Monday, February 28, 2011

One Less Gallbladder Around Here...

Happy Monday, Shopaholics! Sorry I've been a loser and haven't updated in a week. It's been a crazy ten days around these parts!

You might remember a few days ago, I told you guys that Mother was at the hospital and we didn't really know what was going on. Thankfully all tests on her heart turned out ok (whew!) and the Crohn's disease is not active at this time (whew!). However......her gallbladder was another story. Based on results of a CT scan, the doctors decided it best be removed and soon - it was removed a week ago Saturday.

Mother spent three nights in the hospital and was soooo ready to get home! I camped out over there for a while to monitor her condition. And I have to admit, it was good to take care of someone else for a change! I ironed for my Father, cooked dinners, did laundry, made beds, went grocery shopping. You name it; I did it!

Last Wednesday I took Mother to an appointment for her bi-weekly Remicade infusion. This was scheduled prior to the gallbladder surgery and we asked three of her doctors if she should proceed with the treatment. They all said "yes". Let's just say this, it was NOT a good idea. Mother had a scary reaction to the Remicade. So bad that the nurses stopped treatment at about 25% level. They actually wanted to put her back in the hospital. I was thinking "ooooooh noooooo" not again! Thankfully we were able to see the doctor, have yet *more* tests performed, and take her home. That little episode seemed to set Mother's recovery (from what was initially gallbladder surgery) back; at least a couple of days.

Talk about crazy times! Thank goodness NOW Mother is getting better, a little stronger every day. She's back on Facebook, which is a sure sign of recovery! :-)

Thanks so much for all of your emails, comments, texts and phone calls. Challenging times like last week make me appreciate this wonderful network of friends more than ever. You guys are the best!

Have a great Monday - back to "Fun Stuff" tomorrow!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lilly Buying "Restriction" Starts Now And Here's Why

Happy Monday, Shopaholics!

Last week the DH was out of town for several days, and it was a perfect opportunity to take care of a little "closet business" around these parts. As many of you already know, I have bought quite a few pieces of new Lilly over the past 2-3 weeks. I had been stacking them up in a spare bedroom and they needed to be hung and the closet purged once again.

I could not believe the full extent of my "damage" once it was all arranged and in my face. The recent rash of sales have killed me! I managed to buy not one, not two, not even ten new dresses.....Twelve new dresses!

Two new Elsa tops, one Reenie top and one Vivi top...

Also a new embroidered denim skirt with labs (I literally live in these denim skirts in the spring and summer), Vivien top in toile, Katia knit wrap in white, Hannah tie top and the cutest argyle sweater just for fun.

Believe it or not, I even bought a few dresses that I ALREADY OWN. Ugh, I hate it when that happens. This just "might" be a sign that I have a little bit too much, when I can't remember what I have. You can look for those to be listed on Shopaholic's Preppy Closet any day. (link HERE)

As a result of my buying binge, I am now on a self-imposed "Lilly Buying Restriction". It begins now and will last until the next special Lilly Pulitzer event on March 12. Massive selling efforts will be underway until then as it's pretty clear I need to free up some space and become familiar with the contents of my closet once again. :-)

Can I make it? You guys might need to hold my hand through this one, I hate buying restrictions...matter of fact, I hate any type of restriction. Don't worry though, I will continue to share gorgeous finds with you here. But I won't be buying them myself!

Are you on any buying restriction? Trying to cut back, or are you in full "spring shopping" mode?

Have a Marvelous Monday!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Crohn's Disease - You Suck.

Happy Friday, Y'all!

Wish I had something better to report around these parts, but I don't. Today I'm going off "plan" to tell you how much I LOATHE Crohn's Disease.

My Mother has Crohn's. She's had it for quite some time; we actually suspect she's had the disease since her mid-late 20's but was "officially" diagnosed with it about ten years ago.

