Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wedding Belle Update

As some of you may know - Mr. News Readin's sweet sister is tying the knot in October.

She has graciously asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. At first I was just simply honored - but I am over the moon! Check out her bridesmaid dress pick:

It looks navy in the image, but it's really more of a cadet blue. And has pockets!

Every bridesmaid is relieved when the dress choice ends up being something they are not ashamed to wear in public or will be mistaken for a pageant gown or Halloween costume.

An illustration:

She would NEVER pick this...but I've seen some doozies lately that have been chosen by perfectly normal girls. For example - a lavender Grecian drape halter dress. Trust me. It is way worse than it sounds. And it sounds pretty bad in my opinion. (My poor friend Jennifer was subjected to such an atrocity.)

Back to our Belle.

Guess who has been charged with shoe and accessory recommendations? OMG. I'm so excited - I can't even take it.

So, let's hear it from those of you who frequent the Breaking News Room. I know you are chocked-full of chic suggestions. I've got a few of my own be posted at a later date.

I'm not kidding. You are officially being solicited for shoe and accessory finds. There may be some swag for my favorites...

Yours in Bridesmaid Bliss,
Mrs. News Readin'

Edited to add:
Contributing reporter Stereos and Souffles raised some good questions. Good woman!
The wedding ceremony is at 6:00 pm. The groomsmen are not wearing tuxes. Not sure if they have decided on khaki suits or tan trousers and navy sport coats. Flowers will be white.

Stay tuned for more Mrs. News Readin' takes over - ummm - I mean helps plan a wedding.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cookie Monster

Or should I say Monster Cookie?

The News Readin' Husband loves Oreos, but I'm confident this could equal death by double stuffed:

Yum or yuck? Not sure. But very willing to give it a try...

W-S is marketing this for your Mother's Day celebration. that really the best strategy to move these bad boys?

Imagine the scene: mom would end up cleaning the pan and consoling crying children when the big Oreo didn't visually live up to expectations.

There's got to be a better way to thank her for sacrificing hair appointments, her tennis game and life in general - to raise us. Like designer dish washing liquid or scented ironing water...
Just kidding, Mom.

Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch™ Sandwich-Cookie Cake Pan

No matter. I'm a big fan of novelty baking pans that take up precious storage space and are put to use once a year. Something about making a massive cupcake, just warms my heart and makes my body dance along the border of diabetic shock. Mmmm.

Stay tuned. More at 11.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Springtime Surprises Courtesy of L.L. Bean

Never once - ever - have I put cute clothes and L.L. Bean in the same sentence. Don't judge me. You know it's true.

Backpacks - check. Flannel tartan pajamas - check. Outdoor gear - the mecca. Boat totes - accept nothing but the original. Fun summer wear? Keep on looking...

Not so fast. Apparently someone in Freeport took a stand and declared,
"We must free ourselves from the frump!"

While breezing through their latest clothing for women catalog, I was pleasantly surprised by the perfectly preppy gear they are touting - rightfully so. All a little Boden-esque, minus the crazy graphics. I think you will be equally pleased:

Note: All images courtesy of L.L. Bean

Skyway Canvas Button-front Skirt in Sunburst

Haven Skimmers - also in an adorable pink and green print

Lattice Print Handbag - cute, cute with the skimmers and skirt above.

Petal Poplin Shirt, Polka Dot - love the surprise of pink stripe on the cuffs!

Madras Skort - usually skorts are my krytonite, but it's a commendable effort L.L. Bean

Coastal Macintosh Coat in Glen Green lined in pink and green lobster/crab print

Seersucker belt - perfect with jeans

Seersucker Jacket - slim fit, with three-quarter sleeves

If you are in any way impressed with the above, I highly recommend hightailing it over to their website - where plenty more await.

Enjoy this beautiful weekend!

Yours in renewed faith of a classic (with exemplary customer service),

Mrs. News Readin'

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Law and Order: Special News Reader Unit

Driving is not in my wheelhouse. Quoting the movie Heathers, being seated next to the most emotionally unstable person on any plane and making crêpes - on the other hand - are all me.

An illustration: it took three tries to pass my road test. From 1999-2003, I can count on two hands how many times I operated a motor vehicle. These stats did not exactly inspire confidence in the News Readin' Husband upon marriage and the addition of moi to his car insurance policy.

Recently, he seemed slightly perturbed when I reported being inconvenienced one morning in early February, while driving through a school zone by an officer of the law. By inconvenienced, I mean stopped for doing 50 mph in a 25 mph zone. Oops. You would think he would be numb to such moments after five + years of marriage.

To add to my not so bright and shiny morning, I couldn't locate my most current insurance card. If only he had stopped me prior to October 2008...Dammit.

Guess who missed her court date and has yet to pay her ticket? I know - my brilliance and incredible sense of responsibility are overwhelming. Mr. NR is not pleased. At all.

Yesterday I contacted the City K traffic court to discuss my errr...dilemma and had the pleasure of reaching Terry, who is four months away from retirement, a stickler for the law and lucky for me - a fan of a certain New Readin' Husband. Yahtzee.

