Sunday, December 30, 2012

duvet jacket

     I'm not sure how I missed the Maison Martin Margiela
collaboration with H&M for which they re-issued their famous duvet jacket.  It's been sold out for weeks, although a friend of mine just scooped up this precious bundle at a random store in vegas, it looks like ebay is the only shopping spot now for these coveted cozies.  They even come with a grey striped cover.  When you snooze you lose, I guess. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

coffee date

How was your holiday?  I've been so immersed in family time and the relaxing days that follow the December craze that I had taken myself off the hook from blogging, amongst other things.  Until this morning, when I stumbled upon Alissa's Coffee Date Friday link-up and I decided that a coffee date I did not miss.   This week, the coffee of choice has been Intelligentsia's El Diablo and I'm on about a two and a half cup routine.  I just want to savor these mornings when the kids don't have to rush off to school, we don't have to rush off to work, and everyone can just be.  We can awake slowly, lounge in our pj's for hours, and cozy up to each other around new games and books.  I can say yes to question after question like, "can we do this craft, mommy?"  There's no where to be, no deadlines, no conference calls, no homework, and I can be the YES mom for awhile.
Sometimes, you just need to take yourself off the hook for things to take the stress level down a notch.  When my son was born, I took myself off the hook for holiday cards, we do Valentine's cards instead.   I'm even taking myself off the hook for downloading the photos that I was thinking of including in this post and instead including ones that I never posted from this summer.  So, take yourself off the hook for something today and enjoy.

And just so you don't think I've lost my usual undertones, I am typing this from my favorite part of the day - the early hours of the morning when I'm the only one awake in the house.  I'm currently the YES mom, but I'm also the - please don't wake up for another hour so I can drink my coffee in peace mom, too.

link up your coffee date post with alissa

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


This goodie of a holiday craft comes from my mother-in-law.  Gifts of sand, beach glass, and shells from her beach in these simple glass ornaments.  Beautiful, thoughtful treasure that evoke memories of summer days playing in the sand and listening to the waves.

Coming to you from 10,000 feet in the air and behind tear filled eyes as I still cannot fathom last week's tragedy.

Maybe you have seen this facebook post, maybe you haven't but well said Matthew Nicholas.

Hey kids. You. The Ones that left us today. The ones who experienced the worst that humanity can do. You little angels who closed your eyes in a living Hell this morning. I'm so, so very sorry that this world didn't give you a chance.

I'm a nobody guy from a small town in Michigan. You would've never known me. 
But in all of this overwhelming sadness of today, I just want to let you all know that you matter. Even though you didn't even have a chance to realize how big the world is, today, the sad end of your lives affected MILLIONS of people. It's probably little comfort for you at all, but tonight in America, in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, Australia....everywhere.... mommies are holding their kids a little tighter and a little longer. Daddies are listening to their kids and showing them more love. 
Your twenty little souls were set free this morning and there is nothing good that could be said about that. But because you left, and the way you were taken, millions of kids still here on Earth tonight will be shown more love than any other ordinary Friday.

Your short and precious lives had a value and a purpose.


If you'd like to help, you can donate here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

There are no words for what happened today.  The families of the victims are in my prayers.  
It's really unimaginable. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Aren't these booties screaming for sequin footie socks?  I've found that sequin footie socks are quite hard to come by.  According to the Nordstrom Associate, she's never seen sequin footie socks.  Perhaps this is my next gig?  Sitting home and making socks.  I'm picturing it...liking it.   Because America should run on sequins and booties!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

groceries and glam

Did you know that our besties across the northern border can pick up any of the above in the same trip (and store) where they purchase oranges, milk and their ingredients for the week?  My new Canadian bestie explained how she can easily come home with double the amount of "grocery" bags when there's a Joe Fresh department store in the middle of the produce section.  A cross between J Crew, Zara and H+M, but at grocery store prices, it would be hard to resist.  Lucky for us american gals, Joe Fresh crossed the border last year but only lives by our east coast friends.  And their goodies are not available online yet, so if you find yourself "up north" or "out east" it may be worth a Joe Fresh google or trip for some groceries.  Because you never know when you could run out of juice boxes....or sequin shirts.

Oh yes, they have a kids line too!

Faves for my girl....

And faves for my guy....

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

bike ride

I've never gotten along so well with bikes.  When I was ten and rode my ten-speed around the block, I'd always wipe out at the same spot about a half way around the block and skin my knee.  For some reason, I thought this gravely part of the street would change, but it didn't and I walked around with a band-aid on my knee that entire summer.  When my husband and I started dating almost two decades ago (when I was 12), he would suggest bike rides along the city.  How romantic, I thought.  Riding downtown Chicago through traffic after 4th of July fireworks more often than not, lead to me walking my bike on the sidewalk, and not romance.  Flash forward another decade to when there was a break in in our basement and several bikes were stolen.  Mine was one of them.  It was a summer miracle.  My bike riding days were over!  But, now the kids love the idea of family bike rides, and it's difficult not to participate.  Last year, my husband and a neighbor found a bike in the alley and it was later coined as mine.  So, a few weeks ago, when the temperatures hit 60 degrees, I found myself hopping on a bike for the first time in 7 years.  The kids (pointing and all) were amazed that I even knew how to ride a bike.

