Sunday, November 22, 2009

You might enjoy

Recommended blog reading. Maybe you're already familiar, but if not, take a look. A worthy resource for The American List alone, it's turned me onto all sorts of wonderful (mostly traditional or at least traditionally-inspired) clothing resources.
"A Continuous Lean is about things. American things, good looking things, well designed things and all sorts of other things. Sometimes A Continuous Lean even talks about people and ideas. That's it, keep it simple. More good, less bad..."

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween

Now that he's back, I had post something new to move my pitiable lament for ADG down the queue. My 12-year old son is now old enough to handle the carving duties, so I surrendered the pumpkin to him this year. I guess I could have done my own. Maybe next year. Every year I swear I'm going to do some really fabulous pumpkin decorating like this. . .

. . . but once again I got sidetracked. (More of Martha Stewart's fabulous creations HERE.) What's your Halloween costume going to be this year?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wherefore Art Thou ADG?

Is Maxminimus gone now too? Tell me it isn't so!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Channeling Toad

I cannot see your blog,
It makes me very sad.
You don't look like a frog,
But this is all I had.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Toad, Where art thou?

Hoping all is well. I was away for awhile and suddenly you were private.

And then you were gone.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Is it Wrong that I Love This?

I love books. I particularly love the idea of seeing the books I've written on the front table in my local book shop. Is it wrong that I want a Sony e-reader?

In England, we are denied the digital charms of the Kindle but the e-reader is an ever-present temptation. This one has yet to be released but the one after which I pine is chained up in my local Waterstones. It has a leather cover. I will never surrender my bookcases but I would love one of these. Am I alone?


Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Did you know oysters contain more zinc that any other food...

Hurry up fall.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A More Refined T-Shirt

My husband left college with a degree in history and a minor in t-shirts. He has developed a bizarre connection to this collection o' cotton and holds onto them with a vice grip that should be reserved for a trapeze maneuver over open flames.

I could care less if he owns them...I care that he wears "Jamaican Me Crazy 1996" in public. To pick up bagels on Sunday morning, walk the dog or a run to Lowe's - they are worn. And with pride. In my opinion, they shouldn't be seen outside the confines of our backyard. Ever.

Compromise found! Stumbled upon these t-shirts from Southern Marsh recently.

Southern Marsh's Born on the Bayou Shirt

Classic imagery, 100% lightweight cotton and a pocket! Perfect.

Psst...they are offering three tees for $54 if you use coupon code SummerShirts.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Toad, my friend, I'm finally getting around to telling you I bought another pair of Topsiders. Yes, I read your recent musings on how much you dislike them. Please don't hold it against me-- these just jumped into my hands and I'm not a bit sorry. Canvas and cushy-- I wear them with no socks, of course, and I did end up just tying a square knot in the leather laces so I could snip them. They slide right on and off. I never thought I'd want to own a pair again after everybody just HAD to have them in the '70s. I wore them when I sailed (before they were cool), then everybody got them. Molly thinks they're pretty spiffy too.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Time for a Trip

Last May, DOTR purchased two different scents from Truefitt & Hill when we were in London. Along with that, they threw in dozens of single use scents that I've been, ahem, enjoying for the past year.

The first bottle (1805) is now gone, and he's cracked the seal on the second (Clubman). He tells me that when he bought them the second was my favorite, but I'm missing that first one. A lot.

Is there a better reason to go to London?*

*yes, I'm aware you can order online, but that will be our little secret in the Normal Household.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hometown Musings

I imagine that most of the folks Toad has asked to post here have found something charming about the little corner of the world where each of us has chosen to live.

How about we start a series sharing our special place and why we chose it (or it chose each of us?)

I know this will require some work, but I'll start with something going on in my backyard today.

More later.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mr. Toad's

My friend, Denise, of EatPlayLove sent along some pics of her recent trip to Old Town, Omaha. Ostensibly the trip was to see Coldplay, but a little R&R never hurt a girl.

