Tuesday's Girl

'Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege.  Use it.  Dwell in possibility.'
Oprah Winfrey

Death Comes to Pemberly

A couple of weeks ago I read Death Comes to Pemberly by P. D. James. 

I wanted to love it, I really did.

But I didn't love it.

For those of you who don't know about it, this is a sequel of sorts, to Pride and Prejudice and picks up 6 years after Darcy's marriage to Elizabeth Bennett.  Now happy and living at Pemberly, their perfect world is upended when Elizabeth's disgraced sister, Lydia, arrives uninvited and falls out of her carriage screaming that her beloved Wickham has been murdered!  The book concerns the investigation of the murder and the trauma caused to Darcy and Elizabeth as a result of their 'connection' with those involved in scandalous murder.

I found this book disappointing as both a mystery and as a sequel.  

Several reviews have hailed James for brilliantly mimicking Jane Austen when writing the book and frankly, that is what I hated.  I know you're not supposed to type this out loud but I find Jane Austen's books tedious.

There I said it.


I love the stories and I have LOVED all the movie adaptions - but reading the books?  Not so much.

It makes me feel inadequate and stupid, but I find them tedious.  Although I just read that Mark Twain said of Austen that he wanted to 'dig her up and hit her over the skull' so maybe I'm not totally alone in my opinion....

So I found this book tedious as well.  I also found the 'murder mystery' weirdly non-existent.  Actually, it was a big, fat, ridiculous yawn. 

Ultimately, the book is a continuation of Darcy's inner struggle to justify and reconcile his marriage to Elizabeth (outside of his class) and the social price he's paid because of it.  It turns out that Lady Catherine de Bourgh was right and the shades of Pemberly were a little polluted by Elizabeth Bennett and her family.

Perhaps my modern, American mind just has no use for Darcy's struggle or the social conventions of the time.  Moreover, while I bought the book expecting it to Austen-esque, I was hoping that James would provide a more fully rounded picture of the Darcys' marriage and relationship - but I didn't get it.

Although Darcy and Elizabeth separately spend a lot of time thinking about how much they adore each other, their interactions throughout the book amount to little more than exchanging pleasantries across the breakfast table.  They just never TALK to each other, in private, the way a couple in love would.  And then when they do finally have a conversation (in the epilogue, no less) they sound like strangers. 

Yes, they're SOOO in love  - but it's really hard to understand why.

So I give it a couple of stars.  If you're a huge Austen fan you'll love it.

This Charming House


Look at that! 

Hot pink chair!!!

It's on it's way to my sunroom. 

I'd like to say it'll be here lickedy split - but no.  Mid March. 

Clearly the furniture people don't give a shit about my need for instant gratification....

Now I just have to find a side table to go with it. 


Happy Monday

I went to Charleston, South Carolina this weekend and I have eaten more pork products that anyone really ought to in one long weekend. 

I mean, really.

We ate at Husk again.  Have I told you about Husk?  They put rendered pork fat in the butter.  In. The.Butter. 

They also grind it up and put it in the hamburger meat.  So when you order the burger - the bacon is already in there. 

And this weekend we found out they also mix bacon in with the pimento cheese!  Bacon!  In the pimento cheese!

How do I know this, you ask?  'Cause I ate ALL of it.  I went for lunch and dinner. 

And do you know what I ordered at dinner?  Do you? 

A pork chop!  I'm sorry to say that the irony escaped me at the time. 

Aside from the pork report, we had an excellent time, the weather was divinely perfect AND we drank a lot. 

Needless to say, I'm going back to the gym this week.......
Image:  Laughing Pig by Justamoment.

Saturday Afternoon

Queen Street.

Charleston, South Carolina.

It was 72 degrees and balmy.

Deal with it.


Happy Weekend!

I'm at the beach!

I have shitty hotel wi-fi - the worst in recent memory.  Seriously - France did a better wifi job than this place. 

I am in a fried green tomato appetizer and mixed drink stupor......

So have a stupendous weekend.  Think of me while I'm eating my way out of my jeans. 

And I'll see you on Monday!
Image by me.


The Weekly Bean

What do we think?

Do Finn and Lola need an Outdoor Dog Chaise Lounge for the patio? 

