Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Coastal Christmas: A Photographic Review

Disclaimer: I am not a very good photographer. My apologies.

Christmas at the Cloister

We attended 7:00 pm church services and then headed to the hotel for dinner in 100 Hudson.
During dinner, the Yule Log Ceremony began in the Lobby. It's quite the event usually, but this year there were significantly fewer guests. (I think we all know why...) See the program below.

Yes, the yule log ceremony would have made for a great photo op - but I was three vodkas deep and well, you know how that goes.

The tree in the lobby was gorgeous. My pictures definitely do not do it justice.

The tree in the solarium was my favorite - decorated with nutcrackers and beautiful handpainted balls.

There was a massive gingerbread house in the center of the lobby. It was adorable, but wasn't nearly as over-the-top as what they have had on display at the Lodge in years past.

(Somebody was hungry.)

The nativity scene is pretty close to being life size and is really beautiful - especially at night when illuminated.

Ahhh...Christmas Eve on the marsh's edge.

Christmas Day Beach Bound

Christmas morning, my mother-in-law invited me (read: dragged me out of bed at 8:00 am)
to her rumba class at the Cloister Spa. Have to say - it was awesome. We shimmied and shook to Rhianna, Britney and Madonna. Made me feel a lot better about my cheesecake from the night before...

(Lucy is wearing a shirt that said "I ate Santa's cookies." Kinda cute.)

Putter and her cousin, Lucy donned their matching collars and were looking for a little more excitement. To the beach!

I just loved this garden gate on our way to the beach. Casa de encanto - House of Enchantment.

Looking down the beach toward the new beach club.

You have never seen a happier dog than this exhausted, water logged Lab with her sandy tennis ball.

Santa shops at the Infamous Sea Island Sale

In early December Sea Island has an insane sale where they offer everything from linens and silverware to golf club covers to clothing and shoes at a 60 - 80% discount. Basically they unload all their excess - first to employees and members, then to the general public.

My mother-in-law has scored some great buys in years past and usually these purchases end up underneath the tree. (I'm not complaining.)

While admiring her holiday tablescape, I noticed some new additions - in particular beautiful gold and green chargers.

Ummm...hello...fabulous. Wedgewood. $1.00 a charger at the infamous sale. (Mr. News Readin' has already staked claim for estate purposes.)

She also picked up these beauties for $4.00 a glass. They're heavy and gorgeous.

Oh, the table runner pictured...that would be one of the wraps my bridesmaids wore. Interesting re-purposing, no?

And to all a good night!

Coming soon: TIBI outlet scores and an inside look of Frederica's new clubhouse. (It's to die for...)

Partying like it's 1998...literally.

Mr. News Readin' had a humdinger of a 21st birthday bash in the backyard of his parents abode, complete with a beer truck and a kick-ass band from Virginia Beach, the Right On Band.

They played everything from Motown to '70s and '80s and they put on a phenomenal show. That was 1998 and I still remember dancing my ass off and hijacking the tambourine. (Yes. I was that girl - that night.)

We saw them again recently at our college's alumni weekend aka Frat Fest. Again, great show.

Apparently someone at Fox News is also interested in dancing their ass off and hijacking a tambourine from a big bosomed, boa wearing lead singer.

They're performing at Fox's U Party 2009 hosted by Megyn Kelly (Mr. News Readin's Plan B) and Bill Hemmer (the guy CNN told "thanks for the good times" in 2005) from 10pm to 1 am tonight.

Who knew!? From a backyard, beer-drenched throwdown to the world's largest New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square in a decade. Not bad. Not bad, at all.

This makes me think that come his 40th birthday, we are more likely to secure the beer truck than the Right On Band.

Guess I'll have to bring my own tambourine.

Happy New Year from the Breaking News Team!

Buffalo Check Beauty

Buffalo check warms my heart.

There was a moment when I wanted to have a Christmas wedding and my bridesmaids to wear red and black buffalo check skirts.

Fear not. We got married in September and no one was forced to look like the bride of Elmer Fudd for my amusement. It was just an idea...

Had I seen this little piece of gorgeous, we would have toasted nuptial egg nog and six lucky ladies would have made Woolrich's way proud.

If only I had fabulously festive affair to attend this holiday season that would warrant such a display. (sigh) Although, not sure if I could pull this off without looking like a Braveheart extra or worse - someone who actually eats. Ahem.

Miss Bush: That bag obviously does not hold your FEED. look like a bobble head doll. Get a meal in, dear. Life is much more enjoyable satiated. Promise.

But, j'adore your horsebit belt. Would make for a lovely bracelet.

In awe of your buffalo check-ness,

Mrs. News Readin'

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Developing Story: New Year's Resolutions

Mr. News Readin' is a big fan of the New Year's resolution.

