As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate the appeal of a really great one-piece swimsuit.  Though I still own and wear bikinis, I feel more comfortable in something a little more modest.  When I was coming up, modest swimsuits were disgustingly boring {mostly of the Speedo or Nike variety}, but now it’s possible to find really cute pieces that are both flattering and provide coverage.




Look for Less

I saw this grey-top-white-jeans look on GOOP months ago and since then I’ve been obsessed with finding the perfect pair of white skinny jeans.  Though white pants are far from practical, they look put-together without becoming fussy.  I love this look for brunch with friends, travel, or vacation.



Obviously I’m not Gwyneth Paltrow. I’m not a fashion model either. Just an everyday, semi-awkward gal.

Bottoms:  Old Navy

Top:  Target {old}//similar here

Flats:  Target

Total Cost:  $56.50



P.S.  Remember to wear flesh-toned underwear when wearing white!


Our farmhouse is a rental.  Yes, it belongs  to my family, but it’s semi-permanent.  I struggle with this feeling of semi-permanence because the long-term goals I have in mind for our home just aren’t practical in a rental that’s inching closer and closer to the century-old mark.  My biggest desire is to eventually have a garden full of flowers–peonies, roses, daffodils, hydrangeas–I want them all.  Sometimes in long meetings, I catch myself sketching layouts for the perfect arrangement of annuals and perennials, but growing flowers is impractical in this season of my life.  We’ve got a lovely little vegetable garden full of squash, zucchini, eggplant, okra, peppers, and tomatoes that Josh attends to on a daily basis.  For now we’ll stick with the very practical vegetation and I’ll continue to dream of flowers…



*All photos link to original sources.

High Five for Friday

Friday tends to lose its special meaning during summer holiday, but it’s still been an awesome week:


photo-1 copy




1//I finally bought some white jeans.  I can’t wait to pair them with a heather grey tee a la Gwyneth.

2//I taught my brother-in-law how to make my chimichurri sauce.  It’s crazy good on steak {and everything else}.

3//I made two pounds of oriental slaw and two pounds of pasta salad.  {I won’t have to cook for days}.

4//I finally have time to read.  I kicked off my summer reading list with my second favorite Jane Austen novel.

5//We don’t have to go back to work until August 12th.

Happy Friday to all!  I’m linking up with Lauren Elizabeth today–go show her some love {and check out these totes adorable shoes she just got}.

Leather–Year Three

Our third wedding anniversary is quickly approaching.  It’s hard to believe that we’ve been married for three years!  Josh is very traditional in many ways including how he plans our anniversary celebrations.  He references the traditional U.S. gifts and plans accordingly.  Our first anniversary gifts were paper:  Mumford & Sons tickets.  Our second anniversary gifts were cotton:  shopping sprees for each of us!  This year, we’re on the lookout for leather.  Here are a few of my favorite ideas.

For her:

1//Uptown Clutch from J.Crew.  Perfect for daytime to evening transitions.  I don’t care to carry large handbags, so this petite purse is perfection.  $138

2//La Mer Chateau Collection Wrap Watch in Mint.  This watch would add a gorgeous pop of color to my very neutral wardrobe.  $92

3//The Classic Cambridge Satchel in Red.  Handmade in the UK.  Utterly simple and completely useful.  $148 U.S. dollars

4//Tory Burch Tumbled Leather Thora Sandal in Royal Tan.  Neutral and preppy.  Perfect for the long summer months in the Deep South.


For him:

1//Classic Travel Case from Saddleback Leather Co.  100 year warranty.  American made.  If Ernest Hemingway could have carried this bag, he would have.  $181

2//Men’s Bean Boots by L.L. Bean.  Another American classic.  $99

3//Fish Hook Belt from Vineyard Vines.  Yet another quality American made product that looks sleek while maintaining an edge.  $98

4//Grant Chronograph Leather Watch by Fossil.  Interchangeable bands, 11-year warranty, and water resistant up to 5 ATM.



Recently you may have noticed that Court and I used this hash tag:  #TerrificLadyDay.


