July 28, 2011

Georgia is a Big Ol' Fake

Perhaps that was a bit inflammatory, but it's the truth. No matter the fruit on the state license plate, I'll never think of Georgia as the real peach state.

Thankfully, there's more to my instinct than just digging in my heels. The New York Times has done a pretty good job summarizing what most of us here in the Palmetto State know... There's no better place to buy and eat your peaches.

We grow more, we sell more - and ours are just better. In my markedly biased opinion, obviously, seeing that I've eaten only a handful of Georgia-grown peaches in my lifetime.

With August, National Peach Month, just around the corner, there's no better time to nab a basket full of Gaffney peaches. Little boys may giggle that the giant Peachoid looks quite similar to a backside, but there's a reason that giant fruit keeps watch over their corner of the Upstate: They grow some unparalled peaches.

Besides making a kitchen smell fabulous, they taste pretty darn amazing, too. And you'd be surprised how much you can do with them!

I, the furthest thing from a culinary genius, have grilled them, served them with pork tenderloin, plopped them in a pie, sliced them over biscuits, used them as an ice cream topping, pureed them into a smoothie and, of course, eaten them the good old fashioned way - straight.

I humbly suggest that Georgia find a new state nickname. I wouldn't echo Stephen Colbert's suggestion, because it's not Georgia's fault Sherman burned them to the ground - and he didn't do us any favors, either - but this video is worth a moment nonetheless.

(Side note: Have you seen the peach pie on last month's Southern Living cover? With pecans and cinnamon? Oh, to be a taste tester in that kitchen!)

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
National Peach Month
www.colbertnation.com
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July 22, 2011

Mac-tionary


I haven't done a monthly update for Mac in some time because I'm a terrible mom, but I wanted to keep a little record of his exponentially growing vocabulary. At 21 months old, the boy can talk! He repeats ev-er-y-thing we say (including my squeal of "shut uppppp!" when I found out someone was pregnant. Classy, Anne.)

Most of his words are easily understood by people outside our little family, but a number are tough to translate at first. Here's a little Mac-tionary for us to remember his "baby talk" by when he's throwing three-syllable SAT words at us:

Ah me: Excuse me. (Buuuurp. "Ah me, Mama. Burp!") Also used to make shoving past someone or something a bit more polite. ("Ah me, Blue. Move, Blue! Ah meeee!")

Ah-pack: Backpack.

Ah-coss: Applesauce.

Ah-pye: Peep-eye

Ah-boo: Peekaboo

Aircane: Airplane. He hears these from inside and squeals, bouncing up and down and pointing at the ceiling. He misses nothing!

All ga: (With accompanying hand sign.) All gone, all done, totally over it, don't want anymore, are we done yet, get me outta here.

Babby hoot: Bathing suit. Mac brings these to me occasionally and asks to play in the pool or the ocean ("bubbles!"). He is a water baby for sure.

Bah-perr: Diaper. A cue to hit the changing table ASAP. Sometimes used for water when he sees a bottle of it.

Bock bock: Rock rock. Either as a request to delay bedtime or as a description of his "bock bock horse" or "bock bock chair."

Boom boom: Thunder.

Bubbles: The ocean, fountains, rain and actual bubbles. (Rain is actually "bubbles sky," which makes it a lot harder to hate rainy days. Everything is wondrous to a toddler!)

Bye-eeke: Bicycle, motorcycle, moped. The "eeke" portion gets louder and more excited depending upon how cool the bike is. (In traffic: "Bye-EEKE, Mama!! Bye-EEKE!!!")

Copy: Coffee. How he learned this one I'll never know, as I don't drink it and B rarely makes any. He'll see mugs and say, "Daddy copy? Hot?"

Daint-dee: Blanky. A fervent request at nap- and bedtimes. Sounds an awful lot like Daddy to the uninitiated.

Daint doo: Thank you. Not to be confused with...

Dud joo: Love you. My very favorite.

Dut: Do it. ("Mama dut? Mama help?")

Emanator: Elevator.

Emanent: Elephant.

Ginky: Stinky. As in diapers and feet, mainly.

Gog: Dog. Also heard as a high-pitched "goggie" when excited.

