Thursday, October 24, 2013

monday blues turned upside down


I drafted this four weeks ago - that's how long it has taken me to actually get back to posting.  No time for proofing....

During Monday's walk to to school I told the kids (with much enthusiasm) that it was going to be a great day! Their response, in full on sing song style kids speak, "Noooo it's not.  It's Monday, we don't like what we're wearing and our hair is messed up."  Apparently, my son took it upon himself to speak for both of them, but the gym uniform wasn't cutting it (he has this thing with long sleeves paired with shorts) and my son's bedhead was still on the pillow.  My daughter's hair wasn't a mess but I let him feel like he had a partner in the bad hair day department.   I kept up my positive attitude all the way through the hugs and kisses good-bye.

The Monday blues have a strong way of taking over, but little did I know that they were about to be cured with a little thing we call retail therapy.  After dropping the kids, I was off for a morning power walk and met up with a bestie for a stroll down the lakefront.  Our chatting kept us walking quite far and we ended up making our way back through the city and finding ourselves on Michigan Ave.  Window shopping was quite fun until we decided to hover in front of H&M as we were both googly eyed over a gray knit winter hat.  And guess what?  They were open.  My bestie instantly spotted the perfect sweater and ten minutes later we were in line.  Since I didn't anticipate a long walk nor a shopping trip, she had to spot me.  In line we stood with extra wide smiles until the woman in front of us was asked for an i.d.  We barely had our sneakers on let alone i.d.'s.  And with all the joy and enthusiasm she could muster, she stepped up to the counter in full campaign mode.  She played the mom card instantly and explained that we weren't expecting to have so much fun after dropping off our kids at school and H&M this and H&M that.  By the end, there was no way that cute 22yr old man boy was going to burst our bubble.  Two separate bags and $5 off our next purchase coupons, we flew out the door like fairies.  With two new hats (gray and black) and one perfect sweater, we had an extra swing in our step!  No extra time spent thinking about what to wear and I was off with coffee in hand and sporting my new find.  And all for $50 - my kind of monday blues therapy budget.

similar knit sweater







Monday, September 16, 2013

putnam pop

you know when you find that one item that you don't know how you ever lived without? surely, i had been walking around barefoot before i purchased these sam edelman booties.  i've been living in them ever since i swooped them off the nordy sale rack.  "they will be great for the fall" the salesman said convincingly.  nice try, sir, but they were better for the summer.  and they are on super sale right now on zappos.  it's the shoe that adds the extra pop of fun to boring white jeans and a tee.  i promise, they do not disappoint and despite their colorful stitching, they go with most everything (dresses, skirts, skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans even better, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g).  smoky praline is my preferred color.  the other choice is a bit too carmel-ish.
city stroll

Sam Edelman Putnam



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

punky plaid

Upon seeing the fall collection from Vince, I declared that my fall wardrobe will consist of only black, grey and the occasional cream.  And then I saw this plaid skirt.  Incorporating a little old school plaid never hurt anyone.  Neither did bringing back the black penny loafer.  Nothing makes me happier (ok, well some things do) than wearing the same item that I did back in grade school. 


Cole Haan 'Monroe' Penny Loafer


Monday, September 09, 2013

possibilities

Apparently I can't seem to get pen to paper, or fingers to keys, because I've written a thousand posts in my head over these last few months.  The problem is that it's usually around 3am when I am doing this and the thought of turning twenty minutes into potentially hours of insomnia by resetting my internal clock with the morning light of the laptop prevents thoughts from becoming posts.  Was that just a run-on?  It has to be right - or is it just missing punctuation?  Anyway, I've "written" and quite eloquently might I add, because you will never read them, about the usual this and thats.  One post focused on the end of yet another summer and the back to school blues.  Another about how the weather in these first few weeks of September simply cue cheerleading practice and football games and makes me wish for just a one day time travel back to high school.  One was all about covering up at the beach - sort of like the barbie beach picnic scene below - no bikinis for these girls - maybe that's why they never get wrinkles!  I wrote about my children and how sometimes their questions are so obvious - that I wonder why don't we, as adults, ask them.  Like, "Mom, why aren't teachers famous...like movie stars?"  I've written about my neighbor who recently passed and how I can't stop wondering who is going to water her flowers, take out her garbage and how the inside pulse of her home continues beating without her.  I'm may go water those flowers tomorrow.  I've written many posts on the importance of vacations and unaffectedly unplugging for a day or two or ten.  And although I would love to have shared these thoughts with you, it's good enough for me that I had them in the first place.  And that I'm still having them...and that life, with it flying by, continues through the eyes of children, b&w photos, back to school blues and good girlfriend chats.

