Monday, April 30, 2012

Buy this for your lips!


image courtesy Google
Ahhhh...it's so good to be back. Not having access to the interwebs for the last five days has proven to be a test of my character. There are however many pro's such as surviving the move and spending loads of time with my husband and little one. {thank you for all your sweet notes last week!} However, as much as it is healthy to be disconnected for a good bit - I can now truthfully admit to you how very addicted I am to my laptop and reality TV. {cue desperation face} 

Speaking of reality TV...I recently became hooked on a new, Chicago-based hit called "House of Consignment". I've had a few friends make cameos which has been fun to watch. To that end, I recently tweeted the star character, the lovely Corri McFadden, about her lipstick du jour. Let's just say I've been a wee bit obsessed with her perfect pout. And...she promptly tweeted back which kinda made my day.

Right before the move last week, I ordered MAC's "Girl about Town" and there it was; sitting on my door step. My first package! This lipstick does not disappoint. Everyone knows MAC lip products are long-lasting and highly pigmented but this shade is just the pick me up I needed for Spring/Summer. I've been rocking coral for quite some time so I was ready to expand my lipstick repertoire. One swipe of this hue and I am set for the day. You read that right...no need to reapply. It actually stains your lips the perfect popsicle stain pink as the day wears on. And ultra flattering! 

My arsenal is complete...and now I am passing it on to you...from one perfect pout to another!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Moving Day!


...yup, and we're so excited!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mommy Morsels: meet Ronnie of oh, fancy that

Ronnie's blog is a visual escape for me. As a mom of three living in Australia; her photography always seems to grab me and pull me in making the ordinary days seem extraordinary. Her three boys {and hubby} are positively adorable and I always learn a tip or two upon visiting her blog like how to make a playroom look organized but chic or how to turn a children's party into a colorful, well-balanced Amy Atlas-esque wonderland. Everything she does has an extra dose of TLC...I think you'll find her just as lovely as I do. Meet Ronnie!

A huge thanks to Johanna for having me here at her lovely blog. We have three wonderful little boys at home: James is 1, Pete is 2 and Angus is 3 (yes we've been busy). They are loads of fun to look after, even though by the end of the day I'm usually collapsed on the couch in both mental and physical exhaustion. Still, this stage of life with them at home is utterly precious, and I do my best to cherish all the moments - both the tearful ones, and the hilarious ones. Having kids close together can be quite demanding, but our boys all get along really well and are great mates with each other, and to me, that is worth everything. Plus, just with everything else in life, you adjust and you adapt. Quite frankly, I can't imagine life without these three little guys.

So without further ado, here are some peeks into my life at home with the boys, and some of the things that make the day-to-day mechanics easier or extra special:


First up, I find that having an organised play room helps to keep all our sanity (but especially mine) in check. There is a place for every single toy, and both Angus and Pete know where they all go. It's quite amazing how quickly little kids learn and remember, even from such a young age. We always tidy up at the end of each play time, and more often than not, the boys will help with packing up. Even Jamie our youngest knows to put toy cars back into the black plastic tub. Not having mess accumulate over the course of the day means that the boys can start afresh at the start of each play time, which helps to keep their interest in the toys. As you can see, I like using a combination of woven baskets, coffee tins, old suitcases, vintage soda crates and plastic IKEA tubs to keep the different types of toys organised. I also recently discovered those awesome Lego storage cubes, which can be purchased for Howard's Storage World in Australia.


I don't know about you, but I always have a hundred and one ideas and lists whizzing through my head. Having an everyday notebook means I have one place where I can dump all my thoughts, which helps me to then focus on the boys because I don't have to worry about forgetting anything and I know that I can come back to my ideas later. In addition to my O-CHECK utility notebook, I also use Notational Velocity on my Mac which synchronises with Simplenote on my iPhone.

