Stuck on the bridge on a beautiful day

It’s a brand new year!

Photo Roll – Highlights of 2014.


Wash Woods

wash woodsUp in 4-wheel drive territory, just off the oceanfront near North Swan Beach, sits Wash Woods. Wash Woods Station was built in 1917 by the U.S. Coast Guard to replace an older lifesaving station a few miles to the north.


During its years of active duty, Wash Woods Station housed many guardsmen who performed countless brave rescues. With German U-boats thick off the coast during World War II, Coast Guard stations along the Virginia and North Carolina shores prepared for conflict. At this time, Wash Woods was home to about 30 guardsmen. The lookout tower was constantly utilized and armed patrolmen strode the beach searching for signs of the enemy.*

Doug and Sharon Twiddy purchased the property in 1988 and carefully restored it. For a while it was used as a real estate office, then offered as a vacation rental to more adventuresome guests looking for something a little different.

Today, our family business, Whitley Painting, is in the process of preserving and freshening up the exterior. Wayne recently captured the beauty of this special place.




RIP Buster Remington

I posted this photo last summer when I was in a quandary about keeping this blog going. Felt like I had dug myself into a hole.

Our dog, Buster, took digging a hole to a another level. He wallowed in it, rejoiced in it, and found a cool place for his belly.


buster in dirtHe wasn’t worried about other folk’s reactions, he just did as he pleased as long as he could share it with his people family.





With the help of two of my sons (ages 21 and 24), we took Buster to the vet for the very last time. He was old and could no longer stand up. My heart is full with the loss of our dog, but also full of love for the strength and love my boys displayed today. My heart is heavy from the grief Buster’s daddy, my Wayne, is experiencing.

You were a Good Boy and a Great part of our family.

buster hat

Our sincere thanks to Dr. Andrew Horne and the compassionate crew at Martin’s Point Vet.

Thinking about Outer Banks Style

I’ve been thinking about Outer Banks Style: it’s much more than fashion and the beach. To me, Outer Banks Style embodies the spirit of these barrier islands and our adaptability to the elements with grace and good humor.

It’s about finding a gull on a pizza delivery truck in Duck.

seagull on truck







It’s about a beautiful day on the sound, readying the blind for duck season.









It’s definitely about the surf.








It’s about the food!
scalloptaste of the beach









And it’s about the friends you meet along the way.










Books, Art & Stuff

At the library:

Monday Mornings by Sanjay Gupta, M.D. Having received mediocre reviews from Kirkus and Huffington Post, I nonetheless found this novel to be a fun and interesting read. I’ve always been enthralled by the mysteries of the human brain, and the book is full of quirky ailments, brilliant surgeries and likable characters.

I’m knee deep into A Conspiracy of Friends by Alexander McCall Smith. This is the newest edition to the Corduroy Mansion series. He has a tender and respectful way of bringing life to his characters here and in his other books, most notably, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.

I’m looking forward to The Red House by Mark Haddon. He is the arthur of one of my favorite books of all time, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. He has also written numerous children’s books.

The East Albemarle Regional Library online – log in, membership is free; request books to be sent to your local branch for pick-up.

On the Internet:

This newly discovered blog is written by Robyn Gordon, an artist living in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, Art Propelled is visually appealing to me on many levels.

Edith Lake Wilkinson, was a talented artist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. When she was 57 she was sent to a mental asylum in and forgotten until a trunk of her belongings, paintings and sketches were discovered in an attic in West Virginia.

Please check out other recent finds on my Pinterest boards.

Sweet Wonderful Watermelon Salad!

I saw a recipe/photo for watermelon & feta salad in the August issue of In Style Magazine. It included arugula with a Serrano vinaigrette. It sounded like a perfect summertime salad.

I paired the salad with fresh crab cakes. I did not have any arugula or a Serrano chile. So I served the salad on a bed of chopped romaine with fresh, diced mint (about 1 tablespoon) with a balsamic vinaigrette. Absolutely delicious blend of super sweet Carolina watermelon and salty feta cheese. I layered the melon and feta on top of the romaine and drizzled with the vinaigrette. It was perfect with the crab cakes, but I’m thinking its a great dish alone or with a variety of foods, maybe pork chops?

I came across this video by Ina Garten on the Food Network channel – I love watching The Barefoot Contessa and her cookbook is one of my favorites. She adds shallots and mint to her salad. Please enjoy!

Check out these watermelon skewers! They’d be great for a casual get together around the pool. I suppose other melons could be used, but I’m really into watermelon these days and it’s so good for you.

Courtesy of

We Clean Up Good

We’re a loud, boisterous group of new-found and old friends brought together by Outer Banks Bootcamps. We delight in our successes and pick each other up when we fall. We roll in the sand, jump in the ocean, carry each other on our backs and run our butts off. We’ve seen each other cry and full of laughter. But mostly we see each other covered in sand, sweat and determination.

It’s a rare treat to see us all dressed up, jewels on, and makeup carefully applied. But when we do, we do it with lots of Outer Banks Style. A recent soiree in Southern Shores was the perfect opportunity to wear a new dress and share some libations with some stylin, fabulous friends.

My Favorite Internet Finds this Week

You’re going to love this sweet little fashion film by Luisaviaroma, pure eye candy!

Funny Father’s Day card.




Back Story Blouse at - very vintage looking!














And finally, I love this acoustical version of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean by The Civil Wars:

My Outside Living Room

Blooming seed pod
All-time favorite - coneflowers

Palm tree beauty, great color and textures.






water colors









Not sure what this perennial is called, but it is lovely. Red and yellow painted flowers from the same bush.






Bunny planters greet me at the front steps

Mad Men Inspired Fashion for Me

The love for vintage, retro fashion crosses blood lines in my family. My niece, Whitley, inherited her sense of classic style from her grandmother, my mother-in-law, Martha.  Martha was a beautiful southern woman and a buyer for a leading department store in the 1960’s in Rocky Mount, NC. She went on numerous buying trips to New York and had an eye for timeless fashion and quality materials.

Meanwhile in a suburban DC neighborhood, my mother worked full-time and when I was around 10 years old, she went back to school to better her career choices.  As an important bread-winner in our family, she knew that dressing for success was vital for her to land a decent job so she could help support my brother and me. She was budget-minded and bought classic pieces on sale. She also found time to make almost all my clothes until I rebelled in high school, opting for The Villager shirtwaist dresses, skirt and sweater sets that my peers were wearing.

But, I digress. My love for vintage fashion really came to fruition in my early 20’s. How I wish I had saved those Villager shirt-waist dresses and sweater sets. How I wish I had this fringed top and print slacks my mom is wearing in the Christmas photo.

Me & Mom, Chistmas - maybe 1961










The aforementioned niece, Whitley, writes an award-winning blog, The Queen City, devoted to all things stylish in Charlotte, North Carolina (aka the Queen City). Her latest post was a promotion of the chic, online retailer, Shabby  I took a look at their website, and fell in love with this skirt and cardigan ensemble.

JubJub Bird Skirt









So, naturally, I’m following all of Whitley’s instructions to a T to get myself in the drawing for the $50 gift card. The clothes I’m seeing at Shabby Apple are straight out of AMC’s Mad Men.  Check out this article about costume designer, Janie Bryant, in NY Times blog article, “Behind the Madness.” Don’t you love the cream sweater & matching coat with ascot below?

Betty Draper from AMC's Mad Men