Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Eggs Benedict

For years, I was extremely intimidated by the kitchen.
I would take a look at a recipe, see the list of ingredients, read through all the steps and become too overwhelmed to even try it.
I was convinced I would screw it up somehow.

Over the past few years, however, I began to crave the ability to cook.  And not just a quesadilla on the stove, but really cook.  My husband also began feeling the same way and slowly but surely, we took to the kitchen, sometimes working alone, sometimes working together, to create things that really, I never thought we would be able to make.

Whether the hubby was frying fish tacos for dinner, or I was making baked croissant French Toast for breakfast, we began to notice how much we both enjoyed being in the kitchen.  What I thought was going to feel stressful and overwhelming actually brought extreme calm and enjoyment.  For how crazy our life can get, cooking seems to always slow down life for a moment.  Now when we have people over, we will sit and talk menu, creating the perfect combination of flavors for our friends and family.  Whether it is as simple as an All American menu to a more complex French menu, we have so much fun cooking, baking and setting the scene with friends.

This holiday break has given us the gift of time and it has been the perfect excuse to try some new things.  I made my first French Onion Soup on Christmas, the hubby has been putting his new deep fryer to work on beignets and frites, and I finally attempted risotto, something the hubby has always made incredibly well but I have never attempted.  The hubby also made this Eggs Benedict for the first time and it was a dream come true.

I just finished reading Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life around the Table, a book of essays by the author followed by some of her favorite recipes.  Throughout the book she focuses on the importance of gathering around the table with friends and family and the memories that are created.  I just loved the entire book and it has motivated me to take my cooking one step further.

My resolution for 2014 is to create more time to cook for friends and family.  Every year our calendar gets booked with parties, galas, events, meetings, sports and dinners.  What is lacking is the more casual moments; the dinners at our home with the people we adore.  No matter how fun a party or event can be, it does not compare to the intimacy of a group of people around a dining room table, eating and drinking for hours.  So, that is my plan.  A little less over booking, a little more personal entertaining.

And on that note, can you believe this is the last day of 2013?  It really was such an incredible year and I feel so very blessed.  I can only image what amazing things are to come.  This life is pretty incredible isn't it?  Have a wonderful celebration this evening and I look forward to sharing more with you in 2014.

Happy New Year.   

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Last Month

December always seems to exist in such a blur doesn't it?  

Thanksgiving hits and then it is as if the fast forward button is pushed and without a second to breathe, Christmas Eve arrives and we begin to wonder what just happened.

Being my favorite time of year, the only thing I end up regretting at Christmas time is how fast it came and went.  It bothers me that such an amazing time could be over so quickly.  This year I took a different approach and decided to leave the stress behind, simply trying to enjoy the season.  Because isn't that what happens?  We get caught up in all the planning and preparing that we forget to embrace the beauty of it?

This year I laughed, hugged, drank, ate, smiled, and celebrated with family and friends.  I listened to Christmas tunes, I decorated a tree, I watched Baby Girl play with our Nativity, and I read Christmas stories.  I hosted friends, cooked, attended mass, went on walks with the family, attended parties and enjoyed some down time with the hubby and kids.
Some things I didn't do was visit a mall (thank you Amazon Prime and the greater internet...oh yes, and my UPS man), make Christmas cookies, worry about a clean house, get dressed some days, worry about calories, over-commit ourselves, worry about a properly decorated dining room table and many other things that just seem to cause a lot of stress over the holidays.

The outcome was a holiday season that I can say, for the first time in a while I TRULY enjoyed.  It is the first time in a while that I am not sad to see it end because I know I did everything I could to make it memorable.  I loved this year and learned a valuable lesson that I plan to carry on in years to come.  Christmas is not about what needs to be done but the joy and hope of life.  

When you take a moment and look back at the Christmas memories that are created every day, it is not the details that you ever remember.  
It is the smiles, the hugs, the laughs of your family and friends.  
Nothing more.  Nothing less.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas


"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" -Luke 2:11

May we forget all that is wrong with the world and embrace all that is good.
May we forget all the stresses life brings and appreciate all our blessings.
May we hug those we love and feel the presence of those who have passed.
May love and laughter fill our hearts.
May we always remember the true meaning of Christmas and the sacrifice that was made for us.

From my family to yours,
Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 20, 2013


A Merry Christmas to you!

I am so excited that it is the weekend before Christmas.  The kids are out of school, our Christmas cards have been sent, Christmas shopping is complete and all that is left is preparing our menu, baking some cookies and spending some quality time together.  The best two weeks of the year!