When we moved into our new house at the end of last year, I decided to use our two IKEA Lack bookcases to form a 'locker room' of sorts by the back door, which is the one that we use all the time. This is where we put Angus' preschool backpack, Rick's backpack, our reusable shopping bags, and any kids' shoes that need to go back into the garage. The idea is that as the boys get older, all their bags and backpacks can be dumped in their allocated spot in this makeshift locker rather than being strewn across the floor.


I'm sure I'm one of the last people to think of this, but when I was setting up our new kitchen at the beginning of this year, I decided to have a kids' drawer down low dedicated to the boys' plastic cutlery and crockery. This allows Angus and Pete to get their own plates and cups before mealtimes, allowing them to have some ownership of the table setting process. It also means they can help Rick unpack their own cutlery and crockery from the dishwasher every morning. Plus, I find it's easier to keep all the kids' stuff organised if it's all stored in the one place.


I've found that having our diaper bag in a central spot makes getting in and out of the house a lot easier. Ours sits on an IKEA stool in the entrance to the kitchen. This makes it easy to pack the bag with the kids' bottles and food stuff before going out and just as convenient to unpack the bag's contents when we return. I like to keep the diaper bag empty, stocked with just the nappy changing kit, so that no clutter builds up - only the essentials. This makes it easy to get to things when we are out, and it's definitely good for one's back to not have to carry more than what's necessary - especially when you're toting little ones around all day as it is. The bag we use is by Land's End. It is made from tough canvas, stands upright (which I reckon is super important when you've only got one hand free for most of the day), is machine washable (woohoo!) and has a host of inner compartments which you can use for bottles, antibacterial hand gels, baby wipes, wallet, etc. The design is simple and classic, and you can even choose from ten colours and four sizes. Naturally, with three boys, I ordered the extra large...

Oh, and a little note from one's husband which doubles as a motivational message never goes astray. This chalkboard decal from Wallnutz actually goes right above the diaper bag, so I glimpse it about fifty times a day, and boy is it good to be reminded that a smile goes a long way (especially when everything seems to be spiralling out of control!).


As a mum (apologies to US readers for my Aussie spelling), chances are that you are struggling to keep up with your scrapbooking and other memory-keeping efforts. Until recently, I was constantly wading through a huge backlog of scrapbooking to catch up on, and as each little guy was born, the backlog just kept getting bigger. Thankfully, I discovered Becky Higgins' amazing Project Life system of scrapbooking and it has just changed my entire perspective on memory-keeping and revolutionised my 'workflow' so to speak. If you are at all into memory-keeping, I earnestly urge you to at least check it out as you might find that it will solve all your scrapbooking woes as well.


I bought this replica Eames rocker because I adored the design and could see it working in many parts of the house. Since then, however, both Angus and Pete have discovered how fun it is to climb into the rocker and watch television in it. It's pretty cute watching them push the rocker around themselves and sit in it like a grown-up, and I'm stoked with the way they've learnt to take turns and share. I also like the splash of colour the rocker adds to the play room.

The only thing the boys have to play with in their bedroom are these building blocks. My initial reasoning behind this was to minimalise the clutter in the boys' room (plus they only ever spend time in their in the mornings before we wake up and at bedtime). As it turns out however, with only the building blocks to play with in the mornings, both Angus and Pete (who share a room) have actually become quite creative with what they do with the blocks. Some days they'll build your standard tower. Other days, they'll build a dozen helicopters, all with the same 'design.' On other occasions, Angus will sort the blocks by colour and pretend they're different flavours of ice cream and try to get Pete to buy some from him. Just this morning, Angus built a small perimeter using the blocks, hopped inside it and pretended it was his cot. Which just makes me think: the simplest toys can actually give our kids the freedom to be creative.


And lastly, a special bedtime book never goes astray. One of my favourites is Ten Little Fingers, and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury. It is the sweetest children's book, and I just love reading it to Jamie during his bedtime. In fact, it is probably the high point of my day when I read him the last sentence - "And this little baby, as everyone knows, has ten little fingers, ten little toes, and three little kisses on the tip of his nose" - and give him his cuddles and kisses. Such are the moments that warm my heart and melt away the tears and exhaustion.