I cannot imagine that they would voluntarily utilize anything that I would spend this much money to buy for them.  I already learned that with the expensive dog bed I bought them that they will not deign to sniff.....

Diana Krall Live in Paris

I love this version of Cry Me a River....

Last Year's Books

This is what I read last year....

There are about 8 books that I only downloaded so they are not included. 

I challenged myself to read 50 books in the Goodreads 2011 challenge and I ended up reading 52. 

Does anybody else have a reading list this year?  Or are you all just gonna leave me out here hanging in my book nerd-dom? 

This Charming House

From a purely decor porn standpoint, Something's Gotta Give has GOT to be the best movie ever made.

I mean, I really defy you to watch this movie and not be willing to start selling your children and your kidneys to get to live in this house.... 

I was watching it (again) the other day and became OBSESSED with these place mats.  Suddenly, I needed something like that for Chateau Bee Charmer and I decided to lump that desire into my New Year's Resolution to get stuff in better order around here. 

And voila! The Chilewich Graphite placemats from my home world, Crate and Barrel....


Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

Image: Fortune Teller New Orleans by Jillian Audrey.

A Room With A View

Oh.  My.  God. 

Have you ever seen A Room With A View? 

If you've answered this question as 'No', then I have to tell you you have my sympathy. 

I re-watched it last Sunday morning (I actually finished reading the book on Saturday morning, so I was full of E.M. Forster this weekend). 

So beautiful.  So funny.  And Julian Sands - full frontal nudity (and full rear end nudity for that matter).  My goodness.  I mean, how often to us girls get full frontal that's really worth looking at? 

Go.  Rent it.  Buy it.  Love it.

You can thank me later.

This Charming Face

So it turns out that despite my fabulous new multi-focal contact lenses, I still sometimes need readers anyway.  

I have problems at work on particularly tiny type and also at night, in restaurants, when the lights are low and my eyes are already tired. 

Thank goodness, Kate Spade makes readers that are so cool and pretty that it almost makes you not care why you need the damn things to begin with! 

I have a pair in my bag and another at my office.  I got these, the Willa in pink/red for the office.  I figure the law will be improved if I view it through rose colored glasses. 

And the other cool thing I found out is that the purchase of readers is covered under your flexible spending account (if you have one).  This really saved me last year because I had about $50.00 left that I had to use or lose. 


Tuesday's Girl

'I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness.  And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny.  And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.'
Coco Chanel

New Year's Resolutions

So -

It's almost February and here I am, ready to reveal my New Year's Resolutions!!!

Can I just tell y'all that I was NOT excited about New Years this year. 

I am usually SO psyched for it and this year I was just like -

'Eh.  Whatever.'

The only reason I can determine for my lack of excitement and optimism is my feeling that we are all trapped and enmeshed in this never ending shit hole of an economy.  And without getting political, I am so aggravated with ALL OF THEM about it: 

The Democrats.  The Republicans.  Bank of America.

All.  Of.  Them. 

Anywho -

Here are all FIVE of my New Year's Resolutions.  I really only have 3 so I made the other 2 up:

1.  Read all the Books on my reading list - which I blogged about here.

2.  Balance my work and my personal life in a better way:

Last year was professionally miserable!  And I tried to be a hardened professional and push through it, thinking that if I just made it a little farther, it was bound to get better... and then it didn't.  And I was emotionally and mentally exhausted and forlorn.  I was FORLORN, y'all!
This year I've already scheduled my vacation time so that I can get meaningful breaks more often and hopefully, I won't get as torn up as last year.

3.  Finish up all the stuff in Chateau Bee Charmer that it as the tippy top of my to-do list.

This one, I'm pretty excited about.  We're talking painting, tiling, cleaning and new bedding and furniture in both guest rooms.  Most of it is kicking off in February but I'm going to be speaking about it in the weeks that come.  Suffice it to say that by mid-March we should be ready to rock around here!  The furniture has all been ordered and the bedding is coming this week!  Yay!

4.  Work out more.  This was one of my resolutions last year.  I failed miserably!

5.  Try more new things. 
I know.  This one is vague and overly broad (to use lawyer terms) but I want to push myself out of my comfort zone more often.  I want to say yes more often, even to those things which scare me.  I don't expect to do a whiz bang job of this one but I'm willing to try.  
So that's it!  That's all I've got!

