Friday, August 31, 2012

My 2012 Five Fall Faves

Fall is undoubtedly the best time of year. I am thrilled to enter a new season, new fashion and rediscover my figure. No more baby bump for this girl! Last year, I cited some of my favorite things about Fall. And today is a slight variation on that theme.

Menswear is still big and I love the look in the first pic. That tweed coat is amazeballs.

A martini I shall drink. I cannot wait for some future date nights with my husband!!!

I always fall in love with a new pair of boots each year. You can never have enough and if you purge every season...no guilt involved.

Leaves, leaves, leaves! Some of the best photography weather in store - and we will be taking our first round of family photos this Fall...as a family of FOUR!

Halloween - my favorite. I've realized that pumpkins do not need to be carved. Totally competing this year with a chevron version like the above.

Stay tuned these next two weeks as I have some wonderfully, stylish ladies bringing you guest posts as I get to know my Lola-girl! xo

Sources: 1, 2 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Push it, push it real good.

It's been decided in our household that push presents are not really necessary. We trade jokes about it often but at the end of the day...I really have all I could ever want. HOWEVER, it has also been decided that treats are deserved...and often. So...if a certain someone were looking to make a certain new mom feel special, I would think a ring with his new daughter's initials would do just the trick for that special woman in his life. Just sayin'.

** I am getting back into the groove again with blogging. On that note, I've been visiting all your blogs and for some reason, word verification is not jiving with my computer these days or Blogger is having issues. Thanks for all the love this past week - I am trying to return it. Trust. Is anyone else having this issue? **

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Letter to my Second Daughter - the post that never got published!


Dear Daughter #2!
I wrote a letter to your big sister last year and here we are again. This one's all about you!

Wow were we shocked when we found out about you! In fact, we found out on New Year's Day, 2012. Of course, your sister, Olivia, was thrilled to become a big sister...I can assure you of that. We were still learning the ropes with her - it was craziness to think we'd have two of you running around our city condo. Speaking of...be glad we don't live there anymore. You have much more play space in our new house and no dangerous spiral staircases.

But back to you! You were quite different than your sister. You made mom kinda sick for awhile but that went away after three months. And you were very pronounced from the start. We affectionately referred to you as "Dos." It was hard to keep you a secret because you took on the shape of a beach ball from day one. People swore you were going to be a boy but something told me we were meant to have two girls. More on that later. I also had different cravings with you. Fruit did not interest me but sweets...man, you really like chocolate!

In March we took you to Florida with Olivia. You're such a good traveler. We did a lot of walking with you and you were happy as a clam. I think I have two beach babies! When we got back we went to the doctor to find out if you were a boy or a girl. Before the ultrasound was even done...Dad and I  knew. Girl! Let it just be said that you saved us a ton of money in clothes so thank you. You also inherited a majorly cool wardrobe from your big sister. Trust.

Your sister turned one in May and she still did not understand what was about to happen to her but over the summer she learned to pet my belly {you} "gently" and referred to you as "baba" which translated to baby. Even more importantly, she could say the name we picked out for you very early on. She's smart that one. We think Olivia is going to be a great playmate for you. She knows how to discipline Lucy, our dog, and she totally has dad wrapped around her finger. You should definitely learn to leverage that over time.

As for dad, he's a pretty confident father these days. You really lucked out in that arena. P.S. He let me decorate your nursery really cool so kudos to him. He's really good at teaching somersaults, singing, teaching you about different animals and he's quite excellent at the bed time routine. He also really enjoys driving home how important dental hygiene is - it's kinda weird but just go with it. And like your sister's letter - be ready for an introduction to some really great music...and some that makes mom want to beat her head against the wall.

There's so much more I could tell you but let's leave that for later. You're coming in two weeks! And thank you for not being breech or coming super early. Mom couldn't go through that again. Although I am a little nervous about the size of your head because your sister has a cranium in the 90th percentile. Yikes!

