Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sunday Morning at the Lake...

I love early morning, when the landscape is painted in shades of pearly white, cool gray, and lavender. The air is fresh and veiled in mist. When people ask me why I wake up at five in the morning, I just show them these photos.

You don't have to get up everyday at five, but if you set your alarm one morning, get a cup of coffee and a donut, and drive to a lake to watch the sunrise, I promise you won't be sorry!

Monday, June 28, 2010


I spend hours on luckyscent.com. Amusing, only because I was born without a sense of smell. (yes, I can taste) But, I love to read descriptions of the scents, and imagine what they must smell like, It's like reading a recipe...flowers for sweetness, but a hint of citrus for freshness, and a little spice for zest, etc. Each element might smell good on it's own...or it could just smell weird...but blended together they create something sensual and beautiful.

And, I really enjoy reading the customer reviews. I find it fascinating that scent is so personal...one person thinks a particular perfume takes them to the moon, and another thinks it smells like dirty feet. Interesting...

Luckyscent has unusual and hard to find scents. These are not the perfumes you find at the drugstore, and most of them aren't available at department stores either.

So, if you want your scent to be really unique, check out Luckyscent!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Dream Vacation Home...

If a warehouse loft in the big city is my dream home, then where would I spend my vacation? Guess! I'm a gypsy at heart. And I've always said that, if I had enough money to live anywhere I wanted to, I wouldn't live anywhere. So, my vacation home would be one that I could take with me!

I love this little Airstream Bambi. It's a beachhouse. It's a cabin in the mountains. It's a pied a terre in another big city. It's perfect for someone like me, who sees life as a journey, and not a destination.

I once drove with a friend to Aspen, Colorado (from Memphis) to go snow skiing. We decided to go through Texas to see friends, and then New Mexico, because we'd never been there. After spending a week or so in Aspen, we decided to go to Vermont. I know, that's a little random, and way out of the way, but we wanted to see covered bridges.

On the way to Vermont, we decided to go to Canada. But first, we spent a couple of days in Chicago, visiting friends and eating pork chop sandwiches from a guy in a trailer, set up on a vacant lot. We spent a few days in Toronto and two days at Niagra Falls, staying in a room where everything from the lights to the fireplace to the draperies to the TV and stereo could be controlled via remote, from a huge round bed with hot pink satin sheets. Finally, we went to Vermont.

We checked out the bridges and played darts with the locals, in a tavern made out of an old barn. Then, we began the drive back to Memphis. We stopped in Washington DC for a spin through the National Gallery of Art, and then the Smithsonian, where I pitched my cookies in the IMAX theater watching "To Fly."

In Knoxville, just a short eight-ish hours from home, our car threw a rod. So we sold it for $200, bought two bus tickets, a huge sub sandwich and a six pack, and partied on a Greyhound!

Live it up people! It's the journey...!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Goodbye, Takashimaya NYC :(

The era of famed Japanese retailer Takashimaya on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue is coming to a close. This June, the company will shutter its New York flagship at 693 Fifth Ave., between East 54th and East 55th streets. It has been at the building, which it owns and plans to sell, since 1993, though its first store on the gilded Fifth Avenue strip opened in 1958.

I discovered Takashimaya in the mid-nineties. I'd spent most of the day at The Met, and was walking back to my hotel. I was hot, hungry, and a bit stressed from dealing with the crowd at the museum.

I happened upon the entrance to Takashimaya, and the cool, calm serenity beckoned me inside. I strolled around, admiring the aesthetic perfection of, in my opinion, the most beautiful store on the planet. Then, I went downstairs to The Teabox, and enjoyed an artfully arranged Bento box of sushi, and a pot of excellent green tea. Afterwards, I bought a delicate, mother of pearl tea scoop, and left refreshed and revived!

Takashimaya has been on my "NYC to do list" ever since. I feel like a small piece of civilization is gone forever...

