Dress: Ya (Similar here); Cardigan: Talbots (Similar here); Belt: Talbots; Shoes: Seychelles; Earrings: Stella & Dot; Bracelets: David Yurman, Kate Spade, Alisa, Stella & Dot; Bag: Louis Vuitton; Watch: Michael Kors
My workday calls for conservative dress, so getting it right takes extreme balance. The LBD is a staple in my closet, as are accessories in fun prints like the leopard belt here or a punch of red lipstick. I find that some of the simplest pieces, combined together can make the perfect statement of “responsible, hard worker who loves to squeeze in a bit of fun.” Besides, I am only 29 (at least for another month)!
Valentine’s Day is just another day around our house. We don’t do flowers or presents or fancy dinners. It’s not that we’re anti-Valentine’s Day. We just live life as John often sums it up, “I tell you and hopefully show you that you are very loved every day of the week. I, on the other hand, have had so many work projects and volunteer commitments lately that I’ve been MIA, which leads me to deal with extreme guilt when I walk in the house at night and see everything cleaned, laundry folded and dinner plate waiting on the stove. Knowing that I likely haven’t expressed ample amounts of my love and gratitude toward my husband, and knowing we have a strict no gifts policy, I decided to take the tried and true route cleared by so many women before me. You know, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” It’s true. A wise woman once told us before marriage that love starts in the kitchen. A favorite around our house is anything with oranges and cranberries, so this little muffin recipe dressed up in parchment cups from Paper Chef was the perfect “You are loved today and every day” gift for my valentine.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you. I hope you feel so loved.
As a little girl, I always made handmade cards for each festive occasion for my parents and brother. While much cheaper than a fancy Hallmark card, the sometimes crooked letters and loose glitter of a handmade card have much more sentimental value to me than a generic poem. So this year, I decided to let my inner little girl spend a rainy Sunday afternoon with glue and glitter.
Martha Stewart Ribbon, Glitter, White and Pink Card Stock, and Trusty Elmer’s Glue
A steady hand is not a requirement (obviously). You’ll be amazed at how much glitter can hide.
Pecans are a staple in any Southern woman’s kitchen, and each year, my dad picks, shells and packages pecans for me to freeze and use throughout the year. As I was looking for a sweet treat last night, J grabbed a bag of pecans from the freezer, and a few minutes later, we had the perfect fall snack.
I started with a 1/2 cup of butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Then I added 1Tablespoon of sugar and 1 Tablespoon of ground cinnamon – mixing for a few seconds until both dissolved into the melted butter. Then I added the pecans, stirring continually for about 4-6 minutes. Once finished, I poured the pecans onto a pan and tossed them on and off for about five minutes.
To top it off, I sprinkled a touch of cinnamon and sugar over the caramelized pecans to give them a bit of added sweetness.
On Sunday, my oldest nephew (age 6) played in his first All-Star baseball game. I can’t tell you how stinking cute the game was. After the “line-up” was announced, the national anthem played from an old-school boom box, the ump yelled, “Play ball!”, and the Big League Chew was passed around the dugout. Number 2 was on deck, and I couldn’t help but have a lump in my throat. Talk about one proud aunt and godmother. He may only be six, but he loves the game of baseball. Always the first on the field and “baseball ready”, it is an absolute delight to watch him play the game. Even more, the little smile I get from the dugout between innings. It may not be cool to give your aunt a big hug in front of all your friends, but that sweet smile says it all.
The cutest fan is LMK’s little brother CEGK, also known as Catfish, and most recently “Chippah” (Chipper Jones, that is). Another little slugger, this three-year-old stud doesn’t miss a play. He’s right behind home plate when his big brother is batting, and can’t wait for “Logo” to make a game-changing play, and don’t be fooled, it DOES happen quite often. Little Chippah loves to step up to the plate after LMK’s games, bats like “The Babe” (literally) and can round the bases at record speed for age three.
My favorite little guys are growing so quickly, and I’m just so lucky to have their love.
Yesterday, J and I celebrated our third anniversary. Third! How on earth did that happen? Oddly enough, this is the first anniversary we’ve ever spent together, and wouldn’t you know it would fall in the middle of the week. We celebrated with a low key dinner at our favorite local spot, Harvest Moon, and then I spent some time admiring my now dried bouquet with cotton from my grandparents’ farm, flipping through our guest book and toasting my husband with the flutes used on our wedding day ( a special gift from my brother and sister-in-law just after our engagement).
In an effort not to sound like a Hallmark card, I’ll simply tell you that I love him more today than at 4:20 PM on Saturday, November 7th, 2009 when we were pronounced Mr. and Mrs. John Reed Freeman. We’d be the first to tell you that 2012 has been a year of surprises and hiccups, but one thing is for sure, love never fails.
So, here we are three years later: a house, a dog and many new pairs of shoes. I’d say this marriage thing is working out pretty well.
Here’s to number four…
Guest Book: Jenni Bick Bookbinding; Champagne Flutes: Tiffany & Co
Here’s the deal. Sister landed a new job! A job I began on July 2nd, and since then life has been off the charts busy…busy in a good way, of course! My desk is always a mess; the work of a genius right? I’ve got non-profit work galore and a nearing “Follies” production that is consuming life. Still, there’s nothing I’d change. J also started a new job the week before I began mine, so we’ve been adjusting to new schedules and learning curves. So much has happened over the last four months, but I’m skipping those details; otherwise I’d be writing for days. I’m back, and I’m renewing the commitment I made when I started Oh So Ali. My deepest appreciation to those of you who follow.
I look forward to returning from my blogging hiatus. More to come, I promise.
Nothing says summer in the South more than an ice cold Coke and fresh peaches, which were the inspiration for this weekend’s outings with friends.
T-shirt: Gap (similar here); Jeans: Target; Shoes: Diane von Furstenberg; Bag: Shiraleah (similar here); Scarf: Target (really loving this one on sale at Barney’s); Sunglasses: Missoni; Earrings: Unknown; Watch: Michael Kors; Bracelets: Kate Spade, David Yurman, Unknown; Wooden Bracelet: LOFT (old, but similar here)