Friday, January 31, 2014

Family Favorite Recipe

Tonight I made chili for dinner...perfect for the cold weather we have been having!
This recipe has been in my family for many years, 
originating from my great aunt on my Michigan dad's side.
There are two KEY ingredients to this chili...
the first being BACON....I love bacon,
and the second being the beans...they must be BROOKS CHILI HOT BEANS.
Forgot to include the ground beef in the picture.

Now, this is definitely a "Midwestern" chili because they only sell Brooks Chili Hot beans in the Midwest.
So every summer when I am in Michigan, 
I buy about a case of the chili beans and import them to Virginia,
or my Michigan mom brings me a case when she comes to visit.
I might have been stopped by TSA once or twice
for trying to bring a suitcase full of beans on the plane...
apparently giant cans of beans look like possible explosives on x-ray machines.
I digress...
If you are desperate to try this recipe,
you can buy the beans on here.
Clearly many Mid-westerners who no longer live in the Midwest
 must LOVE these beans if they are selling beans on
I don't usually grocery shop on 
I now have to wear my cheaters when cooking or I fear I will chop off a finger.
This picture reminds me that every spring people complement me for losing 10 lbs...
I don't actually lose weight, I am just not wearing four layers of clothing (as shown in the picture) anymore.
I am wearing a "vintage" Vineyard Vines fleece with long underwear, a long sleeve t-shirt, and a turtleneck.
I digress again...
"Ahhh no, I didn't eat the bacon..."

Here is the's very simple

Aunt Trudee's Chili
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large onion, chopped
2 lbs. ground beef
2 cans tomato soup
2 medium or 1 large can of Brooks Chili Hot beans
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
pepper to taste

Brown ground beef with onion and drain any fat.
Add soup, beans, seasonings, and bacon.
Simmer on low for at least 30 minutes.
Freezes well.
(I have been known to use more than 6 slices of bacon)
Was not able to figure out how to photoshop out all of the bacon grease on the cook top.
This is a thick chili...very hearty.
We like to eat it with fritos and cheddar cheese.
As we say in our family,

Hope everyone is staying warm!

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nautical News from Talbots

As I mentioned earlier this week,
I am enjoying daydreaming about spring as the spring catalogs flood my mailbox.
One of my favorites arrived yesterday...Talbots
and they have a fabulous line of Nautical inspired pieces!
I love navy and white for spring and summer and I have a "thing" for anchors!
(Go Navy!)
Here are some of my top picks from their Spring catalog...
 This Anchor Stripe Sweater would look adorable with navy cropped pants!
 This Rope Print Tunic is a perfect cover up to go with my navy swimsuit!
 How adorable are these shoes???? LOVE them!
This Anchor and Rope Bangle comes in red and navy as well! 
Love this Anchor Shirt....would wear it with red, white, or bright green cropped pants!

Have you had a look at the Talbots spring catalog?
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Sandal Scandal

Just about everyone has heard of the classically preppy Jack Rogers sandal.
My girls and I have been wearing them for as long as I can remember...
long before they became the current trend with the high school and college set.
They come in tons of colors and you can even get them monogrammed!
I have a pair of these in light pink and another pair in navy blue,
and I love them...they are my go-to summer shoe.

You can select a circle monogram or a diamond monogram in a variety of colors.

While Jack Rogers has been around for a long time,
the original Palm Beach sandals are 
Stephen Bonanno Palm Beach Sandals
Almost identical to the Jack Rogers and they come in a MILLION colors.
These are the one that Jackie Kennedy wore, 
and they have many more color combinations than Jack Rogers.

Also offering several different monogrammed styles in a million color combinations.

Well this fabulous sandal company had an anniversary sale last January....
Woohoo...50% off!!!
I ordered four pairs of monogrammed sandals...two for me and one pair for each of my girls. we are a YEAR later and NO sandals.
Seems Stephen has disappeared off the face of the earth with my money... and about 200 other women's.

These sandals are custom, 
and each sandal is made to order so it is expected to take 6-12 weeks to receive your order.
Unfortunately, this is past the time frame that most credit card companies will refund your money.