Thank you for reading everyone, and thank you again to Johanna for having me!
Ronnie xo

Thanks Ronnie - you are my super-hero! Anytime you want to come over and re-org our playroom...we'd love to have you! xo

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Carrying neon.

I see this as a clutch I could easily sport 5 out of 7 days a week. 
And for under $30, who am I to care?



Monday, April 23, 2012

Sparklers






sources found here
It appears I've developed a penchant for sparkles and metallics when it comes to shoes. Or perhaps it has something to do with May being a celebratory month and all. I've had these images bookmarked for quite some time. Upon further review, I sensed a pattern this morning and there was no denying that these sparkling stilettos serve as wonderful inspiration for that often challenging start to the week - Monday!

Shoe candy for all...

**...and in case you missed it, check out my week-long feature on Project Gadabout. It's about all the things I love...fitting!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The "perfect" birthday dress


Since my birthday is practically a month away...I've decided the occasion warrants something new and shiny but not too expensive. Yoga pants simply will not do. Turns out if I go up a size, this dress will fit over the baby growing in my belly. And since I haven't bought any new maternity clothes and this is definitely not maternity wear...thinking I could tailor it post-baby, too! {maybe shorten the hemline?}

What do you think? Pretty, no?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Italian badger. Who knew?

Makeup brushes. I never paid close attention to them. I bought the cheapies and got by never giving it a second thought that splurging on a brush could make a difference in the overall outcome. {dumb, right?} I put them into the same category as work out gear. A necessity but something I didn't want to realllly spend money on.

Enter the trade show I spoke of here and here. My coworker is a bonafide make up artist and sold me on the fact that I cannot continue to use the brand of brushes I had been using. Let me tell you, this girl can sell ice to an Eskimo. And so, she dragged me kicking and screaming to the Morphe Brushes booth. The amazing thing about trade shows are the prices. You can purchase everything from hair products to color cosmetics at cost so what would typically be a $12 - $20 product retails for $4 during the show. And on the last day, vendors typically discount their products by 50% off!

Apparently I had been missing the boat with my synthetic brush collection. No shocker there. Maria convinced me that Italian Badger brushes where the way to go? See here. Why Italian Badger? One adjective: soft. The brushes have a high gloss finish and makeup simply glides on your face. No harsh application or raw feeling after. In fact, you can use less make up for coverage. Win-win!

Trust me when I say, I did not lose sleep over my brushes in the past. They were a means to an end. Now, forgettabout it - Italian Badger or BUST. Do yourself a favor and check out their website!!


Source: brebeauty.com via Erin on Pinterest

Friday, April 20, 2012

Closing Friday!


Today we close on our new house! Wow...didn't think I'd ever say that. It's been an eventful two months, no? Between baby girl news, selling, packing and buying...let's just say I am looking forward to May. And today, of course!

Saturday we start ripping out carpet and replacing the floors and there's even a new kitchen in the works. I'd love to have you all over. As long as you are okay with sitting on the floor because we'll have no furniture! It even has a front AND backyard. Imagine that! We may never be in the same room ever again.

I am told that my once "office" will now become husband's dude room since we're having another girl. I guess that's fair because I'd need a place to escape, too if I was outnumbered. Ahhh...the possibilities.

Enjoy your weekend!


Source: housetohome.co.uk via Johanna on Pinterest

Litany of Love


Today's Litany of Love is all things PIPERLIME. I always forget about this website and maybe that's a good thing...until today. Enjoy!