Mother has been sick, off and on again, for the past two weeks. She had an injection of Remicade last week which really seemed to wear her down. Last night she was rushed to the urgent care, and then the emergency room. As I write this at 1:15AM - I wait to hear from my Father who is with her. Of course I am worried sick.

Can I just say that I hate you, Crohn's disease! You are robbing my Mother of the best years of her life - retirement, grandchildren, enjoying time with her adult children, good times at the island, and so much more. Mother is only 63 but you are trying to wear her down. But, we're going to fight you and we are going to win!   

If you are so inclined, please say a little prayer and/or send a good wish Mother's way. I've seen the ups and downs with this illness more than I care to admit, and the past few days really scare me.

Collars up!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Proof: We Might Get Older, But We Can Always Look Better...

Happy Thursday! The weather here is glorious, nothing but 70+ degree days in the forecast for the next seven days. I do believe the beach is calling!

Yesterday I received an email from an old friend. I hadn't heard from him directly in forever, although we are Facebook friends. Ron and I worked together at ****k for years. He was always a top producer in our DC office (Alexandria, VA to be exact).

Ron sent me this photo, which we believe was taken in 2003. Enjoy.

It's ok. You can stop laughing now, seriously.

A Few Observations:

*I have actually experimented with "bangs" twice during the past ten years. Phillip, I hope you see this. Remember - no bangs. Ever. Even if I kick, scream, cry and insist. Remind me of this photo.
*Longer hair looks much better on me. Length weighs my hair down and flattens it out. This look is wayyyyy too "poofy".
*Kiehl's hair straightener is a lifesaver. See....I've been telling you guys!
*Are you laughing at that 2003 style cell phone on the table? I am!
*Back then, I wasn't brave enough to wear my Lilly when traveling on business. Now I would wear it loud and proud - whether in DC, Seattle or LA.
*I'm also wondering where my Diet Coke was - but proud that I was drinking water instead.

I much prefer my current look. This photo was taken during the holidays. DH and I were at my Nanny's house. 

Never thought I'd say it - but I like how I look at 40 better than at 33. See ladies, growing older doesn't have to be bad. It's all in how you look at it...

Have a fab day!

XOXO, Lori

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Happy Tuesday, Shopaholics! Sorry I don't have anything fun for you today - I had big plans. Sadly my migraine had other plans. I'm home lounging and trying to get over it - and will be back tomorrow.

Until then, may the drugs work quickly! Enjoy the rest of your afternoon and evening! XOXO

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day - And A Little Reminder...

Happy Valentine's Day to all my Shopaholic friends and family!

Most of us put a lot of importance on Valentine's Day; just as Hallmark, Godiva, FTD and Tiffany would like! As you already know, I'm 40 years young and have been married for 16 years. Today I'd like to share two reminders about February 14. 

1) If your spouse, loved one or significant other isn't as "into" Valentine's Day as you would like, it doesn't mean that he or she isn't "into" you. Some people just don't get it - despite hints, crying fits, threats, etc. It does not mean they care for you any less. Frankly, I want the DH to bring me flowers when he wants to - not when the date on the calendar says "he should". In a good, healthy relationship you should feel confident about someone's feelings all the time - not just on Valentine's Day.

2) Please take a moment today to think of those around you without anyone "special" in their lives. It could be a widowed co-worker, an aunt who never married or your BFF who doesn't currently have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Valentine's Day has a way of making people that are not in a relationship feel really bad about themselves, and quite frankly, more than a little sad. Reach out to someone today - it will make a world of difference to them.

All this being said, I hope you have a wonderful day! I hope it's filled with candy, flowers, a lovely dinner at your favorite restaurant and perhaps a beautifully wrapped box with the gift of your dreams!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mardi Gras on The Gulf Coast!

Hello Shopaholics! Hope your Sunday is wonderful!

Yesterday we attended our first Mardi Gras parade of the Carnival season! It was a small parade on Dauphin Island, but lots of fun!

