Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fun in the Sun

I promised I'd get back to you with my top sunscreens after talking sun protection here.  My top choices for the season:

Badger gets a rating of a #1 on the site.  A #1 is the safest rating you can get.
Plus, the kids are much happier with the stick application on their face...which makes me happier.  

This was my go to sunscreen last year and I'm sticking with it.  Great scent and it gets a #2 rating.

Because the beach is meant for carefree fun, not sweating over your sunscreen.  
Feel good about what you are slathering on your body.  Happy beach days ahead!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I have so many fun things to share from our road trip but I can't do it all at once...too many topics.  So, let's start with one of my  My aunt, who hosted the family reunion on the Chesapeake is a wonderful cook...lucky us, we got to enjoy several scrumptious dinners that she made.  The highlight being CRABFEST.  Surprisingly and despite my germa-phobe tendencies, I love seafood.  My husband thinks it's strange considering the fact that I'll barely eat leftovers, yet I will eat something on a menu with an asterisk that leads to the warning "may increase your risk of food borne illness." Nonetheless, seafood is my favorite.  And it always fun introducing the kids to new foods.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bracelets on a budget

The other day at work, I was admiring my friend's bracelet from afar.  And all day, I kept forgetting to ask her about it...until we went for post work dinner and wine.  She asked me if it looked familiar and revealed her secret.  The bracelet was in fact a j crew belt that she had purchased a month earlier for an event.  Genius!  She had been wanting to buy a new bracelet and decided to look beyond the counter and back into her closet.  On her other wrist?  A couple $2.50 friendship bracelets from PaperSource that blended ever so nicely with her more expensive bead bracelets.

$2.50 friendship bracelets from paper source

On my other friend's wrist at dinner...a bracelet made from guitar wire. It doesn't get craftier than that.

And so I looked into my closet...loving the skinnny belt doubling as a leather wrap around cuff-like bracelet

What can you find in your closet?

special thanks to Rach for the inspiration behind this post :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

The beauty of the outdoors...

The outdoor summer experience I live for.....and maybe because it's such a relief from the city...there's just something so beautifully simple about showering under the sky with the breeze and warmth of the day raining in...

The shower at my aunt and uncle's house on the Chesapeake Bay...(you can't see all the hooks, basket filled with products and mirror hanging on the wall, which made it very convenient)

Other amazing outdoor shower designs...

Ahhh...summer, take us away!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mental Health Day...

When I was a little girl, there would be days when my Mom would wake me up and she could just tell that I had had it...I wasn't sick, I didn't have a temperature, she could just tell that I needed a day at home. She would say to me, "why don't you just stay home with me today and rest?". I would look up at her with weepy eyes and answer, "that sounds good mamma". She would make me hot tea and toast and a bed on the couch with the cable box near by (you all remember the cable box, right?). Ever since that time, whenever I need a mental break that is what I crave...a snack, the couch, and the televsion tuned to whatever helps me forget what I am thinking about.

I woke up on Monday and decided it was a stay at home kind of day...I called it a "Mental Health" day in my email to my more than understanding boss and made the most of it. Somehow, the remote landed on "Less Than Zero"...not the best movie for getting rid of the blahs...but I always seem to turn to those 80's stand by movies of my youth when I am looking to get lost somewhere. I felt a twinge of guilt about the luxury of it all...laying around the house all day doing absolutely nothing. The old self talk saying, "Maybe you should have just gone to work"...and..."it's a beautiful day...get out and DO something". Something stronger than myself said that I should just rest and that is what I gave myself permission to do. So, whatever it is you do to rest, or tune out, or un-plug...don't forget to give yourself the gift and the permission to do so. The rest did it's job to restore and life goes on.

