March 28, 2011

Rent the Runway Coupon Code!


I got a lot of emails and tweets when I blogged about Rent the Runway the other day, so I am thrilled to share a 24 hour coupon code I found!

Until midnight tomorrow, Tuesday the 29th, get 25% off any RTR rental when you use the code "FBTHANKS" at checkout.

That makes a lot of their dresses under $40! I was giddy to make my first rental and get such a great deal.

If you haven't joined, head on over and take a peek. Click here to sign up!

March 24, 2011

Mr. Smarty Pants

Mac is nothing if not a ham. He does and says the flat out silliest things, especially at the end of the day when he's worn out from a busy schedule of toddler antics.

The moment I pull out a camera, though - bam! - all he wants to do is see the baby onscreen. I must have hundreds of shots of him pointing at the camera, mouth poised in a long, dragged out "bay-beeeeee" sound.

Not this time, though. I got him just tired enough to show off a few of his party tricks last night.

Enjoy a quick sampling of Mac's singing skills, as well as him showing off a few favorite features: tummy, head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth and, in an apparent attempt to gag himself for a laugh, tongue.

I particularly loved the moment when he mixes up "cheek" and "cheese." This little chunk has always got snacks on the brain.



Given his attire, this should probably be called "Mr. Smarty No Pants." But it was hot tonight and Mac is a messy eater to boot.

Who am I kidding? Any excuse to show off that fab physique. Flaunt it if you've got it, right?

March 22, 2011

Mac's Mullet Gets a Trim

Last weekend, Bradley and I finally took Mac-Mac to get his very first haircut. We'd heard great things about a place that specializes in children's hair and offers parents baby's first cut for just a penny.

After months of hemming and hawing, we finally decided to go for it and get our wild man's toddler coiff under control.

So we got Mac all buckled in and headed out for a long overdue trim.

His hair didn't look unkempt from certain angles...

...but if you caught sight of it just right, he was definitely sporting a mullet.

He played with a few toys while we waited, taking in the "big kids" sitting nearby.


When it was his turn, Mac came armed with two blankies and a bowl of Cheerios, his very favorite sources of comfort.

I wish I could find words to express just how unfathomably well behaved he was, but looking at the unwrangle-able, full steam ahead, squirmy little toddler who lives in our home, I am befuddled by his composure. (But so, so thankful!)

He sat perfectly still!

He people-watched as other families came and went.



There truly was a lot for the boy to take in.


After saving a few locks for his baby book, we were thrilled with the finished product. Here's our suddenly big boy and his mom, who noticed her own scraggly 'do after seeing this photo and got a little chop of her own!

March 21, 2011

The World's Best (And Most Borrowable) Closet

Lately I have found my wardrobe to be woefully lacking in the cuteness department.

I just returned from a bachelorette party yesterday, utterly convinced that I own no single garment cute enough to go "out" in. (And by "out" I don't mean a 20 minute Target run.)

I have work clothes (yay for "big girl" shoes!), life and church clothes (casual church = playing on the floor with our Sunday School class in jeans or skirts). I have no "cute" clothes.

My extensive wedding-going wardrobe fits oddly post-Mac, gapping in places things shouldn't and looking about as old as I am. What's a girl to do?

In this season of life, without three roommates just down the hall, eager to share the contents of their overfilled closets, it's much more difficult to pilfer adorable clutches and find a last-minute cocktail dress when you need one. Thankfully, I believe I've found the answer: rent something!

Much like guys rented tuxes for prom, Rent the Runway, something I heard about last year but have yet to use, lets a girl order up just the dress she'd like to wear for any occasion.

Oh how I wish this genius, Netflix-for-clothes concept had been around in college. Every casino night, cocktail party and formal would have featured designer dresses shipped right to my dorm. (And no wasting hundreds of dollars on dresses I couldn't wear more than once!)

The bottom line: Order a dress, select a "back-up size," choose the date you'll need it and rent away! Return shipping is free, too.

They even offer accessories for your big occasion as well. Dresses are cleaned and overnighted to the next customer when your festivities are over. I'm not sure who invented Rent the Runway, but those gals are brilliant! (If necessity is the mother of invention, the creators probably had a black-tie gala to go to and were longing for the many closest they had to pick from their freshmen year, too.)