I was expecting the sandals by May
and their website advised that it may be longer due to the overwhelming response to their sale.
I did not become alarmed until I read this post on one of my favorite blogs,
The Preppy Princess

That's when I started calling...and calling....and calling....
and their voicemail was either full or it would just ring forever with no answer.
I started emailing customer service almost daily.
Never heard back from anyone.
As of today, all of the phone numbers have been disconnected
and their warehouse is vacant.
Here is a news story about the sad situation...
(for some reason, this video works on my computer
 but does not show up when viewing my blog on my iPad)
I am not optimistic that I will ever see our sandals...or my money.
I am not optimistic that I will figure out how to insert a video properly on to my
I'm sure my son Teddy will be able to teach me.

Go here to view the complaints with the Better Business Bureau...
and here to view the official Stephen Bonanno Facebook page, where can read hundreds of complaints.

So here I continue to wait....doubtful that they will ever arrive.
I will probably end up ordering the same things through Jack Rogers,
however Jack Rogers doesn't have the color selections that Stephan Bonanno did,
so I won't be able to purchase exactly what I really wanted.

Did anyone else get tied up in this sandal scandal?

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Vineyard Vines Wish List

So excited to see all of the Spring catalogs arriving in my mailbox!
I am so over winter...we had a STORM last Tuesday...
and got 1.5 inches of snow...and school was CANCELLED all week!
Being from Michigan, that just makes me laugh.
In fact, here is my Michigan dad shoveling the latest dump on their front walkway...
They had to get a front end loader to do the joke.

I digress....
I got the newest Vineyard Vines catalog and found some things for my birthday list!Ribbon Neck Fleece 1/4-Zip
Ribbon Neck Fleece....this is a MUST have.

Multi Gingham Shirt
Multi Gingham can never have too many gingham shirts!
Whale Embroidered Dayboat Skirt
Whale Embroidered Dayboat Skirt...this is just adorable...cute with the pink fleece above.
Party Seersucker Visor
Party Seersucker Visor...perfect tennis visor....or baseball mom visor!
Sea Patchwork Makeup Bag
Sea Patchwork Make Up Bags...great for your handbag or pool bag!

Have you checked out the Vineyard Vines new arrivals?

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Monday, January 27, 2014

The Beloved Bermuda Bag

Who remembers Bermuda Bags?
They used to be considered a wardrobe staple in every "Preppy's" wardrobe,
but if you are a "true" preppy, it was...and still is a part of your handbag collection.

Back in the 1980's, deLanthe was the Bermuda Bag of choice, 
but when they became the rage, many other shops sold their own version of the Bermuda Bag.
Here is a vintage deLanthe...

Lilly Pulitzer also used to make Bermuda Bags...
my daughters have the adorable mini Bermuda Bags
(I am saving them for my granddaughters...that I do not have

I still have the original Bermuda Bag that I got in high school...

This is my bag...with my only summer cover.

These are the only other covers I have left....a red wool, a navy corduroy, and a quilted mini print.

I have been looking all over for additional covers...
Ebay....but no luck.

kopacetick Bermuda Bag purse

Etsy has them...but not what I am looking for.

I need some summer PINK...
and then I got an email from one of my favorite online shops,
and look what was featured in their email...

You can buy the handles, which come with one cover,
or you can buy just the covers...and they will monogram for you!!!
They have many different cover colors and many monogram thread colors to choose from!

Sidenote....if you already have a Bermuda Bag, 
make sure you measure the distance between the buttons to make sure these covers will fit.

I have no affiliation with The Pink Giraffe
other than the fact that they have a
FABULOUS selection of classically preppy merchandise!

Who still has their Bermuda Bag?

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Weekend Review

Last weekend was the last weekend that Caroline was home before heading back to Kansas...
We had a semi-full house...
Saturday night was so was low key and everyone was actually home "chillaxing"...
or doing laundry....
Caroline and Collin were baking brownies... 
Grace was killing D at cribbage (he clearly taught her everything he knows about the game)...