Oh and P.S. I would super love if you could show your sister what's up and be a good sleeper. That girl really gave us a run for our money so any help in that arena would be much appreciated. I have an incentive program if you're interested.

We love you and can't wait to meet you!

xoxo,
Mom


Monday, August 27, 2012

Introducing...

No longer Dos...officially Lola!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Our girl is here!

Born: Lola Jane Grange
7 lbs. / 7 oz.
Born August 24, 2012 @ 6:58pm

We are all doing great; pics to come!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fare thee well, dear Summer!


Hey now Summer,
It's been real. You've been good to us. And while most consider next weekend to be the official close of your season...I'm paying homage to you today. You were hot as a mutha but we survived. And you gave me a great excuse to eat many-a-popsicle and make many-a-frozen-yogurt trip. We splished, we splashed, we napped and we grilled. Pretty near perfect if you ask me.

But kind sir, please move over for your friend, Fall. We can only take one more weekend of 90 degree temps and truthfully, we're craving cider. And we really want to start brainstorming pumpkin carving ideas. Sweaters, too...we like those. And I suppose I would be remiss if I didn't mention the ol' pigskin which husband loves so dearly.

No offense - you've been a pleasure. Now put those weary feet up and make me a caramel apple martini, please.

Thanks,
The Management



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Olivia's really great Summer...

Being a kid in the Summer ranks as some of the best memories I own. And one thing that was really important to me was that Olivia recognize Summer as the best, most carefree time of her life...especially before you know who joins the family. I think this is a pretty good synopsis of her summer - mission accomplished.






The End.

...and a congrats to Mimi who won my Shabby Apple giveaway!
Mimi: email me your address so we can send your prize!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

If you could have lunch with anyone...

photo courtesy The Cut
...who would it be? Me? Well...exhibit A. 
Just chatting after a brief ladies' lunch @ Balthazar. 

Enter my giveaway!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Money Pit Series: designing a second nursery


We more or less had a blank canvas to work with in designing Dos' nursery. Save for some wretched window treatments...that's a good thing. The best part about our bedrooms is the copious sunlight that shines through everyday. As you can see, the nursery was in a state of disarray for quite some time. {and yes, blue carpet will be a 2013 project}








Well, it's finally in order. And I have to say, I love the color palette. In fact, this nursery came together so nicely that I almost feel like I need to add more to Olivia's! All of the elephant trinkets are from Dos' Aunt out West. She collected and refurbished different elephant items over the summer at various flea markets. We love them because of the vintage quality they add to the room. We still need to address the curtain situation and develop a gallery wall but all in all - we are ready to roll!

And here are our sources -

Crib: Jenny Lind Crib
Dresser: Mint Home
Changing Table: Gilt
Chevron Sheet: iviebaby
Chevron Basket: Needle Nook Creations
Side Table: Buy.com
Glider: Rockabye Glider Co.
Elephant Lamp: Land of Nod
White Shelf: Target
Carousel Painting: Family heirloom
Gingham Baskets: Land of Nod
Sheepskin Rug: Target
Mint Elephant Bookends: Home Goods
Elephant Pillow: nest2impress
Elephant Mobile: hingmade
Changing Cover Pad:  Carousel Designs

Enter my giveaway!

Monday, August 20, 2012

August loves


I've said it before...I'm ready for Fall. And with an actual waistline looming in the distance, I think this is the most excited I've been in a long time for Fall fashion. Here's a line up of everything that I'm loving this month. Of course, I am sure there will be more but it's a good sampler!

Trader Joe's Cinnamon Apple Sticks. Equally addicting as they are delicious. Both Olivia and I could snack on these until the bag goes dry.

The prettiest decorative bowl for a pretty entry way.

Gap sexy boyfriend jeans. I plan to wear the heck out of these with booties, pumps and wedges this Fall.

