Friday, March 29, 2013

Paas For A Moment.

This Easter will be a casual one at our house.  No formal meals, fancy dresses or complicated table centerpieces.  We seem to be coming into the holiday with a big case of low energy and general disdain for fuss.  Thank goodness the rest of our extended family seems to be on the same page.  You know you're not looking at a real Martha Stewart holiday when the email you send inviting everyone actually mentions that your house will not be clean and that people should bring pasta salad and wine.  I can't imagine why Better Homes and Gardens hasn't offered to come photograph the event.

Of course, Easter means egg dyeing and that always opens the door for Eliza and J.D. to regale everyone with their favorite stories about how I've ruined some of their egg decorating experiences.  Something happened to me when I had kids.  I've always had a little hippy/granola thing churning about, but once I actually produced children, I shot straight ahead into Earth Mother mode.  One year, I prepared brown eggs instead of white ones and we ended up with Easter eggs in a dazzling rainbow of khaki.  But my biggest Easter Fail came the year I felt the whole Paas egg coloring kits were just a little too commercial and that we needed something more organic.  So we dyed eggs using spinach juice and crushed berries.  Don't bother trying this yourself.  You need to soak an egg for about 10 hours in crushed raspberries to give it even a slight blush.  And your kids will never let it go.

I'm wearing these today:

They are extremely comfortable and have kind-of a biblical look which I think is appropriate considering the holiday.  Of course, I realize now I need to fast-track that pedicure appointment.  TMI?

And, if you're looking for something different to serve this Easter, try Ina Garten's Croque Monsieur instead of a big ham.  I've done this in years past and it has been very well-received.  It's easy to make for a crowd, it's a nice brunch/lunch item, it's Frenchy, the sauce you slather on it is the best liquid ever, and it goes nicely with a Sauvignon Blanc.  Enjoy!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

gratitude:  running errands as a family, white jeans, honeysuckle-scented soap, houseplants with a strong will to live

thanks and love.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Do I Want To Learn How To Dougie?

We had tea at the Brown Palace yesterday with our neighbors - it was lovely.  We sipped from fine china and nibbled sandwiches without crusts.  We sat up straight.  After our tea, still dressed in our tea-drinking garb (nary a lacrosse short or Ugg in sight) and emitting a certain "we just had tea" vibe, we hopped in our Volvo wagon, loaded with reusable grocery bags and lacrosse gear, and cruised back to Suburbia to the amplified base of some song that includes the word 'booty' in it about 700 times and describes in great detail, just what the 'booty' in question should be doing.  Like it or not, these songs have become part of our family's soundtrack.  For now.

At first we felt bad about not putting our foot down more firmly when it came to language or subject matter in a song.  We tried and failed - it was too big to fight.  Then we volunteered to chaperone a dance at the high school.  While we casually conversed with teachers and other parents, all sorts of F-bombs and booties blasted from the sound system.  No one even flinched.  I thought for sure, once an administrator heard the words to "Wobble" by V.I.C., they'd race across dance floor to unplug the speakers and send everyone home to think about Shame or Guilt or something.  But they just stood there with us discussing the Honor's History assignment the kids were completing while the music played on.

I must admit, some of those songs have a great beat - you can't help but get into them (lyrics aside).  After a while, I hardly notice what they're saying and find myself cruising back from the orthodontist singing along to "Booty Wurk" by T. Pain and looking through a rear-view mirror that is shaking back and forth because the base is turned up all the way.  And yeah, when I pull into the Target lot, is that swagger I feel?  Could be.  Or I may just be excited about the new beach towels on sale.

I'm wearing this today:

Because Geraldine Saglio wore something similar.  See?

Skinny jeans, flats and a simple t-shirt will ALWAYS work - whether you're on a crowded Paris street or in your messy kitchen in Colorado.

Purple bras, on the other hand, do not always work.

Seriously, what kind of perverted camera does that?

gratitude:  accountants, sandal weather, Spring Break, hamburgers

thanks and love.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Pottery and Pinterest.