  1. Yes, Rachel...you've perfected the wedge.
  2. Hot damn! It's a tie.
  3. Ya know Ivanka's shoes are scooching up my wish list. Rose gold - hello!
  4. Rachel picked this sweet dress. Who am I to disagree?
  5. Stripe fanatics: buy this!
  6. Olivia needs these so she can match Dad.
  7. This is a really cute, affordable accent bag for the Summer.
  8. And here's her big sister...Miss Not-So-Affordable!
  9. A Summer tank you'll get a ton of mileage out of and under $100!
  10. This is a conversation starter and adds a little wrist bling to your arm. Love!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Round table: What's your favorite body part?


We can all stand in front of the mirror and pick out the things we don't like about our bodies...but how about your favorite body part? What's the one part of your body that you choose to highlight or show off? Nowadays I think it's so important to promote positive self image not only for the little ones but for our own self esteem, too.

We live in a society where models are frighteningly thin and celebrities return to their pre-pregnancy weight in what seems like minutes.

So I'm curious...what do you like to show off?
Me: I would say my legs. Skirts, dresses, shorts at any hemline...that's when I feel the most confident.

Your turn!



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Inspiration: make room for another lady


photos courtesy Belle Maison



Now that we know it's another lady-friend, it's high time we wrap our heads around another nursery theme. There's something I really like about each nursery and I think the common denominators are no clutter and they are very un-baby if that's possible. Some of them I like purely for their color scheme. Olivia's nursery was very clean with bold art that incorporated colors like orange, yellow, turquoise, white and fuchsia.

Needless to say, I'm halfway through this pregnancy and getting excited...husband picked out 3 girls' names last weekend. {we joked around last night that we were going to tell everyone that "Melba" was our chosen name...people get so opinionated, ghish!}

For more nursery and kids' room sources, see here.

P.S. I was featured on Project Gadabout again...check it out!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

sugar and spice

dress courtesy zara

I've learned that I am very bad at predicting the gender of my own children.
It's another girl and we couldn't be more thrilled!

Thanks for your sweet notes this morning!

Today we find out...


...if it's a boy or a girl. Eeeps...I am so excited I can barely work. Tune in later for the big reveal!

P.S. I'm seeking Summer guest bloggers. See here. I have a couple slots left!


Source: lucieverett.com via nico on Pinterest

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Scents

...just a few oldies and newbies that I've added to my Spring Scent list. Just a few...
  1. Jo Malone: Red Red Roses
  2. Chloe: Chloe
  3. Michael Kors: Very Hollywood
  4. Bulgari: Mon Jasmin Noir
  5. Aquolina: Pink Sugar
  6. Yves Saint Laurent:Parisienne
  7. Estee Lauder: Bronze Goddess, Capri
  8. Balenciaga: Paris Collection
  9. La Prairie: Midnight Rain
P.S. I'm seeking Summer guest bloggers. See here!

P.P.S. Check out Project Gadabout for my first feature {squeal!}

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Seeking Summer Bloggers!

photo courtesy Vogue China
Hello friends! As Summer approaches, I am gearing up for a new blog series: Five Summer Must-Haves. {the name is still in the works!}
For a sample of my previous blog series, check here, here and here

I am seeking 12 style bloggers for this series that will begin mid-May and run every Monday.
Interested? Email me and we'll get a schedule started!
Cheers!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Homerun

Lauren Conrad hits it out of the ballpark. 
This is a great maxi!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Upside down Friday

photo courtesy Lanvin
This picture best represents what our condo looks like...minus the luxury goods and rando mannequin. I've been feeling like our would is getting turned upside down due to this move. Boxes everywhere courted by piles that haven't found a home yet. It's enough to make me stand there in a haze and retreat to the couch. 

We move in 2 weeks, people! Sometimes I wonder how it's all going to get done but we all know how these moves play out. The 11th hour you are throwing junk in boxes with no bubble wrap and slapping some tape on it!

This weekend calls for rain and cardboard so you'll know where to find us! What's on your agenda?

Have a good one!