A few "Fun Facts" about Mardi Gras that you might not know:

Mardi Gras originated in Mobile, AL. I know, I know. You thought it was New Orleans. It wasn't. NOLA doesn't really like to admit that, but it's true. Support from our friends at Wikipedia:

Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama is the oldest annual Carnival celebration in America, having begun in 1703, over 15 years before New Orleans was founded (1718). From Mobile being the first capital of French Louisiana (1702), the festival began as a French Catholic tradition, celebrating until the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday, until midnight on Mardi Gras day (French for "Fat Tuesday" or Shrove Tuesday). However, Mardi Gras in Mobile now has evolved into a mainstream multi-week celebration across the spectrum of cultures in Mobile, becoming school holidays for the final Monday and Tuesday (some include Wednesday), regardless of religious affiliation. Although Mobile has traditions of exclusive societies, with formal masked balls and elegant costumes, the celebration has evolved over the past three centuries to become typified by public parades where members of societies, often masked, on floats or horseback toss gifts to the general public, as throws, including plastic beads, doubloon coins, decorated plastic cups, candy, wrapped cakes/snacks, stuffed animals, and small toys, footballs, frisbees, or whistles.

The masked balls or dances, where non-masked men wear white tie and tails (full dress or costume de rigueur) and the women wear full length evening gowns, are oriented to adults, with some mystic societies treating the balls as an extension of the debutante season of their exclusive social circles. Various nightclubs and local bars offer their own particular events.

Beyond the public parades, Mardi Gras in Mobile involves many various mystic societies, some having begun in 1704, or ending with the Civil War, while new societies were formed every century. Some mystic societies are never seen in public parades, but rather hold invitation-only events for their secret members, with private balls beginning in November.

For over thirty five years, my family has had a float in the "Joe Cain Day" parade.  We parade on the Sunday before Mardi Gras day. A little about Joe Cain Day...again, from Wikipedia:

The Sunday before Fat Tuesday, Joe Cain Day is celebrated as part of the scheduled Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile, with its center being the Joe Cain Procession (never called a parade). This has been called “The People’s Parade” because it is performed by citizens without being run by a specific Mardi Gras krewe. Originally, anybody who showed up at the parade start on Sunday morning could join in with whatever makeshift float they could cobble together. Eventually, the sheer size and the city's desire to have all the Carnival parades conform to the same set of rules forced the organizers to limit the participants to a preset limit. The parade is preceded with the visit of the “Cain's Merry Widows” to the gravesite of their “departed husband” (described below). And then, following their traditional toast the "Here's to Joe" the red-clad Mistresses of Joe Cain follow close behind his coal wagon moaning, "He loved us best!"

Julian Lee “Judy” Rayford established Joe Cain Day in 1967 by walking at the head of a jazz funeral, along with his beloved dog Rosie (the only dog to ever lead a Mardi Gras parade in Mobile) down Government Street to the Church Street Graveyard, where he had arranged to have Joe Cain and his wife reburied in 1966. When Joe Cain was disinterred from Bayou La Batre, Julian brought Joe Cain's skull back to Mobile in the pocket of his coat, and that is considered to be the first “passing of the feathers” to the next person to wear the headdress in Mardi Gras, as Slacabamorinico, chief of the Chickasaw.

The feathers were passed in 1970 to Fireman J.B. "Red" Foster who, attired in Plains Indian fashion, led the procession for 16 years. He then passed the feathers, tomahawk and peace pipe to author, historian, public relations, marketing professional and pastor, Bennett Wayne Dean Sr. in 1985. Old Slac IV "hisself" marked his 25th anniversary under the feathers during Joe Cain Day in 2010.

The impression that the celebration had on a couple of visitors from California resulted in Joe Cain Days being officially recognized, in 1993, as a sister celebration by the Joe Cain Society of California in Nevada City, California each Mardi Gras.

