Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Five things that make me smile.

Red velvet cookies - just in time for Valentine's Day. Read: danger

A color-blocked beach cover up. Only $15 @ H&M.

Glittery oxfords for the days when pumps are just not an option.

My two lipstick lusts: Revlon Moon Drops | Hot Coral & Revlon Lip Butter | Cherry Tart.

Warby Parker at-home samples. Such a genius concept - can't wait for my new specs!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Five Winter Steals & Splurges: meet Meg of henning love

Meg is just all around adorable. Visiting her blog is like a breath of fresh air. Whether she's cooking up a mean streak in the kitchen or designing her Friday Fancy...the girl's got a good eye. Her style is laid back, cool with a heavy dose of approachability and that's what I like about her. That and her winning smile. But I think the thing I like most about Meg is how much she interacts with her blog readers. You can always count on Meg to respond to your comment and that goes along way. What's not to like about this blondie? Absolutely nothing. Meet Meg!

In December, our world is colored by red and green and then we transition into a new year and a new month and the general consensus for the color of the month is snowy white. When Johanna asked me to participate in her series, 5 Winter Splurges and Steals, my mind started to get creative with the five white items that I would love to have or that represent me and the month of January.

1. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of January is celebrating birthdays.
In the month of January, my mom and my aunt's birthday (January 6), my mother-in-law's (January 9), mine (January 10), and another aunt's birthday (January 29).

2. The beginning of a new year and new month allows me to brush off the dirt and dust from last year and start fresh, start anew with new home accessories. If I didn't receive the following beautiful vases under the tree, then I would definitely splurge and decorate my house with these.

3. Each year on my birthday, I always like to have an outfit to wear - a special outfit to make me feel beautiful and happy on my birthday. It could just be a work outfit or I would love a fun and gorgeous party dress like this one to splurge on for my birthday.
Source: elle.com via Lindsay on Pinterest

4. To me, nothing says beautiful like a chest of drawers and a space to get ready in, to do your make-up, put on your jewelry and look your absolute best. If I could design my room this photo would be my inspiration and ultimate splurge!
Source: flickr.com via ManaRose on Pinterest

5. Lastly, when it is cold outside, and the snow is falling and you have the opportunity to stay inside and snuggle under the bed - I am craving to a space like this to curl up under the covers, grab a great book or watch a movie and be with my loved ones. I would totally splurge on a beautiful, grandiose white bedroom set.

Thanks Meg...an all white palette definitely seems appropos for January. I'll take a cupcake in bed while donning a sequin dress any day. xo

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oh hey...just a little reminder!

Carry on, now!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sit up!

Hey folks! Check me out...I sit up now...this was pre-bruise. 
You didn't think I was going to lay around forever did you? 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fancy Friday!

photo courtesy Patterson Maker
Does anyone else feel like this week took forever to wrap up? Holy Toledo! I am so glad it's Friday. It's been an eventful week. Olivia had two doctor's appointments and got her first bruise after diving headfirst into a plastic giraffe. Did I mentioned we are sitting unassisted now? Yeah, we are. I am sure this will be the first of many!

Tonight we have husband's company party and the rest of the weekend calls for lots of running around. I think the silver lining is that January is over and we are one step closer to Spring. Yahoo!

Now...what to wear this evening...?
Happy weekend everyone and as always, thank you for your lovely comments. They make my day!

Litany of Love

  1. For the perfect tulle dress...
  2. I was mesmerized by these Central Park photos.
  3. If I was a certain someone...I would think these would make such a lovely V Day gift...for me.
  4. This is the perfect cross-body bag!
  5. A sorbet sweater anyone would look good in!
  6. Bloggerinas...Dose Market starts up again. Anyone wanna go?
  7. Anyone feel like pampering themselves for $49 in honor of National Heart Disease Awareness Month? Well, you can!
  8. Did you guys see Wilco on Conan recently? We watched it in bed this morning. It was good.
  9. Not ready to don a bikini for our vaca. What do you guys think of this cutie?
  10. Kinda lovin' this gold wishbone.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Reality check - perfection is hard.

photo courtey Patterson Maker
It's with much frequency as of late that I've made plans with girlfriends, on the catch-up circuit, and I've been asked the same two questions: has motherhood changed you? Can you believe you're a mom?

It got me thinking. How has motherhood changed me? There's no book for this stuff ya know? And it's weird because so much of my life is still the same. I talk to my parents everyday. I still work at the same job I have for the last 8 years. I still love fashion. And blogging. I have a blast with my husband. I love going out to eat. And anything with a drop of caffeine. What really has changed?