Check out her blog. Denise is a young mother in Denver, with a good heart and an old soul.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tom's for men and women

Want something sturdier than espadrilles? Try Tom's . Usually under $50

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chelsea Flower Show and Stephen Fry

I love Chelsea Flower Show. One day I hope to go there. The gardens are so beautiful and inspiring and... sometimes... just plain odd. Stephen Fry launched a rose there this year. I only mention this as it gives me the chance to say 'Stephen Fry is following me on Twitter!' We share messages. Toad, I'm back on first name terms with Jeeves. :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Monty Python's Spamalot

My husband and I were lucky to get tickets to see Spamalot when it was in Denver this last weekend. I highly recommend you catch a show if it makes a stop in your town. It's a must see for anyone with a sense of humor.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jack Purcell

After Mom on The Run's summer favorites, I had to post my favorite summer sneakers. I know most traditional folks out there love Tretorns and Sperry canvas sneakers. I however, am quite partial to Converse Jack Purcells. in blue or white only. The black version is a bit too hipster looking for my taste. Get your own pair here.

The White Shoe Rule

The Rules for White Shoes

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Summertime Favorites

Bombay Sapphire and Tonic


Blue and Green Patch Madras

C'mon summer. Hurry.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fisherman Sandals

Not only cool, but comfortable
Looks great with Officers Chino Shorts too

Monday, May 4, 2009

Premium Officer's Chino Short

I get frustrated with J. Crew's men's offerings at times, but generally I'm a fan. Every so often they bring out something I really love, like this vintage-style cotton slub twill short. The fabric has some weight to it, but they're washed to soften them up. Trim cut, button fly, 10.5 inch length. My idea of the perfect summer basic. Currently on sale, I like them best in bisque (shown) and faded black.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


It's almost summer. Time to stock up boys and girls. For $15 or so you can't go wrong. Order small though they stretch. I prefer Ropey soles

Wednesday, April 29, 2009



A pool time favorite at The Park

Monday, April 27, 2009

Green and Black's... Bliss

The finest chocolate in the world - Green and Black's Organic. Their milk chocolate is my personal fave. Darker than most and simply glorious. Helped me to put together this little cakelet at Christmas.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

I wish they'd made bedrooms like this when I was a little girl...

Fortunately, Mark Wilkinson make furniture for adults too, so when my book deal comes in, I know where I'm going first. Image taken from their site -


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gummi Bears

O.k. I admit it. I'm a gummi bear snob. Can't stand the ones from the candy store next door to the movie theater or the drug store. Won't touch the worms. My favorites are these Haribo Gold Bears. Their texture is just right, they've got good flavor, and they aren't so sticky that they'll pull a filling out. Yes, I catch the irony of that statement-- if I hadn't eaten so many maybe I'd have fewer fillings to worry about-- but trust me, it's worth it. I can't buy the big bags though, because I'll eat them all and ruin a good thing. I can find them in wee 2 oz. bags. Just right.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Mexican food is an interesting thing. It is rare that you find a restaurant that knocks your socks off, but the rest are average. They are quick and you know what it will taste like. When you do find one that is amazing, don't keep it a secret, let others know so that they will stay in business. I found mine, if you are ever in Richmond, let me know.

Cielito Lindo Mexican Restaurant
4702 Forest Hill Ave
Richmond, VA 23225

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Reginato Celestina Sparkling Rose of Malbec

In the mood for something different? I'm not much of a wine drinker, but I recommend this sparkling red. Yes, it says rose, but it's a darker red because of the malbec grapes. Looks heavy, but it's light, bubbly, and dry but not brutally so. Good with party food or a meal. $15 to $18 a bottle depending on where you can find it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter is upon us....bring out the sundresses

Please don't strike me down for being so blasphemous. Yes, we all know the religious significance of Easter. But, in the female world, Easter Sunday also has another serious connotation.

The Ultimate Sunday Sundress Showdown.

For the best Easter dress in town. This is serious business. Everyone comes to church on Easter Sunday. Aunt Mabel, ex-boyfriend from high school and his new wife and perfect baby and former frenemies from high school. On Easter Sunday, one must be ready with a killer dress. You cannot look like you are trying too hard. Effortless chic is key. Especially when ex-boyfriend's wife is being spit up on by the baby.

