Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Love Me Some Spots

I have always been a fan of animal print.  It can take any plain outfit and make it sassy.  So imagine my excitement when it hit the runway and is showing up EVERYWHERE for Fall!  I am trying to contain myself and not buy everything (I don't want to look like a cat...obviously) but there is no way I will let Fall pass me by without picking up a few pieces.  Here are just a few that I REALLY like...

House of Harlow 1960 Natalia

Rachel Zoe Sleeveless Panther Print Halter Dress

Weatherproof Faux Fur Coat

Elizabeth and James Leather Trim Pencil Skirt

J. Crew Leopard Print Scarf

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bachelor Pad, I have some questions

Via Zap2It

As I sit here and waste watch 2 hours of Bachelor Pad, I cannot help but continue to ask myself questions.  I thought I would share what is constantly running through my mind while I watch.

1. Why did Jake pick Vienna?

2. How much alcohol is actually consumed each day?

3. Do the contracts state you need to be half naked at all times?

4. Why can't Kasey clear his throat?

5. How does Chris Harrison keep a straight face?

6. Really, why did Jake pick Vienna?

7. Does the show provide all the bikinis?

8. Why hasn't Melissa read the book He Is Just Not That Into You yet?  Oh yea, and why is she CRAZY?!   

9. How many sexual positions can the show come up with, disguised as games?

10. Is cereal the only food provided?

And the final question I ask myself while watching this show is....


Monday, August 29, 2011

See You Later Summer!

Today marks the last day of Summer vacation.  Tomorrow our world returns to it's regular scheduled programming.  No more sleeping in and lazy pool days.  It is crazy how fast this summer went.  I am still shocked that I have a first grader in the house, along with my middle man turning 4 and a Baby Girl who is running around, talking and has taken over as Queen Bee around here.  They have grown up so much in the last three months and it has been exhausting exciting to watch.  Cheers to (what was) a fabulous summer and good luck to everyone this Fall!

And no, I did not leave out my oldest on purpose.  Do you know how hard it is to get a picture of all three of them right now, smiling and looking at the camera, all at the same time?  Near impossible.  I am no miracle worker.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Worth Every Calorie

Want to try something AH-MAZING?

Vanilla Bean ice cream with a salty caramel swirl and fudge covered potato chip clusters.  
Need I say more?

Go out and buy it.  You will thank me later.
That is all I have to say about that.  

Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

One of My Favorites: Capes

Yes, I know I live in Southern California.  Yes, I understand that in this climate you do not need much more than a sweater or light weight jacket to make it through winter.  But you know what?  I don't care and it does not stop me from embracing winter wardrobes as if I lived in New York in the middle of December.  My favorite of the winter wardrobes are capes.  I ADORE.  I asked my husband for a cape last Christmas and even though he looked at me like I was insane, he still delivered this Burberry Brit beauty Christmas morning.

Truth be told, he actually delivered a different Burberry cape that morning and I just had to make quick trip to the store for the one I really wanted.  That is besides the point though.  I am obsessed with it and the photos just do not do it justice.  Have I worn it a ton?  No, but I pull it out whenever the weather allows.  

I was so excited to open up the September issue of InStyle and see that capes are back for another season and there are some gorgeous ones out there.  From Net-a-Porter to Zara, they are everywhere.  Here is this year's Burberry Brit cape that I am loving but am trying to see how I can justify having two (black and grey are different right?  And what about buttons and toggles?  Totally different)....

Burberry Horn Toggle Wool Cape

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Good Times as a Nordstrom Manager

If you were curious at all as to where my love for fashion comes from, look no further than your local Nordstrom.  When I was in-between jobs in my early 20's, I started working at Nordstrom as a salesgirl and over the next two years moved into being the manager of the Savvy department at Nordstrom, South Coast Plaza.  If not for the weekends and holidays away from the family, I would have worked there forever.  It was incredibly fun.  Beyond fashion, I also learned a few other things while there.  Here are my Top 10...

