Mad with Style

Sunday night the first episode in the last season of Mad Men aired. No I didn’t watch it. I figured I’d let the whole thing end before I started watching it so I could just do a marathon. But what little I do know about Mad Men is the amazing style everyone seems to have. Over the winter I stocked up on a few vintage dresses for this upcoming spring & summer. I’ve been biting at the chance finally wear these pretties out & about. Even though I love the 50′s day dresses I’ve found my figure is more suited to the 60′s style dresses. This is why I love that the show is popular since it started a trend of everything MCM & 60s coming back into style. And for a girl that’s top heavy & a bit curvy this era of dress works perfectly for me & still makes me feel like a bomb shell. Since this is the ending of an era in TV Land so to speak  a lot of my friends haven been throwing Mad Men Style Dinner Parties. I knew my habit of collecting pretty dresses wasn’t in vain. I’ve also gotten quite a few request to help friends find that perfect piece for their party. So if you’re attending one of these parties but clue less on what to wear & don’t have time to thrift one head to Etsy. They have a vast & great many choices to pick from. They also range from budget friendly to budget buster. If you have no intentions of diving head first into vintage dress I highly recommend a budget friendly dress. And yes there are many pretties to choose from for every shape. I’ve picked a few of my absolute favorites to steer you in the right direction.



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(I have this dress in brown, black & white color & LOVE IT. Good for all shapes.)

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Of course I couldn’t post without adding an Mad Men avatar of myself. Oh an don’t forget to accessorize your outfit or you won’t be doing it justice!

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To B&B or to not B&B?

Have you ever felt like you needed a vacation from your vacation? Yeah I know I’m not technically working so every day is a vacation for me but I need another three days to recover. Heck I didn’t really consume a lot of adult beverages & I’m still dragging arse. Old age man, old age.

The second part of our cross Massachusetts jaunt we decided to switch the game up and stay at a Bed & Breakfast called Ivory Creek. J actually thought the idea up on his own & didn’t tell me until it was booked and paid. At first I was completely put off by the idea of staying in some random person I’d never met’s home. I mean I hadn’t even read any of the Yelp reviews & that’s a major no no in my book. After checking out the place online I felt slightly better that I wasn’t going to become apart of Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3. I still had no idea what to expect or how to act when staying at a B & B.

Since we were catching a Red Sox game at Fenway we weren’t going to make it in time for checking in. With a short call placed to the owners we were told to look for our key next to the main entry way. They don’t keep their front door locked so you’re able to come & go as you please. Once again I was leery about that part but they live in the middle of no where on a dead-end street. I highly encourage everyone to be present at check in time or you’ll be stumbling around in the dark at 1am trying to find your room. Thank god our room was on the first floor or I would have been up a creek trying to get my luggage upstairs.

After silently cussing each other out in the middle of the dining room we managed to go through a shit ton of doors to find the room. Once we unlocked the door we entered an amazingly spacious room. It came stocked with a fireplace, huge king bed, a claw foot bathtub & a private porch. J did a bang up job selecting the room. That place had me at claw foot tub hands down. I didn’t really care at that moment since all I wanted to do was sleep.

Since it was dark & I was pretty much blind I didn’t notice that our room was located right next to an indoor garden. Cool huh? Yeah not so much when you’re woken up by loud arse birds at 6am. Not cool birds, not cool. It also hit me that I now understood why this place was called Ivory Creek, there were elephants everywhere. It was oddly charming for a place in middle of the woods. The best part about this whole place was the breakfast. I had no idea how that worked since I’m just use to room service. We signed up the night before & there were place setting laid out for us in the dining room the next morning. Usually I’m a super picky eater so I was a little worried it would be stuff I didn’t like. They started us off with fresh fruit with a raspberry garnish then made from scratch chicken sausage, sautéed  mushrooms & scrambled eggs with herbs. That wasn’t the best part though, the real kicker, FRESH MADE BANANA BREAD! It was so freaking good I could have eaten a loaf of that by its self. I’m not sure if it was the butter already melted on it or the side of cream cheese spread but it was the stuff fat kid’s dreams are made of.