This Monday you may notice there are some nifty additions to the blog.  Last week I met with a Very Smart Computer Person and he did a lot of things on my computer while I drank coffee.  As a result of my coffee-fueled support and his html know-how, you can now email subscribe to the blog!

You can also see what I'm pinning on Pinterest.  I know, I know.  It feels like Christmas doesn't it?  But really, I truly adore Pinterest.  Hopefully, you'll like it too.  It has allowed me to zero in on what I'm drawn to in fashion and home decor especially.  Which in turn has made getting dressed in the morning so much easier.  Plus, I can more confidently shop for lamps.

And you can now link to my Facebook page which actually is pretty boring because all I seem to put on Facebook are my blog posts.  I'm making a mental note right now to try to zhush up my Facebook postings from time to time.  Currently there is a nice video Geoff recently posted of J.D. beating me in an arm wrestling contest.  Enjoy.

And that's that.  New stuff for a new week.

In case you were wondering, these are some of my most cherished possessions.

Because Spring Break week has always fallen during an incredibly busy time for Geoff's business, we are usually able to only take a couple days in the mountains for some skiing.  Of course, what with Eliza's hip surgery, skiing as a family is out of the question, so we're home for the week and I can tell the kids are overjoyed.

To add to the excitement, I'm taking them on a retro adventure to one of those pottery painting places, just like the good 'ol days.  When they were younger I loved a place that would allow my kids to mess around with art supplies and someone else had to clean up afterward.  Now, just spending a couple hours alone with them in an activity that is hard to do while texting (or snap chatting) sounds like heaven.  And I still don't have to deal with the mess.  Happy Spring Break indeed!

It's Meatless Monday and because we aren't going anywhere over break, I'm transporting us to Switzerland for dinner!  Yes, indeed, cheese fondue.  Fireside.  No passport required.  The excitement never ends, does it?

gratitude:  quiet mornings, no schedules, college basketball, Spring

thanks and love.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Au Revoir to Emmanuelle Alt, and Other Stuff.

It's Friday and my pantry stinks.  I currently have a colossal battle occurring in there to see which item will produce the most powerful aroma.  The two elements in the final match-up are some orange scented garbage bags and a sack of everything bagels.  I wish I could convey to you the incredibly strange perfume these two items are producing together.  Close your eyes an imagine what an orange car deodorizer smells like then bring some salami into the mix.  Really, it's quite something.  I fear the garbage bags my be the big loser here.  Everything bagels are going to smell regardless, and they are so very delicious that they can be forgiven.  But the orange scented garbage bags that I thought would bring a light, citrus fragrance to my kitchen have only caused every odor that occurs near the trash can to be tinged with a trace of chemical-based fruit.  Live and learn.

Today marks the final installment of WWEAW Week.  It's been fun.  If Vogue ever needs someone to handle the "suburban mom of teens, mid-forties and confused" beat, I'm all over it.

In this first shot we have Emmanuelle holding her cell phone and ear buds preparing, most likely, to contact a fellow fashionista about where to meet for drinks to discuss the latest offering from Versace.

And here I stand with the tangle of white computer cords that fill the drawer holding our take-out menus.  I'm preparing to order dinner because sometimes, if I add up how many dinners I've made over the years, ordering out is the only way to prevent a seizure.

And finally, here is Emmanuelle at her desk probably contemplating the next cover for Vogue.

And here I am at my desk contemplating the next Meatless Monday.

That brings WWEAW Week to a close.  I could sure use a sip of something sparkly and fantastic after all that.  Join me won't you?  Let's have a classic champagne cocktail this weekend.  It's easy to make.

Classic Champagne Cocktail:
Add one dash angostura bitters and a single sugar cube to the bottom of a champagne glass.  Fill with champagne and garnish with a twist of lemon peel.  So delish.  Cheers and happy Spring!

gratitude:  piles of warm laundry, stargazer lilies, white jeans, cast iron pans

thanks and love.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Urban Legends and Emmanuelle Alt Week Part Deux.

