Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I'll Never Know How Paula Deen Lost All That Weight.

Tuesday was a blur.  One of those days where you realize you haven't eaten or left a standing position (except for time behind the wheel) all day.  I knew it would be like this so I was really looking forward to Eliza's eye doctor appointment later in the afternoon.  I viewed this check-up as a great opportunity to sit in a quiet waiting room reading every issue of People magazine I could get my hands on.  My spirits soared when we walked in and I saw headlines about Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez's breakup and Golden Globes fashion reviews beckoning me throughout the room.  I smiled to myself because I knew what I had ahead of me - I felt like I was looking at a couple hours of spa time, it seemed so relaxing.

So you can imagine my disappointment when the doctor said "Why don't you join us, Mrs. High?  In case you have any questions."  Would it be irresponsible parenting to tell the doctor that you're sure you won't have any concerns and that you really don't need to be present through the exam, just so you can spend a half-hour looking at stars without makeup?  I smiled weakly and followed Eliza and him into the exam room.  I spent the next 30 minutes tucked into a cramped corner of a dark room, behind a gigantic vision machine, trying to imagine just what is going on between Ryan Seacrest and that cute girl from Dancing With The Stars.

I'm wearing this today:

It was totally inspired copied from this photo on Pinterest.

Pinterest can be such a great resource for fashion guidance.  I was at a loss on what to wear - my closest isn't really exciting me lately - and I've seen that picture on a few occasions recently.  As I lay in bed this morning contemplating another day in a black turtleneck or grey t-shirt I saw the denim shirt folded/wadded up on the chair in our bedroom.  I originally bought it for Eliza, but since she's a little on the smaller side, it looked like she was wearing one the shirts they make kids bring to do art projects in elementary school.  I think I'll keep it even though it's from Hollister and for some reason that makes me feel weird.

And finally.  Happy birthday, Dad!  I love you with all my heart!  You are brilliant, funny and make me happy.  I love that we can share our weirdness with each other.  If it weren't for you, I don't know if I'd get three blog posts up a week.  Have a wonderful day!

gratitude:  book suggestions, sunglasses, faux fur throws, Mrs. Meyer's fabric softener

thanks and love.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Age Schmage

This weekend, I realized you really can get cooler with age.  We were at a roast in Estes Park for an outgoing CEO.  He's French, and because this was a big deal, his older brother and his wife came all the way from France to celebrate.

This couple was in their late seventies and looked fabulous.  The brother wore red pants - red pants!  And a super Frenchy thick black turtleneck.  He looked like a funky Jacques Cousteau - appropriate as they had sailed alone across the Atlantic four times.  His wife was a small woman who had on an oversized, drapey black scarf with her hair wound into a topknot on her head and fastened with a chopstick that stuck almost straight up.  They were lovely and gracious guests at the dinner - even though they hardly spoke any English.  They joined the after-party crowd at a bar and continued the celebration well into the night.  Then, while Geoff and I were back in our room sleeping (having managed to even floss our teeth after several celebratory cocktails), they were in their suite singing French songs and drinking wine (she in her pajamas, no less) until 3:00 am.  They arrived at breakfast roughly the same time we did looking no worse for wear.

Even my parents have experienced a surge in coolness.  Nail polish and make-up were frowned upon until my freshman year in high school, so you can imagine my surprise when I received this call from Eliza as Geoff and I were driving to Estes Park.  She and my mom were shopping and she called to ask if she could get her cartilage pierced.  We had discussed this before, and Geoff and I were firmly against it - she already had double piercings in each ear and we feared a cartilage hole was just one step closer to a reality show on TLC.  Since she knew where we stood, she put my mom on the phone (well played, Eliza).  Using her great grades and an upcoming surgery, my own mother worked to convince me that she thought it was a cute look for Eliza and that even my Dad said it would look good on her.  I collapsed from the pressure (or was it shock?) and now Eliza is the proud owner of a third hole in her left ear.  Sheesh.

The thing is, I too want to be cooler when I get older.  I want to keep an open mind about issues and to dress creatively.  To remain current, but with wisdom and style.  I think it's a healthy thing to do.  Lately, I've been following this blog,  It highlights older women and what they wear.  Regardless of their shape and size they look incredible.  They radiate aliveness.  They haven't surrendered to age - they are still experimenting.  Strangely, even the mid-forties (where I find myself) is considered "advanced" to a point.  As weird as it is to wrap my head around that concept - I don't want to turn away from it.  I want to try to be open and creative now, so when I get even older people won't raise an eyebrow if throw on a pair of high-tops or over-the-knee boots.  I want to try not to fear age, but to embrace all the freedom it brings.  Something to consider.

