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Blue geo mmmmy Karina

What happened this weekend? Lots of little things that made me smile and something for your table—too good not to share:

What sports writer Charlie Pierce said about the U.S. Olympic sweaters. They’ve been ridiculed as the equivalent of the ugly Christmas sweater, but they’re in high consumer demand, selling for up to $3,000 online. Pierce had this to say about them: “Me, I think anytime you have an article of clothing that doubles as a rug, it’s fine.” You can hear Pierce every Saturday on Bill Littlefield’s radio show, Only a Game—which is part of what makes Saturday Saturday. I am not a big sports fan, but Charlie Pierce always makes me laugh. He also makes me reconsider my neutrality on sports. For clarification on Ralph Lauren’s design intentions, check out this story.


The world’s best excuse for not exercising, via 10-year-old Mae at my gym: “I have a rash, so I can’t work out,” says Mae. On Saturday morning in the locker room, Mae surmised that her rash might be stress-related–although she didn’t look too stressed while poking and tickling her dad in the side as they walked the indoor track. She lamented not having money to buy her grandmother a Valentine. I suggested free alternatives like the one I gave my husband for Valentine’s Day, when the latest snowfall kept me from getting to the store for a card. It may not be the world’s largest Valentine, but it’s the biggest one I’ve ever given.

Pregnant silence after a piece of music that casts a spell over a crowd. Case in point: the adagietto from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, played at Saturday night’s Heart and Soul concert by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. This masterpiece starts and ends in utter peace. The middle is a long ride through longing, angst and tribulation. After the performance, Saturday’s audience lingered for several seconds in awed silence before breaking into thundering applause. Modern life doesn’t give us many moments to be suspended in time, captivated by awe and united with other human beings in magical ways. We must seek them out on our own.


Our photographer moved…so I posterized us in Photoshop. I think I like a more artistic view of us!

Two concerts for the price of one. The ISO has a new antidote for the post-concert traffic jam. It’s the post-concert concert. People hang out afterwards rather than leaving all at once. It’s marketing genius! The ISO uses it to build relationships with audiences and community partners, creating yet another memorable experience. Saturday night it was dueling pianos in the lobby of Hilbert Circle Theatre—an up-close and personal experience that had the crowd singing along with everything from Jackson Browne to Billy Joel, performed by Steve Hackman and Rob Steidel.

We were standing in the back row next to Steve Hackman’s mother. When a Hackman family friend explained that to us, my husband latched an arm through Mrs. Hackman’s and used his girth to muscle her a path toward a front row spot, where she could see her son’s electrifying performance. Did anyone leave? At 11 p.m., we reluctantly trudged toward the eighth floor of the garage and arrived home so jazzed that neither of us could sleep.

If you haven’t heard of Steve Hackman, you will. He not only performed after the concert; he was Saturday night’s conductor. He is very much in demand because he is fluent in classical and pop music, and he blends the two in new concert formats, keeping young people engaged with classical music. At this summer’s Colorado Music Festival, he’ll debut one of his compositions, Beethoven vs. Coldplay. That’s a mashup I’d like to hear!

Crab cakes

A spring meal on a winter day. Crab cakes, asparagus and avocado salad. This is our favorite romantic dinner–easy, elegant and full of color.


I used an old set of Fiesta for a fun Valentine’s Dinner. Here’s a PDF of my  Valentine Recipes plus our favorite romantic tunes.

Discovering you can do impossible things. I shoveled the driveway Saturday morning. That may not sound like a big deal, but I grew up in a household where roles were assigned by gender. Boys shoveled snow. Girls did not. I surprised my husband by clearing the drive before he arrived home from a week-long trip. This may go down as his favorite Valentine gift. The bonus: I felt a huge surge of self-confidence, and it lightened his load after a week on the road. Like the slogan says: rethink possible.

A Karina Dress. Yes, I’m a brand ambassador for Karina, but I love these dresses for a reason: they make me better than I am. For warmth, I paired the Penelope up top with a vintage Pendleton wool jacket from the early 1980s. I found two vintage necklaces in my jewelry box and twisted them together for a perfect accent piece. Two things I love about the Penelope style: 1) it has pockets and 2) it has flat pleats across the front that hide a round belly. Even when I was a twig, I had that. I was concerned about the above-knee length, but with boots and opague tights, I think it’s still tasteful for a 50-something girl like me. Or at least I hope it is! They’ve got a sale going on for President’s Day. Use the coupon code PRESDAY at checkout and receive 30 percent off. Remember: these dresses are made in America.

Here in Indianapolis, women are getting a little sick of snow boots and pants. Who knows of a smart looking boot that looks good enough to wear with a nice dress?

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.