Gogurt: Yogurt.

Gunkey: Monkey. (He loves his Curious George! He walks around the house carrying and talking to him. Yesterday I tried getting him to say "Muh-muh-monkey." He responded enthusiastically, "Muh-muh-GUNKEY!")

Heat: Sit. ("Heat chair, Mama!" is my cue to plop down in the chair facing him or face his righteous toddler wrath. Kidding! Or listen to the request a million more times 'til I do it.)

Kiger: Tiger. Indistinguishable from the word he uses for spider, too.

Kin: Clemson. Used to describe his favorite "Kin book" and especially his "Kin Kigers."

Meet: Music. ("Mac meet dance, Mama! Meeeeet! Daaaaance!" Cue spinning and arm waving.)

Nunner: Another. ("Nunner cacker, mama?")

Oss: Pronounced like the first half of "awesome." Off or on, depending. ("Shoes oss, Mama?")

Pan: Fan.

Peep: Sheep.

Peet: Feet. (He pretends to smell his feet and then squeals, "Ginky peet, Mama! Ginky peet!" Or, my favorite tongue twister, "Ginky gunkey peet!" for stinky monkey feet.)

Pish: Fish.

Poe: Pillow or phone. (All about context clues. "Mac poe night-night" means pillow while "Mama poe beep beep!" means my phone rang.)

Pog: Frog. Clearly we haven't mastered the "f" sound. And this particular animal says bibbit instead of ribbit.

Ta-tall: When asked how tall he is, Mac will throw his arms up and say "so tall" but it comes out "ta-tall."

Taybee: Safely. We ask him to get down from chairs and beds safely, so when he's ready to scoot off of something, he says "Taybee!" as he flips to his tummy and shimmies off. Not as reassuring as it sounds...

Tee: Television. Sometimes tee-bee. He said this long before it was ever turned on in his presence; the thing holds a fascination for him.

Two: The only number he knows. A request for another. If you tickle one foot, he holds out the other and either asks, "Nonner?" or says, "Two!" Same for kisses; he's very European in his desire for symmetrical kisses one each cheek. Our little Casanova.

Two, poss, GO!: His version of Ready, Set Go. If you ask Mac if he's ready, he'll bounce up and down, wave his arms and say "Two, poss, GO!" He says it to himself before jumping off any stationary object or as he throws something. Not sure if he's picked up one Mandarin/Spanish/Polish phrase or if this is just how he chooses to say our version, but it makes us laugh every time. Ready to go to church Mac? Yes, "two, poss, go!!"

A lot of Mac's phrases don't require translation, though. Here are the easiest to understand if you're not familiar with his brand of babble.

General

chair, high chair, shoes, pray, amen, baby, doors, close, under, hands, book, hold, teeth, brush, hair, head, arms, ears, nose, tummy, boo boo, hurt

Testosterone category
burp, poo poo, potty, trash, car, truck, tractor, hat

Little chunk category
cracker, milk, juice, more, pancakes, honey, bread, cheese, hot dog, turkey, bowl, spoon, cup

Fun times category
bath, towel, duck, good, play, kiss, "hold you!", help, choo choo, Elmo, dance, spin, happy

There are plenty more; I could type this list all day and it grows hourly. Lately there seems to be nothing he can't say. I kept a list of the words he said until about 17 months, when it just got too ridiculous even for OCD me to maintain. This is my last ditch effort!

Sorry for a long, total mom post, but these are the kind of details that slip away as the months roll by and Macky gets bigger and bigger. I'm going to try to get a little "Mac-tionary" movie of Mac saying as many of these as possible, just for posterity's sake. One day I know he'll just love to watch it with me, right?

July 21, 2011

A Smocked Sale & Dreaming of Cooler Weather

I took a peek at Zulily today and they have a fabulous sale on adorable Rosalina smocked clothing.

The precious Clemson and Carolina (or Auburn and Alabama for you out-of-staters) outfits have me dreaming of fall and tiny fans running all over Tigertown. Cannot wait!

Ignore the heat index and picture yourself at a tailgate with a cool drink and a long day of socializing ahead of you. Sounds heavenly, right?