I wore this to the event:

When I first bought these coated pants, I wasn't sure how they would work - could I really handle shiny  legs?  Now I love them and clearly need another pair because I wear them constantly.  I was considering some of those great faux leather pants to take this look to the next level and after this weekend, I might give it a try.  Hey, I'm a forty-five year old married mother of two, why ever not?  I'm also wearing the Stella & Dot Kimberly necklace which numerous women at the event tried on and loved (I like to drink wine and share my jewelry).  It works with everything - patterns or solid colors and can look dressed up or funky casual.  I consider it a must-have.

And finally, it's Meatless Monday (a concept I'm still trying to get the kids to appreciate).  Today we'll be dining on Mushroom Bourguignon from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook.  It is fabulous.  With the recommended addition of sour cream the taste almost goes to a stroganoff and adds a lot of ooomph to a meatless dish.  It calls for cremini mushrooms, but I've used a mix of cremini and boring white mushrooms and it works just fine.  Try it!

gratitude:  reading in bed, the Colorado cherry and cream cheese tart I ate for breakfast yesterday, salt scrubs, socks

thanks and love.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty.

This weekend, I was reading online about examples of resolutions and goals people had set for themselves in 2013 and one person actually said she was going to make sure she watched the sun coming up every day.  I could not fathom why someone, who obviously didn't have to get up while it was still dark, would actually choose to do this.  "Why not also resolve to clean the garage every afternoon or do your taxes before breakfast each day?" I thought.  It was beyond me.

With a middle-schooler and a high-schooler, we start our days well before the sun comes up.  When NPR blasts from our alarm, I don't usually find myself eagerly throwing off the covers and dashing downstairs to start my day.  Instead I reluctantly throw a sweatshirt over my jammies and muster all the motor skills I have at that point to put my hair into something that resembles a ponytail.  I rouse the kids -  who seem to have become immune to the alarms on their cell phones -  and head downstairs to whip up some organic pop tarts (I'm not a pancakes and scrambled eggs before school kind of mom).  Needless to say, the peaceful pre-dawn hours tend to slip by relatively unnoticed.

I decided, this week, to at least try to appreciate the fact that I don't have to change my day to experience the sunrise.   I vowed to view my situation from the perspective that I'm lucky enough to get to see the sun rise every day - without any new effort.  I think it made a difference.

Usually - when the sun begins to peek over the horizon -  I'm driving up the hill from the middle school bus stop, holding a cup of coffee in one hand, the steering wheel in the other, and wearing a sweatshirt, pajama pants and Geoff's shoes because they are usually sitting right by the door to the garage (I pray I never have car trouble).   But this week (even though I looked just as stunning) I have tried to slow the car a bit, turn the radio off and take in the sky. I discovered you get a nice feeling watching the light grow in the distance.  It feels hopeful.  And the day feels fresh.  I kinda like it.

I'm pretty good about appreciating the little things in my life that bring me joy, but trying to be grateful for aspects of something I'm not fond of has been a new development.  Enjoying the rising sun this week has made me happier.   Now I see there are other areas in which I could amp up my thankfulness.  Washing clothes, for instance.  Kind of a hassle really, but I'm pretty glad I'm not hauling our hampers down to a dirty river and beating the clothes on rocks.  Also, cleaning the toilet.  So glad Clorox has invented toilet scrubbers that allow me to attach a bleach soaked disc to a "wand" and, after whisking it around the bowl, ejecting it into the trash can with just the click of a button.  Magic.

I'm going to try to keep this new awareness part of my day.  I does feel good.  Give it a try!