What about y'all?  Anybody got any super terrific resolutions this year?  Do tell.
Image:  New Years Winter Ice by Madden Photography.

This Charming House

I know I blogged about this bed for the guest room a million years ago....

It's the Monica bed from Room and Board.

I may have a few intrepid readers who remember it.

Well, after years of scouring the world for a bed I liked more, I failed to find it.   And after a quick to trip to D.C. in the fall to visit my best friend AND to drop in on the Room and Board store on lovely U Street -  I did it.

It's a special order (the graphite is NOT the stock color) and when I ordered it they told me it would be ready in mid-February!  I was optimistic!  I thought 'surely it will be ready by the beginning of February.....' 

No dice.  They emailed me yesterday and now we're looking at the middle of March. 

Damn it!  I hate it when a plan falls apart!

I pouted for five minutes and then decided I had to soldier on.  I mean, what else is there to do? 

So stay tuned for updates which will include new bedding, new drapes, new lamps and other new stuff in the guest room! 



Happy Monday


Did you all have a good week last week?

I hope so.  I'm sorry that I took a powder but I needed some time.  I'm still struggling a little bit, not so much with lack of (fill in the blank) but really, I just don't have that much to talk about right now.  Or didn't last week.

But I've got some fun things coming up in the next few weeks - decorating stuff and new furniture and a little trip to speak about and what not.

I had a really lovely weekend.  Lots of snuggling and enjoying my quiet house and coffee.  It was rainy and cold and gray and since I'm weird, I really enjoyed it.  I wouldn't want every weekend to be like that but we really get so few of them in Charlotte that I tend to enjoy them when they come.  They are awesome for snuggling on the couch with a good book and a Bean and a fire.

I had a nice brunch and a couple of lovely dinners with friends (Yay for Restaurant Week!) and got some stuff done (including most of my taxes - yay!). 

This week I am having a friend over for dinner on Monday and book club on Tuesday and going out for chili and beer on Wednesday and then....  You get the drift!  Lots of socializing and food and booze.  What a great week, huh? 

So thank you all for coming by.  Here's hoping for an awesome week!


xoxo - Tonya
Image:  Coffee by Jackie Garlich Photography.

On Truth

'The armor of falsehood is subtly wrought out of darkness, and hides a man not only from others, but from his own soul.'
E. M. Forster, A Room With A View
Image:  Chairs by Laura Evans.

The Bee Charmer Loves Paris

Kinda wish I was there......
Image:  Paris Tabac de la Sorbonne by Vita Nostra.


Happy Monday

Oh, my, y'all!

I have no gumption to blog.


I feel guilty but I just have nothing to say - or I do have something to say but I just don't want to sit down and blog.....


I'm gonna take the week off and hopefully get over myself.

Please bear with me!

xoxo - Tonya
Image:  Pink Car South of France by Magalerie.


Happy Weekend!


Tomorrow is Saturday!

Do you know what that means? 

Sleeping late, long walks and jumbo Teeter bones!!!! 

Happy Weekend!

xoxo - Lola Bean (Finn's under the bed)


The Weekly Bean

Happy New Year!

Did you miss me?

I just want y'all to know that while the other puppies were celebrating New Year's Eve with candy and rawhides and pig ear treats (or so we heard), our Mama made us go to the spa and have baths.

On New Year's Eve!

We said "We don't like baths, Mama.  We like being dirty and stinky and tracking red mud all over the house."

Actually, I said that.  Lola isn't quite as committed to stinkiness as I am - she's never any help when I'm trying to talk sense to Mama .....

But Mama said she didn't care.  She said we were stinky little disgraces to pure bred dogs and that all of our fuzz all over the house was causing her to lose her mind and that we had to go and take our baths.

So we had to go.

*heavy sigh*

Just because you have to take a bath at the nicest spa in town doesn't mean that it's any less of a bath. 

But just as soon as I got home I went right back outside and rolled in something smelly.  Mama says it's because I'm contrary. 

I just say that she ought to know by now that you can't stop a corgi bent on mischief.

Lauren Adams Art

So my friend, Sarah, found this great artist on Etsy and pointed her out to me because she's from West Virginia!