This is a true story.  Eliza and I were returning from her physical therapy appointment this morning and took our regular jaunt through the Starbucks drive-thru on our way back to school. The fact that she can down an egg and sausage sandwich plus one of those milkshakes Frappucinos in about five minutes gives me great hope that she'll always be able to fall back on competitive eating to make a living.

When it came time to pay, we were told the person in the car in front of us had paid for our order.  We were stunned.  To have a stranger do something so nice blew us away.  I had thought the whole 'paying it forward' thing was just a myth created to preserve what little faith in humanity some of us out there have.  But it really happened.  I feel like I've seen a unicorn.  Of course, I offered to pay for the car behind us.  Their order was slightly less expensive than ours, so not wanting to slow the positive energy or to take too big a bite out of the karmic pie, I shoveled over the world's largest tip to the guy in the window and drove away.

We pondered on our way to school how long had the chain been going?  Did the car in front of us start it?  Had it been going on all morning?  And then, of course, who ends it?  It has to end sometime.  Who is the person who gets their coffee paid for and just drives off?  I do hope whoever is working the Starbucks drive-thru when the chain is broken handles it in an appropriately passive/aggressive way.

There was a weird moment as we were waiting to pull out of the lot and were in line behind the car that paid for us.  Do you get out and come to their window to say thank you?  Do you honk and wave?  Do you shoot them a peace sign or a fist pump?  Eliza and I just wished them a fabulous day using our mental powers to transmit the message.  I'm sure they felt it.

There are some good people out there after all.

As promised, my week in Emmanuelle Alt style continues.  It has been easy to use her as a guide.  Here is the first look:

In this shot Emmanuelle is probably walking back to her offices.  She is holding an invitation to an exclusive fashion show and is most-likely on the phone with her assistant making sure they cover the latest collection from Chanel in the next issue of Vogue.

And here I am, walking to one of my offices (A.K.A. Whole Foods).  I am carrying my reusable grocery bags (duh) and speaking on the phone with both Eliza and J.D. telling them to stop locking each other out of the bathroom.  The resemblance is uncanny, n'est ce pas?

And here, Emmanuelle is purposefully walking across a crowded street carrying what appears to be a list of models French Vogue is considering for a major spread featuring an emerging designer.

And and in this shot, I am coming back from the mailboxes down the street.  I'm carrying a Ballard Design catalog, a Garnet Hill catalog, a Val-Pak and 75 medical bills.  My walk is also quite purposeful.

gratitude:  the nice person in front of us at Starbucks, physical therapy, a husband who will take pictures of you in a Whole Foods parking lot on his way to the airport, vintage silver pieces (slightly tarnished, please)

thanks and love.

Monday, March 18, 2013

WWEAW (What Would Emmanuelle Alt Wear?).

I think everyone needs a style muse.  Mine is  Emmanuelle Alt.  Ta-Da.

Emmanuelle Alt and I are both 45.  We have the same taste in clothing.  And we both appear to have faces that repel makeup.  Of course, that's where the similarities end because she is also Editor-in-Chief of French Vogue and lives in Paris while I am a mother and wife who attempts regular blogging and occasionally sells jewelry in suburban Denver.  There are other differences of course, but they are so obvious I needn't point them out - plus my fragile ego couldn't handle any additional comparisons.

Regardless, I adore her style and while I have always dressed in kind of a uniform, reading more about Emmanuelle Alt and the two other Voguettes (Vogue stylist Geraldine Saglio and Fashion Editor Capucine Safyurtlu), as seen here,

has really helped me settle into a look I like.  Even shopping is easier - I go straight to the colors I like; black, white, grey, perhaps some chambray thrown in for interest.  And leopard.  Can't forget the leopard.  Jeans are a requirement as well.  My point is, find a muse if you don't have one already and let them guide you fashionwise.

I like the Vouguettes' style because of its simplicity.  With my crazy hair, I find I look and feel best in simple shapes and colors.  If I had a different pate I may find other looks more appealing, but I fear taking on a bit of a Phyllis Diller vibe, so simple it is for me.  I also like a high heel.  Not too high, of course, and no platforms because that looks a little 'stripper'.  But a heel.  And don't tell me they are only for fancier occasions.  I actually handled before-school crosswalk duty in a heel and had no problem at all.  So there.

