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.

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. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

baby faves

maclaren stroller in central park

When I was pregnant and having babies, to say that I fully researched baby products is probably an understatement.  I've been meaning to share some of our favorite products; the ones that have stayed with us.

Lasted us six years through disney, d.c., nyc, and our own urban adventures.
It would still be with us if I didn't leave it at the green city market one day.
See what happens when I don't meet my coffee quota?  I know, who loses a stroller?

The life chair.  We have two of these in black and they still look great at our kitchen table. 
Free of straps and contraptions, the chairs are now in the bid kid position and also comfortable for adults. 


This folding rocker is perfect for small spaces.  We definitely didn't have space for the big, cushy recliners that you often see in nurseries, but this did the trick.  Especially after dawning it with a comfy sheepskin throw.  Sleek and modern, it now sits in our family room and it's my favorite spot.

i have several of these.  the coziest and can be used as a throw or rug.  i love throwing them over leather couches too for a soft touch.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Blog to watch

My dear bestie, fwb, who made cameo appearances here, has just launched a new style blog, Two Way Mirrors.  The concept is genius as it's a She Said, He said commentary on her fashions and outfits.  The HE is her pretty hilarious husband, but I think he has a rockstar style all his own.  Perhaps they'll reveal it someday, but for now, the HE comments accompany my morning joe nicely with some good laughs and the SHE comments inspire me to put in that extra little effort.  Must read.

via two way mirrors

besties, there's five days left to vote!

thanks for all your support to keep me in the top 25 so far!

Thursday, January 17, 2013


While spending a two hour stint in the Apple store with the kids, only to be told that my phone needed replacing, a trip to the bathroom was inevitable.  Even kids need a break from the iPad table and every kid needs to go to the bathroom at the most inopportune time.  So, down the elevator we went into the clean new iBathrooms.  While waiting on the peanuts, I noticed that the iLighting was not so stellar.  Weird for such a modern, sleek store, I thought.  As I struggled to get the shadow off of my face, I moved my head back and forth only to realize that it it followed me.  It wasn't the iLighting and the shadows were circles.  Dark, purple circles like that of cinema makeup outlined the base of my eyes.  The circles stayed with me to the next morning and nothing could cover the purplish blue hue.  Scanning my bathroom, my eyes landed on the only product that cured my daughter's diaper rash three years ago.  Desperato - I grabbed it.  It's a very think, very white, illuminous-esque paste.  But when applied, it becomes thinner and the bottom line is that it worked.  Three dots of Benefit's high beam on top and I was good as gold.  Well, maybe silver.   I'm a big fan of finding multiple uses for the products that take up my husband's shelf on the medicine cabinet.  iSorry, dear.

Lucky Magazine published an article in this month's issue titled:   

The 6 Secrets of Wide-Awake Eyes

#4:  There's a vein just above the inner corner of your eyes, almost at the bridge of your nose.  Hit tht with a dab of concealer and your eyes will look significantly more awake.  

Now,  I'm not seeing a vein, more like a wrinkle, but I applied on the inner corners/ almost bridge of nose and saw a slight difference.  Will definitely do this from now on.  Especially when my shadow follows me.

Need your votes to stay in the Top 25!
Thank you for all your blog loving support!

Monday, January 14, 2013

yes, tina fey, whatever you say!

Did you watch the Golden Globes?  After I had finally gotten the kids to sleep and poured myself a little white wine spritzer (no comments, please), I cozied up on my lambskin rug and went to "my shows" to watch from the beginning.  Unfortunately, my overbooked tivo chose 60 Minutes over the Globes (wha?) so I had to start 45 minutes in.  During commercials, I watched the opening monologue online after seeing on FB that Tina and Amy killed it!  Those are two fabulously funny women!