The Mardi Gras mystic society of "Cain’s Merry Widows" (a women's mystic society) was founded in 1974 in Mobile, Alabama. Each Mardi Gras, on Joe Cain Day (the Sunday before Fat Tuesday), members of this society dress in funereal black with veils, lay a wreath at Cain’s burial site in Church Street Graveyard to wail over their “departed husband’s” grave, then travel to Joe Cain’s house on Augusta Street to offer a toast and eulogy to their “beloved Joe,“ continuously arguing over which widow was his favorite.

From our "after party" last year - we always go eat dinner after the parade. Trust me, we need to soak up a few of those beverages...

We took NOLA's lead - and we love our king cakes. Slightly embarrassed to admit that we've already had two of these in the house this year, and the last one was cream cheese filled. They are "diet devils" but oh are they wonderful!

Does your hometown have any Mardi Gras celebrations? Or anything similar? It's so interesting to hear about traditions in other areas. Talk to me!

Happy Mardi Gras - it's party after party up and down the Gulf Coast - from now until Ash Wednesday! :-)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sale Items at Caroline Grace Jewelry - Plus 25% Off!

Happy Saturday, Shopaholics!

Today I wanted to share a fabulous deal with you! My friend over at Caroline Grace Jewelry (see her Etsy shop HERE) has marked down a bunch of items to make room for new designs. You might remember that I blogged about a discount of either 15% or 25% off her items a week or so ago. The extra 25% off applies on all the items I'm highlighting today (code "Shopaholic25" during checkout on Etsy). 

There are some unbelievable deals, Shopaholics!

Black Jeweled Wide Leather Cuff, $76 ($57 after 25% discount - link to Etsy HERE)

Julia Necklace, Sterling Silver with Baroque Pearls & Rock Crystal, $138 ($103.50 after 25% discount - link to Etsy HERE)

Paisley Jeweled Leather Cuff Bracelet, $72 ($54 after 25% discount - link to Etsy HERE)

Masha Necklace, $98 ($73.50 after 25% discount - link to Etsy HERE)

Tropical Fish Jeweled Leather Cuff Bracelet, $78 ($58.50 after 25% discount - link to Etsy HERE)

I love them all - as well as everything in the Etsy shop! A Few reminders for you:

25% off all purchases in the shop (excluding Nametag & Michelle Necklaces) - use code "Shopaholic25" at Etsy checkout

15% off all purchases of Nametag & Michelle Necklaces - use code "Shopaholic15" at Etsy checkout

The pieces highlighted above are all One Of A Kind, so when they're gone - they're gone! Get them while you can!

Have a Super Saturday!

Friday, February 11, 2011

From Phillip's Chair...

TGIF, Shopaholics! As you guys know from yesterday's post, it was spa day! I spent the entire afternoon with my hair colorist/stylist/resident expert, Phillip Drummond. Believe me, if you make it down here on vacation or live within the sound of my voice, you need to go see him. Your locks will never be the same - in a good way! (Please let me know if you'd like to be put in touch!)

Anyway, we were talking about various life stresses for both our families over the past few weeks. These "words of wisdom" are framed and in Phillip's office. He gave me a copy and suggested that maybe my readers might enjoy seeing them too. We're not sure where it originated, so I can't give credit, but enjoy.

"Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger".

Amen, Phillip. Thanks for sharing!

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Vineyard Vines: Tunic Lust

Happy Thursday, Shopaholics! Go ahead and file this one under "Not My Fault".

As you all know, I typically rock along in my little "Lilly world" and very rarely purchase other designer collections. Yes, I occasionally buy a Tory Burch tunic, J Crew, Vineyard Vines "this or that" but it isn't very often!

Yesterday my sweet friend Wendy over at "A Twist Of Lime" posted about the new Spring line from Vineyard Vines. (If you're not following Wendy yet, please go HERE to check out her fun blog!) Of course Wendy and I have similar taste, and I loved the two items Wendy highlighted on her blog. Naturally, I "had" to go look at the entire Vineyard Vines collection. :-)

Have you heard that I have a tunic obsession? Tunics are a staple piece in my wardrobe and I wear them all year. Several of my darker, fall "ish" Lilly tunics get me through colder months here on the Gulf Coast. As luck would have it, Vineyard Vines has a few tunics that I fell in love with. Are you surprised?