Michele Oka Doner

I've recently discovered the wonderfully organic work and personal style of artist, Michele Oka Doner...and now I'm a huge fan! Her work combines form and function beautifully...check out her amazing website!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Hey, Everybody,

Give a shout out to Dad today! Even if the two of you don't agree on politics...or his driving makes you crazy...or you're still in therapy because he embarrassed you on prom night in 1969...He's still your Dad! He's a great guy! And, if your Mom hadn't seen something in him back in the day, you wouldn't be here!

Did you ever wonder how Father's Day originated?

Father's Day was only officially made a national holiday in the U.S. in 1972, when President Richard Nixon declared it to be the third Sunday of June. But the holiday actually traces its origins to early 20th-century Washington State.

Inspired by a Mother's Day sermon she heard at church in 1909, Spokane resident Sonora Smart-Dodd—one of six children being raised by a single dad—also wanted to honor her father. She encouraged local churches to institute the first Father's Day observance the following year, and the idea caught on.

So Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hermes Birkin bag namesake...

Did you ever wonder why the Birkin bag, by Hermes, is called the Birkin bag?

It's named after Jane Birkin, an English actress, model, singer and film director who lives in France. She is best known for her duet "Je t'aime... moi non plus" with Serge Gainsbourg.

Hermès named and designed the handbag — the Birkin bag — for her in 1984. On an Airfrance flight from Paris to London, she pulled her Hermes datebook out of her bag and all her papers fell on the floor. She complained to the passenger sitting next to her that the book should have pockets. That passenger was the chairman of Hermes; Jean-Louis Dumas, and after hearing her complain he created the Birkin bag.

Top photo - Jane Birkin, present
Middle photo - Jane Birkin, circa 1960's
Bottom photo - actress Katie Holmes with her fabulous red Birkin bag!

Bold life on display....

Do you have lots of fun family photos? Or tons of great shots of Jamaican sunsets, yourself, bungee jumping in Costa Rica after a few mojitas, or the architectural wonders of Rome?

Over a period of years, occasions, events, trips, etc., we can accumulate literally hundreds of photos. And they usually end up in a photo album on a shelf, or in a box under the bed. Or, at best, hung in a neat little row down the hallway.

Why not be BOLD? Hang them all in a wonky, abstract band. Frame the photos...no need for expensive, matching frames...and line your walls with them. When you get a new batch, just add them on!

It's visually interesting, and you won't have to dig through boxes of dusty old photos to find that picture of the cute Italian guy you met for an espresso in Venice last summer!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Gardenology, Encinitas, CA

I don't live in Encinitas, CA, but if I did, I know I would shop here often! Read about Lili McIntire and her peaceful, soul-soothing shop in the June/July 2010 issue of Traditional Home Magazine on newsstands now. Or, visit gardenology.com

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Here comes the bride....

If I was going to get married again...which I'm not...I would wear one of these fabulous Vera Wang dresses in a New York minute. I really like the wild, unstructured ruffles of the first dress. Normally, I'm not big on ruffles...they're just a little too girly for me. But I love this dress!

And I'm crazy about the white dress with the black sash. It's reminiscent of the dress that Audrey Hepburn wore to Larrabee's party in Sabrina. Audrey always looked like a princess!

The green and taupe dresses would be great for bridesmaids. Or, for the non-traditional bride who feels like white is just too "everybody." Then, of course, there are you girls out there who've already been married before...some of you many times...who don't want to go the white route again..:)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Planet Carol's Summer Wanna Reads - Part Deux

Two more books on my list of summer reads...

Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century
by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger

Life outdoes movie melodrama in this raucous, intimate, dual biography of Hollywood's ultimate It Couple. Here is that rare love story that holds one's interest beyond the wedding—and a reminder, after the thin gruel of Brangelina, of what a feast celebrity can be. From Publisher's Weekly

Sounds juicy!

Just Kids
by Patti Smith

Patti Smith's beautifully crafted love letter to her friend Robert Mapplethorpe(who died of AIDS in 1989) functions as a memento mori of a relationship fueled by a passion for art and writing. Smith transports readers to what seemed like halcyon days for art and artists in New York as she shares tales of the denizens of Max's Kansas City, the Hotel Chelsea, Scribner's, Brentano's, and Strand bookstores. From Publisher's Weekly

I spent a few evenings at Max's Kansas City myself, back in the day..:)

It's not only what you wear, but how and why you wear it!