This week, I will be attempting to match outfits worn by Emmanualle Alt and the other Voguettes as precisely as possible to prove how helpful a style muse can be.  Thrilling, isn't it?  The hardest part will be not dragging my feet when it comes to doing the laundry and ending up without any black t-shirts or jeans.  Edge of your seat excitement, indeed.

Here is today's look.  First, Emmanelle as she prepares to enter a show during Paris Fashion Week:

Now me as I prepare to place the trash can at the end of the driveway.

See?  You can hardly tell a difference, can you?

On a very celebratory note, JD's lacrosse team won their indoor championship, 10 - 9!  What a great game!  Here's the team (JD is on the right, back row, in the dark shirt and grey baseball cap).

And, it's Meatless Monday again.  I have a lot of leftover Colcannon from our St. Patrick's Day dinner last night.  Basically, Colcannon is mashed potatoes with the addition of greens.  I added spinach.  I think it may be the Irish version of a salad.  Anyway, I have a ton left over so I'm thinking about a potato pancake of sorts with a veggie saute on top.  I can already hear the kids asking for more...

gratitude:  the incredible heart shown by JD and his team in the Championship (I welled up), Eliza without a cell phone, English muffins, classic Chapstick

thanks and love.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Shoes and Slainte.

I am going to buy some new shoes today.  I think.  I popped into Nordstrom Rack yesterday.  While there, hidden amongst a few pairs of shoes that must have been on the fast track to the Clearance Rack - honestly, who thought the purple, platform pumps accented by macrame and peacock feathers were going to be a hit? - I found the perfect pair of boots.  They are so freakishly discounted I can't even do the math to calculate the incredible deal I am going to enjoy, but trust me, these boots are a steal.  Of course, I do understand that buying shoes on sale has its inherent risks.

Shoe sales are exciting to me, but I've been burned before and it takes me a while before I'll admit that perhaps my purchase was ill-advised.  I enjoy an unusual pair of shoes - which makes shopping sales good for me because the stranger looks tend to become discounted quickly.  My wardrobe is so basic that shoes offer my look a bit of whimsy.  Not even sure why I need a whimsical element, but I feel the fun shoes help me look a little less 'Frau Brugger'.   Once I found a weird pair of boots that were caramel colored and sort of wrinkly.  Kind of like a footwear interpretation of a Sharpei.   I tried them on in the store and was instantly taken with their quirky look and versatile color.  After admiring them from every angle and smugly noting my smart shopping skills, I purchased those puppies (pun intended) and immediately started calculating the myriad outfits they would complement.

The first time I wore them I felt great.  The second time I wore them, I started to get that sinking feeling.  I was at the grocery store at the time walking on a tiled floor.  When I stepped with my left foot nothing happened, but when I stepped with my right there was a distinct, high-pitched knock.  Like a person clapping two pieces of wood together.   At first I thought nothing of it, then after a while I could only hear the rhythm of my own walking - step, knock, step, knock...  It made me crazy.  I walked favoring my good shoe as long as I could, but my foot started cramping up.  I had to go back to normal walking and was horrified when the woman in front of me actually turned around to see what the noise was behind her.

I kept those shoes a bit longer hoping the knocking sound was just part of the breaking in process.  It wasn't.  Finally, I ended up passing them along to Goodwill.  I considered writing an explanation warning about the sound on the bottom of the shoe, but didn't.  I just hope a cobbler finds them next.  Or someone who can't hear well.

I wore this yesterday.

See what I mean about the uniform look?  I admit I'm happiest in the basics - jewelry and shoes are my outlet.  The necklace is the Calliah from Stella & Dot.  I adore the turquoise over the charcoal color.

It's St. Patrick's Day weekend!  I love being Irish and plan to honor my heritage with pride and potatoes.  If you're looking for a celebratory beverage, I suggest adding two drops of green food coloring to any Champagne or sparkling wine - festive and classy!  And, in keeping with the theme, you may want to serve up some Irish cheddar or a salmon spread with your sparkling green beverage - one should always have a nibble on hand if imbibing.