We saw David Sedaris last night and I wore this:

This combo is a direct result of the realization that I have only three pairs of pants I like.  When they are all in the laundry and I need a jazzier outfit than normal, I start reaching for things I forgot I owned.  This skirt was from one of those "designer boutiques" Target has sometimes.  I bought it last summer and this was the first time I wore it.  Somehow it just never felt right before, but last night I was desperate so it got the nod.  To be honest, I felt a little sassy in this number.  I like the full, short skirt and the black and navy together felt as chic as I had hoped.  I may be working the skirt into my regular rotation.  And buying more pants.

gratitude:  new cookbooks, lip liner, funny people, a free evening

thanks and love.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Yesterday morning I was really looking forward to a day spent celebrating Geoff's birthday.   After a morning yoga, and a steamy shower filled with all sorts of spa-like scents,  I wrapped myself in the fluffy, white towel I'd hung in the bathroom the day before, and was immediately overtaken by the smell of the red onion I had used in Monday night's pasta dish.  How is it possible that the scent of a cooked onion made it all the way out of the kitchen, up the stairs, down the hall, through our bedroom and into our bath towel - whereas a crazy expensive bunch of Whole Foods flowers barely scents a three-foot radius?  It hardly seems fair.

I love fragrance, but there's a flip side.  Over the holidays, I bought an embarrassingly expensive Diptyque candle - I had read that the Feu de Bois scent was a "wintertime favorite".  That bit of info combined with its mega Frenchiness sucked me right in.  I ordered it online.  When it arrived and I lit it, our great room smelled not so much like the North Pole, but more the Hayman fire.  I should have reviewed some of my high school French, because apparently Feu de Bois means something akin to firewood.  Seriously, a candle that smells like fire???

Raising children and animals certainly opens the door to a lot of scents we wouldn't otherwise get to enjoy.  Say for instance the throat-burning cloud that lingers in your 13-year-old's room after he discovers all the joys of the Axe product line.  Or the dizzying array of body sprays a teenage girl collects from Bath and Bodyworks - scents that suspiciously also come in room sprays and diffuser oils.  Even our guinea pig, when his cage is due for a bedding change, makes our entire mud room smell like a bad petting zoo and has our guests hoping they'll be able to pet a goat or feed a pony by hand.

I like scent.  I make meatloaf and roasted chicken, not only for the deliciousness, but also for the aromatherapy.  I use Coppertone sunscreen for the smell alone.  I buy cleansers mostly because of their scent.  I  light a lot of candles and I try to have fresh flowers in our house as often as possible.  Somehow though, even with all this, bacon and smelly cleats often win the battle.  I just hope my kids don't grow up associating the warm feelings of home with the combined scent of chili, sweat, domesticated rodent and lavender.  We'll see.

I wore this yesterday.

Again, I'm loving the neutrals.  The freakishly warm temps inspired the white jean/navy sweater combo.  Tres Francais, non?  I am loving this new Kimberly necklace.  It looks great over this solid navy, but also works really well over pattern too.  I love these longer statement necklaces - they are easy to wear, look a little funkier than shorter versions and work great for the daytime too.

And, finally, another happy birthday wish to Geoffrey.  I am a lucky girl to share a life with him.  He was wonderful when we met all those years ago, but he is even better today.  I love you with all my heart G-off!!

gratitude:  night cream, scratch paper, everything bagels, birthday dinners out

thanks and love.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Yes Doctor.

I grew up in a beautifully, liberal-minded home.  My parents were fans of Martin Luther King Jr.  and before I was born they listened to and watched his speeches hoping his message would resonate with the rest of the country.  In my family, we even had a little MLK worked into our own vernacular.  When King would give his speeches, there was usually a group of men standing behind him while he was at the podium.  When he said something that captured all the goodness and rightness he was trying to inspire, the people behind him would agree by saying, 'Yes Doctor!'.  My parents started using that phrase and it became part of my family vocabulary.

In our home, 'Yes Doctor', meant you really liked what was happening or being said.  It didn't have to be a huge event - everyone had their own 'Yes Doctor' criteria.  It could be a great meal, a vacation, a nice grade, any bit of good fortune.  You get the picture.

Now 'Yes Doctor' is part of my own family's linguistic collection.  Geoff uses it.  The kids' have been using it since they could speak.  It was pretty cute to see them as little kids throw out a 'Yes Doctor' to themselves when they opened the freezer to find a fresh box of popsicles.  They understand the origin of the phrase and it makes me happy to know there is a little MLK peppered into our world even outside this holiday.

I like the 'Yes Doctor' mindset because it indicates an appreciation for what is happening at that particular moment.  It's a little nod to gratitude.  This weekend, Geoff and I had a 'Yes Doctor' moment of our own.  We chaperoned the high school Winterfest dance and our job to was to make sure no one left the school expecting to return later and that beverages were not carried into the dance area.  I also think it would have been helpful for us to offer longer dresses to some of the attendees.  Alas, that wasn't our responsibility, but we did do a bang up job at our assigned duties (we take pride in our work).   And, after three hours of loud music, some fashion "don'ts", and a close up look at what they call "dancing", we were ready to go.  We were ravenous, it was 11:00 at night, and we had absolutely no food at home (one of those weeks), so we hit the Taco Bell drive-thru.  Oh yeah!  Truly, that first bite of a Taco Supreme was, for us, the epitome of a  'Yes Doctor' moment.