Well, I'll tell you. A lot has changed. For one, I didn't think it was possible to love another human being this much. There is a teeny tiny person who trusts and depends on me infinitely. Implicitely. You don't come by that often as an adult these days. My days of perfection and wanting to always be the best that I can be have shifted...to being the best mom I can be. And that's sometimes emotional. At my job, I used to be the best sales person. I know you're smirking but that's the truth. I was. And lucky for me I still love my company and my job. But, I'm not the best anymore. Truth is, I can't be and that's really hard. That's how motherhood has changed me. I can't be everywhere at one time and I can't devote the same amount of time to my job that I used to. Does that grate on me...absolutely, without question.

Know what else has changed? Friendships. Some have resurrected from the dead. That's a pleasant surprise. A breath of fresh air. Some fell flat...dead flat. They were hard transitions but I do believe that things happen in life for a reason. Some are brand new {thank you Blogger} and I am excited to see where they go. Some I've never met in person...yet. Imagine that. And above all, my time is pulled in so many different directions between being in denial about reaching perfection at my job or being a super mom that sometimes, I can't be the kinda friend I want to be. True story. I take longer to respond to texts and emails and even calls. That bothers me. I never used to be like that.

And then there is "keeping house" as they say. Let's just say that one went out the door. Not cooking but just overall tideness. If my husband could ghost write for this blog...man, you guys would pee your pants. I used to be so...ANAL. No longer. Spit up on the couch - no bigs, rub it in. Dishes in the sink - tomorrow I say! Overflowing garbage cans in the bathroom - shut the door! I need to get better at it but sometimes, it is somewhat liberating. I'm busy...there's a 8 9 month old that needs me!

There's one final frontier...my social life. There was a time when I went out Friday and Saturday. Yup - I was an animal. Now, I can't tell you the last time I went to a bar. Well actually I could...it was two weekends ago to eat lunch. Pffff. I went to bars for day drinking or even better, I left at 10pm on a Saturday to begin my night. Nowadays, if I have one eye open it's a GD miracle. Sleep...it's a mirage but when it comes down to a tight dress and heels vs. Mr. Sandman...here's a tip, Mr. Sandman always wins. Plus tight dresses with extra baby lbs is not my thing right now. Hello anything with elastic...how do you do?

So motherhood - yeah, it's changed me. A lot for the good and some for the not so good. I used to have more time to fixate on losing 5 more lbs, or wondering why someone didn't call me back or why I didn't close that deal or what it meant when she said this. Now, all I really care about is my baby, my husband and a daily shower. Is that too much to ask? I don't know...talk to me next week when I find out if I made my monthly sales quota.

Empty coffee cups and dirty diapers,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Color blocking that works for Spring.

The dress equivalent to a fruity, beach cocktail. Do you concur?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mommy Morsels: meet Ashley of Hither & Thither

Hither & Thither is by far one of my favorite, fellow parent blogs. I love the design of it. I love seeing pictures of Ashley's sweet little family and her son, Hudson, is a handsome little devil. My immediate attraction was the fact that this NY couple loves to travel and has no plans of stopping despite their new addition. A true modern family. {we share the same philosophies} I'm excite to share today's Mommy Morsels with you...meet Ashley!

Ever since Johanna asked me about the items I've been grateful for as a new mother, I've been trying to pay more attention; I realize it's easy to overlook them and instead dwell on how little storage we have in our tiny, 500 square-foot-studio. Or on how life might be easier if there were only a hallway between us and the baby's room...er... closet. But once I started mentally drawing up a list, I found it hard to stop. And I recognize that the luxuries I count on this (partial) list mean I have it pretty good. So thank you to my:

