Saturday, December 31, 2011

Overlooked complexity

Yes, it is an eye.  One of the things that motivated me to think about the eye was my daughter's proclamation, "I'm bored."  I immediately responded, "Are you kidding me?  You just received 100 new toys!"  But it makes perfect sense.  I even tested it out.  I let my girls open 1 present two days before Christmas, and they played with that toy all day.  Then, Christmas came, and they opened a lot of presents.  They played with those for an hour before they were bored.  Their attention was spread too thin.  Too many choices led to dissatisfaction.

So, I started thinking how limiting your choices and going deeper into a simple subject can open up the universe of your mind.  I like how just changing your perspective can make an "everyday object" look abstract -

...or ethereal -

... like a destination -

...or somewhat creepy -

The eye is the second most complex organ that you possess and can distinguish 500 shades of gray.  80% of what you learn is through your eyes.  So, one of my New Year's resolutions is to try to see things in a new way.  To see people in a new way.  Instead of hurrying around to accomplish tasks (which is my nature), to stop and look.  I often spend my time trying to obtain more when I have so much right in front of me. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Interest in common things

The excess of Christmas has bogged down my brain and spirit.  It makes me want to shift gears into simplicity.  Instead of finding sparkle in the sequins and lights, I am finding sparkle in the ordinary.  This is my contemplation for the day -

You all have it.  Can you tell what it is?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stuck inside

One of my girls is sick today, so I'm trying to be a good mama bird and take care of my little chicks.  I guess it's a good cloudy after after Christmas day to be stuck at home.

* Photos from Missouri. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas for all ages

Last night we stepped back in time when we had our special family Christmas dinner at a restaurant that has been in Atlanta since 1972 -

We've been there several times.  My husband loves the food, but I love the fact that the hostess and waiters entertain my children when they get antsy.  In years past, they have literally taken my children on a walk around the restaurant while my husband and I finished our dinner.  This year, my girls did pretty well at the table while we enjoyed our crab claws, blackened amberjack, and red beans and rice.

Then, they heard someone singing in the next room.  You may have been to karaoke night with 20-year- olds, but have you ever been to "open mic" night with a room full of 80-year-olds?

The "regulars" were delighted with my little girls, and my girls were delighted with them.  Then, of course, my girls had to sing, too -

My youngest would have stayed all night.  It was a memorable Christmas experience.  I know my kids will be begging to go back next year. 

Lights, part 4

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The month of excess

After reminding myself about how much I like this necklace from Urban Outfitters, I went back and bought it-

It goes really well with my gold Gap belt.  I like "statement" pieces that simplify my life.  I don't have to think much about the rest of my outfit. I can just throw them on with anything, and they make the outfit.  I am actually wearing this belt and necklace for the second day in a row. 

With all of the Christmas excess around us and any "gifts" I may have bought myself this month, I just want to make it clear that I don't want to encourage anyone to buy anything they don't need or want or can't afford.  Clothes are my "thing".  I save money in other ways.  I have never hired a maid to clean my house.  I have made all of our curtains and artwork.  I have personally painted 5 rooms in our house (including our living room with diagonal paneling that had to be hand brushed).  The only time we've ever paid someone to mow our lawn is the week after my husband had surgery.  (My husband wouldn't let me mow it - but I do pull weeds.)  I have even fixed some of our small plumbing problems by myself.  Anything I can make or do more cheaply than paying someone else, I prefer to do for myself.

I am also fascinated by people who are different.  I don't want everyone to dress alike.  You can wear the same shirt and pants everyday if that is your style.  Bill Cunningham, the 80-something photographer for the New Yorker, is a style icon in the fashion community for wearing the same cheap blue smock everyday.  He rides his bicycle everywhere and sleeps in a tiny apartment filled with file cabinets.  Simplicity.

Photo from

So, in response to the excess of Christmas, I am going to deem January "The Month of Contentment".  January will be all about the 4 R's - Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle...and whatever the 4th R is.  More details to come...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More Christmas Week Style

I found some more cute shoppers today -

She is wearing a Rachel Zoe sweater and faux fur vest that she bought from last year.  There are similar styles still available.

Her ankle boots are Dolce Vita -

I like the combination of the different patterns and textures that this girl is wearing -

The next girl's outfit is so colorful and fun that it is appropriate for shopping or for a party -

I love the pink Nine West shoes -

How is your Christmas style?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas week style

Today at the mall, people seemed to be slightly more dressed up due to the Christmas season.  I found a couple of girls wearing really cute outfits.  The first one was wearing a cool color blocked poncho sweater.  It was an early Christmas present that her husband bought for her from Victoria's Secret -

It is actually on sale with free shipping today. 

The pattern on the next girl's dress caught my eye from across the mall.  She is German, so she has a cute accent to go along with her cute look.

And I love wedge booties that are flattering to the ankle like these.  She brought them with her from Germany.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Being prepared

It is always "after the fact" that you find what you need.  Last week I was trying to find a new outfit to wear to our party.  I didn't find any party outfits, but I did find this cool belt on sale at the Gap -

I used to only wear silver and find it interesting that the fashion community has managed to make antique gold look modern.  It's a good thing that I like change.

In an effort to be more prepared for my next party, I've scanned the internet for some cool statement necklaces that are good for a party but also for my everyday life -

Etsy - Rania Jewelry

(She has a very cool blog, too, at

More UO...
UO at ShopStyle


I found some margin this morning.  It looked like this -

I sat and read for as long as I wanted to read.  A large chunk of time is my favorite thing in the world.  Of course, during this time I occasionally felt inklings of "I really need to be doing ________."  But I squashed those feelings and decided to read until I got tired of reading.  So, now I feel like I can do _______ with energy rather than with irritation. 

This is a portion of what I read this morning in the book Margin -

"The gods confound the man who first found out how to distinguish hours!  Confound him, too, who in this place set up a sun-dial, to cut and hack my days so wretchedly into small portions." (Plautus in 200 BC)

I also learned that mechanical clocks were first made in the 1200's and the wristwatch not until 1865.  It is interesting that as we have created things to more accurately track time, we have become more of slave to it.  I hope that we can all find some large chunks of time this Christmas in order to take back our margin.