Vineyard Vines Daisy Tunic, $145 (view HERE)

Vineyard Vines Tropical Embroidered Tunic, $165 (view HERE)

Vineyard Vines, Upper Keys Tunic, $69.50 (view HERE) *note also available in White and Lime

Of course, a Shopaholic's job is not completely finished without looking at the new dresses in the Spring collection. Wow!

Lattice Shell Maxi Dress, $145 (view HERE) *What can I say? I'm a sucker for a beautiful maxi dress and I love that shell border!

Ocean Terrace Dress, $275 (view HERE) *THE piece on Wendy's blog that "made" me go look at this collection...

What do you think? Does anything grab your eye? Are you a Vineyard Vines girl?

Have a wonderful Thursday, I'm off for spa day. Just what the doctor ordered. :-)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Where In The World?

Happy Tuesday! Hope you're not cold (it was 29 degrees here last night, brrr) and see a little sunshine today.

If you could leave tomorrow (or even better, today) - on a trip to anywhere you wanted - where would it be? With the recent rash of cold weather, most of us are dreaming about tropical getaways.

My pick for today's dream vacation is a well known locale - DH and I have been there before, but sad to say "it's been toooo long" - we'd love to go again soon. 

Where In The World? 

With an average February high of 74 degrees, who else wants to escape to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico? One thing I know for sure - I have the wardrobe ready! :-)

What is your dream vacation? Are you also ready to enjoy a little sunshine on your skin, a cool drink in your hand, and the sand between your toes? Sign me up!

Have a Terrific Tuesday!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Confession - Good For The Soul?

Happy Monday! I can't believe the weekend is gone already! Did you enjoy the Super Bowl on Sunday? We did, lots of great food and Green Bay won, so DH and I were happy! And the commercials! Fun, as always! My monkeys did not disappoint! Christina Aguilera and the national anthem though, whew.....that's another story!

They say confession is "good for the soul". I'm not sure who "they" are but you know what I'm saying here. Wanted to show you guys some goodies that are headed my way, as I was a bad, bad, bad Shopaholic last week! I pinky promise that I will be much better this week!

Fun stuff due to arrive today include my Lilly Pulitzer Elsa Top in Great Escape:

Lilly Pulitzer Anders Dress in Booty Caw:

Lilly Pulitzer Twlya Dress in This Blooms For You:

Lilly Pulitzer Vivi Top in Ginky:

Obviously, I ran into some deals that were almost too good to be true! I'll be running up to the post office early today and plan to wear that new Elsa top as early as Wednesday!

What do you think about confessions? Are they "good for the soul" - or should some things be kept secret? Don't think I tell all - ooohhhhh at the secrets I could tell...but we'll save all that for another time!

Hope you have a Marvelous Monday!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Tonight, most of us will be captive to the Super Bowl. The Green Bay Packers vs. The Pittsburgh Steelers. The game is being played in my Dallas Cowboys' new stadium. Are you watching the game? Who are you pulling for?

Here in our household, it would be unthinkable to pull for the Steelers. Have I mentioned before, we are Cowboys fans? :-) Obviously our team had a horrible year and isn't in the "big game". So we are pulling for the Green Bay Packers tonight!

If you're not into the game, do you enjoy watching the commercials? Sometimes they are much more entertaining than the actual game! There have been so many cool commercials over the past several years. One of my favorites was the monkeys on the commercial - does anyone else remember this one? Hilarious...

How about food? Do you make a big spread? Attend a party where they go "all out"? This year we are staying home, just me and the DH. I do have a lot of food planned: boston butt pork roast (it's in the Crock Pot as I write), roasted vegetables in evo/garlic, and rolls for the "main course". Also several dips (Rotel, Velveeta and sausage dip queen here), chips and raw veggies. Maybe something sweet too - haven't decided on that yet!