10. Everything is on sale when you have an employee discount.

9. Making friends with the salespeople of designer shoes is a MUST.  They will find all the designer shoes in your size, EXTREMELY marked down (plus discount!)

8. It really is possible to spend your entire paycheck on clothes.

7. If it is slow, you can play "dress up" in Celine and McQueen (thanks to Designer Collections being right behind you)

6. You will never step foot in a mall on "Black Friday" after having to work it.

5. Managing the largest Savvy in the company means LOTS of free clothes

4. You will meet designers (some before they become well known) thanks to personal appearances (I still have the Robert Rodriguez outfit I wore when I met him for the first time and he was just launching his line and I will always remember my fashion conversation with Zac Posen in Designer Collections)

3. It is entirely possible to go to work in one outfit and come home in another

2. Anything less than the highest level of customer service is unacceptable (I still live this way and refuse restaurants and stores when the service has not met my expectations)

1. Expensive taste can be learned within minutes (perhaps seconds).

Miss you Nordstrom!  But don't worry, you still take a TON of my money!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Macaroons, Real Housewives Style

Back in April I pulled out Jill Zarin's (Real Housewives of New York) Macaroon recipe from my People magazine.  I came across it this weekend and realized I had never put them to the test.  I decided to make them for dessert Saturday night and OH MY DELISH!  They were amazing.

Jill Zarin's Macaroons
People Magazine, April 18, 2011 

2 (14-oz) bags sweetened flaked coconut
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. sour cream
1 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (Mexican vanilla preferred)
3/4 lb. (12-oz) bittersweet chocolate, melted

1. Preheat over to 325 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until thoroughly combined.

3. Press dough into a soup spoon or small ice cream scoop and release onto the baking sheet.

4. Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven; let cool.

5. Dip one side of each macaroon in melted chocolate and place on a tray lined with wax paper.

6. Refrigerate 20 minutes before serving.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Impulse Purchase Brought To Life

If you follow me on twitter, then you will know that a couple weeks ago, I made an impulse purchase of this TEXTILE Elizabeth and James Riley Skirt.  I had written about it here and have been keeping an eye on it.  While casually perusing ShopBop, I noticed it was on sale so I snatched it up (just in time too because it sold out the next day).  I opted for the Charcoal color so that it could be worn into Fall with boots and a sweater.  Here it is making its debut this past Sunday.

Everything else?

Sunglasses - Marc by Marc Jacobs (via Rue LaLa)
Earrings - Forever 21
Necklace - Banana Republic
Tank - H&M
Watch - Michael Kors
Clutch - Tory Burch
Shoes -  I am not wearing any. Sorry, it was nice outside and I was lazy

Friday, August 19, 2011

Take me to the Ritz!

This week the hubby did date night up a bit and we headed over to the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel for dinner at Raya, thanks to Travel Zoo's local deals.  He purchased a three course meal at this sassy restaurant to give it a try.  I am SO glad he did!

Not only was the view spectacular, but the food and drinks were fantastic.  I did not want to look like a tourist (believe me, there were plenty of them), so I did not bring the fancy camera along but took some secret pictures on my iphone.  Here is a few.  I wish I would have gotten more but I was too distracted by all the food to even think about getting pictures of it.

Got there right at sunset, and had to zoom past the
two people actually sitting at this table

The menu!

Food, wine, good company.  What else do you need?


We had a fantastic time and will definitely be back.  If you have not checked out Travel Zoo's local deals, I would highly recommend it.  Such a great way to try something new!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rag and Bone for Fall

Remember my royal blue Rag and Bone jean's I wrote about here?  I continue to love the colored denim trend and was very excited to see Rag and Bone bring out new colors for Fall.

Skinny Corduroy Pants

Corduroy Elephant Bell Pants

Denim Legging
LOVE these!