I hope you all have some 'Yes Doctor' moments of your own today.

I wore this to dinner at my in-laws last night.

It's a tribute to the clarity one can get through a good Pinterest board.  We all get a little tired of what we have in our closets and I decided to review my fashion pins to really see what looks I liked most.  Clearly neutrals, skinny jeans, low boots and cool jewelry were my common fashion themes.  Hence this look.  I liked it and it made me feel like I was dressing in a way that captured what I valued fashion-wise.  That's one of the beautiful aspects of fashion.  It says something about who is wearing it.  I think that gets lost on people.  Clothing starts to become just a covering not so much an expression. We all should consider what our outfit is saying about us (are you hearing me 16-year-olds in those tank tops dresses we saw on Saturday?).  Ahem.

And on a final note, it's Meatless Monday.  In my effort to give back to all of you, I offer my menu item for tonight.  We will be dining on Giada's Sauteed Spinach with Red Onion.  Since this is our main course tonight, I'll add white beans and serve it on pasta.  It's delish.

gratitude:  MLK, further reductions on sale items, large kitchen tables, minty-smelling cleansers

thanks and love.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Just Not For Me.

So I was having one of my early morning Pinterest sessions and had a realization.  There are certain looks that, at this point in my life, I just don't think make much sense.  I'm speaking of this destroyed denim trend.  What caught my eye was a great shot of someone in a crisp white shirt and a modified version of the classic Chanel jacket.  I was on my way to hit 'repin' when I looked closer and saw giant, frayed holes in the knees of her jeans.

Now, I'm all for roughed up denim.  I like a few frayed edges and a slightly scuffed look.  But, the jeans with all the holes in them?  I don't think they look so cool anymore.  At first, it was interesting to see the contrast of an otherwise fabulous outfit junked up with a torn jean.  Now it seems a bit tired.  But I certainly found it compelling at one point and even gave it a serious attempt.

I didn't want to spend too much money on the torn jeans 'trend' so I ventured to a store that catered to people who might still get an allowance.  After a lengthy search I found a pair with suitable destruction, but didn't look like they'd been worn by a victim of a bear attack.  I made my way to the corner of a large room slightly covered by a drape dressing room to give them a shot - excited at the prospect of adding a hip, new element to my wardrobe.  I worked for a few minutes to secure the sheet that shielded me from the 15 other people in the room while Katy Perry belted out the extended dance version of 'Firework'.

When I picked up the pants I noticed the zipper (foreshadowing?).  It was two inches long.  Seriously, wouldn't a button have worked just as well?  While marveling at the machinery required to apply a two inch zipper to a pair of jeans, I slipped my foot into the leg of the pant.  It seemed to me that my leg went in too easily, there wasn't the feeling of pulling on an entire swath of material.  I looked down, balancing on one foot and pushing my head against the drape, and saw that most of my leg had gone through the manufactured hole in the knee.  I stood there, in my little tent, half undressed, with a pair of jeans wrapped around one calf.  I determined at that point, since I couldn't even manage to successfully place these jeans on my body, that perhaps this look wasn't for me.  I gently folded the jeans, pushed my curtain aside and headed out of the store with what was left of my dignity.

 So while I disagree with this trend on a style basis, I'm willing to admit some of my disdain may come from post-traumatic stress.

On to what I wore yesterday because it really is exciting, isn't it?  I wore this!

While other bloggers snap shots of what they wore to dinners at awesome restaurants and on urban adventures, I like to show you what you might want to wear to a high school talent show.  A striped sweater (classic) and navy blazer (also classic) make for an easy outfit that can take you from the high school auditorium to the gas station in a snap.  This outfit managed to do just that for me.  I also had the Serenity on (great with stripes) and a wristful of goodness.  I even took a picture of my arm during Intermission. Here it is.

That's the Emerson, the Christina, the Renegade, and a gold bangle I inherited about 25 years ago after  my mom had her colors done and was told she shouldn't wear gold.  I wear it always - because I love it and because after so long it's molded to my wrist and I can't get it off without pain.