Litany of Love

Today's Litany of Love features FISHS EDDY out of Brooklyn. They are the ultimate source in festive entertaining. Check them out and enjoy my weekly picks!
  1. I love polka dots and small bowls.
  2. Anything Alice in Wonderland, I'm a fan of. Especially this cute teapot.
  3. I'm going to start leaving this tray at the dinner table so my family can tip me.
  4. Did you know I have a thing for antique pitchers?
  5. We need a big, family salad bowl. Love this one!
  6. This cutting board is so up my husband's alley!
  7. A fitting dish towel for a chef.
  8. Cute little mermaid bottle opener.
  9. The cutest cheese tray...ever!
  10. Coffee mugs that jump start your brain in the AM.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mommy Morsels: meet Crissy of House of Marlowe

Crissy is a multi-tasking mama who makes "doing it all" seem real easy. Mom of three gorgeous daughters, loyal wife, provider of comic relief and the creative inspo behind House of Marlowe...one of my favorite family blogs. She's a Midwestern maven who's worn the corporate hat and the creative hat and that's why I love her. Did I mention she's moving to Switzerland in the very near future? I was lucky enough to have her host today's post figuring there's a lot we I could learn from a woman who can juggle it all and still maintain the appearance of a super-stylish mom on the go! Meet Crissy!




Many thanks to Johanna, for inviting me over today for “Mommy Morsels” and to share the “tips and tools” that help make my life easier with my three sweet girls ages 11, 6, & 2.   I thought I’d focus on car essentials today since I’ve just returned from a lengthy Spring Break road trip, Summer is upon us, and in general, I find moms spend a heck of a lot of time in the car each week running errands and shuttling kids here and there.  





1.  A tote (LLBean is a favorite)....... I think of it as a secondary “first aid” kit of sorts.....helping me to keep my cool  young ones entertained in a restaurant, Dr.’s  office, soccer field, or traffic jam.  In that tote, you will find the following:  
2. A stash of barrettes or bows (and rubber bands for me and my older two)...... because if you have a little girl you probably already know that these have a way of “vaporizing” in the back seat; and well, it’s important to sometimes look presentable.
3. & 4. iPad....... yes, sometimes you just have to resort to technology to make it thru dinner and the “Bubble Pop” app is absolutely the best at keeping my 2 year old entertained when everything else has become a bore.
5. A Doodle Book (My Wonderful World of Fashion found on Amazon)..... I love these types of doodle books because it’s actually still “cool” enough for even my tween to engage in.
6. Crayola CRAYONS...... because coloring is a creative and fun activity (and  marker isn’t always so easy to get out of leather seats, the Easter dress, or a restaurant tablecloth).
7. Wipes...... long after I get my little one potty-trained, I’ll still be keeping wipes on  hand for those dirty fingers, “boogies”, and “oops!” moments that inevitably only  happen when we are going somewhere important.
8. Usborne sticker books...... absolutely my favorite children’s publisher, these are a special “treat” for my girls during a long car trip and all three of them have fun  working on them together..... (they make great boy versions too!)
9. A sweater (this one from Target)...... because “mama” always said so and she was right......restaurants are cold! :)
10. Trail Mix & some type of liquid...... because “Murphy’s Law” says that even if I’ve they’ve just had something to eat and drink at home, they will be dying of thirst  and starvation as soon as you hit the highway. Plus car snacks are just plain fun.

11.  Books.......I often joke in my “view from here” post each week about how my girls are always doing something with books (and unfortunately it’s not always reading). Nevertheless, I want to foster a love of reading so we always have some on hand 

Add in some of their favorite tunes (my husband is still the master of the “mix CD”) and we are generally a happy bunch!  
Thanks again, Johanna!

Cheers Crissy...I will be filing this one away for the future. Fabulous resources for those infamous "Are we there yet?" questioning sessions! xo

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WP in the house!



I got my new Warby Parker's
{I know, I  move at a snail's pace}
I should have done this whole buying glasses online ages ago. Easy peasey!
I ordered the Finn in Revolver.