There are many who will be running around for some last minute gifts so I thought I would pull together some quick suggestions to help check these individuals off your list!

For Her

For Him

For the Kids

Don't forget the gift guides I did for the hubby and girlfriends too!

In totally unrelated news, did you hear about this guy?  I mean, really?   

Next week I am going to be taking it easy, popping in and out so the posting will be light but don't worry, I am not going on "vacation" just yet.

Happy Weekend.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

For the Girls

Looking for a little something for your girlfriends?  
Here some suggestions I know I would love to receive and I am sure your friends would too!

For the Girls

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Elf

Is anyone else having as much trouble as I am remembering to move this guy?

I tend to run around like a maniac in the morning, hiding him under my robe until I get him in a new spot before the kids see.

And when they find him first and realize he hasn't moved, I come up with the crap excuse that they must have not been very good yesterday and he didn't want to give a bad report to Santa so he stayed put.  

Because why not instill fear in your children at Christmas time?  

Completely makes sense.

Monday, December 16, 2013


It is the final week of school before Christmas break and I could not be more thrilled.    
Nothing sounds better than two weeks off of our schedule to relax and spend time celebrating the holidays with the family.  
The countdown is on!

As I mentioned Friday, we had a crazy weekend but I am happy to report that it was all executed brilliantly if I do say so myself.  One of my favorite parts of the weekend was hosting the Bardot Holiday Event.  It has been YEARS since I worked retail and I have missed the fun of helping others shop for beautiful clothes.  The hubby may never allow me to do it again because spending 5 hours at a boutique with 5 trunk shows meant I perhaps came home with a few too many things for myself but I had a blast!

One of the trunk shows at Bardot was Hudson+Bleecker, a collection of luxury travel and lifestyle accessories.  The line includes cosmetic cases, pouches, cosmetic bags, and weekender bags in a number of styles.  I was aware of the line but had never been able to preview the entire collection in person.  Eram, the designer behind the line, was also in attendance at the event and was able to walk me through all the items, the functionality of each piece and how they are made.  It is a beautiful collection of prints, fabrics and yet are incredible versatile for the woman on the go.  I also love that for ever accessory purchased, Hudson+Bleecker donates a percentage of the profits to support local and national charities and philanthropic causes.  I have so much respect for those who give back.  These are some of my favorites and I am still kicking myself for not coming home with the garment bag.    

Orient Express Pochette / Basel Shoe Bag / Capri Berry Mini Dopp Kit

Vienna Voyager Toiletry Bag / Labyrinth Gold Wayfarer Garment Bag
The Hudson+Bleecker collection is available locally at Bardot or online here.  The perfect Christmas present for those last few women on your list!

Friday, December 13, 2013


Where have I been you ask?  Hmmm, not sure.  It seems everywhere lately.

I know my posts have been EXTREMELY limited lately but there are very valid reasons for this.

One of my dear friends from college came to visit with her family on Saturday and stayed with us until Wednesday.  I don't know about you but it is MUCH more fun sitting on the couch, sipping wine and chatting until the late hours of the night than it is putting together a blog post by yourself.  Sorry, as much as I adore my blog, this is true.  

On top of that, it seems the holidays have taken a hold of me and I am trying desperately to stay ahead of the crazy without much success.  Last night began the three day event of four holiday parties, four games, three practices, three children, two birthday parties, two parents and one blog event.  This exciting endeavor is running from Thursday to Saturday and the hubby and I are focused on simply keeping our head on straight.  I LOVE LOVE this time of year but man it can be CA-RAZY!

In the mist of the crazy, I am also trying to keep some perspective.  The above gifts are donations for those families in need this holiday season.  If you have the means, think about donating to someone else's Christmas this year.  There are so many families struggling and every child and parent deserves to feel the magic of Christmas.  If you follow me on Instagram I know that you have already heard this but it is just so important.  

This week I was unsuccessful in creating a number of posts but I did have a chance to share some style inspiration and some Christmas picks for the hubby.  I am also EXTREMELY excited for THIS Saturday's Bardot Holiday Event that I am hosting and will be styling at ALL DAY (well, from 11am to 5pm)!  I would love to see you for shopping (the list of trunk shows is insane!), drinks and some girl time.  Bardot is located at 2043 Westcliff Drive, Suite 103,  Newport Beach, Ca.

Happy Weekend. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thank you Mr. Porter

When it comes to Christmas shopping, as much as I would love to walk leisurely through the mall with a latte in hand, slowly taking in all that is available, that is just not real life for me.  The majority of my shopping is done online through specific online retailers that I know can deliver the quality of gifts I am looking for in a timely manner, wrapped and ready to place under the Christmas tree.  There just does not need to be stress over Christmas shopping!