I watch the awards shows to see all the fun dresses, hairstyles, and, of course, who wins what.  But I realized that the major takeaway for me is the inspiration that you get from people who have followed their passion in a competitive field (I've sat in commercial casting sessions and seen one hundred people audition for one roll) and the speeches and thank yous that convey this.  Those people are all at the top of their game in their profession. Some have worked harder than others, but most have stories about how they started and had to work for their success.  I can ride on the hope for quite awhile to keep me motivated - it's the same feeling you get after watching a good movie, one that stays in your mind for awhile, makes you think, and inspires you to take that next step towards something, anything.

Two days ago, Huffington Post published this article:  Tina Fey:  '30 Rock' Star's Success Secret: 'Say Yes'
"Say yes, and you'll figure it out afterward" has helped me to be more adventurous. It has definitely helped me be less afraid.  -Tina Fe

Simple advice, yet inspiring enough for a good kick to get up and do what you want to do.  Go for it.  The only time is now.

Don't forget to get your votes in this week!

Friday, January 11, 2013

La Colombe.  Hands down the best cappuccino in Chicago.  West loop.  Check it.

Don't forget to vote! You can still vote once daily through January 23rd!
Happy Friday.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

armed and ready

Fashion is in the eye of the beholder and can be found in so many unexpected places.  Like your local Cub Scouts store, for example.  I love this chunky survival bracelet and just in case I need to unexpectedly repel down several stories, it has my back. 
Description from the website:
In an emergency, you can use paracord for lashings, tourniquets, shoelaces, snares, tying splints, or, if you tease out the threads, even fishing lines and sewing threads. This bracelet lets you carry a useful amount at all times.

Hey, in my job, you never know what's going to cross your path.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

san antonio feast

A recent shoot took me to San Antonio for three days.  After the sheer thrill and awe that I actually landed there safely (that may have been boosted by a little Rx assistant), I decided to take in as much as I could in the little time we had in between work commitments.  This resulted in me eating my way through this fine city.

First stop:  La Gloria-Street foods of Mexico.  My first and by far the best meal I had in San Antonio. You can just tell by looking at these chips that they are light and crispy.  My co-workers and I split the three taco plates and ended with the elote- the corn on the cob (I think I'll be trying Rick Bayless' recipe at home - all summer!) 

Next stop was La Fogata for dinner and Margaritas bigger than....well, take a look!  My cute little buddy is a regular size marg on the right.  The texas size marg on the left comes with a frozen beer in it.  That made for a fun client dinner.

Next up was Rudy's REAL TEXAS BBQ for a crew and client lunch on our shoot day.  Served family style with a few loaves of good 'ole white bread and any kind of fruit flavored pop/soda that you could imagine - icing down in the beverage trough.  My choice was a Pepsi from Mexico - gotta go big and REAL when in Texas.  And RUDY'S BBQ sauce is amazing and a bottle is in my fridge right now!  Merry Christmas to me from me.

We ended with an amazing dinner at a steakhouse that's hidden within an outdoor mall (and quite hard to find mind you after a 14hr day).  But we found Perry's Steakhouse along with an amazing ice seafood tower, too die for famous pork chop, and yummy banana's foster.  

When I wasn't eating, I was doing my producing thing in my favorite (and very lived in) kicks and j crew chambray shirt-which for sure is down to a zero price per wear status.  Both perfect for the construction site location backdrops.

boots:  charles david (similar, kinda)

j crew chambray shirt - a closet must have

a san antonio souvenir for kringle

Still need a ton of votes to stay in the Top 25!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

magic hat

"Why do you always wear a hat?" " 'Cause it fits my head." 
(Robert Redford, in "The Horse Whisperer")

You know how I have that rule about no photo being posted of me where my arms looks bigger than my head?  Well, I do and I've posted an example here. Often, my sleeveless arm can look the same width as my head.  This happens all the time for two reasons A.  I need to get my arms to the gym and B.  I have a rather small head - I can wear my six year old son's hats, no problem.  So, when it comes to appearing put together - sort of in the aviator vain - I feel a cute hat can disguise any old outfit instantaneously.  It's like the icing on a not so great cake - who doesn't love it?  And because some days call for going incognito or looking put together from the waist up (example:  in the school drop off line when I'm sporting my pj pants).  Who would even think it when sporting one of these lids. As they say, if the hat fits...

