Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 learnings and epiphanies

Ahhh, it's been a good year. 2012. I posted my 2011 and 2010 learnings here. It's always fun to go back and review all the changes that occurred in the last 365 days. Well, here's this year's version. 

{in no apparent order}
  1. Finding a new job is a lot like riding a bike. You get the gist.
  2. Wow...two babies is a lotta work.
  3. I'm officially done being pregnant. Like forever.
  4. There's always something to celebrate - even the little things.
  5. Remodeling projects always end up more expensive than you budgeted.
  6. Remodeling projects make you feel very grown up and are extremely rewarding.
  7. A great nanny is hard to find; when you do find one - do everything to keep her in your clutches.
  8. Just because you're in your mid-30's doesn't mean you have to stop blogging.
  9. Parking your car in your garage on the same level as your house is highly underrated.
  10. Climbing three flights of stairs is highly overrated.
  11. The holidays are that much cooler with kids. Trust me.
  12. Suburbia will never come close to touching the city's culinary scene. Damn.
  13. Saying "no" and knowing your limits are a really good thing.
  14. Not knowing what you're good at and where to take your career is normal.
  15. Recruiters are kinda annoying.
  16. Accepting change never gets easier.
  17. Beagles mark their territory in new homes several 100x's. Read: pain in the ass
  18. Keeping your baby's name a secret is the smartest thing we've ever done.
  19. Pinterest is the death of me and our bank account.
  20. I don't think I want to read 50 Shades of Gray. Is that ok?
  21. Having sex with two babies is like running a marathon with no training. As in, it ain't gonna happen.
  22. Learning to be flexible is important. See #21.
  23. It's totally doable not to buy a minivan just because you live in the suburbs. You just have to try...real hard. And we didn't cave, I am happy to report!
  24. Moms have really come to rule the internet and blogging world - I love that!
  25. Females are the fastest growing sector of entrepreneurs. I love that even more!
  26. I love pink unabashedly. I am sorry. I am not sorry.
  27. A new washer and dryer is like having a new porsche parked in your laundry room. Go ahead and judge. They are silent.
  28. Sometimes I miss the spontaneity of seeing my city friends.
  29. Molecular gastronomy and tasting menus make for really fun dates.
  30. It's ok to not feed your kid a single vegetable all day. Once in a while.
  31. There's nothing wrong with drinking wine every night. {still stand by it}
  32. I pretty much know where every bathroom is everywhere. 
  33. I would love to make this blog a full time job. Read: dreamer
  34. After pregnancy, it's unacceptable to wear sweatpants every night. Do something for your husband.
  35. I hate big boobs.
  36. Working with people younger than you keeps you young. 
  37. I don't feel ashamed to admit that Olivia and I have dance parties to Katy Perry's "Firework" on the regular. It's our jam.
  38. Date nights are more important now than ever. We need to get better at that. I give us a D-.
  39. The zoo is awesome! 
  40. I still cannot master layering. What's wrong with me?
See ya 2012. 
It's been real.

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sole Society is my soul sister.

I don't think I've mentioned my latest shoe website obsession. You guys really need to check out Sole Society pronto. And no, this is not a sponsored post although I wish it was...I'm talking to you SS! 

The concept is simple enough - take fashionable shoes and cut out the middle man thus enabling normal gals like us to purchase well made, high quality kicks for a fraction of the cost. Oh, and they partner with the big dogs like Vince Camuto and Nordstrom so being on trend is a no-brainer.

They styles rival the likes of Jcrew, even Manolo. And after taking stock of my closet - I've been hanging onto some shoes that have seen better days. It's easy to justify a re-investment of my shoe-ventory. 

Seriously - check it out. And while I'm here, I think these booties are near perfection. The Aster comes in three colors, has the perfect stacked heel and they're $53! C'mon now....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas at our house!

This year we had an actual HOUSE for decorating and the such. 
Here's what it looked like around here:

Kinda sad that this is all coming down in a week.
Thinking we should start a movement - Christmas year 'round! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Inspiration: a holiday tablescape

Creating a Thanksgiving tablescape was a big deal for me. Give me a chance to be festive and I will turn the dial way up. And since we hosted a Christmas Day "waffle bar" it only seemed appropriate to pull out the decorations and make a festive table once again. I even recycled some materials.

Recognize the runner? All I added was Christmas-y votives, the small centerpieces and a keepsake ornament for each plate. Voila - holla Christmas!

tablecloth - hand me down
runner - Target
votives - Michael's
winter centerpieces - Michael's
napkins - Michael's
ornaments - Michael's
red sled - TJ Maxx
striped straws - Michael's
dishes and glassware - Williams Sonoma

Monday, December 24, 2012

Twas the night before...

If only every day could be the eve. Am I right? We spent the morning sipping on Starbucks and exchanging gifts with our nanny friend. A feel good morning if you will! I'm sure today will fly by as I get some work out of the way before we head to my parents' house for Christmas Eve dinner.