Or so I thought.

Me: I'm calling in regards to ticket number 1234XYZ

Terry: Ohhh...let's see what we have here...speeding in a school zone and no proof of insurance. And you missed your court appearance! Tsk, tsk.

Me: Yes, well, sorry about all that. Could I just mail my payment to the court?

Terry: Miss News Readin' - is it? We'll be sending a patrol car for you shortly.

Me: (insert the sound of crickets and shallow breathing)

Terry: Just kiddin', honey...just kiddin'! Are you related to Mr. News Readin' on Channel 6?

Me: Yes, he is my husband. (blood returning to my face)

Terry: Is he really!? We watch him all the time...he does such a nice job covering the city.

Me: Thank you.

Terry: Just come on down and pay your ticket anytime between 8-5. And how bout you bring Mr. News Readin' along with you? We can put his picture up on our Wall of Fame.

Me: Sure! Will that knock my fine down?
(insert laughter - I mean, we're practically best friends by now)

Terry: (icily) No. You will still owe City K $293 for your serious traffic violation.

Me: Right. Of course.

Sheez. What happened to the Wall of Fame and all the honey talk?!

Another fine example of how local celeb (ha!) does not put you above the law. Although, I bet Terry will be singing a different song when Mr. News Readin' rolls in there on my arm, wearing a purple power tie and a bit of bronzer...

School zone will turn into seatbelt real fast.

Stay tuned. More at 11.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Special Report: Setting the First Table

Our president's dishes have led to debate, scandal, and even congressional intervention. In this Inaugural year - I thought it would be interesting to see what has graced the First Table throughout American history. (Promise this will one day serve you in a social setting...)


After the White House burned in the War of 1812, the Monroes (President James and First Lady Elizabeth) undertook its extensive renovation. Upon moving into the restored White House in 1817, the first official presidential china created for a President was ordered from Paris.

Image courtesy of the White House Historical Association.

The design features a Napoleonic eagle (very popular during the period) in the center carrying a banner which reads "E Pluribus Unum." The five vignettes surrounding represent strength, agriculture, commerce, arts and science. The Dagoty-Honoré manufactured 30-setting dinner service and dessert service cost less than $1,200.

The Monroes took some heat for all of the French furnishings in the renovated White House and later Congress passed a bill stating that all furnishings for the President's home needed to be "practicable domestic manufactured." Note: It would take nearly a century for America china manufacturing to be on par with France and England.

Although the Monroes had the first official service - that's not to say that all preceding Presidents entertained on tinware.

Two examples...

Image courtesy of the Woodmere, Presidential Collection.

Martha Washington's monogrammed service, a gift from the East India Company in 1796, features her initials at the center as well as the names of all 15 states in the union at that time. A Latin motto, "Decus et tutamen ab illo" - "a glory and the defense of it" appears under Mrs. Washington's initials on a ribbon motif. The design was inspired by Benjamin Franklin's design of colonial Pennsylvania currency.

Image courtesy of the Woomere, Presidential Collection.

Thomas Jefferson included his own monogram along with a fleur-de-lis design in blue and gold for his White House china. Jefferson, a man of impeccable taste, was heavily influenced by the time he spent as foreign minister to France.

Presidential China Highlights Post-1845:

Image courtesy of the Hoover Archives.

The Polk State Service was purchased for $979 in 1846. Parisian firm Edouard Honoré produced the 400 rococo-style dinner and dessert pieces, which are considered to be among the most beautiful of all presidential china. The pieces feature a green border, molded and gilded scrolls, assorted floral motifs and was the first to be designed with a shield of stars and stripes.

Image courtesy of Graydon Wood and Lynn Rosenthal.

Mary Todd Lincoln realized a state dinner would require more dishes than were in the set bought during President Pierce's administration. Much of the Pierece set had been used and broken. Mrs. Lincoln, chose a French design with an American eagle in the center and a border of a brilliant purple-red color called "solferino," a fashionable new shade at the time. However, many saw Mrs. Lincoln's purchase as frivolous and in poor taste considering the state of America and the looming threat of civil war.

Image courtesy of

First Lady Edith Wilson chose a pattern designed by Lenox's chief designer, Frank Holmes, featuring two bands of matte gold encrusted with stars, stripes, and other motifs. The Seal of the president was raised in gold in the center. The china set and the administration were heralded for the first wholly American manufactured presidential service. It was used by three later administrations.

Image courtesy of

In 1966, three years into the Johnson presidency, new china was ordered. The service, designed by Tiffany & Co, cost of $80,028.24 and was the first purchased with non-appropriated government funds. The White House Historical Association funded the china project.

The pieces featured the eagle from the Monroe china, and the borders were decorated with over forty different wildflowers found throughout the United States. The flowers were hand painted on each plate, delaying the delivery of the full service until 1972, four years into the Nixon administration.

(Both Images of Bush china courtesy of AP Photos/Ron Edmonds)

Laura Bush unveiled two new sets of china in early January of this year - just days before the official end of her husband's administration. One, a traditional Lenox gilt-edged with a green basket-weave border. The other, the Magnolia Residence China Service designed by Hungarian-born Anna Weatherley of Arlington, is the first in White House history: a less formal pattern to be used in the private quarters.