A belated birthday wish to my charming brother, Jon.  You make us laugh and we love you so much!  I hope you have a fabulous year ahead.

gratitude:  watching the birds look for nesting sites around our house, the Positively Positive website, cinnamon in coffee, weekends

thanks and love.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Thank You, Pascal.

We have a giant, butterfly balloon that someone gave Eliza after her surgery, floating around our house. Because of this balloon it has become uncomfortably clear that we need a pet (no offense to Spike, our nervous guinea pig).   We (meaning Geoff and I - the kids are mentally and emotionally fine) have started to speak of the balloon as if it were alive.  Geoff may ask, "Where's the balloon?" and I'll answer with "Oh, it floated into the bathroom."  Then we'll both make a comment about it really liking the bathroom - kidding, of course, but inside each of us is starting to believe that maybe the balloon really does have feelings.  Before Geoff left for his business trip he noted that maybe the balloon didn't like having the long ribbon attached to it because it caught on the furniture and made it hard for the balloon to float around.  Yesterday, I noticed the balloon seemed to be deflating and moving closer and closer to the ground.  It looked sad.  So, I cut off the ribbon and he floated joyously to eye level with me.  Was he thanking me?  I'll never know.

I blame this whole ordeal on having to watch The Red Balloon as a child - a uniquely disturbing rite of passage for children of the 70's.  Thanks to this film, there is an entire generation of people out there who are very sensitive the to emotional well being of inflatables.

I'm wearing this today and, as an aside, taking pictures of yourself looks and feels ridiculous:

It was inspired by this:

I cannot over emphasize the value of a good Pinterest board.

gratitude:  hanging on the couch with the kids, a clean house, a successful attempt at poaching eggs, birds chirping outside

thanks and love.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I Also Miss TV Dinners and Flocked Wallpaper.

We watched Argo over the weekend.  I think waiting until the movie awards have been given out helps pinpoint which films are really worth the effort.  I mean, why waste our time with something that isn't Oscar-worthy, right?  Anyway, it was a fabulous production and while it kept us on the edge of our seats, it made me nostalgic for the 70's.  The wide ties, the glasses with the huge frames and of course, the rotary dial phones with the curly cords.  Life was so straightforward.  If you needed to talk to someone you called them and they had to answer because there was no caller ID.  And when you talked, you stayed in one place unless you picked up the whole phone and walked across the room to pour yourself another glass of Tang.  It was all so simple.

Now, our phones go everywhere with us.  We are always connected and often at the mercy of technology.  Just a few days ago, I was out running errands and my phone, which was inside my bag so I could go hands-free, suddenly started playing a really delightful ditty titled "Centipede" by Knife Party on their album Rage Valley (one of the additions JD has made to our family's master playlist).  If you haven't heard it yet, just think back to what modems sounded like while dialing up the internet and add a lot of bass. While the song serves its purpose to fire him up before lacrosse games, it's less appealing coming at high volume from my faux snakeskin tote while I browse for paint samples in a very quiet art supply store.  Of course, because I carry a tote and use most every available inch of it, my phone had drifted to the bottom of the pile (thank you, gravity) and we were well into the tune before I found it and managed to shut it off.  

Embarrassing for two reasons:  certainly the scene I caused was a little uncomfortable for everyone (especially those patrons unfamiliar with the musical stylings of Knife Party), but even more disturbing is the fact that I need complete silence and both hands to actually play music on my phone and somehow the inanimate contents of my purse managed to do what I cannot.  Sobering, really.

This morning I'm working on this:

So I'm wearing this:

And later tonight, if I accomplish everything I hope to, I may avail myself a glass of this:

Our Meatless Monday dinner is a strategic move on my part.  Cereal.  The kids love it, it requires little effort on my part and, since Geoff is out of town, it takes care of the "Breakfast for Dinner" tradition we have upheld during every business trip Geoff has taken since the kids were toddlers.