Bella Bamba blush from Benefit. It actually smells good. I've never applied blush that smelled pretty and it gives your face the prettiest glow as your summer tan fades. Or in my case, as my self-tanner fades!

Cap toe pumps - now this is a trend I can stand behind...pun intended! I love the mix of the peachy-neutral with gold. Perfect to pair with my Gap sexy boyfriend jeans!

What are your August loves?

Enter my giveaway!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cherish Friday!


It almost seems like my life has been on fast forward these past few weeks. A finished nursery, a work baby shower, social obligations, the obligatory weekly doc appointment and relishing the last few moments of Summer with Olivia before she assumes the official title of "big sister." It doesn't sound too earth shattering but sometimes it feels like I am gasping for air. Actually, I usually am after carrying around this beach ball but that's another story.

It's been a great week of blogging. I learned so much from your feedback on this post and we had a fun giveaway, didn't we? {It's still on by the way!} Thank you!

We're laying low this weekend. And by low, I mean, keeping the baby in for just awhile longer. Word on the  street is that she's gettin' ready for the big show. Yikes!

Cherish these last few weekends of summer - Fall is a minute away!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Not too shabby of a giveaway!!

It's been a long time since we've had a giveaway and today's is the perfect way to end the Summer!

Shabby Apple has graciously offered 101 Things I Love a giveaway just in time for the changing of the seasons. Bueno! One lucky reader will receive a $50 gift card to use towards any Shabby Apple purchase. And let it be said that their current line of dresses, in particular the Mad Hatter collection, is my favorite. In fact, I have a wedding coming up and this one is begging to be worn. 

Here's how to enter: {contestants must have a USA shipping address to be eligible for entry}
  • leave a comment below indicating your favorite item on their site; be sure to leave an email address
  • become a follower of 101 Things I Love
  • "like" Shabby Apple on Facebook
  • Tweet, tweet! Tweet both 101 Things I Love & Shabby Apple for extra brownie points

Giveaway ends 8/23/12!

And that's not all! In addition to the giveaway, Shabby Apple is offering my readers a coupon code for 10% off any purchase that will last until 9/16/12! Just enter "101things10off " upon checkout.

Ta Da! Happy Thursday lovies!

Lusting: Saarinen Tulip Dining Table

Now that you've had a peek into our kitchen remodel...you might notice that there are a few small details that need my attention. Besides window treatments, my absolute lust object du jour is the Saarinen Tulip Dining Table. Preferably with a white base and a walnut table top to match our floors, of course. To say I've been scouring the interwebs night and day would be an understatement. And yes, they exist but our eating area calls for a very specific size...as in, it must be between 40"-47" in diameter. Did I mention I refuse to pay 2K for it? Cool...glad we got that settled.

Here's my baby:

Ain't she a beauty? It goes perfectly with our West Elm chairs. We found this exact model, refurbished, on a new-to-me website and store located right here in Chicago. It's a gem! First we located it on Furnishly, and then we messaged the vendor, An Orange Moon, for a pick up time. Hello Tulip Table in my kitchen! {I'll have to take some snaps for ya because it really does complete the room}

And here's some Saarinen eye candy for your viewing pleasure. Pinterest=trouble!


Go check out Furnishly -- it's got some way cool pieces if you are into that sort of thing!


Source: khooll.com via Helen on Pinterest

Source: picocool.com via Claire Yvonne on Pinterest

Source: flickr.com via Abeo on Pinterest









Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Round table: Am I too old to blog?


Like so many bloggers...blogging is a creative outlet and a sense of community for me. It's a bit like my creative cocaine. {If one were to indulge in said activities, that is!} Some days I'm uninspired but most days, I feel satiated by the blogosphere and a sense of relief that I have something to plug into other than work, chores or TV. I've had the freedom to flex my writing muscles again, too which is a welcome release. Finally, it's allowed me to meet wonderful people, write some really honest posts and even test drive new products while making a few extra bucks on the side. Who's to say there's anything wrong with that?