Speaking of, he's coming tonight. Now I know what my parents went through every year hauling awkward toys up the stairs and staring at directions in a foreign language.

In case I haven't mentioned it - I hope you have a cozy, blessed and Merry Christmas Eve. Soak it all in! xo


Friday, December 21, 2012

Ginge-y Friday!

Friday! Whoop! Whoop! This week has been rewarding and hard all at once. Luckily the rewarding came at the end.

Olivia learned the word "nnnnno" which has been a real treat, let me tell ya. We got our first major snow. We made Christmas cookies. We wrapped gifts. I mean - not bad by any stretch?

Here, here to the last two sleeps before the big man in red makes an appearance. Now if you'll excuse me, we have some reindeer food to make. xo

...and the links:
- I am thrilled to see Ann Curry's #26Acts social movement take off. This is what social media is for. And, it's pretty gratifying to participate, too.

- Starbucks is taking to wine, now? How do you feel about that?

- Betsey gets a reality show.

- Zara sale starts today. You were warned.

- Andy Warhol does Christmas. I love.

- ...and if you want to watch my favorite scene in the Nutcracker, click here.

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gifting Color: BLUE

Gifting Color: Blue

There's nothing to feel blue about when it comes to this Christmas list. Despite the craziness that ensues the final days leading up to Christmas; I can glance at this list and let out a long wistful sigh as I gaze at all the prettiness. If for nothing else, it's visually wonderful. Santa...if you've got room - I'll take the anchor sweater!

Talbot runhof
$1,150 -

AX Paris royal blue top
$24 -

Tommy hilfiger
$160 -

Mulberry suede booties

Block heels

Leather clutch
$42 -

Toy Watch blue jewelry
$290 -

Fringe necklace


RGB nail polish

Gifting Color: Blue by johannapalka featuring mugler

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

OOTD: crimson crush

If you couldn't tell, I really missed dressing up while pregnant. Yoga pants are swell but there's something to be said for feeling put together. And let's face can't wear outfits like this when you're baby is spitting up like a geyser.

The deets:
The occasion: you know it, work

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I think that went really well.

Ahhhh...the holidays. They really are magical aren't they?

Teaching Olivia that Santa says "ho ho ho" seemed the perfect cue for Sunday's Santa pics. Let me just give you a little teaser of our weekend. Friday = dog tired from work and fell asleep @ 8:30pm only to be woken up @ 1am sick as a dog. Saturday = cancelled party plans and spent the day laid out sipping on Vitamin Water. Sunday = get your s*it together, Johanna or Santa isn't happening in these parts.

So, what does any mom do? Hike up her proverbial skinny jeans {which felt a whole lot looser, thank you stomach flu} and ventured off to the mall to take the kids to see Santa...all the while praying that the morning's bagel stayed down. {it did, in case you were wondering}

And what do I have to show for it? Well, the above and lots of unwrapped gifts on the dining room table.

But hey - we are going to have Christmas, dammit!
Even if it kills me...quite literally.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gifting Color: GREEN

Gifting Color: GREEN

I am sure you heard about this - so it should come as no surprise that I created a gift guide for an amazing color. Green has always had a lotta spunk. And emerald is my birth stone. 2013 is gonna be a good year for me! Besides, how amazing would those Zanotti pumps be, ladies?

Giveaway ends today @ 5pm. Don't miss out!
UPDATE: ...and the winner is: 

Erica said...
I'd love them :)
Alice Olivia short dress

Parka coat


Edie parker

Kenneth Jay Lane emerald jewelry

Statement ring
$35 -

American Apparel stud earrings

Chloé fragrance

Muuto Mhy pendant lamp, light green
$190 -

Gifting Color: GREEN by johannapalka featuring edie parker

Friday, December 14, 2012

Frenetic Friday.

Whoa dudes. This week has been insane in the membrane. New job is good but my head is spinning. Don't even talk to me about starting Christmas shopping because that's a negative ghost rider. And if you're wondering why I've gone radio silent on you...apologies for being a crappy blogger. I've read your comments and I plan to hit you back this weekend. Seriously. Promise.

I don't have any fun links but listen, it's Friday. Kick up your heels and drink a glass of eggnog. People, Santa is coming to town!! Cheers - merry, merry! xoxo

P.S. Don't forget about my giveaway ending Monday!

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gifting Color: GOLD

Gifting Color: GOLD

Shiny and bright is always a crowd pleaser. Today I've rounded up prezzies that will please the metallic lover in your life. Rose gold or 14K's all good to me!

P.S. Don't forget about my giveaway ending Monday!

Sequin blazer
$72 -

Wallis high heel pumps

Ballerina flat
$155 -

Ted baker bag

Mint bow jewelry
$14 -

Gold jewelry

Crystal necklace
$73 -

Adina Reyter bow necklace

Bling My Thing tech accessory

Warby parker

Past Loves