My favorite online retailer that makes shopping for the hubby EXTREMELY easy is Mr. Porter.  They have an incredible selection of designers, numerous gift ideas for the guy who is hard to shop for and they offer free express shipping.  There is nothing better than your package arriving in 2-3 days, boxed and ready to go right under the tree.  

Mr. Porter offers a range of items from tech accessories to socks to incredible coats.  There is something there for everyone.  These are some of the products I love that I am eyeing for the hubby.

Saturdays Surf NYC Sweatshirt
Aesop Athlete Grooming Kit
Beams Plus Socks
Rag & Bone Herringbone Jacket
J. Crew Cashmere Beanie
J. Crew Abingdon Waxed Cotton Carryall

Monday, December 9, 2013


1 / 2 / 3

Friday, December 6, 2013

Helping your skin survive the Holiday celebrations

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is all the celebrations.  I just love getting together with family and friends, catching up with those you haven't seen in a while and seeing everyone celebrating such a special time of year.  Unfortunately, my skin does not like it as much as I do.

With all the celebrating (a.k.a drinking and eating), the dry weather, late nights and the constant application of makeup, my skin takes a beating every holiday season.  I follow a strict skin regime during this time to help combat all the abuse it is taking.  With 6 more holiday parties over the next three weekends, it is necessary!  Here are my five daily MUST HAVES that make an incredible difference during this time of year.

Apple Cider Vinegar
I have mentioned apple cider vinegar a couple times on the blog but during the holiday season, it is an absolute must.  I drink 2 tablespoons with water every day to help my immune system and to keep my skin clear and smooth.  It is amazing the difference I see if I don't drink it for a few days.  Plus, who wants to get sick when they can be at holiday parties?!  If you are going to add anything this holiday season, this is it.

Vitamin Water
Remember, water is always better.  And I love water but with how dry my skin gets, hydration is key and I get bored with drinking gallons of water all day.  Vitamin Water is my go-to for some flavor.  Having one every now and then shakes up the blandness of water and helps me stay hydrated.  Is it the best thing for you?  Probably not, but remember, the more dry your skin is, the more your fine lines and wrinkles will show, so find your hydration drinks and keep drinking!

I always use this cleanser at night before bed but during the Winter season I use it morning and night.  It is much more moisturizing than any other cleanser I have tried, takes off all my makeup and leaves my skin feeling refreshed.  I believe in this cleanser so much that I will never use a different one again.  It is that good.

After washing my face in the morning and prior to applying my tinted moisturizer, I apply this day cream.  It is extremely light and provides just a little more added moisture, complimenting my tinted moisturizer without looking greasy.  It also stands great on its own when a day without makeup is needed.

After washing my face at night and after applying my toner, I apply this Vitamin C treatment.  It is amazing the work it does while I sleep.  Not only does it restore my skin but it also has helped with some fine lines and wrinkles that have decided to show.  The added bonus is how soft your skin feels in the morning.

Other things I do during this time of year is apply aztec mud mask once a week, try to get as much sleep as I can and when attending a party, keeping my drinking to a minimum.  The bonus of this is not waking up feeling like crap with three little ones running around.

I hope you are all having as much fun as I am celebrating the holidays!   

Cheers to the Weekend!  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nutella Crepes

One of my favorites foods in France were crepes.  I cannot tell you how many ham and cheese crepes I ate while I was there but I just could not get enough.  Every time I find them on a menu, they will be ordered.  Every time I find a cafe that serves crepes, it becomes an instant favorite.  I do not know why it took so long for me to finally purchase a crepe pan and try them out for myself.

I picked up the Cuisinart Classic Crepe pan and figured there was no better way to try out my crepe making abilities than by making nutella crepes for the kids after school yesterday.  They are obsessed with nutella crepes and something a little different.  I used this recipe for crepes and got to work.

The treat was incredibly delicious and so easy to make.  The pan made it entirely too easy to spread the batter around and make a perfectly round shape (which I thought was going to be the hardest part).  The recipe was a no brainer and in just a few minutes, crepes were being served!  Next up?  My favorite ham and cheese of course!