the winter fedora
target $16.99
the plaid hat

local chicago designer squast by les
the striped hat
j crew $24.99

the furt aviator hat

zara $14.99
the houndstooth news boy hat
ralph lauren $33.74

with these sales, i could be sporting a hat daily!


the only thing sofia vergara and i have in common.  but mine is a mood ring from high school that my mom pulled out for me at thanksgiving and sofia's is several k's and i'm pretty sure doesn't reflect moods.  a rummage through the old jewelry box is worth the effort once in awhile.  i've been wearing this ring ever since.   and no, it's not always black.

p.s.  despite my mother's insistence, this ring wasn't even mine.  sorry sister.

on my nails:  OPI's Just Spotted the Lizard
a perfect sparkly winter blend...

Monday, January 07, 2013

game day dinner

Go Irish!  National Championship games don't to come around very often so it's time for chips, dip and some football watching tonight.  We'll be kicking it old school with a Spanish twist on the comfort classic tuna casserole recipe.  Made this over the break with yummy results.  If you are craving a slightly more sophisticated take on this 50's classic, this recipe for Creamy Tuna Noodle Cazuela from Food & Wine delivers. 

While some of my besties are shooping it up in Miami (Delano style - oh how I love those white sheers on the front "porch"), I'll be on my couch in my new favorite cozy pants (aka my new legs).  J Crew Saturday Pants - did they have to attach a specific day to them?  How about Sunday-Saturday pants.  This is not me below (shocking) - but I have the same shirt and flasses (fake + glasses) - I consider them an accessory - that's a fancy word for vanity, I guess.  I wish everyone spoke Fancy Nancy.

j crew $39.99 plus 30% sale at the store
these pants are a must

If you like Goodies & Besties, don't forget to vote for it to be in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Beauty and Fashion blogs of 2013!  You can vote here daily....from all devices.  Just sayin....

Friday, January 04, 2013

new year, new routine

New skin.  We are all interested in preserving our skin and being that it is an organ after all, we should be.  Despite this obsession, many nights I still find myself pulling out the Say Yes to Cucumber towelettes and doing a quick once over before collapsing into bed.  And it shows when I wake up with tired, dull skin.  I have found that a little oil can add a little extra sheen, wakes up the skin for the day and goes a long way.  And in keeping with my attempt to keep my medicine cabinet as natural as possible, I'm looking to my kitchen cupboard for oils and other goodies to incorporate into the 2013 routine.

Coconut oil:  I've been applying before bed for some extra nighttime moisture.  As we get further into winter, the air is getting drier and drier.  So far, this has not cause any breakouts.

Jojaba oil:  Combine with moisturizer in the morning for an extra boost to wake up the skin.

Lemon juice:  I'm trying this to even skintone - I'll be back with an update.  And for a healthy and pH balance scalp:  apply to wet hair and leave in for a few minutes before rinsing.  A little tip from my dermatologist.

Grapeseed oil + Sugar:  For a nightly lip scrub

Camomile Tea:  Rinse into hair after shampooing and before conditioning to enhance highlights. 

Because there is nothing that makes me more anxious than sitting at the hair salon for three hours getting highlights.  Between the waiting, heating, and sheer thought of the chemicals penetrating my scalp, the experience is less than relaxing.  Paranoid, I know, but if I can add a few extra weeks between visits, I'll take it!

Cheers to a healthy routine in 2013!

Goodies and Besties has been nominated for the Circle of Moms top 10 Fashion & Beauty blogs.  If you feel so inclined, please head over and vote.  You can cote daily and voting ends in 20 days!