Some of my favorite "go to" movies...children of the 80's are you with me! :)

xo - fwb

Sixteen Candles

Clueless (not the 80's but a 90's gem)

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Some Kind Of Wonderful

St. Elmo's Fire

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Checking in from the outer banks, North Carolina.  It's amazing what a little sea salt air can do for the soul.  I thought I would be telling funny stories from the road trip, but thankfully, all went smoothly.  Oh, other than the fact that our brake warning signal is on and we have to find somewhere to get our car checked before we drive the 3+ hours to our final destination tomorrow.  And that destination is the Chesapeake Bay...crab, margs, canoeing and boat trips, here we come.

I do want to share a special thank you to Ana @ for the gorgeous gold feather necklace from Shabby Apple.  I am one lucky girl to have won this out of many entries.  Muah, Ana!

Back to my summer vacation!
Much more to share next week.
I'm on full on summer mode and can't wait to share some new summer finds. 
Happy Wednesday, all!

Friday, June 17, 2011

My bags are packed (kinda) and I will hopefully be ready to zip suitcases tonight and go to bed early as we plan to leave at 4am.  Carazyyy?  Yes.

I'll be bringing a few of my new york purchases as they are all becoming my favorite items.  They were purchased before a moratorium was placed on my summer spending....wah...wah...wah...

Poppy Fields Fedora 
My new favorite tees from the cut...super soft...worth the price.
I didn't get the orange...they didn't have my size
Free standing VINCE in the Meatpacking District

My co-author bestie, Allie (aka fwb) will be posting next week and I will try to post a few updates from our roadtrip.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vacation all i ever wanted....

We are gearing up for our first big road trip with the kids.  And when I say big, I mean 971.41 miles big.  Back in February, in the middle of the largest blizzard ever, it seemed like a really fun idea.  Now?  Well, my husband and I have lost some enthusiasm as we are only two days away from departure and have piles of snacks, beach gear, and car activities taking over our kitchen.  And I would have to say he has almost lost all enthusiasm as the pointer finger to the temple sign has been done quite a few times while talking about our strategic approach to packing the car.  We've got the movies, iPad (specially ordered for this trip), the Leapster (it is seeming to be all about the electronics).  I do have some old school activities, like coloring books and stickers books.

And then I've got the caffeine covered in the way of Starbucks double shots (you never if you are going to be 100 miles out from a Bucks), 5hr Energy Drinks (the husband wants to try these, I would never for fear of instant heart attack and, again, being 100 miles away from a hospital), and a case of will be a marathon after all.  And then, I slipped in a few mommy/daddy juice boxes as our reward when we will get to the coast.  I've never had wine out of 4 inch boxes before but I am pretty sure that this is occasion for it!

Do you have any good road trip TIPS?  Please share as we are going to need all the help we can get!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

i Heart ny

A quick photo recap of some ny highlights and a few things I learned.
  • Have I mentioned my newly developed fear of flying?  Traveling with co-workers makes it really hard to go through my usual state of panic rituals while flying.  I chose panic/the hopes for normalcy over my usual cloud of xanax induced calm.  It was a toss up, but I actually made it without making too much of a scene.  Does a magazine over my face at some point count along with a "what's that sound?" and a  "are we about to land?"  No, I kept my cool for the most part and actually think I can do it don't think my co-workers will mind traveling with me, my husband and two kids under five on my next trip, do you?
  • I am much more fun when out of town and a.) don't have to come home to a babysitter and pretend to act normal and b.) won't be wakened at 6am by two little munchkins
  •  I need a night or two away, even just twice a year, to regroup and re-energize.  It's just good for everyone.
  • I heart ny...the restaurants, the energy, the people, people watching, shopping...heart it all.
Barolo Restaurant - Soho

My amazing first meal:  Spaghetti al Cartoccio
 EATALY!  The largest indoor Italian Market in the world does not disappoint!

 The new favorite ny spot
 When you push the heart on the water fountain a little girl's voice begins quoting Shakespeare...sigh...

Fun stores...

Great street vendors...

Cheers to a wonderful city.   Until next time...

Monday, June 13, 2011

To Market To Market

Another cool, misty day at the market...mother nature is clearly ticked off at Chicago.  Nevertheless, the Green City Market had a good turn out and the flowers were in full bloom.

Happy Monday!