Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Saturday in the Park: A Market Post

The market last Saturday was overflowing with people, treats, and just pure freshness.

great floral skinnies

fabulous summer scarves

 one of my besties (with her love sophie) rocking an adorable dog shirt
very appropriate according to my kids (since, she has a dog)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Armed and Ready

Our warm weather continues over Memorial Day Weekend with highs in the 90s.  We will be hitting the beach and pool and believe me, we will be armed and ready with our sunnies, hats and sunblock.  Jason Kids Sunblock spf45 is my sunscreen of choice this weekend.  Love the traditional sunblock scent that reminds me of a combination of Coppertone and Pina Coladas!  It gets a medium range rating according to eh as it's that fantastic scent that tips it into the medium risk range as far as ingredients. But it does really protect from the sun as fully proven after two beach days last weekend.  Tubes all around...and maybe a pina coloda or two.
Happy Holiday Weekend! 

On sale now for $5.00 at Whole Foods!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Park it Alone

When I lived in New York City, I did a lot of hanging out at Battery Park.  I would fill a bag with a blanket, water, and magazines, jump on the subway and just people watch and veg all afternoon.  Sometimes, I would stop in this little convenient store on the first floor of a highrise office building and pick up a green tea mochi on my way home as I began my trek up to the east village.  It was during this time in NY that I learned to enjoy being alone with my own company.  I think that's important.  In fact, in the book, Turning 30: 30 Things Every Woman Should Have And Should Know, the seventh thing a woman should know is, how to live alone, even if you don't like to.  I agree with this and got it in just in the nick of time at the ripe old age of 29.  I have Manhattan to thank for that and a little area known as Battery Park City on the Hudson.


Monday, May 21, 2012

The Flower Garden: A Market Post

A special extra thank you to The Flower Garden for the complimentary kid bouquet!

It was the first warm, sunny day at the Green City Market and it must've packed in the peak hours.  One birthday party and a quick errand on our way home delayed our market arrival until near closing time.  We did get some cheese curds (to satisfy the four yr old), some asparagus, and mint.  And much to my surprise and delight, I got some of the few last lonely peonies from The Flower Garden.

Two tips from the market this week:

The first is simple and from Amy at the lovely Flower Garden.  Bring water to room temperature in the vase before arranging the peonies and add a little food packet, for extra lasting bloom.

The second is even more simple and comes from me.  Don't bring your 4 and 5 yr olds to the market, at lunch time, after a birthday party, in the blazing 85 degree heat and expect them to be patient while trying to snap some photos.  Unless you are fine with pacifying them with cheese curds, then it's okay.

Photo from last season. this year's didn't turn out - see tip #2

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

You be the judge

Some mom's like to go to brunch, some a family outing to the zoo, but for me, on Mother's Day, I just want to clean my closet.  And that is just what I did.  I enlisted my children to take part in the purge by playing the roles of final judges.  They were instructed to comment on the item in question and could send it to one of three piles:  Keep, Maybe or Giveaway.  The first few items were maybes...the judges were hesitant at first to vote anyone off in the first episode.  Then I held up a black sheer long sleeve button down blouse with velvet leaves on it.

"Giveaway?" I asked.
"No, that looks like something Nana would wear,  Remember, Mom, it looks like what she wore to her 95th Birthday party.  Put it in the Nana pile"

So, pile number one quickly  became the Nana pile.  Hey, my grandmother's stylish.

Now we are about ten items in when one of the judges requests a "try on."  I tried on the item in question only to receive this response, "It makes you look like your are having a baby - giveaway!"

So, pile number two became the You're having a baby pile.

Moving right along, things are getting tossed, kept, rearranged, etc. when I move to another section of the closet and pull out a plaid button down.

"Keep?" I ask hopefully.
To which a judge responds, "Mommy, that's Daddy's shirt."
I quickly correct, "No, it's Mommy's."
"Well, you should just give it to Daddy, because it looks like his anyway."

So, pile number three became the Give to Daddy pile.

Triumphantly (and embarrassingly), I got rid of about 50 items of clothing.  I hadn't done a tried and try purge in quite some time and with the thoughtful (and brutally honest) help of my judges, I achieved success.  I guess it took becoming a mother to get ride of some unnecessary closet clutter.

I did learn to keep the scissors close by when doing this task.   You never know when a long skirt could be repurposed into a short skirt or those pants could be worn as shorts.

When doing a "try on" I accidently put a shirt on backwards only to realize that it looked tons better that way.  Here's the shirt, I kept it.  Kept the skirt too.

