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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

How I Met Candace, and Why I Need to Give Her a Present

Yesterday morning, the Mister and I were synchronizing our watches, so to speak, and I was debating going to an event scheduled for that evening.  It was supposed to rain.  Hard.  The Mister helpfully pointed out that the event would be held inside.  It’s going to be kind of a young crowd, I sulked.  The chipper Mister replied that he felt pretty young.  Sigh.  It’s black-tie, you know.  (Why I thought this would dampen his enthusiasm, I have no idea.  I knew he had two tuxedos ready to go in the closet.)  Well, we’ll see, I muttered.  Reading me with his usual skill, he said, Don’t worry about what to wear.  Wear your black dress.  It’ll be fun, and it’s a good cause.  N (see N's Party)gave you the tickets, and she’ll want to hear about it.  Yes, I finally agreed, it would be a shame not to go.  And there’s an auction.  And then the Mister deftly played his trump card.  And chocolate.
s’more of flourless chocolate cake, toasted marshmallow meringue, graham cracker tuile, and hazelnuts.
Yes, with Easter and its candy barely four days past, what do the Mister and I (not) need to be doing?  Why, going to a Chocolate Soiree, of course!  We attend only few black-tie events each year, but this one is pretty, well, sweet.  (Sorry.)  It’s a fundraiser for our local children’s museum, a brand new, state-of-the-art facility.  The Soiree is meant to subsidize memberships and admission for families who otherwise couldn’t afford to visit.IMG_1856         from the chocolate tasting, the highest butter fat content
So, at 5, I picked up Little from her drama class (like she needs one!) and called the Mister to confirm the time he’d be home.  Then I headed upstairs to dress.  So I laid out my LBD, decided on some fun jewelry, pulled out the Spanx, and the shoes.  I debated going bare-legged, but my limbs are looking more like Rand McNally is my trainer, so I grabbed a pair of black stockings.  Only, they were tights.  After looking thoroughly I realized, you guessed it, no stockings.  Well, by this time, it is pouring rain, the wind is kicking up, and I have already put the hot rollers in my hair!  Going to CVS is not an option.  For me, that is.  So, of course, I called the Mister and explained the situation. Well, no, he wouldn’t mind picking up a pair of pantyhose.  I was kind of surprised, I have to admit.  He asked me what size, and I told him just to call when he was standing in front of the display.
IMG_1855             Grand Marnier truffles and rolled strawberries
A few minutes later, the phone rings.
Mr: Okay, I’m here.  What size?
Me: Well, first of all, I need black.
Mr.: Oh. (long pause) Okay.  What size?
Me: Are they sheer?
Mr.:  They’re hose.  Of course, they’re sheer. (Pause.)  What the heck is “barely black?”
Me: How much are they?
Mr.: I don’t know, four-fifty.  What difference does that make now?
Me:  The more sheer they are, the more expensive they’ll be.  See if they have some more expensive ones.
Mr.: Hang on a minute. 
Mr. (loudly):  I need a woman!
Then I overhear some laughing and talking.
Mr.:  Honey, meet Candace.  Tell her what you need.
Me: Um, hi, Candace . . . .
And so, with great patience and thoughtfulness, Candace, a CVS employee, listened to what I needed, found it, and sent the Mister home with the sheerest black stockings that can be found in a drugstore.
So, I’d like to get her a present.  Something you can’t buy in a drugstore.  I welcome your suggestions.
  IMG_1849         after the rain, before the chocolate
As for the Mister, definitely a keeper.  And, yes, we had a great time.


  1. You two are gorgeous together!

    Yay for having a man willing to get pantyhose lol! My husband would do the same and end up having the same sort of convo!

    I would suggest a personalized notepad from MCC or something!

  2. You look gorgeous. Food is always good - basket of great fruit, cheeses are tougher because of allergies, chocolate:).

  3. What a lovely couple you are!!
    So glad to hear you had a great time!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. I love this story! I just found your blog and have enjoyed reading it. Hope you had a great time at the party.

  5. Love this story! You two look so great...

    What about a gift certificate to get her nails done?

  6. ROTFL That is so cute. At least he asked for help. My dh would have picked up the wrong thing probably. :)

    I love your necklace. You two are a great looking couple.

  7. Thanks everyone for your kind compliments. When I look at the picture, I just see roots that are way past touch-up time! As for Candace, she's getting a coffee shop gift card tucked in a little "C" zippered pouch.


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