This dress is the one. Feminine, flattering, effortless and not the usual Easter Sunday pink or navy that are overly prevalent in my conservative Episcopalian parish. The wrap dress may well be the best invention for the female form since the brassiere and this modern interpretation is quite lovely. Menfolk, what do you think?

By Lela Rose, available at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf for a small fortune.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I hate scotch drinkers

Ok, hate might be a strong word. But the whole single-malt thing, and the insistance on drinking it up, and the snobbery...whatever. I like a blend, this one in particular. Delicious, and always available at the Costco up the street. Perfect for a Sunday night of eBaying and blog reading, in a glass with ice and water.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'll Be Seeing You Later

Sam: Norm, what would you say to a beer?
Norm: Hi ya sailor, new in town?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Too Cool for School

I'll continue the discussion about cars by showing you two models that always get the thumbs up from my two boys, 16 and 15. There are two of these old Landcruisers tooling around our neighborhood. One is owned by a good friend who is a garden designer and she always has the back filled up with flats of annuals and tools. The other shows up at the high school everyday driven by the youngest son of a socially prominent banker who lives in a house once owned by the Maxwell family (of Maxwell House Coffee fame).

We have just one of these beauties still on the road around here. It's navy (which is my favorite, as I so coveted a friend's classy navy number back in the early 1990's when the rest of us were all stuck in our matching Dodge Caravans) and currently has a boat hitched to the back in a neighbor's driveway. It's parked in the perfect position for a quick getaway to the lake.

When I was 16, all I wanted was a Trans Am or a Firebird like all the rich farm kids had (I drove a Pontiac Ventura, the same car as the Chevy Nova....and no I did not get to pick it out!) If we lived in outer suburbia, I'm sure that the boys would have different ideas of what is considered a "cool" car--something very expensive no doubt. We planned on giving J3 DOTR's 1999 Landcruiser when he turned 16, but DOTR isn't ready to give it up yet. He'll probably still be driving it 2019.

By then we might finally be too cool for school, too.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Waiting to Drive

The 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme sedan, in lovely avocado green. I didn't learn to drive until I was 29 years old, and this car is the reason.

When I was growing up, I had a friend named Mark. Actually, his name was Marco. He lived around the corner, and he was a real Italian, born in 'the old country". His family moved here when he was very little, and we went to school together. They owned the Cutlass.

When I was about 12, Mark's family decided to move back to Italy. They tried to sell the Oldsmobile, but they had no luck. In the end, they wound up giving it to my parents. It was our second car. I remember my mom and dad arguing over who had to drive it, they both were embarrassed of it. This was in 1988.

The car was a big ugly gas guzzler, and pretty rusty too. The air conditioner was busted and the seats were vinyl, so in the summer we would drive around with bed sheets over the cushions. Classy.

Two months before I became old enough for a learners permit, my parents sold the Cutlass. I refused to drive for the next 14 years. Whenever my parents asked why, I would say "you sold the Cutlass. That was supposed to be my car. Now until I can afford a diesel Mercedes, I don't really see the point." I can be real stubborn when I feel like it. In fact, if my wife had never become pregnant, I still wouldn't know how to drive. It's only fun if you can do it in style.

I'm not bitter, though. If they gave me that car back then, I might not have been forced to take a job accessible by subway, which means I might never have met my wife, which means my lovely children might not have existed. I still don't have the diesel, but I can't complain.

It all happens for a reason.

But damn, I could have built that beast into one hell of a muscle car (sigh).

I Want This Library!

More images of my future library here...


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Toad Gets Dressed

Never before Decoration Day

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Down With Down!

It's still cold enough in Boston to be wearing my down vest as an underlayer.

(photo taken last week. been wearing it everyday)

Grumble, grumble, grumble....

RL Poplin Cargo Pants

The old adage is "dress for the job you want." I say buy pants for the weather you want.
currently on sale at

Almost Ready

Almost time for home grown tomatoes. Drink a sweet tea while you watch em brown.