  • Ergo Carrier . We have a lovely, expensive stroller, but more often than not we carry the baby in the Ergo (and for the first two months, we carried him in a Sakura Bloom sling). Old buildings with narrow doors and packed-in tables, subways with lots of stairs, sidewalks crammed with people: New York can really pose a challenge to the stroller set. And Hudson still falls asleep easiest against our chests.
  • Many channels for delivery. I avoid unnecessary errands whenever possible. And for all of its challenges, New York sure comes through with convenient delivery options. Groceries from Fresh Direct, diapers from Diapers.com, laundry from the place down the street, and dinner from anywhere you want. Seamless Web and same-day Barnes & Noble delivery might not be available across the country, but I highly recommend outsourcing as many of these tasks as you can as a new parent. (That said, some sort of daily goal to make sure I get out each day is also high on my list of necessities--and sometimes a Trader Joe's run is in order.
  • Miracle Blanket. We've tried a few different swaddles, but keep coming back to this one.
  • White Noise machine. We have this and a fan near Hudson's crib and I am so grateful it's in there when a siren passes by (the unofficial, official soundtrack of the city) or, frankly, when we're having dinner at the table--oh, ten feet away.
  • Yoga Mat . It's not for me; I've recently discovered that a Yoga Mat is a great alternative to those cushy floor tiles if you want a non-slip, soft surface for your little one to practice his moves--and you want something that rolls up and can be put away again in no time.
  • Board Books. I'm sure I'm not the only one who, while loving those beautiful picture books like Symphony City, reads them with the baby in her lap a little cautiously because he wants to crumple, gum, or maybe tear the pages. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the board book is in heavy rotation.
  • Dry Shampoo and lipstick. If I need to dash out and look presentable after little sleep and a distant-memory of a shower, these two items go a long way.
  • Iphone. What did I do before I had this? I use it for everything and swear it would be the best gift for any new parent. I check email and scan blogs; I can actually text (something that was tricky on my last flip phone), which is a quiet way to stay in contact with Aron; I get to take impromptu photos and videos of the baby and get pleasure out of photo apps like Instagram; and I can watch movies or TV shows with headphones while Hudson sleeps on my lap, or read the New York Times. I'm in love with the "Baby Connect" app for keeping track of sleep and all other functions/milestones Hudson has. And I use it to play "Bedtime Beats" on iTunes for winding down before every bedtime or nap.
  • Netflix Instant. Did I mention Hudson sometimes sleeps on my lap? And that I watched the entire archive of Mad Men when he was first home?
  • Aden + Anais bibs. My cousin gave us these and they are the best--first as burp cloths that really cover your shoulder and clothes and then as bibs that really cover his shoulders and clothes. 
  • Very hands-on partner. I probably shouldn't admit this, but I can count on one hand the number of times Aron hasn't gotten up in the middle of the night with me. I should be more generous and tell him not to, considering he often works 15-hour days, but I try to justify it by the fact that, as we all live in one small room, there isn't much choice. Still, it's the only one of these things I really don't know how I'd do without. Days where I get up with Hudson and put him down by myself can be really rough, but for the past six months I've had Aron's help for nearly every single middle-of-the-night waking.

Hats off to any single parents. Thanks for having me, Johanna!

Thanks for participating Ashley! I grew up on the Hungry Caterpillar so you definitely struck a chord in my old school heart. xo

Monday, January 23, 2012

Five Winter Steals & Splurges: meet Alena of Oh, It's Just Perfect!

illustration courtesy Reasons to Breathe
When I first "met" this D.C. blogger, I knew we'd be friends. She had an affinity for chocolate and Etsy. What more could you ask for? Twin separated at birth? Perhaps. As the months wore on, I loved Alena's sweet little blog for her clever online discoveries including dainty jewelry, smart home accents and special stationary. No doubt her blog is my go-to when I need a gift idea or just want to splurge on something special for...well, me. You'll love her, too. Meet Alena!

During the winter, I want to be cozy and warm at all times. Unfortunately, I can't be curled up on my couch with a blanket, tea and slippers for the next couple of months. Although, that does sound quite nice. Agreed? So, for my guest post for the lovely Johanna, I decided to talk about one of my favorite, cozy items....

Picture found here

Slippers!! If I am in my house, I am wearing my slippers. If I am in a hotel room or visiting family, I have my slippers. If it is cold or hot, I am inside wearing my slippers. I think you get the picture. I love me some slippers.

Image found here

My current slippers? UGG Dakota Slippers. They are the best pair of slippers I've ever owned and I've gone through quite a few pairs of slippers. They also come in an array of pretty colors and are warm and cozy in the winter, but also work perfectly in hot weather. At $100 though, they are definitely a splurge.

Dakota Slippers. UGG. $89 - $99.95. 

I also found four other slippers that are a steal. Cute, cozy looking and less than $70. First up, these moccasin's look just like the UGG ones, but are less than half the price! Win. Win.

Molly Mocassin. Slippers International. $29.95 - $60. 

These moccasin's have some fun fringe and are so pretty in pink.

Mandy Moccasins. Slippers International. $34.95. 

These look oh so cozy and have a non-slip sole just like the UGG ones.