I would also like to give a big shout out to the best father, husband and friend a girl could know.  
Happy Birthday Hubby.  
The kids and I adore you!  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bardot's Holiday Event

I am so excited to announce that one of my favorite boutiques in Orange County, Bardot, is having their annual Holiday Shopping Event and yours truly will be the host!  I will be there all day to help you shop, talk holidays, sips some drinks and enjoy some much needed girl time.  With incredible trunk shows by designers such as Tibi, Merritt Charles and Ceek AND 20% off you entire purchase, there really is no reason not to stop by for a bit!  

Bardot is located at 2043 Westcliff Drive, Suite 103, Newport Beach, Ca. and opens at 11am.

I hope to see you there!

Also, today I am over at My Thirty Spot sharing some of my favorite hostess gifts for all your upcoming parties, dinner and holiday events.  Come on over and visit by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Day After

Yes I know I should be showcasing all the fabulous holiday dresses that are out there for your upcoming holiday parties but don't all these sweats look too comfortable to pass up?
The perfect "day after eating and drinking to my hearts content" pants.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Holiday Favorites

This morning I was incredibly sad to see Thanksgiving break come to an end.  I love the lazy mornings with the kids when they climb in bed with me and we watch shows together.  I love not having any plans, playing board games, decorating the house for Christmas and going on walks.  I love having the hubby home and spending so much time with family and friends.  The holidays have begun and I am loving every minute of it.

One part of the holidays that I love is spending time with the family watching Christmas movies.  There are so many good ones and there seems like there isn't enough time in the month of December to fit them all in.  These are some moments from some of my favorite Christmas movies to brighten up your Monday morning.

It's A Wonderful Life

Polar Express

Beautiful Girls

Love Actually

Christmas Vacation

Other ones not listed that I love to watch this time of year are Miracle on 34th Street, ELF, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Santa Claus, Home Alone and One Magic Christmas.  

I think I could keep going.  There are just too many! 

Happy start to the Holidays!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

Day to day, I fall victim to not looking around and seeing what is right in front of me.  I rush through the day, trying to get everything done that needs to be done, every one to practices, school or playdate, dinner on the table, homework done, and everything else that goes on in the life of a mom.  I will sometimes complain.  Perhaps the hubby and I will fight about something.  I will sometimes look at the list and wish that it would be smaller.  I feel exhausted.  I just want some days to end.  

Thanksgiving is always my wake up call.  The reminder that each day that I have on this earth is a blessing.  A reminder that I could not image my days any other way, running after three of the greatest gifts I have ever received.  A reminder that I married an incredible man who I cannot imagine living without.  A reminder that no matter how hard life feels sometimes, God is always there to pick me up.  A reminder that my family and friends are all around me, each day, making me a better person.

Today I pray that each of you also have your reminders.  That we take a step outside of our hectic and sometimes scary world and realize the gifts that are all around us.  That we appreciate the blessings and understand the hardships.  That we keep our faith and show our thanks.  

Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and to all those you hold dear to your heart.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

New Additions

With Christmas right around the corner, the hubby and I decided it was time to get our formal living room decorated so that we could actually use it with friends and family this holiday season.  We had already picked out the sofas and purchased the pillows last January (yes, these pillows have been sitting in a closet for almost a year) and just placed the order for the sofas last week.  I have shared them a number of times but just in cased you missed it, they are Murphy Sofas from Room & Board.  

With the larger pieces ordered, it was time to move to some accent pieces.  I had seen the Dot Inlay Side Tables by West Elm  on Joanna's blog, A Cup of Jo, and wanted to check them out so we made the trip this past Saturday.  In person, they were even better and both the hubby and I agreed they were a must.

While chatting with the sales associate at West Elm, he mentioned that the Marble Oval Coffee Table might look great with the couches and side tables so we went to take a look.  It looks so good next to the side tables that we didn't second guess it and added it to our order.

Last but not least to the trip was stopping by IKEA where our interior designer said we would be able to find a cowhide rug for much less than what we were seeing online.  I was shocked and how nice the rugs were and the price.  Crazy.  So, we picked up the one we liked best and headed home feeling that we at least got a small portion of the room done.

Sunday was spent picking out purple paint because, well, I really want a cozy purple room and with all the jewel tones we have picked out, I think it is going to be a great compliment.  Of all the spaces in the home, this room is where my truly eclectic side is coming out and I am having such a great time designing it.  

The rest of the details of the room will come together when I bring our interior designer back in after the holidays (art, bar cart, record player stand, wallpaper, bookshelves and a larger rug to go under the cowhide are all on the list) but for now, the room is beginning to feel more like a part of the home and less like the empty space we have been avoiding.  I will be sure to keep you posted on other items we pick up and of course will share photos as it all comes together.