#TerrificLadyDay is exactly what it sounds like–a day to celebrate my terrific lady wife.  And to be honest, I got the idea from The League, but that’s neither here nor there.  Every #TerrificLadyDay, we do things that Court enjoys.  In December, we went to the ballet and I surprised her with a new dress.  In February, we had brunch at her favorite eatery and made a trip to Franklin’s to purchase a Ruger LCR .38 that Court keeps in her purse.*  This month, Court had a manicure with her mother, we had lunch at The Last Resort, and then we spent the afternoon shopping for sundresses.  You dudes can call me every the name in the book for participating in such activities, but my motto is, “Happy wife, happy life.”

And it’s not like I have to bribe my wife with Terrific Lady Days.  I plan them because it makes me happy to see her happy.  It also pleases me to celebrate her femininity and uniqueness.  Here are five things I love about Courtney Anne:

1.  She can carry on a conversation about everything from designer shoes to weaponry.  She’s very intelligent and well-versed in literature, music, art, and Star Wars (very important!).

2.  She understands that silence is sometimes a virtue.  Courtney always seems to know when I need space and silence.

3.  I adore Courtney’s ability to make me try new things and be a better man.  Her spunky and adventurous spirit have taken me places I’d never dreamed of going.  Plus, she twirls a lot and it’s pretty.

4.  Courtney loves those that many others deem unlovable.  She sees individual worth in each human being regardless of intellect or socioeconomic status.  She exercises incredible patience when dealing with her students and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

5.  Her unique spirit and undeniable femininity and grace are gifts from God.  She was created to love me–that’s incredible.  I am a blessed man.

#TerrificLadyDay is a time to celebrate all of those things and more.  I love my wife and I want to show her in tangible ways.  Quality time is the love language that she requires, so I keep my phone in my pocket and leave my pager at home–I want to make sure she feels special.


You should plan a #TerrificLadyDay of your own.  It doesn’t have to include brunch or purchasing firearms.  Just plan out something that your lady loves and make the whole day all about her.  I guarantee that she’ll be surprised and touched.  If you do plan a #TerrificLadyDay, use the hash tag and let us know.

*For you single guys out there, marry a lady that can shoot a gun.  It’s hot.

Summer 2013


Today was our first official day of summer holiday.  We’ve been completely worthless, lying about in our pajamas until noon and watching old episodes of The Office.  Josh did work some on the garden and I plowed through two new pages of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata 14, so perhaps worthless is a poor word choice.  Regardless, we’ve already adopted a slower pace.  I’ve got two massive pasta salads chilling in our refrigerator because heating up our plaster kitchen is the last thing on my to-do list!

We’ve got several jolly holidays planned this summer and I cannot wait to dose myself with Dramamine and hit the road!  First we’ll be traveling to Union Point for Kari Beth’s wedding.  Then we’ll almost immediately journey up to North Carolina for Ben & Beth’s big day {set literally on the edge of the United States}.  I can’t wait to explore coastal North Carolina with Lanie and my MIL while the boys golf and fish.  The day after the wedding, the whole Callicutt clan is bound for Williamsburg, Virginia for several days of Busch Gardens fun.  Less than a week later, Josh and I are traveling to Tennessee to visit Grayson and Victoria.  While there we plan to spend a day exploring Cade’s Cove and hopefully meeting Dolly Parton.

July will be busy as well–at the beginning of the month, Elisabeth and I are traveling to the Jekyll Island Club for a few days with Mama and Daddy.  We’ve already made grand plans to go deep sea fishing and we’re also excited to take a tour of Cumberland Island.  Mama will be in and out of meetings all day, so my poor Daddy will be responsible for entertaining Elisabeth and me {bless his heart!}.  Just a few weeks after that, the entire Phillips-Grimes-Callicutt clan will be begin our annual pilgrimage to Lake Burton for a week of reading, fishing, swimming, and relaxing.  Mama and Daddy have rented a huge home that has a bunkroom {perfect for all the girls} and a sleeping porch {perfect for all the guys}.  After that, it’s back to Raleigh for the union of our dear friends, Darren and Cara.

Our summer plans are neither exotic nor particularly exciting, but we’ll be in the places we love most with the people we love most.  At then end of the day, that is all that matters.

What about you?  Are you traveling abroad or sticking around town?  What’s your favorite vacation spot?