2016 Christmas List

Mom and Dad still ask for a Christmas list from Kelly and I (see, folks.  It pays not to have kids, you never have to grow up!), and they gave us a deadline to submit eight items  so I sent mine in today.  See below.  What’s on your Christmas list this year?

  1.  deadladies

Read this book this year, and I loved it.  I’m more selective about what books I ask for now since we have roughly four full bookshelves in our house, but this was one I’d love to reread again and again.

2. perfume

I read this book years ago, and it’s one of my favorites.  I owned it, but I some how lost it along the way so I’m trying to get another copy.

3. againstnature

I haven’t read this yet, but it’s been on my to read list for years.  I love books about hedonism and decadence taken to an over the top lavish extreme.  It’s kinda how I live.

4. spicebomb

My beautiful friend Nikki recently wore this, and I immediately had to know what she was wearing.  This is a men’s cologne, but I think it’s very unisex.  I never guessed she was wearing cologne.  It smells sexy, and now, I have to have my own bottle!

5. lordofmisrule

I love Lush products, and I haven’t tried this  yet, but I love spicy scents so I’m pretty sure I’ll love it.  They haven’t disappointed me, yet!


I seriously thought this has been discontinued and was so glad to find out otherwise!  I wore this for years in college.  It will always be one of my favorites.  It’s sexy and heavy on the vanilla which is one of my favorite scents in perfume.

7. Some kind of steam clean mop

8. buckets

Practical which I’m not usually into, but I want it.

Messy Life

Beautiful colors outside recently. I'm not sure what kind of plant or weed or whatever this is, but I loved the bruised berry color against the green.
Beautiful colors outside recently. I’m not sure what kind of plant or weed or whatever this is, but I loved the jewel bruised berry color against the green.

So after spending hundreds of bucks at Starbucks over the year, I finally discovered yesterday downstairs at the Grill on campus, they have some kind of souped-up Nespresso machine or equivalent.  I had heard friends rave about these, but I was skeptical.  Last week, I finally tried a latte for a buck something from the machine, and it was amazing!  I mean, really really amazing.  As in, I’ll be spending way less downstairs at the Grill for my coffee all year.  Although, I may still visit Starbucks for their seasonal drinks which we all know I can’t live without.  PSL, I’m ready for you! Continue reading Messy Life



A cute fisheye lens photo of Mearl having a taste of a sucker, just because.
A cute fisheye lens photo of Mearl having a taste of a sucker, just because.

I’ve got some new obsessions in my life.  You’ve already heard about my mushroom groove, and many of my students, current and former, find it hysterical. I did Snapchat during a recent mushroom hunt, so I get it.  I’ve always been a nerd. Haha! I’m currently reading The Complete Mushroom Hunter:  An Illustrated Guide to Finding, Harvesting, and Enjoying Wild Mushrooms. Now, as noted in the book North America is a mycophobic society.  I love mushrooms, but I don’t trust myself to identify the right ones no matter how simple this book claims it is (unless they’re Morels, those look pretty distinctive).  I do like to snap photos to “collect” the fungi I find.  A friend sent me a link to this wonderful Radiolab podcast with some pretty incredible discoveries about the relationship between trees and fungi.  Kelly is being a complete dreamboat and sending me photos of all the beautiful mushrooms he’s seen on his retreat for work.  I am so jealous it isn’t me!  28260444974_d72d990169_o 28593179690_8fd7feeda9_o 28877514885_eaf76df69a_o

Continue reading Obsessions

Vulcan Haircuts

Today’s is my Mom’s birthday, and I’m so glad she’s celebrating it the same week she retires!  Her birthday is one of her favorite things, and I’m sure this entire week will be a memorable one for her.  We got her tickets to see Dolly Parton and a massage.  I can’t wait to spend an upcoming evening with her singing our hearts out to “Why’d You Come in Here Lookin’ Like That”!  Dolly’s the best and so is my Mom.

Links of the Week:

Starchild Stela's work
Starchild Stela’s work

Continue reading Vulcan Haircuts

Sweet Savannah: Travel Post Day One

Photo from our wedding day by the incredible photographer, Stephanie Parsley. Find more of her work at this link http://stephanieparsleyphotography.com/
Photo from our wedding day by the incredible photographer, Stephanie Parsley. Find more of her work at this link http://stephanieparsleyphotography.com/

I can’t believe Kelly and I celebrated our two year anniversary last week! Time does fly when you’re having fun.  While we’ve faced a lot of hard times together this year with different health issues, through those difficult moments, I think we’ve both gained an even stronger appreciation for our marriage and friendship.  There is no one I would rather have by my side throughout my life.