Happy Monday.

Friday, November 22, 2013


I really loved this week.

I learned some lessons in patience.
I took a yoga class for the first time in what feels like FOREVER.
I spent some amazing time with friends.
I finally got my car back.
I saw both my boys come home with huge smiles for big accomplishments at school.
I smiled as my daughter attempted her ballet.
I found time to get our house in order.
I spent Thursday afternoon watching a movie with the kids while it rained outside.
I FINALLY called people back that I owed calls to.

It was a week of frustration, anxiety, perfect calm and a sense of appreciation.  A perfect week.

  And now I am going into the weekend celebrating the fact that the kids are out of school next week for Thanksgiving, we have a 40th birthday party tonight, a benefit tomorrow night, my Best Friend is coming into town and the Holidays officially begin next week.  

Let my favorite time of the year begin!

If you missed it this week...
I saw myself on the OC Style Report...
These boots were added to my Christmas list...
I began thinking about Holiday entertaining...

Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Holiday Entertaining with Anthropologie

Last year I took over hosting Christmas dinner with my family, which was exciting and overwhelming all at once.  I love having everyone over to our home and transitioning that tradition from my mom to me, but I was not prepared for the amount of work that would go into it.  Along with the decorating!  It just did not meet my expectations.  This year I am planning ahead and beginning to preview different decor ideas so that when 20 people show up at my doorstep, I am ready.  

Anthropologie has been one of the best places I have seen so far for holiday decor.  I love all the gold accents, the simplicity in their designs and the slight rustic feel of different pieces.   They also have a number of items that would make the perfect hostess gift for upcoming holiday parties.  

I am REALLY trying to wait until after Thanksgiving to start actually purchasing Christmas items but retailers like Anthropologie are making it EXTREMELY hard.   

Glimmer Wrapped Glassware / Gilded Snowfall Coaster / Etched Fern Stemware 

Gold-Embroidered Table Runner / Elk Horn Serveware / Cheers Cocktail Napkins

 Limited Edition Golden Monogram MugsCrystalline Decanter / Elysees Cocktail Shaker

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The 5050 Boot

You know those days you log into Gilt, see a great price for a pair of the classic Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots, choose not to get them and then kick yourself for weeks after?  

Now they are at the top of my Christmas list.

Not only are they completely practical being a flat boot but they are a classic over the knee boot that will be a staple in your closet forever.  
An ideal investment purchase if you ask me.
I have the potential of living in them this winter.

Monday, November 18, 2013

OC Style Report x Z Collection

When OC Style Report and Z Collection asked me to join them in a photo shoot to showcase some of the fabulous pieces Z Collection carries, I of course said yes.  I had such a great time working with these incredible women.  To see the entire layout, learn more about Z Collection and for all the outfit details, visit the article on OC Style Report here.

Friday, November 15, 2013


The weekend is here and I am thrilled!

Last weekend was a bit hectic with the Fundraiser finally arriving Saturday night.  We had such a wonderful time and my committee was amazing, allowing everything to come together perfectly.  It was such a great experience but boy was I tired Sunday morning!  I think I am still recovering from Event Hangover.

Monday did not offer any rest as I jumped right into an amazing photo shoot with OC Style Report and Z Collection, which you will see more of on Monday.  I absolutely loved stepping outside of my normal day and covering myself with beautiful clothes while people took care of my hair and makeup.  I could really get used to this photo shoot thing.  Not going to lie, it is pretty fabulous.

Then of course the week has been filled with half days, conferences, practices and a Thursday night dinner.  The last leg of this crazy week is dinner tonight with college friends (YIPPEE!) and then on Saturday night, you will find me wrapped up in a blanket and sweats on the couch doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  It sounds magical.  

This week also gifted us with the birth of my Best Friend's Baby Girl who I am blessed to be the Godmother of and CANNOT wait to meet in January.  Congrats J and C!  

Cheers to the weekend (and perhaps some sleep!)!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Isabel Marant for H&M

It is here!

Isabel Marant for H&M launched today!

I am not one to get too excited over designer collaborations but I would be lying if this one did not get to me.  I am a HUGE fan of Isabel Marant and really do love the pieces that were created for this collection.  I am not that committed and was in NO WAY going to show up at the store at 8am this morning but I am going to try to grab a few things when the line launches online at 12:00pm EST.  What's on my list as potential purchases?

I can only hope that the site does not crash and I am able to grab something among the millions of others that are going to be logging on at the same time.

Anyone make a trip to their local H&M or perhaps joining me online?  Good luck to you all!
previous next