Now I just need a few fancy occasions to make my renting dreams come true. I'm planning my outfit now for a Charleston wedding the night before Easter. Top contenders:


Milly Southern Sun Dress

Milly Sail Away Dress

Lilly Pulitzer Citrus Candy Cane Dress
(Listed on the LP site as Nadia)
Lilly Pulitzer Lemon Sorbet Dress
(Listed on the LP site as Eryn)

Shoshanna Vicious Venom Dress

Rebecca Taylor Berry Surprise Dress

Do you have a favorite? And have you ever used RTR before, or a similar site? Let me know if you sign up and rent anything - I'd love to hear how it goes!

(And if you see me at that wedding Easter weekend, feel free to ask where I got my dress. I won't mind spilling!)

March 16, 2011

Collectible Kate

It's been years, but I still haven't recovered from the retiring of American Girls' Victorian beauty Samantha. I take heart, though, in knowing that another charmingly upper crust brunette doll is on the horizon: the Kate Middleton/Princess Catherine doll!

So far - and we're pretty early on in the scheme of things - we have two top contenders.

First, the cutesy and oddly accurate Franklin Mint version of Will's girl.

Is it creepy? Sure. Isn't any doll of a relatively normal 20-something girl kind of eerie?

Is it a fair likeness? Certainly. As far as dolls go, this is as flattering a likeness as they come. They got the bouncy hair and fab figure, that's for sure.

Is it expensive? Bien sûr. But if you're a rabid enough royal fan to get this far in the process, you probably won't blink at the nearly $200 price tag.

Now on to our second and, in my opinion, slightly ickier Kate doll option:

For the bargain price of $160, you can receive a wedding day Princess Catherine doll complete with a bouquet, tiara and gown identical to those she wears down the aisle on April 29. I guess this means you'll have to wait a little longer to get your princess doll fix, but that's the price you pay for stalker-like accuracy to detail!




While we're on the topic of Wills and Kate collectibles, can we talk about how unflattering the official royal mint coin of the couple is? Sure, Will looks passable, but Kate's profile does the real life beauty no favors.

Good thing the girl's too gorgeous to care. And if she does care, I'm sure a glance at her future digs, left hand and adoring fiancé will fix her right up.

So, ladies, who will be stocking up on Princess Kate goodies?

And how funny would it be if one day a thoroughly modern princess-to-be decided to turn down the title and instead go by Kate Middleton-Windsor? (William was enrolled in preschool as William Windsor, after his royal house's name. Not a bad surname, but who'd turn down the Royal Highness gig?)

March 15, 2011

So, Do You Want More Kids?

Subtitle: Reason #4385 to love Tina Fey.

Tina, who graces the cover of this month's InStyle, had the most clever response I've heard yet to an age old question: Do you want more children? (There's usually a "when" in there somewhere, too.)

Her response, and I can just picture her saying this with a straight face, was: "If you're asking me to do that with you, I cannot." So clever!

Because, truly, what is the appropriate answer when a complete stranger, in this case one with every intention of publishing your response word for word for the consumption of millions, asks you such a personal thing?

Don't get me wrong; I don't think it's inappropriate to talk about your family or your plans. Friends, sisters, playgroup pals - this conversation can come up on its own with many people.

Fellow grocery shoppers, moms waiting with you in the pediatrician's office, receptionists at your place of business - these are the folks who tend to be the most curious and shamelessly direct.

Asking away in your little corner of the world may be kosher, but prying into the the private matters of a stranger? Not the best way to make friends.

You never know what struggles someone has with this issue, how they really feel, what they want and what they may or may not envision coming next for their family. And the truth is, you don't need to. But somehow, the topic tends to be brought up by the people who least need to know such personal details. (And I don't just mean reporters.)

Shortly after B proposed, a colleague's wife asked when we wanted to have children. (My answer: "Probably after we're married?") She followed this up by asking a friend sitting next to me, at that time quite pregnant with her first, when she wanted to have a second. Head-spinning.

Post-baby, I first heard this question when Mac was less than a month old. My timeline for having another baby was quite fuzzy, to say the least, considering my timeline for getting through the day changed moment by moment.