Two of my favorite fashion blogs are thesartorialist.blogspot.com and tavi-thenewgirlintown.blogspot.com.

Both support my theory that we can learn a lot about ourselves and others by observing how we adorn our bodies. What we wear is not just about protection from the elements. How we put ourselves together everyday is our most intimate and personal expression of who we are, who we think we are, who we want other people to think we are, and who we want to be. It's very creative, psychological, and enlightening.

Tavi(top photo) is an American fashion blogger who began to blog at age 11. She describes herself as a "tiny 13 year old dork that sits inside all day wearing awkward jackets and pretty hats."

The Sartorialist is by a New York-based fashion photographer Scott Schuman, who blogs about great street fashion in Manhattan and elsewhere.

These two blogs mix high fashion and street fashion with style and wit. Check them out!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Paula Deen, ya'll!

One of my first posts, on May 13, 2010, was Paula Deen, eat your heart out, about the Southern home cooking restaurant rage in NYC. The photo that accompanied the post was my Mom’s banana pudding, served in the bowl that belonged to my grandmother, who made the best banana pudding on the planet! Mom’s is pretty darned good, too!

I want to emphasis that, even though the post is called Paula Deen, eat your heart out, I mean no disrespect to Ms. Deen. In fact, she is one of my foodie heroes. Hers is an inspiring and well deserved success story.

In spite of losing her parents at a young age, an early marriage that ended in divorce, and suffering from agoraphobia and panic attacks that left her virtually housebound for years, she pulled herself together and worked with what she had, to support herself and her two young sons. And, what she had was a warm, wonderful, down home personality, and a talent for cooking fabulous food.

She expanded her cooking skills into a catering business, called The Bag Lady. Then, in 1996, she opened a restaurant in Savannah, GA, called The Lady and Sons, which USA Today named The International Meal of the Year, in 1999. She’s published five cookbooks, launched a lifestyle magazine in 2005, called Cooking With Paula, opened another restaurant in Harrah’s Casino in Tunica, MS in 2008, and has had several cooking shows on The Food Network, including Paula‘s Home Cooking, Paula‘s Party, and Paula‘s Best Dishes.. But even with all of her successes and accolades, she’s still a funny, authentic, and genuinely charming Southern Lady. So, here’s to Paula, ya’ll!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Storage with style...

Do you have storage issues? Do you shove things in a drawer, or hide stuff away in a box, never to be seen again? Well, here's a concept. Organize it, and put it on display!

Whether it's a wrapping station, a work area for arts and crafts, or a place to keep all of your sewing needs, a neat, well organized and attractive corner, shelf, trunk, or suitcase, can make your life so much easier. And, you'll look like the domestic rock-star that I'm sure you are:)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jicama, anyone?

Are you familiar with jicama? Pronounced hic ca ma, jicama is a crispy, sweet, edible root that resembles a turnip in physical appearance, although the plants are not related. Jicama has been cultivated in South America for centuries, and the vegetable is quite popular in Mexican cuisine. Jicama has a unique flavor that lends itself well to salads, salsas, and vegetable platters. The roots can sometimes grow to be quite large, although when they exceed the size of two fists, they begin to convert the sugars that give jicama its sweet flavor into starches, making the root somewhat woody to the taste...

This cool, sweet, crisp salad is the perfect way to introduce jicama to your adventurous taste buds!

Mango, Jicama, and Radish Salad, with Peanut Dressing


3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
8 large radishes, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
6 cups mixed baby greens, washed and dried
1 large or 2 small mangoes, peeled, fruit cut off the seed and cubed
2 cups peeled and cubed jicama (cut into about 1/2-inch cubes)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves


In a medium bowl, whisk the peanut butter and lime juice until smooth. Add the brown sugar, vegetable oil and some salt and whisk until combined. Add enough water to thin the sauce and give it a dressing-like consistency, about 2 to 3 tablespoons.

Place the radishes, greens, mangoes, jicama and cilantro in a large bowl and toss together.

Drizzle with the dressing, toss using tongs to coat and serve.