Tell me all about your day! Can't wait to hear what you have planned! Enjoy - and Go Packers! :-)

Have a great Super Bowl Sunday! We'll be on "detox" come Monday morning...

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Jewelry Designs & A Discount from Caroline Grace Jewelry!

TGIF, Shopaholics! Are you ready for the weekend? Any big plans? We are expecting a high of 61 degrees on Sunday and I am soooooo ready! :-)

What would you like from your sweetheart for Valentine's Day? Of course the obvious gifts are nice - chocolate covered Godiva strawberries, a new diamond from Cartier, one, two or three dozen roses, etc - but how about a special piece of handmade jewelry from a girl we all know and love?

One of my favorite jewelry designers (and besties, of course) Caroline Grace Jewelry has introduced several new pieces into her line. They are perfect for a "gift to self" or a Valentine's Day gift. My readers know I have blogged about CGJ many times, and it's because her jewelry simply does not disappoint. It's always more beautiful in person than in the photographs. The detail to quality and workmanship in evident, and nothing but the best materials are used in the design process. Each piece is truly a small piece of art.

Meet some of my "new favorites" (most of which are available in her Etsy shop or by contacting her through the Caroline Grace Jewelry Facebook page).

Stick Your Neck Out, Jeweled Leather Cuff Bracelet, $136 (Etsy listing HERE)

Nametag Charm Necklace with Raised Heart, Sterling Silver & 14kt Gold, $455 (Etsy listing HERE)

Sunburst Medallion Earrings, Gold with Swarovski Crystal, $58 (Etsy listing HERE)

Last but certainly not least - my new "Must Have" piece. Meet the "Michelle" monogrammed necklace. This beauty is available in Sterling Silver, 14kt gold and gold filled. Pricing is on the Facebook page (link HERE).

If you'd like me, you already have several favorites picked out! Now - for some really fantastic news!

Caroline Grace Jewelry is offering a "Shopaholic Special" discount to all Shopaholic In Alabama readers! Please use the following codes during the Etsy checkout process:

Shopaholic25 - good for 25% off any purchase, other than Nametag necklaces or the new Michelle necklace.
Shopaholic15 - good for 15% off any Nametag or Michelle necklaces. This is a marvelous deal, as the nametag (of course and new Michelle) necklaces are rarely discounted!

Time to get busy making those wish lists! Have a great Friday, and a safe weekend!

p.s. Caroline Grace doesn't pay me to write this - however she has been known to bring me a pretty pair of earrings when she comes to the beach to visit. I think she figures it pays for the extra power we use while she's here - hairdryers and hot rollers, mainly. :-)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

RHoBH Reunion...

Happy Wednesday! I can't believe it's already the middle of the week, have been so busy I'm wondering where it has gone already! I hope this post finds you all with power, warm and without too much snow; as I know many of you are experiencing extreme blizzard conditions. Makes me thankful for my zip code...

Speaking of zip codes - one of THE most famous ones - 90210, Beverly Hills. Did you watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? The reunion show was last night. I have to admit, I started watching the show from the very first episode (after years of fighting the magnetic pull of the RH series) and really enjoyed it. Even the DH liked too, so we started watching it weekly.

Somewhere along the line, we feel behind. I think we were out of town once or twice and never did get caught up. Now I'm sooooo sad that I missed the rest of the season. Boo! I did not attempt to watch the reunion show last night, as I wouldn't have known what was going on.

Do you watch the Housewives? How about Beverly Hills? Which housewife is your favorite? Can't wait to hear what you think! I'm already looking forward to S1 on Netflix. :-)

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

p.s. I think New Jersey is my 2nd favorite - wonder what that one will be like without Danielle? And will Theresa be as interesting now that she can't spend $$$ like a drunken sailor?

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