Equally fabulous is a good deal.





Everything's half price! Have at it, y'all.

Side note: Melissa & Doug toys are also on sale at The Foundary. Through the magic of a store credit, Mac is now going to be the proud owner of some new wooden puzzles.


There are also some great magnets, kitchen toys, puppets and a lacing shoe for bigger kids ready to (sniffle!) let go of the Velcro.

We love Melissa & Doug. They feel so old-fashioned and classic! They're my favorite go to gifts for birthdays and Christmases because you can't go wrong. Take a peek.

I Am


A friend of mine has put together a great blog series highlighting the positive in each of us, the very best gifts we have been given.

You know, the opposite of what we usually say about ourselves. The antithesis to the self-deprecating "humor" that comes a little too easily to most of us. (Or at least to me.)

It's so easy for me to tell you what I am not. Those words fly off of my tongue.

I'm not as organized as I used to be. I'm not as slim or fit or "done up" or prepared or "together" or creative or "on it" as I'd like.

I'm not the girl who whips up three-course meals six nights a week. I'm not the homemaker who folds her laundry when the buzzer goes off - or sometimes ever! I'm not the work-at-homer who dresses professionally every day or answers each call with a quiet, child-free background. I'm not the mom who runs a day's worth of errands, Mac in tow, without breaking a sweat.

I am, however, a lot of things.

I am a Christian.
I am a wife.
I am a mom. A good great mom. (I'm fighting the urge to yell, "Not perfect!")
I am a daughter, a sister, a niece and a granddaughter.
I am a friend.
I am a homemaker.
I am a
(sometimes) coupon clipper, grocery shopper and meal planner.
I am a writer.
I am a PR professional.
I am an encourager.
I am an advice-giver.
I am a smiler.
I am a deal-finder.
I am a gift-buying dynamo. (Who wants to help with the wrapping?)
I am an expert thank you note writer.

I am a Clemson Tiger fan.
I am compassionate.
I am tender-hearted.
I am loyal.
I am smart.
I am funny.
I am committed.
I am resourceful.
I am true to my word.
I am eager to learn.
I am blessed beyond measure.
I am thankful beyond words.

Thanks to Whitney for inviting me to be a part of the "I Am" series! Take a moment to visit her blog and read the posts other bloggers are putting together for it. If the mood strikes, write a post yourself and link back to the Meade Feed to participate.

July 20, 2011

Extras

1. I found a piece on why getting "older" rules that smacked me in the face after our discussion earlier. Not to say that a 29-year-old has the world's fullest understanding of aging, but it was a positive perspective that made me smile. I'll take it, especially since I've fully signed on to the belief that being cool isn't all it was cracked up to be circa sophomore year.

2. After my less than fantabulous week, I heard this on the radio; the lyrics message washed over me at just the right moment. No matter what your story is, I hope it does the same for you.

(What does it say about me that hearing someone sing "sweeping up lost Cheerios that got away" made me cry? Guess I really needed someone to speak directly to me in a "I feel you, crumb-covered, can't-do-anything-right sister" kinda way.)



3. I heard about a trend called planking a week or two ago. I thought I knew exactly what that was and wondered why on Earth people would post pictures of themselves doing their ab routine.

Evidently I was wrong - and so far behind that planking has now been replaced with owling. I'm not making this up.

I wish I knew what to say about these "trends," but WHY WHY WHY is all that comes to mind. I am a bit more traditional with my pastimes.

For people who are looking to replace owling as an early adopter of an even newer trend, may I suggest napping? It's something new I'm starting, where I post pictures online of myself sleeping in a variety of odd places. I'm taking suggestions and practicing in my bed just as soon as I get a chance to lie down.


School of Rap

Did you know that I'm a rap-ologist? Truly, I am. For a really cool girl with an Arctic tan and a strong distaste for profanity, I know my way around some hip-hop. (Especially from the 2000s.)

I really should have been in the audience for Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake's History of Rap Part Deux. (See here for part one.)

Just as funny and adorable as the original, with even more recognizable rap gems for our generation. All sanitized for TV, too! Just the way I like it.