And I love her and not just because she's from West Virginia - although that certainly doesn't hurt....

Y'all know I support my peeps! 

Her name is Lauren Adams and I think she's just the cat's pajamas!  I have purchased 2 of her works on paper to hang in my soon to be spiffed up master bathroom - again more on that when I get some blogging gumption... 

But in the meantime, if you'd like to check out Lauren's work you can do so at her Etsy shop or directly from her website
Image:  Mon River, October 22 by Lauren Adams.

This Charming Handbag

I am so in love with this bag!

I wasn't planning on buying anything else.  I'm putting money in the house this spring, which I'll blog about when I get some gumption.  

And then I got a Random Email about the Reed Krakoff after-Christmas sale.   I swear - I'm not even sure how I got on their email list, other than they're connected to Coach.  

Anywho - I went to look - just for funsies - and voila!  New Reed Krakoff in the house!

Now, I wouldn't have paid full price for this bag.   At least that's what I started out telling myself and I'm still not able to say one way or another - but it's deceptively gorgeous and the leather is the best thing I think I've ever put my hands on.  

If you're not on Reed Krakoff's email list - go sign up.  The sale was wonderful and I'm in love with this bag.


Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

Image:  Springtime by Imagine Studio.

This Charming Bookshelf

Ok - even though I haven't written (yet) about my New Year's Resolutions (I'm still formulating them - what can I say?  I have no gumption this year although I'm trying) I have decided on this year's book list - from the Time 100 list. 

Here they are:

The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

The Spy Who Came In From the Cold by John Le Carre'

All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara

Money by Martin Amis

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Under the Net by Iris Murdoch

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

I did very well with this resolution last year - finishing 10 of the 12 that I picked and also reading 10 more from the list - not bad - but I'll bore you with all that later. 

In any event - here I go again with an extravagant reading list.....


Happy Monday


I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.
Image:  Satsumas by Honey Tree.


Happy Weekend!


I'm a loser this week. 

It's already almost the second week of January and I still haven't done a Christmas recap OR discussed my New Year's Resolutions. 


And now I'm cutting out early. 

I'll be back next week with a few updates.

Until then, Happy New Year - stay warm and cool!

xoxo - Tonya
Image:  Lily Pond by Aeropagita Prints.




Wednesday - Run Away Without Leaving Home

Helen Frankenthaler - December 12, 1928 - December 27, 2011.

Rest in Peace.
Image: Snow Pines 2004 by Helen Frankenthaler.

Orange Bowl

Let's Go Mountaineers!!!

This Charming House

I am in love with the Chloe chair from Room and Board.

Love I tell you!

I've ordered a swatch (the color is called 'Blossom') and am thinking of Craigslisting the Barcelona chair in my sunroom and replacing it with this. 

I can't think of a girlier thing to have than a hot pink chair in my sunroom. 


Tuesday's Girl

"I never ever go to spas - I loathe places that smell like humid Japanese restaurants and where they treat you like you're in a psychiatric hospital.  Go to the bar at the Ritz instead!"
Ines de la Fressange

The Bee Charmer Loves Paris

From my heroine, Ines de la Fressange.....

This Charming Closet

Ok - so I'm OBSESSED with this outfit.

Like dreaming about it at night - especially the boiled wool jacket.

Damn you, Rooney Mara's stylist!!!!!

I made up my mind to track the jacket down and had decided that if it was the least bit within my realm of affordability, I was going to BUY IT!

Damn it.

The shoes and bag were easy to track down - Balenciaga.  I can live without them or at least find reasonably affordable alternatives.

The circle scarf around her neck is from American Apparel.... Rooney's nod to affordability.  Whatev...

The damn coat.  My love.  The thing I've been dreaming about - I finally tracked it down after about a week of dedicated surfing (you can tell I don't have kids, right?)

Givenchy.  Originally $2420.00 (!) and on sale for the low, low price of $969.00.

On sale for $969?!?!?!?  

Damn.  I hate it when stuff is 60% off and I STILL can't afford it.

The sad, sad thing is that I have a cropped, green, boiled wool jacket from Talbot's that's hanging in my closet RIGHT NOW and I still want THIS ONE.


Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everyone!
Image:  Magnolia 2 by Rogue Pen.
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