Here's to the birth of a new season and the endless possibilities that come with it, including penny loafers and cable knit.






Friday, August 16, 2013

beurre d'orange

our neighbors had us over for a pancake breakfast earlier this summer and oolala can they whip up a mad batch of silver dollars (his mother's recipe) that were served with beurre d'orange (a fancy way of saying orange butter - i'm stuck on fancy nancy speak - lots of reading sessions lately) and syrup. 

there's a slew of recipes out there, but we prefer ours with orange zest, juice, a dash of honey and vanilla.  orange butter it is for all future pancakes breakfast in chez moi.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

frolicking in the sun

Besties!  I hope you have all had a chance to play this summer.  
Back to regular postings tomorrow and I can't wait!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Watermelon Goodness

We've been picking up a lot of mint at the market lately and using it in our summer sippers.  This watermelon slushy has been a huge hit in our house and it's so refreshing and light.  Amounts are highly estimated - it's summer and I'm not going to start measuring now!
  • Watermelon chunks to fill up 1/3 of the blender
  • 10 Mint leaves
  • 1 c Strawberries 
  • 1/2 cup
  • 1 T Honey
Tip:  I just read that putting watermelon in the refrigerator reduces it's nutritional value as it's decreases the lycopene power (cancer fighting abilities) by 40%.

Monday, June 03, 2013

summer scent

My favorite scent in the world is that of freshly-cut grass.  Whether I'm driving down Lakeshore Drive and they are mowing in the park or I am driving to the lake, I always stop to take it all in and let the freshness hover and take down my blood pressure a beat or two.  It takes me back to the long lost days of summer...all my summers: as a child slurping popsicles in the backyard, studying on the campus lawn in college, reading books in Battery Park, playing with the kids in the baby pool on our small patch of city grass.  It's a universal, constant scent that never changes with time..

My second favorite scent in the world is Kai.  The scent comes in many forms, but I prefer it in the Body Glow spray.  Described as "a light and intoxicating blend of gardenia wrapped in white exotics..." it's as good as grass at exuding the the air of summer.



 

Friday, May 31, 2013

war paint

"I remember feeling really old when I turned 40.  Even older than I do now."

                                                                            -My 96 year old Grandmother
                                                                             in response to asking her if I look old

What a relief.  I'm not 40 quite yet, but in the words of Sally Albright, "It's out there..."  And I'm not taking the physical part of aging so well, so it's good to know that I may be eventually feeling young again.  I have a feeling it's all just a state of mind...  But, just in case, my nights end like this - full up war paint. 


And my weaponry looks like this.

A few product notes:
  • Yes to Blueberries line really seems to help...I was out of it for a few weeks and you could've thrown a party in a certain wrinkle it was getting so deep
  • BOOTS Botanics Facial Oil has that familiar relaxing spa scent and anything with a dropper feels so scientific, if must work.  In reality, it does moisturize without breaking out.
  • Neutrogena Naturals Acne Spot Treatment takes a little longer to kick in than say my 16yr old Clearasil, but it gets to down to business after about several applications. 
  • SKII - A little splash here and there can't hurt

Happy Friday, besties!



