I was washing my hands in the ladies room at work last week when a woman in my office asked me if I had lost weight.

“Oh!  I said.  ”Thank you, but no.”

“Well, you look great!”

Why thank you, I thought.  And then I caught a glimpse of myself in the full length mirror as I left the room.  I looked…thin.

I knew it had to be my shoes: nude pointed toe leather pumps.  I picked them up for an unimaginable deal ($15 on clearance) at Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse at the beginning of summer and haven’t looked back.  I love their height and their ability to go with just about any skirt or dress.

Black pointed toe pumps are essential to my office and every day wardrobe.  I have several pairs – from patent leather to kitten heal – and I’ve been sporting them since ’04.  But am I on to something with the wearing of the nude?

Maybe so.

Today, while browsing blogs, I came across this site which sells all sorts of lovely paper prints – calendars and note cards.

I have just added the notecards with the above print to my online shopping bag at Inslee By Design after reading the description:



A wise woman once told me that I should never be without pointed toe nude pumps. She said they go with every outfit and always make you look thinner. I figured, why not test this theory on note cards. Box of ten 4×6″ flat cards printed on 100 lb cover stock and white envelopes.

My goodness.  If two people say it is it a fact?  I’m taking a Critical Thinking course through work for two days later this week, I’ll get back to you on that one.

I am smitten with Inslee’s whimsical illustrations and seemingly simple concepts of ladies in dress.

Happy browsing!

What are you reading?

Have you seen this blog?

I adore it.

The Underground New York Public Library (UNYPL) is dedicated to New Yorkers who read on the subway.

I have never lived in New York City but I am a huge fan of public transportation in other cities I’ve called home.  I know how great it is to let someone else do the driving and get some extra pages in on my commute.  Especially before and after work, getting on a train or a bus is like a forced breather.

A Labor Day homecoming.

Being home over Labor Day weekend was a very good thing.  Fall was happening there and it was absolutely gorgeous.

I got that happy feeling I always used to get at the end of the summer in Columbia County.  School was about to start and our family had one last long weekend to celebrate by living it up at the lake and going to the fair.

I spent time with my parents on the boat napping and catching up.

And Micaela drove out from Boston and we cheered on the county fair together.  The fairgrounds looked a lot more crowded from when Chris and I celebrated our wedding reception just a few months ago.

There were cows and prize chickens, blue ribbon wool and lots of carnival rides.  Each day boasted amazing weather.  It was as much as my dad and the rest of the fair board could ask for, as great weather generally equals stellar attendance.

We took a drive down to Berkshire Pottery in Hillsdale and were driving back just as the sun hung low in the sky.

And I always come down with a mild case of homesickness after I get off the plane in Colorado.  I daydream of rolling fields of drying cornstalks and the evening autumn sun disappearing into the woods.

Then I snap out of it and settle back into life in Denver.  This past weekend I spent Friday night with girlfriends writing at a coffeehouse.  On Saturday, C and I rode bikes all over Congress Park, we tried out a new church, tested some sleeping bags at REI and then had dinner at My Brother’s Bar.  This morning we had brunch with C’s mom and her husband and then went to H Mart.

It’s good here.  Very good.

The leaves are just starting to turn in the mountains and Aspen is right on track to turn in the next two weeks.  From a thirsty deep green to orange and yellow.

And we’re lucky to be going back to Columbia County in two weeks for my cousin’s wedding to experience a little more of that beautiful fall.

Three cheers!

A Practical Bridesmaid.

All of my bridesmaids traveled to be in our wedding, in my hometown.  An incredible gift.  These girls, their friendship, and their willingness to hop in cars and on planes to stand up with me on our day was a special blessing.

I racked my brain thinking of ways to thank them for their help and dedication to me over our year-plus engagement.

Finally, in the hopes of sending these girls home with a little slice of my roots, I decided to fill a favorite tote with some of my best-loved everyday local and special-to-me items.  It’s what Oprah would do if she were throwing a wedding at her county fairgrounds.

L.L. Bean Boat and Tote
My mom always has a few of these bags in various sizes floating around the house.  She uses them for work and laundry, groceries and travel.  I bought my first one when I was in college and had it monogrammed. I love these bags and want to share them with everyone in my life.

The Boat and Totes are guaranteed for life and you’ll probably not want to live without them once you have one.  Best of all, they’re made in Maine.

The medium size is perfect for a day at the beach, a trip to the library or a commute to work.  Small enough to carry under your arm but large enough to hold books, a swim towel or a notebook computer.  And who doesn’t love a monogram?  I kept the totes classic and wearable with navy blue straps.

And then I set to work filling them.

Hudson-Chatham Merlot
We be wine-drinking girls.  Cheers to that with some wine made in my home county!  The Merlot came recommended at our local wine shop.

