone fireplaces (put there to conceal the noise of the machinery), which continue to transport guests to their rooms today.

The architecture, the views, and the landscape in general of the Grove Park Inn... they are ideal for someone who has diverse tastes. An outdoorsmen would love it, as would a traditionalist who likes the idea of a rich, luxe lodge out in the country.

Natch, I have to give a shoutout to my talented 'uncle' (really second cousin) Scott, who built the spa at the Grove Park Inn...

...which won numerous accolades for the features and architectural design. He was inspired by the elements which is why there is fire, water, earth and air so perfectly represented in every room of the spa.

They have themed weekends to cater to different tastes and interests - so be sure to check those opportunities out! Whether you want to go mountain biking or to tour the Biltmore Estate... you will not be disappointed by the beautiful lodge, regardless of the season!