Lately, I have been contemplating...what's next for the blogging world? And more importantly, am I too old to blog? Truth is, it's a hobby of mine that I really love. But do my readers love me? Is my content worth anything? Is there an age limit to blogging?

I don't have the answers, clearly, because this post went live this morning but I am curious to hear what you think.

Recently, a blogger friend told me that maybe I need to find a new or different subset of readers to tap into. Ones more my age with a family focus. I can't argue that point...it resonated. However, I would be nothing if it weren't for the people I've already engaged with. And truth is, I quite like my readers! I think the questions are...

How do you attract a new circle of readership?
How do you make time for that amidst life's demands?
And, are you too old to blog at 34?
What do you think is next for the blogging world?

Just some deep thoughts for your Wednesday morning.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Last Summer fling...

oh yes...you're adorable.

Monday, August 13, 2012

5 Summer Essentials: featuring Deirdre of Beauty Musts for Moms

Deirdre keeps it real and that's what I love about her. As a mother of two, she makes time to scoop out the most fashionable finds and appreciates the finer things...without taking life too seriously. And my friends, what's not to like about those qualities? I am excited to hear her findings on Blogher '12...she just went and moved into a new home simultaneously. Talk about a multi-tasking mama! Take it away Deirdre!
I’m beyond giddy to be here today on 101 Things I Love to share with you my 5 Summer Essentials. As we all know, wedding season is in full swing and in just a few short weeks I’ll be standing beside my future sister-in-law as she commits her love to my big brother. The bridal party and I have already thrown the bride-to-be a spa and margarita filled bachelorette party, and we’ve gathered with close relatives and friends to shower her with gifts and well wishes, so last on our list of celebrations before the big day is the rehearsal dinner. 

Here are a few items that are topping my (rather long) wedding weekend fashion wish list (starting at top right, and moving clockwise): 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 

Thanks so much for having me Johanna; I’m a 101 Things I Love groupie, for sure! I hope that your sweet readers (and fellow Johanna fans) will stop by Beauty Musts for Moms to learn a little more about my life as a mom of a 3-year-old diva and a 1-year-old daredevil. Until then, XO!

Thanks Deirdre...you're a doll and I'm loving your rehearsal dinner ensemble. Beachy but fem...my favorites. You can follow Deirdre on Twitter, too. 

And thank you to all my guest bloggers who participated in the 5 Summer Essentials series - it was a total joy to have you all. Let's go Fall! xoxo

Friday, August 10, 2012

A year of Olivia...

...not that you nor I could forget this past year. This video has been a work in progress and I can't say I am very tech-savvy but I wanted to create something special for her before her little sister arrives. It only took me three months but who's counting?

Olivia, we love you!


 

And with that, I will say Happy Friday to you, dear friends!
xo

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Money Pit Series: our kitchen makeover...Pt. 3

Today is "Reveal Day"! I know it's been a long series but it's important to see the before and after's to appreciate the full transition. And boy, what a transition! We were out of house two weeks and the entire process took three weeks to complete. Of course, we have stories ranging from appliances missing-in-action to missing knobs but in the end...these are very minimal in the span of such a big project. 
New stove top and hood. This thing can bust out a quesadilla quicker than you can say "arriba"!

Butler pantry in tip-top shape...and yes, husband's wine fridge was the first of our appliances to be plugged in. Ironic? I think not. We went days without a fridge, people.

My new cast iron sink which I may or may not have a crush on. The color is called "dune" and it's a grayish, white. So pretty and it's deep. I can clean highchair trays, pots...shoot, I could clean Olivia in there!

My new West Elm chandelier that I also heart very much. Speaking of hearts...I am completely over the moon about the paint color we chose. "Healing Aloe" by Benjamin Moore. It's their Aura line which is non-toxic and dries in 30 minutes. It's a light, bright mint hue.

Notice anything else different? I will give you a hint...no more "Three's Company" banister/spindles separating the kitchen from the family room.