You should try 'em, too!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Les Nouvelles


photos courtesy Les Nouvelles
I was talking to my mom the other morning and she reminded me of a website that I've long since revisited - Les Nouvelles. Well, then she sent me an email and it was all over from there. Especially when I saw this dress.

Dang it, Mom - why did ya have to remind me of all the goodness my wallet forgot about?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Birthday Wish List: Round 1

It's no secret that May is my favorite month. And now there are two reasons. My daughter's birthday is at the beginning of the month and mine is at the end of the month. Double the cake and double the presents!

And you could say that I've been rounding up some favorites on the interwebs as far as my birthday wish list is concerned. Yeah...you could say that. I would say this is "Round 1" of my birthday list.

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Eggcellent!


...clearly the most fabulously painted eggs I've seen in a long time. Enjoy your Easter and finding all those eggs!

Source: blogs.babble.com via Natalie on Pinterest

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Olivia meet the ocean, ocean meet Olivia!


vacation archives: Let's just say someone likes the pool better than the ocean. 
Something about the texture of the sand and cold water.

Can you blame her?



Friday, April 6, 2012

Pastel Friday


It's time for PEEPS! While sickening sweet, I can't help but indulge in a few of these every Easter. Then I crash on the couch but hey, the sugar rush was fun while it lasted. We have the proverbial brunch on the books and lots of packing. Sexy isn't it? What's your favorite Easter candy? {It should be noted that I have not bought or indulged in any Easter candy which is really a triumph because I have a crazy sweet tooth. I haven't been craving it...who am I?}

...and a shout out to my mom who is visiting some friends and can't be home for Easter AND my sis-in-law who has a nasty ankle sprain and is laid up for a good bit. xo



Litany of Love


Today's Litany of Love is dedicated to Sheinside. They are a new-to-me website just chalk full of fun yet affordable clothing. I was like a kid in a candy store - hopefully, you will be, too!
  1. A great work/weekend dress in cobalt!
  2. Yipes, stripes - loving this contrasting sweater.
  3. Mustaches on a tee...love it.
  4. Reminds me of that great RZ camel suit...just a little less $$. Classic coat.
  5. I love this sunny shirt.
  6. A great pink & orange jumpsuit!
  7. I think I'm obsessed with blue...check out these high mamas.
  8. I would kill to fit into these shorts this summer. Kill!
  9. Adoring this cloud tee.
  10. ...and I love this one, too. Yep, the skulls are still in play over at my closet.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Outfit of the Day: Fresh Produce


Dressing chic while comfortable at 18 weeks can sometimes be a miracle in and of itself. Some days you feel  a little "meh" while others, you have an "aha" moment and an outfit just comes together. Such was the outfit pictured in today's post. When Fresh Produce contacted me wondering if I'd be interested in a sponsored post and a piece from their Spring line -- well, let's just say it resonated with my current need for color and comfort. Unbeknownst to be, Fresh Produce has an entire line of adorable dresses, versatile cover ups and easy go-to vacation clothes. And it should be noted that they ship outside the U.S. as well - bonus for everyone! 

And yes, while I realize my Fiji Beachcomber Dress is best suited for 80 degree temps...well, I just couldn't wait for Spring to kick it into high gear. And when the warm temps finally reach Chicago, you can bet I will be sporting this dress with neutral wedges and a fun statement necklace. So there you have it!

The deets:
  • Moto jacket - F21
  • Dress - Fresh Produce
  • Moto ankle boots - F21
  • Watch - Charming Charlie
  • Earrings - K.Amato
  • Necklace - Etsy
  • Lipstick - Revlon, Hot Coral
The occasion: work and my monthly baby appointment. Hooray!





Be sure to check Fresh Produce out...how cute is the white Beachcomber dress? Hmmmmm....
* Fresh Produce is not considered a maternity line. It just works right now!

P.S. This dress is Olivia approved.

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