Prepare to be schooled in a few classics, and enjoy the hip-thrusting Salt and Pepa imitation in particular. I laughed out loud throughout - hope it brings you as many Wednesday morning giggles.

You may have to pause the Mac video a few posts south of this one. Not sure why it starts up automatically - sorry! Another day or so and it should be on the next page, so you won't be greeted with "Mac, can you smile?!" any longer.



Side note: I'm serious about the rap-ology. I'll have to give you a peek at my treadmill tunes playlist sometime. Real fans might roll their eyes at the edited versions, but it's what gets me going in a calorie-burning way!

July 19, 2011

Nittiest of Nitpicks

I'm no grammarian. I don't pretend to be flawless in my use of the English language. I don't pretend to be very cool either; for that I thank five years of Latin, five of French and a lifelong love of etymology. Homecoming Queen was never on my radar, but being named English Student of the Year made my life. (Most popular girl ever, as you can imagine.)

That said, I do have a few points about which I'm very nitpicky. When I see people misuse these phrases on Facebook or Twitter, I cringe. Luckily, the last few years have worked wonders in getting me over these issues - after all, who has time to worry about grammar when there are diapers to be changed?

Still, I thought I'd share a little bit of my crazy with y'all. Behold my least favorite English blunders. These seem to run rampant on blogs and social media. (I'm also standing by to be schooled in my own errors, so feel free to point them out in the comments...)

1. Contraction versus possession. Your and its are possessive. You're and it's are contractions. Apostrophes stand for missing letters; in this case they abbreviate "you are" and "it is." (Cue this lesson from a classic Ross and Rachel moment.)

I have seen two national publications in the last week use, in their social media outlets, the word who's instead of whose. "Who's mom is more fun?" is not correct by any stretch of the imagination. Journalists of all people should know that!

2. Sneak "peaks." I can understand how easily this happens; the two words certainly look nice next to one another when misspelled that way. But a peek doesn't become a peak just because the word in front of it is spelled with an "ea."

3. Loosing my mind. Your goal is not to "loose" weight; it's to lose it. And no matter how crazy your boss is making you or how long your child has been screaming, unless you can pop your head open, it's impossible to "loose" your mind. (This should be reassuring!)

4. Slow down, my dad works here. B is a civil engineer who has seen the side of an interstate in heavy traffic a million times more than I like to remember. I absolutely have a heart for the safety of roadside workers, but these signs jump out at me every time I see one.



A semi-colon is your friend, particularly when the second half of a sentence could stand on its own. "Slow down; my dad works here." Doesn't that look much better? No, just me? Oh well...

(Side note: Don't let the grammar distract you from the message. DO slow down! Feel free to grumble, but do it at 40mph. xoxox)

5. Who versus that. A wonderful sixth-grade teacher of mine hammered this rule into my head; now I can't help but wince when I hear people ignore it. A person is a who, not a that.

"Anyone that wants coffee should come get some now" sounds terrible to me. I like to pretend I respect people too much. "I am happy to serve anyone who is ready" sounds far better!

6. Addictive versus addicting. I can't explain this as well as Grammar Girl and, while I know both are technically acceptable, I am still deadset on using addictive. You'd be surprised how often the word addicting is thrown around, but maybe I just pick up on it more than normal. Few people are this nitpicky about words anyhow...

7. Stationery versus stationary. Something stationary stands still; stationery is the gorgeous paper we write on when channeling Emily Post. This slip-up is most egregious when stationery stores make it. Truly! You don't sell "stationary," I'm quite certain. If you misspell what you sell, I should get some kind of a discount - especially on the $20 a card kind.

8. Apostrophes for pluralization. You did not get a Christmas card from the "Smith's" or the "Holmes's." Pluralizing these names makes them the Smiths and the Holmeses, respectively. I wish stationers would remember this rule; selling an address stamp that reads "The Smith's" is shameful.

The same rule applies to regular ol' nouns. A "pack of dog's running" is an extremely confusing concept. Why add more characters when you can just plop on an "s" and make a word plural? Keep it simple.