Of course, that means I'll be having wine and cereal for dinner.  Mother of the Year, here I come.

gratitude:  the extended weather forecast (I saw a 70), white t-shirts, peanut butter cookies, ballpoint pens with blue ink and a medium tip

thanks and love.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I'm Uncomfortable Right Now. Can You Tell?

I'm wearing this today:

My whole outfit was chosen to highlight this new necklace that came yesterday.  The Avalon Fringe (are those angels singing?).  It's so fabulous and I wanted to put it on a really neutral background, hence the charcoal grey top.  And it's cold, so a turtleneck is in order.  I picked the jeans only because my skinny jeans are getting a hole in a very strange place - it's location really is unexplainable.  I don't like these jeans, they make me uncomfortable.  But I wear them anyway.  

There are a few articles of clothing that, when I have them on, I wonder what in the world keeps me from wadding them up and tossing them into the nearest dumpster.  I have a feeling that a fear of public nudity is the main reason, but secondarily it could be that I just don't have something to replace them in my wardrobe.  So, as was the case yesterday, I'll deal with an incredibly ill-fitting pair of pants because they are the perfect length and the ideal shade of white (not too bright, not too dull).  Unfortunately, while I may end up with a fairly cool look, it also causes me to feel annoyed most of the time I'm wearing them.  Of course, they only cost $19 which is, at first glance, a bargain.  But based on the price and the fit, I was robbed.

I also have a t-shirt that I can almost guarantee is made with two back pieces.  Whenever I wear it I feel like I have it on backward - but it's a perfect dark charcoal color and has enough spandex in it that it doesn't fall out of shape by the end of the day.  My boyfriend jeans (today's discomfort) are also a problem, they hang so low I always feel a little dumpy, but I wonder if thats the whole point of the boyfriend jean and maybe this style is beyond my mid-forty understanding.  And, I regularly throw on an adorable leopard print belt that I think is made for a toddler so I have to wear my pants a little higher than I would prefer just to get it to buckle.  I feel like I look like Urkel.  See:

That's how I feel, only not as cheerful.  But I keep using the belt because it's a great leopard pattern and the perfect width.  So I tamp down my Urkel fears and forge ahead. 

It seems like usually there are a couple items in our wardrobes that aren't quite right, but we keep them around anyway.  Maybe for sentimental reasons, maybe because we think we'll lose those last five pounds or maybe because anytime there is a good replacement option for the disappointing item it's either unavailable in our size or it costs more than a car payment.  Lately I'm feeling a bit less like dealing with the discomfort.  On that note, today I'm going to toss the leopard belt in the dumpster down the street.  I'll start small, with an accessory, and just hope that by this evening I haven't gone dumpster diving to retrieve it.

gratitude:  mornings when everyone is in a good mood, avocados, Jo Malone perfume, cardigans

thanks and love.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Catch A Wave.

It feels like everywhere you turn these days there's someone on the corner spinning a sign for a local business and waving at passer's by.  They seem to be in their own world, dancing to a beat we can't hear and usually braving ridiculous costumes and freezing weather.  Normally, I just speed by while faking a rear-view mirror adjustment - eliminating any uncomfortable moments.  But yesterday I was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot and found myself stuck behind three giant trucks in the turning lane.  Right next to my car was a guy dressed like the Statue of Liberty and getting down with a cardboard sign advertising tax services.  As I sat in my car, he looked right at me and waved.  I felt obligated to wave back because it's the polite thing to do, right?  I glanced away slightly as I waved so I wouldn't look too aggressively cheerful and when I looked back - he was dancing down the sidewalk waving at every other car in line.  I felt weird.  Does anyone else feel a reflexive need to wave at these people?  I'm skipping the wave next time (since it obviously means so little to them) and if I'm stuck in a place where one of them is dancing just outside my car door I'll feign a sneezing attack.  I like to believe my waves are worth more than that.

I wore this yesterday:

Grey, plaid, and the fabulous Medina necklace.

gratitude: lacrosse, gorgonzola cream sauce, trunk shows, skinny jeans

thanks and love.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Absence of a Green Thumb.

Hope everyone had a delightful weekend.  Ours was typically chaotic full of activity, but was capped off by a lovely day on Sunday with the four of us alone.  It seems so rare anymore that we get a full day together.  Dinner together - at the table, no less - was the highlight.