He asked me two weeks ago what I was thinking mine would be this year. I responded ever so sweetly, "Seriously? I'm trying to find a free shipping code for Orvis. Go investigate resolutions elsewhere..." Sometimes timing is not his strong suit.

Anywhoodle, he brought it up again last night. The conversation went like this:

Mr. NR: "Sooo...what's your resolution this year?"

Me: "Not sure. Maybe improve my conversational Spanish*."
"And yours?"
*Attending September wedding in Jerez. Donde esta la biblioteca? Not gonna cut it.

Mr. NR: "I'm trying to remember what last year's was....oh, right! Run a marathon.**"
** He jogs occasionally. For approximately 2 miles. Maybe.

Me: (insert hearty laughing)

Mr. NR: "Damn. That one really got away from me. "

Me: "Have you run 26.2 miles collectively - as in all year long?" (insert more hearty laughing accompanied by tears)

Mr. NR: "Maybe. Probably. Hmph."

And, scene.

Not sure why I was laughing...I'm teetering on a 13 lb weight gain during 5 years of marriage. (It's not as easy as it looks, this whole maintaining girlish figure thing, thankyouverymuch.)

He has a 32 inch waist, can still fit into clothes from high school and would most definitely look better in my Old Navy lounge pants. Ugh.

After much contemplation, he climbed into bed and announced his resolution for 2009:

"I think I'm just going to refrain from drinking dark liquor on Tuesdays."

Ahhh...that's more like it.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

Monday, December 29, 2008

We apologize for the technical difficulties...

The Breaking News Team is back from a coastal Christmas celebration.

I had every intention of an in-law play by play for your reading pleasure, but forgot that the in-laws don't have wireless and being secluded in their computer room for hours claiming work, was not an option. (Mr. News Readin' has grown a wee bit tired of the iBook that seems to have become an appendage.) So - holiday hiatus.

Not like you didn't have other things to do. Christmas cookies - sifting through the endless Pottery Barn "It's not too late" eblasts - making five "last trips" to Target - cutting off Aunt Barbara from the Chardonnay - swearing to workout tomorrow...

I'm not Santa, but I know what you were doing.

Billable hours call, but I've got lots of great pictures of the Cloister decorated for the holidays and a sneak peak of the club house at Sea Island's newest development, Frederica.

Can't wait to share!

Oh, the winning holiday frock:

From Nordstrom. For $158.00, more reasonable than some of my other options and simple enough to get a lot of wear.

Attention Mr. News Readin'...See, I care about refraining from frivolous spending.

Hope all was Merry and Bright for your holiday celebrations!

Mrs. News Readin'

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa was here...Now prove it with pictures!

As a child, I was convinced that Santa had been to our house simply because all the cookies were eaten and that nice glass of Macallan we left him was empty. (Our Santa drank highland single malt scotch whisky. What of it?) And there were presents.

Kids today are smarter than that. They have cell phones and Wii's. All I had was a Muppet album and a Jem doll that had little lights for earrings. Technologically advanced? Not exactly.

If you are going to keep running this Santa charade for as long as possible, better figure out a way to make your minis really believe. (I hear that the whole..."I'm going to tell Santa" has excellent behavioral modification results.)

Here's your weapon of choice: Capture the Magic.

Snap a picture of your Christmas tree setting. Upload it to the website and drop in one of their many Santa options and voilĂ ! Photographic proof that Santa had indeed slid down your chimney.

Here are some examples:

Disclaimer: I haven't used it, but a co-worker said it was so simple a monkey could do it. Which made me think it could be kind of tricky because monkeys are actually highly intelligent. But, then I remembered the co-worker is not that it should be a freakin' breeze.

Merry Christmas!

Mrs. News Readin'

Christmas on the Coast

The in-laws pulled the short straw and unfortunately have to put up with me for the holidays.
So, we are packing up the car and headed to the Golden Isles of south Georgia. (I know, poor us.)

More importantly - I am headed to the TIBI outlet store, where deals and heaven share the same space in a shopping plaza.

The Breaking News team will be checking in with live, up to the minute coverage of The Holidays from the coast.

Stay tuned. More at 11.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ridiculous Gift of the Day

There are tons of classic television shows that have proved pop culture inspiring; I Love Lucy, Happy Days, Murder She Wrote (trench coats sold like wildfire during the height of its popularity), Gilligan's Island, Three's Company. Hell, even Little House on the Prairie provided fond memories and a Halloween costume or two.

But, Knight Rider? Knight Rider?

A friend's husband requested a Knight Rider GPS by MIO for Christmas.

It has flashing red lights on the sides, just like the KITT car. will give directions in the original KITT voice.

She thought he was kidding. Man, is he going to be disappointed.

Washed up television star with an inordinate amount of chest hair - not included.