For those of you who were not ready to embrace the extremely bright colors of the Spring collections, this is the perfect (more mild) way to introduce some color into your denim collection.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It is his dream come true...

My husband has been waiting for the day when he had the perfect excuse to spend more time on the golf course.  This day has arrived.  Our oldest has become obsessed with golf and asks to play it as much as possible.  It began when we were out in the desert...

Which has led to practicing in the backyard...

And afternoons spent on the course together, along with his own clubs.  

The hubby knows I am not going to say no to this.  In fact, he knows I am going to encourage the father/son bonding time.  I have no argument.  I have no rebuttal.  Yes Oldest, of course you and daddy can go golfing! 

Well played Hubby.  Well played.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cucumber-Lime Coolers

It has been incredibly hot here in the OC lately.  Don't get me wrong, I love it, but refreshments are definitely a must.  I found a recipe for Cucumber-Lime Coolers in my Williams Sonoma "Cocktail Parties" cookbook and had to give it a try.  Ironically, it was one of the few non-alcoholic cocktails in the book (which did make me second guess whether I should waste the time) but I went ahead and made it anyway.  I am so glad I did!  It was incredibly tasty and refreshing!  Think fresh sparkling Limeade!

And for those moms-to-be out there, this is the perfect mocktail for when you hate not feeling part of the party (see, I am hitting numerous audiences here).

Cucumber-Lime Coolers
Courtesy of William Sonoma "Cocktail Parties" 

1 c. fresh lime juice
6 Tbsp. superfine sugar
Ice Cubes
1 bottle sparkling water, chilled
Thin cucumber and lime slices for garnish

1. Select 4 old fashioned or short glasses.
2. Combine 1/4 c. of the lime juice and 1 1/2 Tbsp. of sugar in each glass and stir to dissolve the sugar.
3. Fill the glasses with ice and then top each glass with 3/4 c. of the sparkling water.
4. Garnish each glass with several cucumber and lime slices and serve at once.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wish List: Black is NOT boring!

Happy Monday Everyone!

To kick off the week, I thought I would share some fabulous "wish list" feet jewelry (also known to normal people as heels) that I would love to add to my closet. These absolutely prove that even though a heel may be black, it can still be AH-Mazing.

Brian Atwood Lolita Ankle Strap Sandals

Miu Miu Knot Front Suede Pump

Jimmy Choo Private Patent Leather Sandal

The sad part of these is that they will actually have to always stay on the wish list for me *sigh*  I can handle being 6'4" but there is no way I am going to pull off 6'5" without falling over.  I know my limitations.

I think I just heard my husband's bank account cheer....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Heel Broke

Yup!  A heel broke and I ended up in therapy.  No, not physical therapy (though I am actually going there too thanks to the back issue.)  No, this is your "honest to goodness, sit across from a person and let it all out" therapy.  What happened you ask?  A couple weeks ago while my husband was in Germany on business, I woke up in the middle of the night with what I can only describe as the scariest moment of my life, also known as a full fledged panic attack.  I had never had one and it scared the hell out of me.  This led to a few days of panic attacks and complete anxiety.  After sitting down with a therapist, I have learned that I am one of many who deal with major anxiety and that I am going to need to learn to work through this.

When I went home and was able to sit back and think about this, I began to realize how NOT shocking this was.  I mean, I am a perfectionist, with three children, a husband that works a lot, a career, who always says yes to things and rarely takes time for my own well being.  Hmmm, sounds like the definition of a mother, doesn't it?  At first I was angry at myself for not noticing the "signs" of being stressed, but after a few days, I began to be happy that it happened.  Why?  Because I needed something to tell me that I am not Superwoman.  I don't have to be perfect.  And no one is expecting me to be, except myself that is.

The pressures we put on ourselves to be perfect as wives, friends and mothers can sometimes backfire and really put our bodies and our minds in a terrible place.  I know it is important to be there for my children and husband, but it is equally important to be there for myself.  They depend on me too much to not make sure that I am okay.