All of the pieces of White House china are kept in the China Room, located on the ground floor of the White House. The First Lady mainly uses the space for entertaining smaller groups for teas, luncheons and less formal affairs.

FYI gang, every piece of china is carefully counted following each state dinner - so don't even think about scoring a Wilson finger bowl on your way out the door. There are options if you are that desperate for a presidential piece.

Woodmere China of New Castle, PA, has a White House Collection which is a full line of Presidential China reproductions. Dinner taste doubly delicious when dining on President Millard Fillmore's pattern.


If you are interested in more information about Presidential China there is an excellent exhibition currently on view at the Concord Museum, Setting America's Table through October 21, 2009.

Also these books:

American Presidential China: The Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art by Susan Gray Detweiler.

The President's Table: Two Hundred Years of Dining and Diplomacy by Barry Landau.

There - don't you feel informed? Now head over to The Superficial and counteract all our good work...

We now return to your regularly scheduled program.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Some houseguests... not stink after three days.

We are into week four of my brother's 13 week stay in Casa de News Readin'. So far - so good.

He has fixed a broken latch on our exterior front door, re-wired some old two-prong outlets and re-caulked our guest shower. Oh, and incredibly he knows how to take out the garbage, wipe down the counters, start dinner (without step-by-step instructions delivered by cell) and replace the paper towels.

On Thursday I came home and he was vacuuming. Without being asked to do so. Seriously.

Maybe he shouldn't be the man in this house to move out in 10 weeks.
Just kidding. (Not really.)

Stay tuned. More at 11.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Illustating the Differences Between the Sexes: Part II

Part II of our ongoing series...

The other night we were enjoying a bit of tv, when the Diet Coke commercial featuring Heidi Klum invaded our line of vision. It could be worse...I know least she is promoting The Heart Truth / Red Dress Collection - raising awareness about women's heart health.

Mr. News Readin', experiencing a bit of an epiphany, stated:

"Men are sitting ducks. No one is out there promoting awareness for men's health issues. Women go to the doctor for every little thing. Men don't go to the doctor until their friends stop fronting them their ED meds..." (Interesting point.)

The rant continued:
"When is someone going to organize a walk, run or even a freakin' three legged race for men's medical issues?"

Hmmm...I sense something bigger going on here.

Me: "Well, what about all the work Katie Couric does for colorectal cancer awareness?"

Mr. NR: "That's not what I mean..."

Me: "Oh - you want to know why some other supermodel isn't promoting men's heart disease prevention in a tight red dress."

Mr. NR: "Exactly."

Even during a moment of true concern for the well being of his fellow men, it all comes down to a hot girl.

Way to rally for the cause, dear.

Stat tuned.
More at 11.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

And on the third day...

Christ and St Mary Magdalene at the Tomb, 1638, Rembrandt van Rijn.
Image courtesy of The Royal Collection.

Hope you enjoyed a beautiful day with family and friends!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Where are all the shoes going?

Just in case Twitter, Facebook and blog reading don't take up enough of your time...there's this: has a live map module showing where in the U.S. all their shoes are being ordered.

Sound silly? Try addictive. Log on here.

I lost 15 minutes of my day yesterday watching running shoes go to Reno and wedges go to Waterloo.

Stay tuned. More at 11.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tech Savvy Tailgating

Brilliant! And can be monogrammed...

Ordered one of these last night for a soon-to-be-wed couple's Tailgating Essentials Shower:

Hopefully it will be a little more useful beyond a handful of fall weekends in Athens - than red and black coolers, serveware, folding chairs or coozies emblazoned with a big G.

Mr. News Readin' was pleased with the gift decision. Mainly because,
"...waiting 155 days to use it would stink."

Just in case you don't have your 2009 football schedule handy - Georgia takes on South Carolina at home on September 12 or 155 days.

Bet he's keeping a similar count until our wedding anniversary...

Stay tuned. More at 11.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bad Ass Bunny Gear

Just like my Santa swills scotch, my Easter Bunny is a bad ass.
(But you already knew that...)

This just might be waiting for a certain News Readin' Husband and our star boarder, The Prince on Easter Sunday, courtesy of our B.A.E.B.:

Psycho Bunny Polo Shirt in Kelly Green

A better look at Psycho Bunnies in the Wild

I big puffy heart Psycho Bunny's design mastermind Robert Godley - and not just because he's a nice lad from across the pond. Although, the accent and his former employment at Turnbull and Asser, Jermyn Street, help tremendously. Check him out. Adorable - no?

Keep your fingers crossed that the B.A.E.B remembers little old me:

Large White with Rasberry Bunny Tote from Bunny and Chad
On sale, too!

Or should our Bad Ass Easter Bunny decide to drop off a certain Mr. Godley for a late lunch on Sunday accompanied by a massive basket of Cadbury Creme Eggs - that would be just fine, too.

Stay tuned. More at 11.