What's the most ridiculous thing you've seen this season?
Do tell. I could use a little humor this morning.

We'll continue to cover this late breaking story...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday card recap

Just in case you were wondering...(Don't worry. I know you weren't.)

Being that we couldn't rustle up any children for our holiday card picture, we went in a new direction this year.

Holiday Ivy Pattern Red from Iomoi

I love most of Iomoi's design work. Fun colors - very Hollywood Regency with a preppy flair.

Have to tell you though, I was fairly disappointed in the weight of the stock. Additionally the envelopes were slightly larger than the card and were printed with a cream and brown Iomoi logo design interior. (Sort of clashed with the pattern of the card.)

If I had read the full description, I probably could have saved myself the Debbie Downer moment. Oh well. The upside is I only did a limited quantity.

Because after we snapped this beauty of Putter - there was no way she wasn't getting a photo card!

Mr. News Readin' insisted that Smug Marrieds with children were to receive the non-picture card, except for family. All others received the Shutterfly special of us and the gorgeous creature you see above. (Please do not let Sneaky Kitty know she did not make the cut for the Christmas card...she's vindictive and I like my furniture.)

Now I have an excel sheet with 120 names on two different worksheets for picture and non-picture recipients. Seriously. Because life is not complicated enough.

They made it into the mail - hand addressed, all personalized and with a stamp lovingly adhered by Mr. News Readin'. What a good elf.

My good elf has informed me that under no circumstances will we be sending a picture card without children next year.

Hmmm...That might explain all the mistletoe he's hung around the house.

More at 11.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flat Fabulous Friday Find

You deserve a little bit of satin fabulous. After all you...

  • Mailed 83 Christmas cards
  • Baked 108 cookies
  • Attended two different elementary school Christmas concerts and three holiday gift markets
  • Are prepared with a gift - no matter who rings the doorbell
  • Decked your halls and trimmed your tree within an inch of a Bing Crosby holiday special
  • Made sure that everyone and everything is as Merry and Bright as humanly possible

AND you went to work, volunteered, walked the dog, met the school bus, picked up the dry cleaning, hit the Starbucks drive-thru and showered regularly.

$19.44 at Ann Taylor.
Run. Do not walk.
I picked up a purple and a green pair tonight.
(Who says nothing good happens at the mall after 8:00 pm, Mom?!)

Note: They are final sale items.

Happy Weekend,

Mrs. News Readin'

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Frontrunners for Parents of the Year

We here at Breaking News (Mr. News Readin' and I) pride ourselves on being able to spot ill-equipped parents at fifty paces.

Not because we have children. To the contrary - because we don't. We recognize our lacking skill set to meet the challenges of parentdom and wish others would be equally as honest with themselves.

For example, our cat is sometimes forced to eat dog food because we forget to buy kitty food. In the parent realm that could mean our tot might have to survive on Riesling if we're out of milk.

Big Neon Sign flashing...WE SHOULD NOT PROCREATE.

Then we come across people like the Wentzs and these fine folks from New Jersey - who force their idiocy on their poor innocent children and are surprised when the world (or at least a ShopRite bakery employee) receives them coolly. Read the full story here.

Mr. & Mrs. Campbell and little Adolph Hitler

Hey, jackasses...err...I mean Mr. & Mrs. Campbell, naming your children Adolf Hitler and JoyceLynn Aryan Nation is nothing short of absolute stupidity, not to mention in the poorest of tastes. (JoyceLynn alone is criminal.)

Why not put a little more effort into your dental care and their education and a little less time using a Sharpie to put a toothbrush moustache on your 3-year-old...and forcing your small mindedness on America's future.

Oh, and nobody is buying your German descent bullsh*t. K?

But, thank you...

For renewing our confidence in the fact that even we would be better parents than you two jokers.

The Breaking News Team

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Special Report: Paying It Forward

(I know...I know...But, it deserves a repeat performance. I love the oval!)

Thank you, thank you to the special bloggers who decided to Pay It Forward!

It was a pleasure reading their most cherished holiday memories and traditions.
Here is a sampling from the first four commenters.

A. over at Coterie:
"In the spirit of paying it forward, when we got older, we, as a family, would adopt a family who couldn't afford Christmas gifts. We still do it and knowing that a family who otherwise wouldn't have a Christmas always feels really good!"

Mamacita over at What Would Jane Austen Do?:
" I really like the end of the Christmas Eve service at church, when the congregation sings "Silent Night" a capella and passes the light from one candle to the next until the whole room is lit."

Legally Blond Mel over at I Pick Pretty:
"My favorite Christmas memory also involves Christmas Eve services. For the past few years, I've gone with my best friend, her parents, and my husband, and something about that arrangement feels like home. The incense, the candles, trying not to laugh at the crotchety old priest's inadvertent references to "adult" materials . . . love all of it."