I suggest three things when closet purging this spring:

  1. Enlist some thoughtful judges to help you decide
  2. Keep scissors nearby
  3. Don't be afraid to look at an item of clothing in a new way
Happy Purging.

Oh and one last thing I have to clarify:  I haven't completely gotten rid of the items yet, they are still in my car.  I guess Salvation Army is the way to go, but I am always looking for a more direct way to donate items.  If anyone has an idea, please let me know.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bringing back the bauble

The other day I wore a ring that my high school boyfriend had given me as a birthday present.  It's a pretty little emerald and diamond super feminine gold ring.  And then I put tape around the band and let my daughter wear it around the house for a few days.  She called it her wedding ring.  Then I put it back in my jewelry box for it to live until the next time I feel like illuminating it out of its past.  There is something a little nostalgic about wearing an ex's piece of jewelry and reminds me of the old lettermen jacket wearing days or swiping your bf's football jersey for the powder puff game.  Wearing an object that was given during a time of innocence and initial carvings  on a picnic bench exudes a sweetness of the past.  And I am talking ex's from high school, college, younger days...wearing the engagement ring from an ex-husband may not work (wink).

So, when I asked my blogging bestie to send me a few pics of her recent girls weekend for a potential blog post, I was instantly drawn to this photo.  "Credit the bracelets, please" I responded in my text.  The gold one is from Brian**  Her college boyfriend had great taste.

Bottom line: The jewelry can either sit and collect dust or be mixed in with your current pieces.  Why not?

**Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Winner of the Striped Shirt giveaway is:

Susan of the lovely AvaGracesCloset blog.

Congrats, Susan!
(email me your color and size preference)

Thanks to all who entered.  
Getting ready for another fun giveaway next month.

Rainy Saturday: A Market Post


The second rainy Saturday at the Green City Market didn't keep weather tough Chicagoans away.  With umbrellas being the theme of the day, we scooped up asparagus, 6year aged white cheddar, mint, tomatoes, and mushrooms.  Starting today, I will be doing a weekly post, passing along tips I learn at the market from the people closest to the food, the farmers and their representatives (which often happens to be their sons, daughters, and other family members). 
Today's tip:  Asparagus storage.  Something so simple, yet I never thought to ask the best way to store it until Saturday.  According to my friends at Mick Klug farm, asparagus should be stored in a glass jar with about two inches of water in the refrigerator.  Asparagus does not need to be covered.  Stored like this, it will last up to seven days.

The Mick Klug Farm
(from their site)

Friday, May 11, 2012

the height of fashion

I am delighted that designer Maria Pinto, Emma Arnold of Tres Awesome and jewelry designer Tammy Kohl will be co-hosting a Chicago Social Magazine partnered fundraising event for a film I am producing.  I am honored to be part of a strong all-female producing team, superstar director Ky Dickens, and a fabulous group of women who have graciously donated their time to what will be an amazing night!

See film trailer on right sidebar.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Green for not much Green

Dresses for under $50
Someone needs to snatch these!

My favorite

A little Mrs Roper - ish, but I like it's flow

One more day to enter the striped tee giveaway!
Enter through tomorrow, winner will be announced on Monday!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Doughnut Vault

This may be the cutest food venue storefront in the city!  The Doughnut Vault is open until they sell out of doughnuts.  I have yet to make it there before they sell out, which seems to be as quickly as an hour.  My goal is to get there upon the opening of the doors.  Soon, I will.  And I will report back with my doughnut review.


Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Opening Day: A Market Post

I'm not talking about baseball, but opening day of the outdoor Green City Market!  I was completely giddy on my walk over on Saturday morning, despite the miserable weather.  With coffee in hand and my five year in the other, we headed out for our first market adventure of the season.  It was a ray of sunshine with some fun and interesting new vendors.  And I got to have a little special mommy son time, which is just the icing on the cake.  I spy lots of market posts in my future!  In fact, I have a few ideas that may be very helpful to all you market goers out there (or anyone who buys vegetables).

drab outfit for a drab day
love the individual display of flowers -save those bottles 
flower love

wicker was the carry all theme of the day!
sea of green
enough of the rain boot wearing already; rain rain go away

Come back next week for more MARKET LOVE!  Or check out previous market posts labeled on the right!