And, as tempting as it is even to me, adding an apostrophe does not clarify anything when pluralizing abbreviations or decades. The 80s are the 80s, as odd as that might look, and an old college snapshot of mine would include a pack of "sorority squatting" Zetas or ZTAs, not Zeta's or ZTA's. No one is taking possession of anything, just making it plural. Make sense?

So there you have it, a few of the highest priority nitpickiest little nitpicks in my brain. I'm sure I make grammar errors left and right that other people pick up on, but we all have our "must get right" points; these are mine. Split infinitives, two spaces after a period, overuse of commas, excessive exclamation points - we all have our "thing."

Do you have any irksome phrases or pet peeve expressions? Let 'em rip!

July 15, 2011

Anne and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Did you read that book as a child, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? I couldn't recite a line from it, but I'll always remember its title. Sometimes there's just no other way to describe a day - or a series of days, for that matter.

This week has felt rainy in every possible way. Ten thousand things have gone wrong. Things I can't fix. Things in the lives of those I love, things in my life.

My laptop screen went totally black and I had deadlines to meet and no way to get what I needed done. I also looked uber professional explaining the predicament, and have never missed having an IT department on call so badly. Extra computers on demand and someone who doesn't lose their cool when PCs go berserk? Sign me up.

Mac is cutting molars, I've been under the weather, the house keeps dirtying itself (ha!), I forget to start dinner and Bradley hasn't been home to eat a single meal all week. I have felt lonely and cranky and frustrated and even a little bitter.

And yet.

God is so good. Our biggest troubles are temporary. Circumstances can be sad and frustrating and discouraging, but they're just circumstances. We just came back from a full week at the beach, y'all. How terrible could things be?

I have tried to refocus on my "get to" attitude. I get to fold this laundry and clean this counter and sort through bills. I get to see my husband when he finally crawls in bed after midnight. I get to change Mac's diapers and soothe his own bad moods and watch him become an even smarter, funnier (and at times, more frustrating!) boy. I get to miss Bradley when he's not here. I have a healthy family and my most pressing concern is how little time we get to spend together after a full week's vacation? What a blessing.

Some people run to get rid of their stress; my surefire cure for anything is a Diet Coke, a Tylenol, a nap and a cupcake - usually in that order. I've been cutting DCs for a few months now, though, and I have no time for sleeping. Perhaps a run by the bakery is in order? I think half a dozen cupcakes should fix any lingering terrible, horrible, no good, very bad feelings, don't you?

The bottom line: I am ready for this week to be over, but the more I type, the more I realize it really wasn't that bad. My best friend's little boy turned one. One couple had their second daughter yesterday and another announced they are expecting again. Mac learned to stand on one foot (with support) and squealed like he had invented the move.

In the face of families who are hurting, children who are sick, the many people we pray for each day who need peace and strength and miracles - this is nothing.

Could life be better if everything went according to my (undoubtedly flawless) plan? Yes. But I'm hanging in - and counting myself thankful for everything that's good.

Doesn't mean I'm going to pass up the cupcakes, though.

July 13, 2011

Old-ilocks?

Lately I have been a little less than giddy about my upcoming birthday. I see 18-year-old celebrities enjoying private-island vacations for weeks on end, frolicking mindlessly in the ocean with nary a stitch of cellulite in sight. (Not that I have any either, mind you!) This is not my life, friends.

Because every publication under the sun seems to post a person's age behind their name, whether they are political figures or jobless socialites, it's easy for me to see who is "my age."

That whole concept is interesting. What is "my age" anyhow? Growing up I was typically the youngest in my class with a late summer birthday. I turned 18 just a few weeks before going to college. I considered people to be "my age" if they were in my graduating class.

At a previous job, filled with fabulous twenty-somethings, one girl asked another if a new hire was "our age" or not. "No," the second girl replied, "I think she's a grade or so behind us." They were each seven or eight years out of high school, but they took the (three month!) age difference between them and another PYT to be quite significant because it resulted in a whole school year's gap.

All that said, I look at pictures of folks on Facebook or in magazines and try to guess their ages before I know them. Do they look older than me? Younger? I'm terrible at it.


Reporters rave that the former "Waity Katie," a spinster in the making, now has the "glow of youth." Happy girls are the prettiest girls indeed!