Friday, May 24, 2013

two summer staples

yes, the white jeans may be on a lot of lists, but how about the grey sweatshirt.  i've had this lightweight j crew version for years and it's worn in to nearly a second skin.  funny thing is that as i am writing this, i just realized i'm currently wearing it with these cozies.  versions of the grey ss can be found just about anywhere at any price range.  i have a f21 back-up that i swooped for $14.99.  throw one on over just about anything....from swimming costume (term courtesy of my hub) to a dress...this layering piece should always be on closet stand-by and in your weekend getaway bag.

happy three-day weekend!

love capturing my little bestie in mid beach frolic

Thursday, May 23, 2013

season finale

last night, i cried watching The Office Retrospective which aired prior to the finale.  the actors were so emotional and i can only imagine what it must feel like for a nine year project to come to an end.  especially one where you are surrounded by so many funny people.  one where you kiss and hug your co-workers, yell and scream, and are physically intimate, whether it comedic or romantic.  in this retrospective they showed auditions and scenes from season one and the actors look so young.  another reason this made me a little sad as i realized how much younger i must've looked nine years ago - something my children often point out when looking at my wedding photo. we all know that time is passing but sometimes it takes a silly little show to remind one just how quickly.  it seems like just yesterday that i was making my husband act out the jim/pam scene after the casino night episode.  my husband can't do the jim halpert face, but i am sure he was doing it in his head.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

vintage postal carrier bag totes

I kicked off Earth Day by attending Chicago's Vintage Garage Sale kickoff and doing my part by purchasing this fun tote made from a vintage french postal bag.  Love the striped lining!



Vintage garage sale is great for a little weekend roaming and a big dose of nostalgia.  I brought the kids so I could show them what their games used to look like, along with typewriters, phones and record players.  The kids expressed their interest by telling me they were glad they didn't grow up when I did - without tvs - when telling them that I DID have tv, they responded,"yeah, but it was black and white, right?"  Yes, honey, that's right.  Not going to prove anything with continuing that one...if they only could see PONG.






Tuesday, April 16, 2013

capacity

Hello besties...if you are all still out there.  I've been at capacity lately and haven't had time for blogging.   I've been seeing a lot of articles lately on how stress affects your body and I can see it clearly in my face.  I've aged.  A part of it is that my job forces me to run on constant adrenaline.  I like it.  It's challenging.  But when running on adrenaline is combined with trying to juggle all the other areas in my life, it can turn into stress.  I need to take breaks.  To squeeze my kids tighter.  To make them laugh harder.  To have the ordinary boring days that I enjoy so much.  To realize that I can't be two places at once.  I am not complaining.  I am thankful to have this problem of over scheduling.  In light of yesterday's events especially, I have so much to be thankful for. 

Blogging has been on the back burner lately.  Hopefully, I will pop up in you reader again soon, and my comments will appear on your posts. 

I can only write this right now because my **Spoonk** mat is under my neck, I'm sipping green tea, have a thick layer of YES to Cucumbers Calming Night Cream on my face, and laughed and played games with my kiddos before bedtime. Amen to ordinary nights. And peace be with those whose days are not ordinary right now. 

**Promise a post on my spoonk mat soon!

xo

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

looking outside your closet

Look in another family member's closet for a little fashion inspiration and you never know what you are going to find.  I found a new preppy headband way of my son's tie!
Well, I did in October...I am behind.




Tuesday, March 19, 2013

price per wear = $0


I found these photos that my son took of me last fall and I decided to post them, unaltered.  Yes, they could be lightened and edited a little, but I love them just the way they are - because they are as he saw me.  Now, I'm pretty sure I was attempting another photo of this oh so versatile dress that I've been telling you all about....





what's with my E.T. fingers?

Monday, March 18, 2013

short cuts

My extra time lately seems to be at a minimum.  A little clue that I'm behind on things?  My kids start drawing me with brown hair - usually it's yellow - like my daughter's.  I'm surprised he didn't draw it half yellow, half brown.  At least I'm rockin that v-shaped smile...that's a good sign.

But during those weeks when I need an extra 24 hrs in a day, I appreciate all the time-savers I can get.  Especially in the kitchen.  And I don't mean those over achieving cook ahead tips, I mean true time-savers.