The Lawyer's Wife over at The Pink Clutch:
"My favorite tradition would be the Christmas pajamas I always received on Christmas Eve ... I always got to hunt for that one package labeled "Open Me Now!". Now I get to see my three babies do the same thing ... it is so cute to see them be able to find their names and that one special tag ...And there is nothing better than opening my own Christmas pajamas from my mom who still spoils me! The most amazing part ... they are washed and smelling of Gain ..."

Note to the Lawyer's Wife: Does your mom travel? I could use some fresh smelling jammies around these parts. No need to go through the trouble of tagging, wrapping, etc. I can fake surprise like nobody's business...I do it every month when the credit card bill arrives.

Honorable mentions go to The. Mrs over on the West Coast - One Fabulous Mom, Beth from Just Ask Beth and Kim aka The Real Housewife of Rutherford County.

Our first four have a holiday favorite of yours truly in their near future and...'tis the season so our honorable mentions are getting some sugar, too!

Now remember...go forth and Pay It Forward!

We now return to our regularly scheduled program.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Color Me Happy

Still in need of gifts for a few little girls in your life?

Rather than give into the toy hysteria, I'm seeking alternatives.
(Because I flat out refuse to buy a Bratz doll...and my mother thought Jem was racy!)

For the little francophile in your life:
From Pomme. Color Paris monuments and learn the French word for pigeon. Mon dieu!

Get her started on that travel abroad fund:

From MetKids. Silhouettes, How to Cut for Fun & Money. Love it!

Learning about American Royalty is important, as is how to behave while traveling abroad:

From Amazon. One Special Summer by Jacqueline and Lee Bouvier. A fun read - you'll want one for yourself!

Teach her to think big. And color bi

From Big colored pencils for little hands. So fun!

Her Bratz doll will be the only one in red carpet worthy frocks.

From MetKids. Designed by You: Formal Fashions. Because Georgina Chapman can't live forever.

Plant the seeds of creativity this holiday season. You never know what might bloom!

Mrs. News Readin'

"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
- Pablo Picasso

Monday, December 15, 2008

Comment and You Shall Receive (hint, hint)

Love the oval wreath...we'll discuss in a later post.

'Tis the season of gifts and more importantly giving. We often lose sight in the flurry of holiday parties, massive to do lists and trimming of the tree and the house - of the true meaning of the season.

It brings to mind Linus' explanation to Charlie Brown:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them,

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke 2:8-14

So with that, today I am Paying It Forward and acting on "good will toward men (and women)." The rules are simple: the exchange is a focus on doing an act of kindness-without the expectation of anything in return other than that the recipient will, in their turn pass the kindness along and Pay It Forward.

Last week, LovestheCape, a lovely blog, asked for a favorite Christmas/Holiday memory, Paying It Forward. Being lucky enough to be one of the first three responders - I am now Paying It Forward.

The first four people who respond to the question of their most cherished Christmas/Holiday tradition -will receive a small token of my giving spirit and are asked to post Pay It Forward on their blog. You must have a blog to play.

Include your email address with your response. (I will not publish your email address.)

May all the joys of this special season
be yours to share with family & friends!

Mrs. News Readin'

Friday, December 12, 2008

The $750 Folding Chair. Really.

A few months back friends of ours hosted a very nice fall gathering prior to a football game. I cannot bring myself to call it a tailgate, because well - they were using the most fabulous chairs.

Chairs? The chairs made the difference?
Yes, dear reader, the chairs made all the difference.

I give you THE CHAIR...also known as the Roorkhee Chair from F. M. Allen in New York.

English mahogany military campaign chairs. Perfect for that safari you're planning or as we experienced, standing around in a parking lot playing cornhole and drinking sweet tea vodka.

Mr. News Readin' was blown away by these beauties. But, just to put that in perspective - he was also blown away by the chicken biscuits at the same tailgate. Go figure.

I thought I might surprise him with two for Christmas. Frankly, they are nice enough to have stashed in the front hall closet when those who fail to understand the meaning of RSVP, show up for the low country boil. (No bitterness here...) Easily stowed in a handy, dandy drawstring pouch. Perfect!

What I failed to consider was the price tag that might accompany such a piece or pieces.

The $750 price tag - to be exact.

Did you hear that? That is the sound of the purchase of the Roorkhee Chairs coming to screeching halt.

Ummm...hello. I have to assemble it. $750? Come on.

Maybe one day, we'll have an amazing adventure in Botswana -perched in our Roorkhee chairs.

But this year I'm going with Plan B Chair:

$39.99 with an insulated cup holder. I also think it's much more complimentary to cornhole, sweet tea vodka and chicken biscuits.

More at 11.