Talia Sheepskin Slipper. EMU Australia. $56 - $69. 

Aren't these adorable? I love the studded pattern and the winter white color.

Nikki Moccasin. Daniel Green. $45. 

So, do any of these strike your fancy? xo Alena from Oh, It's Just Perfect!

Thanks Alena! Now that winter has hit Chicago...I may be taking you up on a few of these offers! xo

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A worldly play room.

photo courtesy Belle Maison
I can imagine Livie playing in here...in keeping with our travel theme. We want our girl to become worldly at a young age. Perfect parts education meets fun!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The best of intentions...

photo courtesy Google Images
This is the part, a recap if you will, where I tell you how our cleanse went. For the sake of full disclosure and to sum it up: we were a failure. It wasn't that it was hard to prepare the recipes or stock our fridge full of ingredients. It wasn't the fact that I had to go meatless for 3 days...nope, none of those. Do you know what it was? It was, speaking for myself - not husband, going without caffeine every day. It was too much. Too much in the sense that after having a raging headache for 2 days straight that we finally looked at each other and without saying anything; hi-5'd and ordered takeout. For the record, husband had a headache for 2 days straight, too and he doesn't even come close to the degree of caffeine addiction I have. {I blame this on Olivia and my new sleep schedule since having her}

And can I be even more honest? I really wanted to do this but we couldn't get past dinner on Day 2. The texture of the stews and soups...well, they kinda left us gagging. No bueno. We hit the ball out of the park with breakfast and lunch. Snacks, yeah, we got this. But we were starving! And oh, there was that coffee I bought @ Starbucks because I had meetings and I was fearful that I might strangle a client. Angrrrrry.

There. It's all out in the open. We failed. Would I do it again...yes, BUT I would do a fancy and pricier version like this one. Less guess work and a helluva lot tastier from what I hear.

And I have to tell you the clincher or what made me throw in the towel...and I felt guilty, trust in this. My husband looked at me and said, "Why would we continue doing something that made us feel awful? Being healthy shouldn't be this painful." And you know what, he's right.

Know what else...that chicken vesuvio that I ordered; it was friggin' delicious!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Social Friday!

Hey now...Happy Friday! Tonight we lift the ban on "zero plans Friday" and kick off the weekend with a Mexican fiesta with some friends! {hello, margaritas!} Although, I'm a little worried that our plans may be squashed due to a heavy winter storm heading our way. Fingers crossed.

Our weekend doesn't stop there, either...we will be driving to the burbs to celebrate our friends' new digs and attending a kiddie birthday party, too. By Sunday we should be good and tired...resuming normal weekend life yet once again.

What are your plans? Celebrating anything fun or just life in general?

P.S. Olivia is sitting up! It's really cute to see her fuzzy little head sitting on top of such a perfectly postured little body. Just kills me.

Litany of Love

  1. Bizarre beauty myths debunked!
  2. Such an awesome peanut dish.
  3. Cutest rainbow crochet garland ever.
  4. Check out ma girl Ash's tips on denim care. Awesome new series on fashion fixes!
  5. What do you think about Valentine's Day...my husband thinks it's "dumb."
  6. Hands down the funniest article I've read in ages; courtesy of this lovely blogger.
  7. I am sooooo doing this!
  8. Kinda feel like this sweater is a must for February.
  9. A pouf that would match my office curtains PERFECTLY.
  10. Tufting has become my latest obsession...thinking these headboards for the next casa.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Inspiration: make me blush!

Catch a second of any award show red carpet and it's painfully obvious - BLUSH is the color of the moment. And you don't have to twist my arm...IMO, blush is everything feminine and flattering. Pair it with neutrals or pops of bright; it's the color for all seasons. Above are a few images keeping me all things blush inspired.

What's your color of the moment?

All images found on my Pinterest.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


So...along with everyone's 2012 resolutions resonating in the blogosphere as of late...I thought I'd clean up my act as well. In the food department, that is. A friend of mine printed me a 3-day cleanse that husband and I are giving a shot; starting today. You can eat, too which let's face it - was a non-negotiable. I'd be lying if I said I didn't abuse chocolate over the holidays so to say this is not a test of my willpower would be an understatement. My hope is to detox, get rid of the cravings and maybe lose 2-3 lbs. This is our first shot at a cleanse. I am over the drinking but coffee...yikes, wish me luck!

Have you guys every detoxed or done a cleanse? What were the results? Would you ever do one again?