I’d return to this place for the breakfast alone if given the choice. Once we stayed a night I started to get into the groove of the whole Bed & Breakfast thing. At first it felt all awkward but that dissipates after a spell. If you aren’t sure if a bed & breakfast is your cup of tea I’ve got a few pointers that could help make up your mind. Cause you know I’m a total pro at this now.

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To B&B

- Delicious breakfast

-You’re a social person

- A cheaper rate compared to hotels even with a free breakfast

- Rather have homey type of enviroment instead of standard hotel type places

- Want to try something new & off the beaten path

-Good for a romantic weekend get away

- Supporting local small businesses instead of subscribing to some silly point system with a big chain


Not to B &B

-You’re socially awkward.

- Dislike staying at other people’s home.

And well that’s really the only two I can think of. Everyone should at the very least try a b&b once. You’ll meet some interesting people & more than likely the breakfast will blow your mind! We loved this place so much we’re booking our stay for this upcoming Thanksgiving. Cause let’s face it I’m a fat kid & the way to win me over is with food. This couple knocked it out of the park!


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Eating my way through MA with a few Sides

This past week we packed up the car and headed to Massachusetts for a much-needed vacation & family time. J’s sister had a baby shower on Sunday so we figured we’d just make a week of it. The best part about traveling for an extended weekend is that every day feels like Friday. That and the traffic isn’t so bad when you’re traveling up 95 on a Wednesday. We decided to split our vacation into two parts. The first four days were spent in Boston then we’re taking off to the Western part of the state for three days then hitting up Boston on the way back to Virginia. My poor Libby ( the Jeep Liberty) is getting a work out this week.

While we were in Boston we caught up with old friends explored the city, antiqued of course, & decided to get in on opening weekend action with s Sox game. But between all of that we got to do some serious chowing down. I don’t eat big meals or crap food any more since I’m trying to shed a few pounds but decided to give myself a little breathing room while on vacay. What’s a vacation without indulging yourself?

Every time we come to Boston we always go to Bukowski Tavern. It’s not a trip up North if I don’t get my Peanut Butter Bacon Burger. Normally I don’t eat a lot of burgers but that burger is a no brainer. It’s exactly what it sounds like, amazing. So many people tell me it just sounds gross but once you’ve taken a bite you’ll agree it’s aaaaaaamazing. The best part is you get to pick the peanut butter smooth or crunchy. I always opt for crunchy. Not to mention the atmosphere is what you’d expect at your local tavern. A bit dodgy , no frills, & a wide selection of brews.

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The next day we did a bit of antiquing & hanging with friends. Later that night J took me to a place called Flatbread Company. It’s in an unassuming part of a business park that you wouldn’t find unless you were looking for it. I knew the place had to be good when we had a 30-45 minute wait for just two people. The bake all their flatbreads in a huge stone oven & almost all of their ingridents are organic. They even have a garden along the side of the building they grew their herbs & spices in. As much as I loved the food my favorite what the orange mango soda they have. It’s so good and surprisingly goes well with the pizza.

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On Saturday we hung around Back Bay with a quick trip to Newbury street for a little shopping. Most of the stuff on that street was way too expensive & out of my price range. Since we hoofed it all the way from Newbury street & back we decided to stay around Fenway Park & eat. The day before I saw this massive line wrapped around the block for a place called Tasty Burger. Judging that it must be good we decided to give it a go. It’s not your typical burger joint though. They offer of course a large selection of burgers, sides, shakes, and hot dogs. The beer menu is huge & their sides aren’t the usual fries. We got a side of hummus & guacamole served with tortilla chips. The hummus was better than expected and so was my plain Jane burger. I’m a sucker for packaging and this place nailed it. They also have a burger challenge but I had to convience J NOT to do it.