My new found bike is a cruising bike.  It forces perfect posture while riding.  As I rode down the lakeshore path, I found myself getting a lot of waves and smiles from other people on cruisers.  Is this some club I didn't about it, because I love it. Maybe it's just the posture that makes everyone seems extra ducky.  Whatever it is, I'll take it and my biking attitude may just take a turn down the right path, basket and all.

Gap jean, Madewell striped shirt, puma kicks

Thursday, December 06, 2012

touch gloves

I don't build any extra minutes, even seconds, into my day to account for unexpected delays for getting where I need to be.  For example, I did not anticipate a stoplight being out on Ashland Avenue this morning, thus making me late for an appointment.  Stoplights, garbage trucks blocking side streets, street closings, long lines at Starbucks, and yes, even removing my gloves to search for that email that tells me where I need to be can knock me off my schedule in a second.  And this is why the people behind Echo Design's (previously posted about their bags  here) touch gloves are pure genius.  Perfect stocking stuffer for that fast texting friend.

echo touch bow gloves $42.00

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

natural skincare class

Chicago besties, mark your calendars!  There's a natural skincare class at the Peggy Notebart Nature Museum on December 12 @ 6pm.  I've posted a few homemade recipes in the past and can't wait to learn and share a few more.  We will also learn which product ingredients to avoid (yes, this feeds my paranoia but also makes me feel smart about the products I purchase).  With this class, my beauty bag may almost be complete with all the commercial and homemade products that I can feel good about.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

cheki pop fun

Love the instant fun that comes with the old school polaroid cameras.  And the mini madness that this Cheki Pop camera served up was even better.  I received this camera about 12 years ago as a business gift from some Japanese clients, as their gift giving custom is taken very seriously.  Serious, though, I was not after I received this gift.  Giddy?  Yes!  Love love love instant cameras.  Everything about them.  This goodie followed me to London on a girls getaway and I am surprised it held up after all the abuse.  Cute 4x3 souvenirs slide out of this simple machine bringing instant gratification and giggles.  So, last month, at about 3am on a Saturday, when I was working on a shoot in a Walmart, I could barely contain my excitement upon seeing this FujiFilm (Cheki Pop) in the camera aisle!  They're back or maybe they've just made it across the continents.  All I know is that this would make a great holiday gift and over the top hostess gift.  Just make sure to get extra film packs.  You are going to need them!
 with my sis at her bachelorette party (b.c.)

Monday, December 03, 2012

conversations i cherish

during our walk to school this morning. 

Daughter:  "Mom, we have five people in our family, right?

Mom:  "You mean including the fish?  Yes, then five."

Daughter:  "But we have cousins and other people too."

Mom:  "Yes, but in our immediate family, we have five, including the fish."

Daughter:  "Yep, five."

Son (finally listening):  "No silly.  We only have four."

Mom:  "She's including the fish."

Son:  "Oh, right then, five.  I totally forgot."

In all dead panned seriousness....and little do they know that our "fish" is actually the sixth member (the original fifth member bit the dust over the summer but I couldn't tell them)  #momsecrets  #momwimpiness

Friday, November 30, 2012

fingers crossed

Mom and Producing duties have taken over this week, all while fighting a cold. Back to regularly scheduled posting next week.  Fingers crossed. Wait, speaking of fingers crossed, I've been using this term a lot lately.  And I've seen "fingers crossed" use as a closing to several emails.  I've been curious about the origin and found that it stems back from the days of the early Christian church and that it is a direct reference to the sign of the cross.  Apparently, Christians used this also to identify each other, but when they didn't want to admit that they were Christians for fear of being prosecuted.  This is where the fingers crossed behind the back while lying comes into play.  I much prefer the fingers crossed used as a sign of hope.  Of course, a glass of prosecco can also trigger signs of hope.

Fingers crossed for a productive, healthy and caffeine induced weekend!

Fingers, although not crossed, sporting Just Spotted the Lizard from the OPI Spiderman collection
A festive shade for the holidays to get your spidey senses tingling, or maybe it's the prosecco.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Green City Market Winter Love

The Green City Market has returned to its winter locale at the Peggy Notebart Nature Museum and what a wonderful site it is.  While we are still in welly and not Sorel weather, the market remains half indoors and half out, lining the sidewalk entrance and setting up shop in the back courtyard.  The smell of hot apple cider and tamales fill the air and the abundance of colorful vegetables can be seen from all directions.  It was a wonderful opportunity to try some of these flavorful radishes with the watermelon variety (white ones) being our favorite.

Listen up Chicago parents!  The best kept secret is the "Market Membership" at the Nature Museum. For a mere $25, you and your family can enter the museum during market hours.  This means snowy Saturday mornings can be filled with market perusing + museum playing all in one morning.  I'd say that's a parent/kid win win weekend day. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

polka dots and peanuts

Nothing like unwinding from a long day with some childhood animated favorites.