 Paned cabinet windows and a shiny new dishwasher.

Now that is a fridge! With milk smudges on it...lovely. One thing I love about the kitchen is the level of detail from the molding to the polished nickel hardware. We chose a white, shaker cabinet because it was clean and could be kept contemporary without trying too hard. Everything was custom which was a tedious job but the end result far exceeded our expectations.

The big picture - voila! We removed the 80's light fixtures and replaced them with can lights and under mount cabinet lighting for the evenings.

Thanks so much for all your feedback and comments. Next up - a kitchen table! This will be a fun series to continue as we remodel and start new projects in years to come!

Sources:
Contractors: OC Ventures Inc.
Cabinetry: Pace Kitchens
Paint: Benjamin Moore "Healing Aloe"
Appliances: Thermador
Light Fixture: West Elm
Kitchen Chairs: West Elm
Counters: "Moonlight" Quartzite
Kitchen Faucet: Kohler
Kitchen Sink: Kohler
Hardware: Amerock

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

She Wears It Well



Three post for three years of blogging! Here we go...

This post is special because I have a major soft spot for Anastasia Beverly Hills. Not only are they good to me but have the best color cosmetics with fabulous staying power and the packaging...well, see for yourself!

"She Wears It Well" is their new Fall eye palette and it's equal parts Hollywood movie starlet meets 21st century fox. It's convenient and currently resides in my work tote for quick touch ups on the go. I am cosmetically challenged when it comes to apply eye makeup so I found it completely enlightening that they included adult flash cards that offer tips and illustrations on achieving everything from the smokey eye to something more suitable for the office.

My favorite color for day has got to be the Almond as you can see. Truth be told, Onyx scares me a tad but like they say...practice makes perfect. The other neat thing is that some colors are matte and some are frost for contouring purposes. Best part? The entire palette retails for $34 which is a steal because all of the colors are wearable, blendable and could easily take you through the rest of the year.

Check out the video here. And give it a shot...if there is such a thing as fool proof eye wear - this little palette of perfection is it!

* this is a sponsored post

Happy Birthday to you, bloggie.


Today marks the third birthday of 101 things i love...! Time flies when you're writing daily posts, taking pictures of your personal life and scouring the internets for inspiring images, huh?

Well, I've had fun - three years of really fun social events, great friends and a tremendous amount of learning. I would call that a success...and really, it's all because of you guys. So thank you for reading daily or checking back periodically. Or for the sweet notes of encouragement on not-so-great days. Or for allowing me to post endless images of my kid(s).

The feeling's mutual...you're definitely one of the 101 things I love. xo


The Money Pit Series: our kitchen makeover...Pt. 2



...and here's a sneak peek as to how the kitchen is coming along. Stay tuned for the final reveal on Thursday.
{Sorry to be a tease. I'm not sorry. It will be worth it, promise!}

In other news, I still  need some guest bloggers!!

And stay tuned - another glam post coming your way this afternoon. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Money Pit Series: our kitchen makeover...Pt. 1

Let's talk kitchen. You may remember the beginning of our series last week. I wasn't kidding you when I said our kitchen flew in direct from 1987. Pink counter tops and all. The floors were a natural color which we decided to stain to match the rest of the house.

Before:
As you can see, we didn't do much to the kitchen to style if up after moving in...we knew it was going to be gutted down to the studs. Even the 80's light fixtures.

 The butler's pantry...great space, just ultra dated.

Our kitchen is incredibly bright and sunny. It's one of my favorite rooms in the house. I knew I wanted white cabinetry and some great paint to liven the room up.

Welcome to the "Three's Company" banisters/spindles that separate kitchen from family room. Eeep!

There you have it. A complete first look at our "kitchen nightmare". Stay tuned for the renovation process and of course, the final product on Thursday. We're talking dramatic shift here, people!

Here's some of the inspiration behind our makeover:




















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