I am writing this post because I know (based on statistics) that AT LEAST a couple of you out there are dealing with this same issue.  And if you are not, there is perhaps something else on your plate (we all have our struggles).  I challenge all of you to remind yourself that Superwoman does not exist.  We are all doing the best we can, and no one is expecting anything more than that.  

Friday, August 12, 2011

28 Days!

See this picture?  Well, it is not my husband and I YET, but it will be in 28 days!  In just a few weeks, we will be heading to France WITHOUT children to celebrate our 10 year anniversary.  We will be spending most of our time in Paris but will head to Burgundy to enjoy some of France's wine country.  I am SO excited.  It will be the longest we have ever left the babes (9 days!) but they will be fine and I plan on eating everything, drinking a ton, shopping, sight seeing, and SLEEPING IN!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

You Guys Rock!

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you to everyone who voted for me in the Circle of Moms "Top 25 So Cal Mom Blogs"!!  I was honored to simply be nominated and never thought I would tie for 12th after blogging for only 4 months.  It is due 100% to all of you who voted for me every day and put me on the list!

Now I get to answer some questions, take a photo and then will be featured in their upcoming publication, The RoundUp, which I will obviously share with you.

Again, thank you so much for supporting me on this.  Blogging has become such a fun hobby for me and I am so happy to see that you all are enjoying it!

This is it!!!!

Okay Friends!  This is it!  The LAST day to vote for the Circle of Moms "Top 25 So Cal Mom Blogs".  I have been hanging in there but some of these blogs are coming up fast.  I need everyone's support to vote today and help keep me in the Top 25!  You have until 5pm pacific to place your vote.  You do not know how much I appreciate all the support.  It means the world to me!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Favorite meal of the day?  Breakfast/Brunch.  I cannot get enough of it.  I am definitely the mom who throws the "breakfast for dinner" out at least once a week.  I am also the person who loves to throw parties at 11am so that brunch is served (baby showers, wedding showers, Baby Girl's birthday party, and on and on).  One of my favorite parts of this meal (besides mimosas of course) are the baked goods.  This past Sunday I threw together this Blueberry Crumb Cake, not for breakfast on Sunday...but so we had something yummy for breakfast each morning this week!

And because I have to ask....

I know, I know, this pink circle is getting annoying to you.  I promise it is only for one more day!  Voting ends tomorrow at 5pm pacific!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bringing the 70's Back

I have developed a crush on all things 70's lately.  Blame Rachel Zoe and Nicole Richie with their fabulous 70's fashion but I cannot seem to get enough of the super wide legged, high waisted trousers, big sunglasses and fabulous printed blouses.  One of my favorite blogs, Mommy Chic (you should definitely check her out!) blogged about some high waisted Gap jeans that were currently on sale.  Lucky for me, I was able to track them down for just $10!  STEAL!  Here was my debut of the jeans.  What do you think?  Mind you people, I am not a fashion blogger, these photos were a quick snap from my hubby (BTW, how do they pose?  I felt SO silly!).  Please do not have high expectations....

Curious about everything else?

Sunglasses - Marc by Marc Jacobs
Tank - Tory Burch
Belt - Gap
Shoes - DV by Dolce Vita
Handbag - Marc Jacobs

We headed to the movies after this and saw Crazy, Stupid, Love.  I loved it!  Highly recommend!

Only two more days until the voting is over!  Thank you so much for the continued support!

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Day at the Beach

There are few things I enjoy more than spending a summer day at the beach.  Saturday was gorgeous so we decided to head down to Salt Creek Beach, one of our favorites (and not extremely touristy...HUGE plus).  The day did not disappoint.  We have not been taking advantage of the beach this year like we should be, and today reminded us that there is no reason to not sit in the sand, play with the kids and enjoy some sun (with a lot of SPF of course!).
Are you tired of me asking?  Don't worry, there are only a few days left.  I really appreciate you taking a second to vote today!

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