One of the tasks I tackled on Sunday, was to work a bit on the planters and urns we keep on the various porches and patios around the house.  This sounds like I'm a gardener, which really couldn't be farther from the truth.  Although many years ago, as part of my ongoing Quest For Self-Discovery, I thought maybe this would be a good career for me.  Geoff and I met with a "Professional Landscape Designer" for half an hour regarding a project we were working on one summer.  She stood in our front yard giving us a few plant tips and enjoying a glass of wine.  I thought that looked like something I could swing.  Toss out a few terms like 'xeric' and 'deciduous' and sip a Chardonnay?  Count me in!

I even went so far as to take the CSU Master Gardener Program.  I sat in class for two months with people who actually grew things.  And kept them alive.  They divided plants and stimulated roots and knew how to get rid of slugs with beer and wet paper towels.  I was out of my league.  And even though I passed the program, I knew I was never going to be one of the helpful volunteers in the blue vests you see at the Garden and Home Show.  No.  While I have no trouble sipping wine in the yard, I'm not so good when it comes to actual gardening.  But I can confidently identify 'blight'.  I must have paid special attention to that term because it sounds so tragic.  So here's the deal, if the leaves of your plant turn black, it has blight, and you will need to get a new plant.  It feels good to share my knowledge.

I wore this to a Friday happy hour with our wonderful friends, the Chapples and the Ottensteins:

It's JD's Beatles t-shirt and the fabulous Pegasus necklace from Stella & Dot.  I read somewhere that "rocker" t-shirts are one of four must have t-shirt styles.  So I marched right over to JD's closet and stole his for immediate fashion gratification.  It worked.  I felt sort of cool.  And since I'm in my mid-forties, 'sort of cool' is really saying something.

Another Meatless Monday is upon us!  Tonight we'll be digging into Ina Garten's Szechuan Noodles.  So good.  And if you're wanting to serve it up any other day of the week, you can throw in some roasted chicken too!

gratitude:  the Carla Bruni station on Pandora, toasted baguette, taking walks, Tarte's Maracuja oil

thanks and love.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Enter At Your Own Risk.

It occurred to me yesterday that the Jack-and-Jill bathroom concept is kind of ridiculous.  When we had our house built, it appeared to be such a great feature.  "Imagine, our kids can have a shared, private bathroom!," we remarked, so pleased with our good fortune.  Looking back, I should have known that 'shared' and 'private' are two conditions that shouldn't be carelessly granted to teens.

Part of this is my fault.  Because you can only enter the bathroom from their bedrooms and not from the main hallway, I basically forget it exists.  But when I do remember to check it out and disinfect its surfaces, I'm usually so stunned I need to sit down for a moment.  I'm pretty amazed they can get ready and look as good as they do under those conditions.  I also wonder if they know they have trash cans available under their sinks.  Or if they need lessons in spitting toothpaste near the drain.

As disturbing as the combo of flat irons, Axe products, Clearasil, make-up, toast crusts, earrings, orthodontic supplies and Valentine candy can be, it's kind of cool to hear them in there together.  I think they provide a lot of support to each other in ways that we, as their parents, just can't offer.  In that sense, the Jack-and-Jill baths serve a good purpose.  But I will never understand why it's so hard for them to use a hamper.

I wore this yesterday.

This green necklace is the Jolie.  It has been a surprise hit for me.  I find it goes with everything and gives a fun little zing to my ensembles.  I loved it over the stripe.  I would encourage any of you female readers to check it out.  It's so much fun to work into different looks and, with St. Patrick's Day coming up, it'll provide a very chic touch o' the green.

Enjoy this treat over the weekend.  Super easy appetizer - blue cheese and fig spread.   It's a fabulous salty/sweet combo.  Throw them on a board with some crispy toasts or water crackers and you'll dazzle anyone you're enjoying champagne or a glass of wine with at the time.

gratitude:  the first day of March, weekends, clarity (even if it's still a little fuzzy), snakeskin print

thanks and love.