Saratoga Spring Water
Not only is it the most delicious spring water in the northeast, it’s in a gorgeous deep blue bottle.  More cheers!

Sleep Mask
I have worn sleep masks since right after college.  My first apartment was on a busy city street and it was illuminated day and night with street lights and sunshine.  For a short time, I worked an associate producer shift from 2 a.m. to noon on certain weekdays, so sleeping in darkness was imperative to me having a successful day at work.

Besides being incredibly practical, isn’t there just something about wearing a sleep mask that’s oh-so-Breakfast-at-Tiffany’s?

Goat Milk Soap
I used to buy goat milk soap at local craft fairs when I lived in Albany and my mom always has several bars in her bathroom closet.  Upstate New York is known for its dairies.  Goat milk is widely used in all sorts of products – including this moisture-rich soap!

I found this local Lebanon Springs Exotic Goat Milk Soap at a market in the middle of a mall in Albany on a winter trip home in February.

Rosewater Waverly Sachet
I love the smell of rosewater or lavender in a ladies’ bureau or closet.  Waverly makes a beautifully scented sachet perfect for a drawer and easy to hang on a hanger in a closet.  Favorites!

Leather-Bound Journal
Because it’s so much better when you write it down.  I’ve written through so many journals in my life up to now and insist there is nothing like the durability of a soft cover leather book.  These journals from Anthropologie are similar to those placed in the totes.

Scarf / Sarong Wrap
From early fall through spring, you’ll find me with a scarf.  They are an easy upgrade to any outfit, casual or fancy.  The scarf / sarongs I chose for the bridesmaids were available at World Market and I loved them right away.  The beauty is in their weight.  They can easily be worn as a cover up at the pool or can be wrapped as a scarf to accessorize a jean jacket in the cooler months.

Ladies.  You are simply tops!

All photos by Kara Pearson

A fine rain.

The night before last I woke up to what I thought was wind.

That’s what we get here sometimes.  Wild, whipping pockets of harsh wind that blow the cushions off the rockers on our balcony.

Lest you think Denver is like Annie Proulx’s literary Wyoming plains, we live on the seventh floor of a high-rise building.  It’s always a bit windy up here.

But it wasn’t wind I heard.  It was something I’ve not had in a long while.  It was rain.  And it continued.

At eight a.m., it was dark and cloudy and coming down just beautifully.  At 10, at noon and at three.  Still raining.

Everyone was talking about it.

Meeting after meeting yesterday people were saying how happy they were.  ”Isn’t it beautiful outside?”  We said to one another.

A project manager I work with said he prepared to drive his kids to school as they normally ride their bikes.  When he offered, his second- and fourth-graders both begged him to pedal in the rain.  ”We’re not made of sugar, Dad,” the fourth-grader said.  ”Rain is good for us.”

Indeed it is!


Apartment living at its best.

On the days I mobile work from home I often do laundry.  Generally, the first load goes into the washer at six a.m.

We share the machines with the rest of the floor, so it’s important to keep a timer as a reminder to switch out your load just in case a neighbor is waiting for a machine to open up.  In a stroke of luck, our floor is full of considerate neighbors.

Every Tuesday, one of our neighbors has a sweet housekeeper, Caroline, visit her home.  Caroline cleans the apartment and does laundry.

So today, in between conference calls and real estate fires that needed to be put out in Utah, I forgot I had ignored my alarm and when I made it to the laundry room, my neighbor’s laundry was in the machines…and my dryer load was on the counter, folded and neatly stacked.

I felt rewarded for being inconsiderate.

As I collected my clothes and walked back down the hallway, I heard my neighbor’s door open and I turned around to see Caroline making her way to the laundry room.  She is a piece of cardigan-wearing sunshine.

“Did you fold my laundry?!” I smiled.

“Sure did, honey!  And for heaven’s sake, I put in a dryer sheet in for you because, little miss, you could have electrocuted yourself with the amount of static in that machine!”  Caroline has a little drawl that is pleasing as peach pie.

I do declare I’ll have to do laundry again next Tuesday in the hopes of running into her again.

I wonder how C feels about hiring a housekeeper.

I wonder what Caroline does on Wednesdays…

P.S.  Years back, our neighbor shared a housekeeping secret with us.  Caroline has created what Micaela and I know as “Magic Cleaning Solution” for mirrors.  It’s one part rubbing alcohol to one part water.  Your mirrors have never looked better.  Promise.

Garden Delight.

Last night I met up with a new friend at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

We walked and talked for hours, reveling in the garden’s beauty.  We watched the light change over this peaceful bit of the city.

The sky and sunset reminded me that fall is ready to come to Denver and I imagine, that after this dark summer, Denver is ready to embrace her.

The Gardens are such a gorgeous place.  Can you get over the magic of those twinkling lights in the trees?

I can’t either!