Hats off to Ms. Fey for putting a punchline to an answer many of us struggle with when asked. Truth be told, I'm happy to say, "We hope Mac will be a big brother one day." When pressed for further details, though, I'm glad to have a witty and disarming comeback in my back pocket.

So, friends, what do you say when people (or reporters, if you're one of the many famous folks who read this blog) ask intrusive, if well-meaning, questions?

March 10, 2011

British Babbles

Maybe it's the gray, rainy weather today, but I have Britain on the brain.


Bradley and I sat down last Saturday to "try out" the Downton Abbey series I'd heard raves about; twenty-four hours later we'd finished the first season! Whew.

It's a PBS Masterpiece Theatre production, which usually guarantees I'll like it (read: period pieces with romantic storylines), but this piece took the cake. The setting, the acting, the questions that arise about the class system and what is "proper" - I loved it all.

Mostly I felt pseudo-intellectual being drawn into something produced by PBS, the purveyor of all things educational and deep. In truth, though, this series is more a gorgeous, Titanic-era soap opera with a hint of sociological introspection.

No need to be ashamed to watch it, but you probably won't get your Ph.D. while you do it either. Read more about it here.

As for the quick conclusion, so many details are left unresolved that I am itching for the next season, which probably won't come to America 'til later this year or even early 2012.

By then, Miss Kate Middleton will have become Princess Catherine. (Like my segway?) Her title may change, but I'm guessing her remarkable sense of style will not. Can we discuss her fabulous rainy-day philanthropy get up? Love.



I'm with the Fug Girls - can I borrow this coat when they're done, Kates? And then your stylist? Perhaps you should just take to YouTube for that hair and makeup tutorial everyone's dying to see. Talk about making a difference in the world - that would do it! (Kidding. Kind of.)

And now for a few pick-me-up pictures from our favorite imports: Boden, the only company who regularly uses "smashing," "spot on," and "swishy" in their descriptions. In other words, they totally speak my language.

Who wants to put together this fluffy, swirly little English ensemble? Perfect for a garden wedding and high tea!




March 2, 2011

Hi, Hi, I'm Here!!

*I'm still here! Things are a little bananas (aren't they always? who has a tiny to do list these days?) and the last two weeks have just flown by...

*Breaking news: Before I discuss anything else, can I tell you that Mac learned to say "Mama" at last?! He uses between 30 and 35 words now, so it's about time. But it sounds like absolute heaven! I can even ignore the fact that he only uses it when he's unhappy or I've done something wrong. Who cares? He knows I'm his mom at last!

*Mac came down with a not-so-delightful stomach bug last week, rallied for a few days and then surprised us with a relapse Saturday morning so intense that we were at the pediatrician's office in ten seconds flat. Ick. And poor baby!

*Bradley and I came down with the insanely powerful stomach bug Monday night, spending most of Tuesday horizontal and woozy. If nothing else, those 24 hours gave me tremendous sympathy for pregnant gals suffering through morning sickness. God bless you! No fun at all.

*Added to the stomach bug, we have spent the last ten days in a real estate haze. We have finally sold our house (yay!) and have a contract on another across town. Both are set to close on April 1st. Whew! Would you pray with us that everything continues to go smoothly?

*Can I tell you how grateful I am that we didn't catch this stomach bug the night before our closing? Timing is everything - and I'll be covering this house in Lysol to make sure we stay well 'til then.

*Work has picked up exponentially for me, so I am juggling mom and work duties, adding a great deal to my to do list and constantly feeling like I've forgotten to do something. And it's a safe bet I have.

*My sweet parents and wonderful in-laws have stepped up to help out in the coming weeks, spending more time with Mac and looking out for us in general. These are the days we wished they all lived right down the street.


Here are my parents, Mimi and Grandpa, with their sick (but grinning!) grandson last Saturday. Their first fun activity of the weekend was riding to the pediatrician with us. Fun times! So thankful for two sets of parents who love and support us.

*I have lots and lots coming up but promise to stay in better touch, if only because I miss chatting with everyone. Hope you're all well and enjoying an early spring! Just to be safe, you may want to use hand sanitizer after reading this post. Seems that anything we come into contact with (including grandparents - sorry, guys!) has a need for Gatorade, ginger ale and crackers before long. Stomach bug be gone!

xoxo,
A.

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