After watching, I realized that I've been channeling my inner Sally lately, with the cobalt blue and black polka dot look.  My four year old pointed out that she too used to have this same shirt when she was two.  Funny that they are both from the Gap, hers from "Baby Gap Made with Love" respectively.  Because polka dots and peanuts never go out of style.

Gap Fluid Printed Pocket Top

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


my 4yr old is learning how to spell.  this is the card she made for a friend's new baby. 
 i luf her to pieces.

Monday, November 12, 2012

granola is the new flour

finely ground granola can be used as flour in cookie recipes. did you know this?  i tried it with peanut butter cookies the other day and it worked - the peanut butter helped with the binding, i'm sure, but can't wait to try this for other recipes.  here is my homemade granola recipe that is tried and true.i'll report back on more granola as flour replacement recipes!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

heritage bicylces general store

Bike shop in the back; cafe in the front - heritage is everything you'd imagine to see in a quaint little shop walking down the streets of Portland, Maine.  But, it's on busy booming Lincoln Ave in the middle of Chicago.  Lucky me! This little gem of a general store cannot be overlooked.

My kids had a ball typing old school - like how "mommy used to"

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

the apple doesn't fall far

Nothing says real food like picking an apple straight from the tree. We spent a Sunday morning in a row all to ourselves at Garwood Orchards several weeks ago.  The skies were gray, the ground wet, but the kids were all smiles.

And no better place than an orchard - with tractors and all - to break out the wellies and quilted barn jacket.  I'm going to break down my daughter's outfit - because I think she nailed it.

hello kitty wellies:  target, quilted barn jacket: ralph lauren, super soft double layer leggings:  oshkosh target

Friday, November 02, 2012

producer by day, tooth fairy by night

I believed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny until pretty late in the game.   And just as I started to question the fantasy, my parents pulled some great trick and we awoke to huge bunny tracks in the snow one Easter morning.  My four and six year old question why the Easter Bunny has a zipper up his back.  "Real Easter Bunnies don't have zippers, mom.  It's a costume."  At four or six, I wasn't noticing zippers.  But, because I believed in these fantasy heroes for a quarter of my life, I find much joy in my recent moonlighting as the Tooth Fairy.  The tiptoeing, the much needed dexterity, and the sheer amazement in my son's face the next morning.  "How did we not hear the Tooth Fairy last night?"  We don't say "her" because we haven't decided if it's a boy or girl.

The joys of parenting that I never thought I would really find this joyful.

my childhood tooth fairy pillow

My fairy dust accessories:

(free of all the bad stuff; found at whole foods)

Gold glitter headband by J. Crew - currently in the sale section

Thursday, November 01, 2012

trick or trick

Halloween has carried over into another day in my hood.  It started with an eerie quiet intersection which is otherwise booming with traffic at 8:40am.  This also included a scary lack of cabs, actually no cabs, not one even with someone already happily in it.  Not one cab in sight for 20 minutes.  Perhaps they were all hexed last night from this neighborhood witch.  Prior to my discovery that the boogie man snatched every cab from the city, I walked into my dry cleaners, the one I've been going to for 8 years, the one where they know me by name.  I go into my frantic, "can I just grab that jacket and I'll get the rest later" and the woman is looking at me like she's never seen me before.  For a moment I thought I forgot to remove my skelly mask from last night.  Inquisitively,  "Oh, Amy, is that you?"  "Ahhh I didn't recognize you - you look so nice and pretty today"  Translation:  For the last 8 years I have walked into this small business looking like a frazzled mess.

the monster witch who put a hex on all taxicabs; please remove your spell and bring them back

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


2 tickets, 1 large Coke, and a large bucket of buttered pumpkin seeds, please.  My husband takes his pumpkin carving and seed toasting seriously.  This year, he went with cinema style classic butter and salt - the perfect snacking until you can't stop combo.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Apple Cider Vinegar.  Some say it's toothpaste, but I tried it, and it's apple cider vinegar as the 8hr acne treatment.  After some recent reading about all the positive effects from ACV uses, I tried it last night on some oh so clogged pores that came out of the sky like lightening on a sunny day.  And it worked like a charm.  Next up for my ACV trial:  Cures and Weightloss.  I'll keep you posted.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

It wouldn't be October without a Sunday morning with pumpkin pancakes - and in the shape of pumpkins no less.  My kids are at that age when shaped food brings them much delight.  This recipe was super easy, lightly sweetened, and full of pumpkin spice comfort

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Premium Comfort

Whenever I was sick as a child, my mother would put a little bell next to my bed so I could ring it if I needed her.  I wish I could ring that bell right now and my mom would come walking down my hallway.  But, I can't.  So, I am left with my saviors of saltines, gatorade and ginger tea to get me through this wicked flu.  Did you have this canister growing up?  We did.  It still brings me if I only had that bell.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

1 + 1 = 3

I attended a perfect wedding between two beautiful people over the weekend.
The wonderment took place at the Blue Dress Barn and the setting was just as quaint as its name.
There were tears of joy as stories were told of how this came to be.
 The love from family and friends embraced the barn as we square danced away the night.