We went to church on Sunday with our "traditional" stop at Dunkin Donuts after church...
I say "traditional" stop because we have only stopped there twice before,
 but now the kids say we MUST go..."It's a tradition" they say...
Well...I am always up for a PINK frosted I guess we have a new tradition.
And I wonder why there are so few pictures of D and me....thank you boys for the photo bomb.
This is better!

Hope your weekend was a fabulous one too!

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Happy Anniversary....Blending our Family

Today is D's and my fourth wedding anniversary.
Sweet D is driving down from DC just to take me out to dinner tonight.

January 23, 2010
I like our anniversary date...0123!

Happiest Day!

After we were engaged, I spent A LOT of time thinking about our wedding.
It being a second wedding for both of us,
my first instinct was to have a very tiny ceremony in a church,
without a reception or any "wedding" type events.
I scoured all of my etiquette books, looking for how to have a "proper" second wedding.

Fortunately, ALL of our children were super excited about our engagement.
And they were SUPER excited about the wedding....
a wedding that was not the type of wedding that I was thinking we would have.

D and I talked about it, and decided that we were blending our families, 
therefore we needed to have a celebration that the children would all feel a BIG part of.
So we had a wedding...a REAL wedding.
At the United States Naval Academy Chapel.
Here is our wedding celebration in pictures...warning...this is very photo heavy!
Our wedding at the USNA Chapel.

My Michigan dad escorting me to the chapel...
My daughters, Caroline and Katherine, were my bridesmaids.
D's oldest daughter, Laura, was my junior bridesmaid.

D's youngest daughter, Grace, was the flower girl.
D's son, Kimo, was his Best Man.
My sister was my Maid of Honor (here with my girls).
D's youngest son, Collin, was the ring bearer...he is a ham.
and my boys escorted me down the aisle...they look so little!

Three of the sailors (still D's closest friends) who were on the boat in 1986
 when the jacket incident occurred were groomsmen for D.

I found a classy but simple ivory silk wedding dress and had the train cut off,
and the girls all went to my dress fittings with me and helped pick out their bridesmaid dresses.
The boys were fitted for tuxedos, and the twins especially LOVED wearing a
We tried to include the kids in all aspects of planning the wedding...
right down to selecting the songs for the DJ to play.

I will remember this moment forever.

Just Married!

One of the BEST parts of the night
 was when I pulled out THE sailing team jacket that D loaned me 24 years ago,
and put it on outside the chapel.
He still had it after all of these years,
 and I secretly gave it to my sister to have handy after the ceremony.
He was speechless!

D and I with my Virginia parents
I love this picture....
Our new blended family!
We had a formal dinner following the ceremony at the Naval Academy Club,
and invited all of our close friends...AND their children.
In fact we almost had more children than adults!
The menu selections included chicken nuggets...
and Shirley Temples were the most popular drink request at the bar!
The rat boys, their cousins, and  their best friends were all there.
Midshipman tradition of cutting the cake with his sword...
HELLO...the look on my face says it all! 
The children surprised us and had written their own toasts to us...
there was not a dry eye in the room.
My Michigan mom with new granddaughter, Grace, and my sister. 

My sister with (who at the time, we were hoping him to be) my brother-in-law. 
D's Weapons Officer from the USS Texas serenaded us! 
D and his beautiful truly is a blessing to be a part of his family.
All of the children truly had a wonderful time...they still talk about it! 
My beautiful sister! 
Crazy dancing kids
This is EXACTLY what we were hoping for at the reception...
no one wanted the evening to end!

It was an AMAZING night and our wedding celebration
truly blended our family together,
creating very special moments, silly stories that we sill laugh about, and cherished memories.
I may not have followed "proper etiquette" for a second wedding,
but D and I did what was the right and proper thing for our family.

Oh....and the jacket in mine now...D gave it to me to keep....forever.

All pictures posted were taken by our Photographer, Jennifer Cody, of Egomedia
as well as a few that were taken by my brother-in-law, of Two Twisted Trees Photography.

And if you are just dying to see more wedding pictures, 
you can visit this website.
To be honest, I have not looked at our wedding pictures in quite a long time,
and it was fun to go back and select the pictures for this post.

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