My go-to, once a week meal has been Chili Cubana starting with this as my base (don't judge - it's all natural and contains ingredients that everyone knows and can pronounce).   I usually brown up some meat, but last week, I didn't have the time or the meat, so I added two cans of black beans, one thinly chopped baking potato and one sweet potato (potatoes add some nice bulk to vegetarian chili).  Top with shredded cheese and diced onion and call it a meal.  "Best chili ever," proclaimed the troops.



Then St. Patrick's Day rolls around...and yes, the kids love all holidays, so you need to celebrate somehow.  Luckily, my sister-n-law, sent me this:  Bob's RedMill Irish Soda Bread Mix.  Mixed in some raisins and voila, Kiss Me, I'm Irish! (actually, don't kiss me, just do my laundry)

And because I need to feed my kids a healthy treat, of course, I turned to these No Bake Energy Balls.  Took me all of 7 minutes, including the time it took to toast the coconut. Please don't hate me, gimmesomeoven.com, I didn't have time to take a proper photo (surprise), so I'm using yours.


Ingredients
  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1" in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.  Makes about 20-25 balls.

And, because there is not a shortcut for highlighting my hair (although the camomile tea did work a little), I've carved out a few hours at the salon today - hopefully I won't have to cancel.

 

Friday, March 01, 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

easy snack

No time? Check
Need a healthy snack? Check
Got fifteen minutes? Maybe

This healthy snack idea comes by way of this bestie.

Roasted Chick Peas

Drain, dry and remove skins that are falling off
Spread onto foil covered baking sheet
Cover with 2-3 tsp combination olive and grapeseed oils
Sprinkle with paprika, garlic salt, pepper

Roast at 425 for 15-20 min

Enjoy!

Thursday, February 14, 2013


 seeing red....a few instagrams faves

i'll be pulling this one out of the archives today....it's for the kids, c'mon

photo by brian sorg


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

you arrrrgh awesome!

i'm pretty sure my decision to make these homemade valentine's with my son was a result of a major case of mom guilt, temporary insanity, and a slight urge to open that hot glue gun that's been sitting in my closet...in the package.  luckily, my daughter opted for the $1.99 doggie/kitty vtine tattoo pack at walgreens, so we only had to do a little doctoring to those.  these pirate patches, however took a little longer.  not too long though and my son's interest in the glue gun kept him on task.  but let me tell you that my table looks nothing like it does in this how-to video.  nor were my kids falling all over each other with adorable laughs and hugs.  i did put my extra glue sticks in a ball glass jar though. ding!




Thursday, February 07, 2013

re-stock..help!

in honor of my birthday tomorrow, i am restocking some closet essentials.  but i could use your help, as i'm pretty sure the j crew ribbed tanks just aren't cutting it anymore.  Anyone?

Favorite tees

Favorite tanks

Favorite fitted boyfriend jeans

and then i need your help with simple black pumps.  i purchased the first ones, despite the fact that the sales guys brought them to me with a "now, I hope you don't think these are too old ladyish because they are really comfortable."  not knowing what to make of that, especially after i had been accosted by the supersales girl (think cape with a bid S on it) at the premiere skin kiosk.  two minutes into her demo (who am i to reject some extra miracle serum), she asked, "what are you, like 25?" to which i could not contain my laughter and neither could she really - appreciating her sales effort, but calling her bluff, i walked away with half my face looking 10 years younger, while the other stayed the same.  not really, but moving on.  after trying on several pairs of pumps - and having the sales guys actually ask me,  in complete seriousness, if i had ever walked in pumps before, i went with the "comfortable" option.  but after just now googling them for a photo here, i realize that the name contains FLEX...never a good sign when trying to get a little sexy on for a saturday night event.  Shoot.....HELP!

Attilio Giusti Leombruni Patent Flex Pump

 
the second option that i left behind.  second verse, same as the first, but a little bit sexier?  

vince camuto



any recommendations for a sexy pump that i can actually walk in, dance in, stand in for four plus hours?
 

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Farmacopeia

Some of my fave local farmers have donated to this amazing workshop on East Asian Medicinal Herbs this afternoon.  And they are pairing this amazing menu with my favorite organic Bonterra wine.  Cue the mouth watering...