Source: 4inspireddesign.com via Johanna on Pinterest

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snapshot of the Week: blogger buddy

Last week, Ashleigh and I attended an event put on by Net A Porter and Refinery 29 @ the fabulous Sable Kitchen. It was really great to meet the creative minds behind some of Chicago's most popular blogs. Additionally, we were introduced to some of the personalities behind my two favorite websites so that's kinda a major bonus, too. And the icing on the cake...a $100 gift card to Net A Porter. Not too shabby.

And yes...the pink pants made a return debut as did my 6th grade school portrait bangs. {what the?}

Monday, January 16, 2012

Five Winter Steals & Splurges: meet Jaclyn of Stay in the Lines

illustration courtesy Reasons to Breathe
If there's one thing you should know about Jaclyn's blog - it's full of inspiration! It's a daily for me. And she is totally in line with my New Year's anthem - COLOR! Her graphics are gorgeous...everything about the blog makes me want to go out and marvel in the lovely things; be it in the kitchen or in my closet. I think you're in for a treat - she's nice as pie and you will undoubtedly get lost for hours. Here's Jaclyn!

It’s Jaclyn from Stay in the Lines and I’m so excited to be contributing to Johanna’s blog series. To me, winter is a time to feel cozy and comfortable, while still attempting to look cute underneath all those warm layers. It’s hard to stay energetic during the grey blustery days, so my winter favorites are things that offer a bit of pampering while still being practical. I picked out feminine staple items for beauty, home, and the closet, as well as a few luxurious treats, that remind me to enjoy the cold wintery months.

1. A ladylike coat that’s cute and functional: Topshop Faux Fur Swing Coat
2. A graphic blanket to curl up with while adding a pop to your home décor: Ikea Blanket
3. Stacked heel boots that have become my staple shoes. Perfect with tights and a sweater: Zara Ankle Boots
4. A luxurious face oil that combats any sign of dry skin: Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil
5. Cute gloves with a special touch of warmth inside…cashmere lining: Portolano Leather Bow Gloves

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stamp my passport!

We're ready! It's been a year since our last big trip to Brazil and even longer since our beloved trip to Thailand. *le sigh* Traveling will clearly be different now but the babe isn't going to slow us down all together. In fact, we are currently researching destinations and I'd love your suggestions or opinions. We want to avoid domestic if we can but we don't feel like a long plane ride to Europe and beyond...which leaves the islands. Here's what's on our list:
  1. Curacao
  2. St. Thomas
  3. Aruba
  4. St. Lucia
  5. Turks
  6. Costa Rica
  7. Grand Cayman
  8. Bahamas
I am sure we are missing some fabulous destinations. What do you guys think? We'd like to go sometime in March and avoid Spring Breakers. And O will be 10 months old! Whoa. A 4-hour plane right sounds manageable.

I'm all ears - hit me! Do's, Dont's and everything in between!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Monster Baby...she eats everything in sight!

She has an insatiable hunger for stuffed animals, sweet potatoes, napkins, bibs and plastic toys. We call her "Monster Baby!" She cannot be stopped.

In other news...eating out is like the Olympics these days. Think we'll be taking a little hiatus.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Slush, slush Friday!

Hey kids - looks like we got what we asked for: a snowy Christmas  January weekend. I suppose it's overdue so for now...I quite like it. Heck my Sorels were gettin' dusty! And truthfully, it's a great excuse to pull back on spending unnecessary money and stay in. {like we needed an excuse over here, ha}

I also wanted to say: Hellllo new blog friends! Many new comments as of late and I'm lovin' it - welcome! On that note, I'd really love to meet more of you and explore some new blogs this weekend {what with being snowed in and all!} Hit me up and I'll hit you back. Deal?!


Litany of Love

  1. Such a pretty image.
  2. For amazing DIY inspiration...check out this blog.
  3. She reignited my love for saddle shoes. Serious nostalgia!
  4. This is the cutest dress ever!
  5. Adoring these from a new-to-me blogger friend's jewelry line.
  6. One sweet pillow for V Day.
  7. I feel like Olivia needs these pj's.
  8. I thought this was a pretty post. All blanc!
  9. Kate Spade nails the statement necklace time and time again.
  10. Charlize looking stunning. My dad has a major crush on her.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It just makes sense...

...for these items to find a permanent home in my closet. I mean, everyone needs a pick-me-up.

Like I said, just a couple things. Nothing big.
In other news, I am definitely trending with my New Year's resolution - COLOR! 

Past Loves