After nearly a month exploring the dreamy, lovely side of life at the beach, Hurricane Irene sweeps in to remind us that with that beauty comes danger. As swirling winds lash the East Coast of the U.S. -- with tentacles of rain and likely floods affecting inland cities as well as shore towns -- here's wishing that family, friends, readers and all residents emerge safe. Having never been through a hurricane, I can't offer firsthand advice, but this article from the Daily KOS (via Angela of Dorothea's Closet Vintage on Facebook) offers good suggestions. If you have experiences or advice to share, please add in Comments section below. And if you have time to pop in next week and let me know how you fared, I would appreciate hearing from you.

"Use the good china for breakfast."