We both love traveling, and Kelly planned a wonderful vacation for us.  We focused our trip on several southern cities.  In Georgia, we spent the most time in Savannah, and then had a brief stopover in Helen.  We also spent an evening and a day in Charleston, South Carolina.  This was my third visit to Savannah and Kelly’s first.  Years ago, I read John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and after, I had to visit.  Even though it was my third time, I would go a fourth time in a heartbeat!  Savannah is one of my favorite cities I’ve visited, and I’m convinced it’s the most beautiful city in the south.  There is so much to do, and Kelly and I found tons of things to explore that I hadn’t seen in my two previous visits.  Of course, there were also some old favorites that I went back to see, too.  I’d also been to Charleston once before, but that time, I had strictly done the beach so I was excited to go with Kelly (his first visit) and explore more of the city.  We had both never been to Helen, Georgia, and what a treat that turned out to be!  I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’d never even known there were mountains in Georgia.  I guess I should probably look at a map once in a blue moon since middle school.  I’m most ashamed because I love Georgia so much.  Every time I visit or even pass through that state, I find the people to be the most gracious I’ve met.  I think the state is beautiful, and there is so much history there.  There’s always been something that speaks to me in Georgia, and I’d gladly move or retire there someday.  Continue reading Sweet Savannah: Travel Post Day One

Excerpt from The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks

Old photo of mine rustled up from Flickr
Old photo of mine rustled up from Flickr

“My grandfather had an eye for things that were beautiful, like a sunset, but he would explain it in mostly functional terms, not abstract aesthetic ones.  He seemed to love the landscape around him with a passion, but his relationship with it was more like a long tough marriage than a fleeting holiday love affair.  His work bound him to the land, regardless of weather or the seasons.  When he observed something like a spring sunset, it carried the full meaning of someone who had earned the right to comment, having suffered six months of wind, snow, and rains to get to that point.  He clearly thought such things beautiful, but that beauty was full of real functional implications–namely the end of winter or better weather to come.”

A Weekend of the Arts

It's amazing how many more times you can spin around in the Tilt-a-Whirl as an adult!
It’s amazing how many more times you can spin around in the Tilt-a-Whirl as an adult!

Last Friday night, Kelly decided to take me to the fair for our date night.  We spent a fun evening dining on junk food–Taco in a Bag for me and Kettle Corn for him. For the record, Taco in a Bag is definitely a culinary art, spinning madly on the Tilt-a-Whirl, and pushing children aside at the petting zoo to be able to get a better view of a baby camel.  I joke that Kelly is “too thrifty” (really it’s great he is, or I’d blow through all our money/he saves so he can treat me to amazing trips), but I delighted him by scoring free fair tickets for us and picking up carrots dropped by kids at the petting zoo to feed the animals, instead of paying two bucks for a bag, which he proudly deemed, “resourceful”!  Continue reading A Weekend of the Arts

Girls with Glasses

My "winning" choice. Most people selected a different pair, but I generally don't like the tastes of the masses it's okay. Haha!
My “winning” choice. Most people selected a different pair, but I generally don’t like the tastes of the masses so it’s okay. 🙂 Sorry for the poor quality photo, but you know, this was a quick cell snap.

Thursday evening I took an informal Facebook poll to help me select a new pair of glasses.  I posted photos of me in three different styles, and I asked for opinions.  At the optical shop, I tried on many that were familiar to me, and one pair that made me catch my breath when I slid them on my nose.  Most I reached for looked only slightly different than the style I currently wear, that I had grown sick of over the last…um, ever since I’ve been wearing glasses.  I anticipated, correctly, that most people would select the pair that was, well, boring and safe. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, what healed my “dance to the beat of my own drum” heart were a group of my “favorites”.  Continue reading Girls with Glasses

Great Skin

I love Murad products. I’ve been trying and loving their Environmental Shield line!

If you’ll remember in a prior post, I recently bemoaned the fact that I hadn’t had a facial in years.  My last and only facial occurred ages ago as part of a birthday gift of a complete spa package.  It came following an hour of massage.  I must admit after an hour of relaxation, I was half asleep and didn’t care what anyone was doing to my face.  It was a wonderful day, but I don’t feel like I truly appreciated the full facial experience of a consultation with an esthetician.

As an unashamed Real Housewives junkie (Atlanta and Beverly Hills), I always stare in awe at the TV after they come out of their facials with the the most perfect youthful and glowing skin.  Friends, I’ve finally experienced what I refer to as Real Housewives Flawless Face®!

For the complete facial experience, I recently stopped in at my local Massage Envy.  Like my massage experience, it was incredibly relaxing and had many long term benefits.  The receptionist greeted me with hot tea again, and I got to hang out in the Tranquility Room being tranquil until it was time.  Massage Envy has this hospitality thing down to an art, and it’s my favorite place to unwind for a couple of hours on a weekend.   Continue reading Great Skin

Novel Perfumes


I used to be quite the perfume collector.  I love scents, and my tastes vary with my mood.  Some summer days, I’m feeling a marine fragrance a little more, but most days, I prefer something spicy and oriental.  I used to have a carnival glass tray on my dresser filled with different bottles.  While I have slowed my purchases over the last several years, I do still love to find a new scent that excites me.

Still have the tray, but it doesn't have quite as many bottles now.  I'm a little more selective in my purchases.
Still have the tray, but it doesn’t have quite as many bottles now. I’m a little more selective in my purchases.

Throughout my searches, I often encountered praises of L’Artisan Parfumeur, but I struggled to find a place in the United States to order samples of their fragrances.  I was thrilled to finally find Luckyscent, an online store and shop out of Los Angeles that specializes in offering the “unique, rare, and exceptional.”  Fortunately, they sell samples!  Continue reading Novel Perfumes