Monday, May 07, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Estafa

I know there are going to be a swarm of recipes posts from the weekend, so I want to throw mine into the mix. Admission though, I feel like I cheated because my meal only took about 15 minutes to prepare. I got my recipe (or should I say:  "combination") from the May issue of Cooking Light magazine which lists about seven different taco combinations.  I decided to give this one a try:

Black Beans, Sauteed Zucchini, Feta Cheese,  Roasted Corn, and Salsa on a warmed corn tortilla

I was lazy (surprise) and skipped the corn but did add homemade guacamole.  This picture is just before I dumped about a cupful of guac on top.

Decided to saute the zucchini in my grape seed oil as I am now only using olive oil for cold dishes.  Apparently, grape seed is much better for you when cooking at high heat.

Result:  This taco combination is delish.  Kids even loved it!  And we listened to Buena Vista Social club while munching on tacos and wrapped it up with a margarita (for the rents) and a little limbo competition!

Did you make something yummy for Cinco de Mayo?

Oh, and wait!  One more thing I want to tell you about the grape seed oil (mini-obssession) I started using on my face.  I read that the inherent properties that are so good for you need to penetrate the skin by locking it in, so after applying the oil onto your face and neck, seal it with a moisturizer!  Let's toast to healthier, glowing and younger looking skin (fingers crossed)!

Don't forget to enter my striped shirt giveaway this week!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Striped Shirt - A Giveaway

I was beginning to think my obsession with navy and white stripes was starting to go overboard when I realized the other day that my undergarmets matched my overgarmets. I was wearing one of my usual striped long sleeved tees which I have almost worn out.  So, when I decided to move out of my comfort zone (cue sarcasm) and focus on ORANGE and white stripes, I was delighted to receive this superbly constructed crew neck tee from  I am pretty picky about my tees so was happy to find the fit of this tee is pretty much perfect.  That hidden spandex does wonders for keeping the shape and the crew neckline gives that classically cool teeshirt look. And the orange is a super springy pop of color that works perfectly under a blazer, with jeans, or white trousers - it's versatile.

And look at the adorable packaging...even the shipping pouch had stripes!

My stripedshirt photoshoot, with my five year old photographer.


And the very best part is that Laura, of is offering one of my readers a striped shirt of their own.  You pick the color!  I'm thinking green and white may be my next choice.

To enter (you must be a follower of GoodiesandBesties):
Go to and let us know which color you would choose

For extra entries (leave one comment per entry):

1.  Like stripedshirt on Facebook

2. Follow GoodiesandBesties and Stripedshirts on twitter

3.  Tweet about the giveaway and left a message that you did

Good luck!  It's totally worth the entries.

Giveaway ends Friday, May 11th!

Linking up with Kori for Fashion Friday!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Beauty Beauty on the Shelf

I am just beside myself when I find new beauty products that:  A.  may actually work and B. are completely natural.  Now, I am not sure if the placebo effect is taking over in my mind's attempt see a glow or these products are actually showing promise, but either way, I must share.

Product #1 (which is not even a beauty product at all):  Grape Seed Oil
After meeting a woman at a new year's eve party and listening to her rave about the benefits and improvements she had seen after daily use, I was sold.  Until January 1st, when I had forgotten about the entire conversation.  Luckily, my mother n law hadn't and she brought me some of this oil just last week.  Five days and counting, and I've experienced no breakouts from twice daily use of this oil on my face and neck.  It's simply light and moisturizing.  I rub a little on the cuticles at night too.  I know,  I know, it's for cooking, but if it's good enough to eat, it's gotta be good for the skin.  Don't think olive oil consistency here, it's a much lighter oil.  Think gorgeous skin (thinking, focusing, thinking).

Product #2 (purchased simply because it came with a free lip butter - that's kinda how I roll- oh, and it's 99% natural, not "completely" so i take that comment back).   Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Facial Towelettes.  No wonder they have so many awards.  Yes, these are for their "mature skin" customers so fitting that I am using them.  This little towel cleanses, moisturizes and brightens the skins.  I am already half way through the pack and it was only purchased Sunday.  I say YES to YES to products!

Come back Friday for a fun giveaway!  I'll be doing one a month for the next three months!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

"Everything doesn't always have to match, Mommy."

Another innovative take on fashion from my four year old, apparently an up and coming outfit mixologist.  This comment coincided with the arrival of the J. Crew catalog, which just happens to feature a bunch of traditionally non-matching outfits that happen to look fabulous.  Taking this fashion advice from my shorty opens a wide array of outfit combinations and can pretty much triple your closet.

Her "non-matching" matching outfit of choice on Monday (yes, she arranges her outfits like this on the floor).