Thursday, January 31, 2013

the dress that keeps on giving

when i originally wrote a post on this dress, i wanted to shout that everyone should have it in their closet.  hands down, it is the most versatile item in my closet...and, the best part, it's comfy cozy.  the sweatshirt material (hello?) is disguised by a great, classic cut and pockets, no less.  because the fabric is so non-seasonal, the possibilities are endless.  this was taken in the summer (looking like a drowned rat waiting for a cab in an nyc downpour), but i wore it in the fall with a leather bomber jacket and booties, solo with ballet flats, with a black under tee, tights and boots, with flips, to a cocktail party, to run errands, to work, to a garden party to an evening work event - the below pic was taken before an event at the MOMA - see what i mean?  from the MOMA to a street fest...the list goes on and on.

and i'm bringing this all up because i just saw that madewell brought the dress back, but now in short sleeve, which i think is even cuter and hipper.  besties, price per wear is in th negatives....just sayin.


madewell sweatshirt dress $118

Monday, January 28, 2013

does this come in my size?

the perfect little red dress.  exposed zipper.  pleated sleeves.  black skinny belt.

on sale $19.99!  great for v-tines day or next holiday season.

surprisingly, this madewell dress comes pretty close!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

life is a joke

It's a shoot week for me which basically means my room is a mess and I'm drinking real cokes, a ton of coffee and pretty much anything and everything.  It's like I've made up some justification that when I'm on a shoot, I have free reign to eat as much junk food as possible.  I eat things that I would never eat on my non-shoot days - and that's pretty much the other 70% of my life, give or take a percentage or two because I'm not really counting.  A shoot week also means I'm stressed.  No matter how big or small, I never get a good sleep the night before the first day.  So, when it comes to the last day, I need to detox and do something to relieve stress.  And a big stress reliever for me is laughter.  I love SNL, Portlandia and the good sit-coms, but I also love stand-up.  For some reason though, I had never been to Zanies, a comedy club in my neighborhood until a bestie invited me a few months ago.  We were in the audience for the filming of a new reality show on the OWN network called, My Life is a Joke.  You can see me getting out all that stress in this lovely shot of me with my mouth open.  Yep, that's me, catching my two seconds of fame...and downloading all those worries. Snap.  The comics were really funny - you should check out the show.

Thank you thank you thank you for all your votes!
Made it into the Top 25 for the second year with your help.
xo

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

pre-workout routine

I am hoping my current obsession with facial products is not a sign of a nearing mid-life, but it's possible. Considering a friend and I discussed botox (i would never) vs Neocutis Luminiere Biorestorative anti-aging eye cream .5% vs La Prairie (contains caviar - what?) over margs the other day is not a good sign.   However, our convo did take a turn to the Bachelor, so we brought it back down to our early 30's level again - I mean 20's.  Actually, I think I'm about 29 in my head.

Moving along to my latest product post...
I've been hitting the gym in the mornings after dropping the kids at school.  Being that we are usually in such a rush, I can barely get dressed, let alone look in the mirror.  And let's face it, my nightly face wash resolution was over on Jan 2 (I don't think I wake up on the zombie walk from the couch to bed) and I've been walking into the gym sporting leftover makeup face.  Not only is it not pretty, I don't feel energized.  And after a workout on the "textmill" as my husband as coined it, my face just feels dirty.  So, I've established a pre-gym routine to wake up me and my facial pores.   It's invigorating, makes me feel ready for a workout, and takes two minutes.

Step one:  Exfoliate


Step two:  Hydrate (combine 2/3 Sea Buckthorn Body Lotion -or any lighter lotion- and 1-2 drops of jojoba oil)
The lightness of the sea buckthorn lotion combined with the hydrating oil instantly brightens the face and gives it a pre-workout glow. 



 

More on my post workout facial routine tomorrow.

Last 24hrs hours to VOTE for Goodies&Besties for the Circle of Moms top 25 Fashion and Beauty blogs.  It's been a tight race and I feel like I need to sport some "vote for me" buttons today - 8th grade student council style.