Lately I find I have more in common with people who are in a similar place to me in life, regardless of their age. Whether there are similarities in job interests, spiritual lives or parental duties, those things seem to matter more now than how old a friend was when Titanic was released.

If Rory Gilmore were real, I don't doubt she'd have a Pulitzer in hand by now...

So these days, as I feel older my the minute and pluck the random curly gray hairs that are sprouting atop my head, I find myself taking comfort in the fact that "my age" includes Beyonce, Natalie Portman, Alexis Bledel (RIP Gilmore Girls), Jenna and Barbara Bush, Ivanka Trump and our very favorite Duchess, the former Kate Middleton - and her husband too, for that matter!


These girls have traveled the world to serve the underprivileged and founded successful non-profits. I was proud to get a few emails out today and keep Mac clean and fed!

And while she is "my" age, I'm going to avoid claiming Britney Spears 'til her hair is less skank-tastic. Sorry, Brit-Brit, but you have far too much money to sport such icky extensions.

(Disclaimer: Hopefully this will be the last self-indulgent, entirely superficial rant for a while. Worrying about your age is a first world problem and I'm surrounded by so many wonderful, loving people that I wouldn't go back to 21 if I could. Seriously. That said, it is amazing to me that there are famous people a full dozen years younger than me and newly graduated Ivy Leaguers have become best-selling authors at the ripe old age of 25. How is that possible? Puts my to do list in perspective. Prodigies!)

July 8, 2011

A Royal Change of Pace

William and Catherine's conquest of the Western Hemisphere continued yesterday with a final day of Canadian adventures. We're used to seeing them glammed up for their daily "duties" in something like this:



Beautiful, elegant and far more suited up than I've ever been for a day of work.

Imagine my surprise when I saw Cowgirl Catherine and her prince sporting these ensembles yesterday:

Get it, girl!! Cowboy boots, designer bootcut jeans and Alice by Temperley shirt, a sizable belt buckle and a custom-made hat gifted to her by Canadian officials.

And Prince William, I daresay, has never looked cuter. I know a passel of Southern girls who are fanning themselves upon seeing royalty in gear most often sported by Nashville stars and genuine cowboys.

Evidently he wanted to try out his bucking bronco-wrangling skills but his wife put the kibosh on that instinct. (Read about it here.)

Can't say I blame her, but what a cute peek into the newlyweds' relationship. This well-dressed wisp of a girl certainly has the prince wrapped around her sapphire-and-diamond-encrusted finger. (And who can blame him?)

Back to their wardrobes: I can't imagine how much thought and effort was put into preparing each and every outfit for the Duchess in particular. It's not as though she can run unnoticed into Target and grab something quickly if a hem falls out of her intended skirt....

I was tickled by the change of pace in their wardrobe and can't wait to see what they have up their sleeves for the quick trip to LA that began this morning. Stay tuned!

(Photo credits to the Daily Mail.)

July 7, 2011

Crazy Little Ham

We have a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, straight-up ham on our hands.

While he may look nothing like me, he has inherited (in addition to his ability to cheese on cue) an odd trick of mine from childhood: flipping his spoon over.

The trouble? He doesn't always wait 'til it's in his mouth to do so. Oh well - a little applesauce on the floor never hurt anyone!

B and I are still at the beach, after our respective meetings, but Mac is with his grandparents for 36 hours of parent-free fun.

In the twelve hours he has been gone, I have watched this video no less than a dozen times. Man, I love this little monkey.

July 5, 2011

The Cuteness in Canada Continues...

(I could have thrown "Cambridge" in the title for a little more alliteration excitement, but I didn't want to go overboard. My obsession is intense enough.)

So close, Wills! Good thing playing hockey isn't your day job.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

You know it's love when a prince holds your umbrella. Chivalry!

Waving to her new husband as he demonstrates his helicopter flying skillz.

Catherine loves Anne of Green Gables too! Shall we start a book club, Duchess?

A post-race squeeze for the newlyweds

Another post-event hug from the Duke and Duchess in denim.

(All photo credits to the Daily Mail.)

July 4, 2011

Ahhhh...


