Monthly Archives: March 2011

Blogger’s Day of Silence for Japan

Tomorrow, I will be participating in the Blogger’s Day of Silence for Japan. (Thank you, Monograms and Manicures, for making me aware of this.) I had a wonderful opportunity to visit Tokyo three times last year and I fell in love with the culture, food, decor, and people…including the expats from USA, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and countless other countries.

japan I have already donated all of my Hilton points to help those in need. Now that I think about it, I have lots of other points and miles that I can donate to make a difference.

From Monograms and Manicures’ post:

Anyone that has a blog can help out with this one. The aim is just raise awareness and respect and acknowledge the devastation going on in Japan.
The guidelines are simple.
1. This coming Friday, March 18th, no posts at all on your blog.
2. Please post a blog post about what you will be doing this Friday whenever possible in hopes to spread the word and whoever else would like to join in.
3. Tweet and Re-Tweet the link to http://forjapanwithlove.com/ please.
4. Encourage your readers to contribute to donate shelter to Japan.
Whatever anyone can contribute will be appreciated.
Please join me this Friday March 18th in the Bloggers Day of Silence. 

To all other bloggers: if you’re interested in participating, please contact lydia@ever-ours.com or info@utterlyengaged.com for more information.

Tartans

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m wearing my Ross hunting tartan. I’ve worn it several ways, but if it’s still cold out, I prefer it with a black cashmere turtleneck, pearls, black tights, and my favorite black dress boots. (Please excuse my hair; I had been out in the wind shortly before this was taken.)

tartan

One of these days, I plan to have a long dress skirt or a knee-length pencil skirt made out of the red dress tartan.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, all!

Omnia Lingua Latina Incipiunt

(All begins with the Latin language.) – Not quite true, but it was engraved on a pen my Latin teacher gave me that I still have and cherish.

I never realized, until just a few years ago, how much I like incorporating Greek and Roman columns into my decor. As tomorrow is the Ides of March, it seemed an appropriate day for this post.

Growing up in the Deep South, we were surrounded by Greek Revival architecture with its beautiful columns, narrow windows, and entry porches. One of the earliest school projects that I remember was creating a photo album of Greek and Roman architecture found in our little town in Georgia. My mother patiently drove me around as I snapped shots (using my purple Le Clic camera, of course!) of the county courthouse, our oldest school building, etc. Later in high school, my three years of Latin included some architecture where we learned to identify Doric, Corinthian, and Ionic columns.

UGA’s campus, my alma mater, is filled with columns, especially along Milledge Avenue and North Campus.

columns

The Arches at UGA

columns

Former Fine Arts Building - UGA

And it’s no coincidence that my 2nd favorite silver pattern is Georgian by Towle. This poor little spoon found its way into our garbage disposal recently and is in need of some repair.

spoon

Georgian spoon by Towle

Do you find common decorating themes that have woven their way through your life?

Saipan

My thoughts have been with my friends in Tokyo, Saipan, and Guam today after learning of the earthquake and tsunami that affected those areas. I had intended to write the following post at a later time, but today seemed appropriate.

———————————-

I had the fascinating experience last year of working with several schools on the island of Saipan. While I knew the island had significance in our battle with the Japanese in World War II, I so much wish I had known more when I visited.

saipan

Image courtesy Wikipedia

When I got back to the States, my husband and I rented Wind Talkers, which tells the amazing story of the Battle of Saipan. (And has Christian Slater to boot!) I so much wish I had seen this movie before I went.

Kagman

Me at Kagman High

My trip also had a personal connection for me as one of my grandfathers was stationed in the Pacific during WWII. He sent dozens of tiny tea cups to my grandmother (his then girlfriend) while he was out there, many of which I now have. My favorite is the “dragon tea cup” which has a beautiful Japanese lady’s face etched into the bottom.

tea cup

tea cup

Cherry Creek in Four Seasons

I’ve always been fascinated with photography projects that look at the same landscape in various seasons. I’m still a novice photographer, but I’ve committed the past several years to snapping the same scene of Denver’s Cherry Creek. I love seeing how the colors, light, and shadows change throughout the year.

Early Spring

early spring

Late Spring

spring

Late Summer (you can see our shadows in the lower left)

late summer

Early Fall

early fall

Late Fall

late fall

Early Winter

early winter

Mid-Winter

winter

Spring Coats

March in Colorado can still seem very much like winter, but we do get beautiful 50 and 60 degree days that call for lighter coats. This time of year, I’m always ready to trade those dark winter greys and browns for lighter spring colors. Here are a few perennial favorites.

I love pulling out this buttercup yellow Michael Kors every spring. What makes it even better…I bought it for a song from a local discount department store several years ago.

yellow

I sometimes wear this short red jacket in lieu of a blazer on more casual days.

red

You can’t go wrong with a classic trench…

trench

This robin’s egg blue picks me up even on the dampest of days.

blue

Any others have spring favorites that you wear year after year? I’d love to see them! In the meantime, happy almost-spring.

September 2002

mag cover

Real Simple September 2002

Out of all the years that I purchased or subscribed to Real Simple magazine, one issue remains in my archive that I likely will never throw away: September 2002.

As for many Americans, 2001 was a horrific year. In addition to 9/11, my stepmother lost her long battle to leukemia, leaving two young girls in the care of my father. A friend of ours, a doting and caring father to his 7-year-old, died tragically in a car accident. It seemed as though we were still reeling from one stunning loss when another would hit. It was my first painful wake-up call that my childhood and carefree young adult years were behind me. The future, frankly, seemed a little daunting.

The change of the new year from 2001 to 2002 signaled something momentous to me and my circle of friends. I would turn 30 that year. We were sick of the sadness, ready to embrace nothing but joy. And – as it turned out – we were going to be blessed later that summer with a gorgeous little niece.

My husband and I were engaged on Christmas Eve 2001 and married in a lovely, casual ceremony at a friend’s home in Park Hill (Denver) in June of 2002. Shortly after returning home from our honeymoon and celebrating the birth of our niece, that issue of Real Simple arrived in my mailbox.

One article, I will never forget, focused on the life of a widow of one of the firefighters from 9/11 and her four five sons & one daughter…the daughter with whom she didn’t even know she was pregnant until after the tragedy. It was a simultaneously heart-rending, but uplifting article. Life really does go on.

This same issue also had an article titled, “Classic Style,” that highlighted 32 key pieces to a trend-proof wardrobe. Now a “matron” and in my 30s, I found myself wanting to embrace a style that would serve me for decades, not months. I suppose I was grasping for stability – perhaps in the oddest of ways.

I loved this issue in that showed me how humans can overcome seemingly the most insurmountable of circumstances – a lesson I would need in the coming years as life threw my husband and me several curve balls of our own. Together, we would make the transition from “just-out-of-college” to the other side of adulthood.

And – thank goodness – there was someone to help me know what to wear once I got there.