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That night I sat through what must have been the coldest baseball game I’ve ever attended. I knew it was going to be cold in New England but this was insane…. We left after the 7th inning because my fingers started to go numb & I couldn’t stop my teeth from chattering. The only way you could have survived watching that from the stadium was either a box or a snow suit. Two shirts & two heavy coats couldn’t keep me warm. It’s safe to say that even though I love Fenway Park & the Fenway Franks I love Camden Yards in Baltimore too much to travel back for opening day. This southern girl will happily sweat it out instead of having to thaw myself from the cold.


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A few shots I managed to get from our awesome seats until I retreated to standing next to the hot dog stand for heat.

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Beefing up that Tax Refund Check

This past weekend I spent gathering & finding all my files for doing our tax returns. I suck at math in general so we always pay to have ours done that way we know it was done correctly. It never fails no matter how much time I put into getting forms together that I always end up missing something when I get there. This year we did remember to bring one of our receipts for items we donated. Never mind that I had like 50 of those things at home…somewhere. The main reason I donate is to declutter the house & get a free 30% off coupon to use at the thrift store.  Yes I’m cheap, I know. Shopping motivates me to say the least.

After spending two plus hours with our tax prep person I seriously needed a drink. I felt like I had run a damn marathon with no shoes while be critically judged on my running form. This woman was harsh. After much brow beating about my “business” and not keeping track of things I gave up the ghost & accepted forms to keep me in better check with my donations. Basically I was leaving money on the table by just donating items without writing down what & how much they were. Basically telling me if I want a beefed up tax return check I need to do the work. At first I was leery about it but after downloading a donation pricing guide I figured it was pretty easy just to start a spread sheet to keep track.

The Salvation Army & Goodwill have pricing guides you can download to help give you a better idea of what your old stuff is worth. I don’t donate to the Salvation Army but they have the better of the two pricing guides. Also make sure to save all your tax deduction receipts for any money you’ve donated to charities. Now I understand why rich people give money to charities hand over fist, it makes for a better return at the end. I’m committing to keeping better track the rest of the year so hopefully we’ll see a big refund next year!


Tax return check

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Babies make me emotional

This week has been a complete and utter whirlwind. Between getting everything tidy around the house & trying to get things pack for our Boston trip I somehow put the blog on the back burner. Not surprising but I feel like I should share part of my personal life & why it’s been keeping me away.

Back around Thanksgiving we found out J’s sister was expecting her first child. That sent J into a fit of hysterics since he somehow thought we now needed to have a baby to keep up. After multiple family members calmed & reassured him we didn’t he started to get psyched he was gonna be an uncle. I was excited to that I get to be Auntie to another amazing baby. For weeks I couldn’t talk baby things with J without him getting freaked out. Hell I even had the therapist break it down to him so he’d stop getting that wild look in his eye.

Doing what I do best when I get great news, I started shopping. Finding out she was having a girl finally allowed me to start putting together a baby gift basket. There’s only so many times I can give nipple pads before I scream. So all of the items in the basket are handmade from small businesses. Oh and there might be one or two vintage baby items in there too. As I was ordering the last gift on Monday I got a text from my sister-in-law saying that she had been rushed to the hospital early Monday morning because she wasn’t feeling well. Even though she was only 27 weeks they delivered the baby via c-section since Heather’s blood pressure, liver, & kidney counts were too high. Thankfully both baby Makenna & Heather are doing fine. She’s in the NICU & will probably be there for some time but if she’s anything like her Hockey player name sake she’s gonna be a tough little fighter. I personally think she just wanted to crash her own baby shower next weekend.

To help other babies that are hanging out in the NICU the family is doing a walk for the March of Dimes in May. They’re currently raising funds under the name of Team Makenna, if you’d like to donate you can do that here. Looks like I’ll be getting off my butt to walk for Makenna & all the other babies born early, too small  & sick. And because I won’t be an Aunt with out proudly showing off my niece here’s Makenna

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