No more pretending - we're here! Our first full week away from home in two years. B and I will both be working and having a few meetings while we're gone, but any day that starts and ends at the beach counts as a vacation day to me.

Last week was a whopper (do people under 80 say this), a perfect storm of sickness and whining and tears and stress. Most, but not all, from Mac - due to teething and a tummy bug. The rest was all mine - due to a ridiculous to do list, lots of packing, errands left undone and general mom anxiety. You know, the usual.

But it's here, it's finally here! Hope you are celebrating the 4th of July with the ones you love and enjoying a little relaxation yourself.

xoxoxo

July 1, 2011

Crazy for Catherine!

Darling, they adore you!

After weeks of buzz, wardrobe suggestions and speculation, the royals have arrived!! Prince William and Duchess Catherine's long-awaited visit to North America is being widely covered, and from the looks of things our neighbors to the north are no less crazy about the royal newlyweds than we are.

I've had so many Kate-related blog posts (obsessed, yes!) rolling around in my head, but I've got sixty seconds to finally plop down and do one, so herein please find even more reasons to adore the former Kate Middleton.

1. She shops her closet.

Of course, it helps to have an itsy-bitsy figure and a pretty fabulous wardrobe to start with, but you've got to admire any gal in the public eye who restyles previous favorites and re-rocks them in front of the paparazzi's glare. Hats off to you, Kate.

Today in Canada Catherine sported the same white dress she wore for her official engagement portrait with William. Adding a red maple leaf hat, statement heels and a sparkly gem of a brooch from the Queen's collection, Kate reworked the look and even gave a nod to the country's celebration of Canada Day.


Yesterday, in one of her three outfit changes, Kate also wore a dress she has been photographed in twice before: once the day before her wedding and once five years ago (how's that for a flashback of your fashion life, Kate?) by paparazzi.

It says a lot about a girl when her choices from five years ago still suit the person she is, and the title she has been given, at such different time in her life. (Below in Canada and, at left, when she was still Will's "long-suffering" girlfriend. Who's laughing now, tabloids?)

If that wasn't enough, the fabulous slingback espadrilles she's wearing are also recycled. Nicely done, Kate!

Totally obsessed side note: It has been speculated by What Kate Wore that the pendant necklace Catherine is wearing above may be a charm bracelet her mother-in-law gave her (we'll get to that!) reworked as a necklace for the day. Clever!

2. She styles herself.

As the wife of the future King of England, I am sure she has room in the budget for a stylist - but she doesn't have one. Evidently Kate works with personal shoppers at her favorite stores and puts ensembles together herself.

Makes her taste all the more impressive! Can I steal this adorable wicker clutch - already sold out online - for the summer?


3. She supports local designers.


After a seven and a half hour flight from London to Ottawa, Duchess Catherine strolled off the airplane wearing an entirely different outfit than when she boarded. And this classic navy lace overlay number is the work of a Canadian designer. As if the locals weren't Kate crazy enough already...

4. She wears monogrammed jewelry - from her mother-in-law!


I notice Catherine's prettily engraved bracelet in a snapshot of her last week and thought, "How nice to wear something with a crown on it when you actually own a crown!"

When I realized the bracelet was a gift from Camilla, Prince Charles's wife, and it had a differently-engraved "C" on each side to represent both women, I was even more touched.

I'll be Team Diana forever, but a girl who loves her mother-in-law and sports monogrammed jewelry would fit in remarkably well around these here parts. We'll make a Southerner out of the Duchess yet!

5. She carries polka-dotted, affordable luggage.


In the picture below, you'll see Kate's polka-dotted overnight bag. While I'm sure she has trunks upon trunks of her wardrobe traveling with her, I love that she carries a non-Louis Vuitton (hear that, Hollywood elites?) canvas British bag.
And if it were still in stock, believe me, I'd have snatched it up by now. I've never met a navy polka-dotted anything I didn't like...

Wonder if she'd monogram that? (And what would it be cWm? cWe? Or just "I'm a Duchess, don't worry about my monogram?!")

Okay, that's enough Catherine-related gushing for one day. We're about to enter a long holiday weekend of patriotism. Soak it up, friends!

xoxo

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