And finally, because I want to provide you with more than strange, little essays on my life, I thought I'd share a fun cocktail for you to consider over the weekend.  It's called a French 75 and it's named for a rapid-firing piece of French artillery used during World War I.  Sounds tasty, doesn't it?  Well, it is.  It's champagne-based, which is the only way I can enjoy a cocktail, and it's a potent little thing.  Make sure you have some nibbles on hand if you dare to have a second.  Or don't have a second and know you won't have to apologize to anyone the next day.

French 75

2 oz. champagne
1 oz. Cognac
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup*
lemon twist

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake Cognac, lemon juice and syrup.  Strain into a champagne flute, fill with champagne and garnish with lemon twist.  Feel chic and fabulous.

*Simple Syrup:  Dissolve one sugar in one cup of water over low heat.  Cool before using.  Store leftover syrup in fridge.

gratitude:  nice kids at public high schools, pistachios, pink flowers, big windows

thanks and love.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

On Caring For Animals (because I have nothing else to talk about).

Basically folks, I've got nothin'.  I'm posting today simply because I've told myself I'm going to try to get three of these treasures up a week.  I need a goal, but I'm not the type of person who would challenge myself to run marathon distances.  Frankly, I need to know there is a cute t-shirt and snacks in a swag bag at the end just to enter a 5K.  I certainly could not push myself to stick to a restrictive diet either.  I dabbled in vegetarianism in college - swearing myself off all meat for a year or so.  Then my hair started falling out.  But, not even the clumps of hair in my shower deterred me.  Rather, it was the siren song of The Whopper.  I can only take so much.

The vegetarian reference segues me to my main subject.  Caring for animals.  Our pets.  I am an unabashed animal lover.  My parents gave me a membership to Greenpeace when I was about 13 years old.  I support the Humane Farming Association.  I don't go to circuses.   The animal welfare rating system Whole Foods offers (whether or not it's legit) makes me feel better.  I like meatless Mondays.  I can't watch those commercials for the ASPCA with Sarah McLaughlin singing.  I use cruelty-free products.  I still keep our basset hounds' (Daisy and Claire) ashes on my bedside table.  You get the picture.

Animal love is a beautiful thing.  But with pets, we are at their mercy.  Not only do we love them, but we want them to love us too.  With dogs it's easy.  You know it when they love you.  But I've discovered other pets are a bit harder to read.

We currently are the proud owners of a nervous, rescued, guinea pig named Spike.  He spends most of his time in a blue cave we have in his cage.  While we do all we can to make him like us, he still hides when we're around.  Sometimes he'll stick his nose near the entrance of his shelter and allow us to scratch him with our index finger.  On some really special occasions he'll allow a lengthier scratch, outside the cave, while he's getting a drink of water.  These moments are offered to Geoff most often, but when anyone in our family gets a chance to touch his snout, we somehow feel honored.

I'm caring for my parents' cat for a few days.  Andy is a cat's cat and not particularly interested in hanging out with any humans outside my parents.  I'll come by their  house twice a day for a few days to check in on him.  I will wash out his dishes, freshen his water, make sure he has all the food he likes, even clean out his litter box.   I'll do all this, then I'll sit alone in the living room, surrounded by cat toys, hoping with all my heart that he'll come out of his closet and brush against my back.

I'm wearing this.

No, it doesn't look like cat-sitting attire, but I'm trying to give Andy the impression it's no big deal to me whether or not he adores me.  I'm also wearing coated denim pants which I love because they look a little like leather and  feel 'on trend', but comfy.  I also love a loose, white T.  This one has a zipper in the back and makes me feel cooler than I really am.  I've created a blank canvas because some of my treasured Stella & Dot samples arrived today (I'm wearing the Pamela and the Avalon Crescent, layered) and I like to play dress-up as soon as I open the box.

gratitude:  UPS, last night's meatloaf, Parent Portal, longer days

thanks and love.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover.

Life is funny.  Looking back on the last 48 hours, the two biggest events we experienced would give anyone the idea that our weekend was a bummer.  But even with those big baddies, it was still a great time.  There was the obvious, shared downer of the Bronco loss.  Yikes.  What a shock, but so many lessons to be learned both sport-centered and life-centered.  Certainly the phrase, 'Don't count your chickens before they're hatched' comes to mind.  Our second rough patch this weekend made the Bronco game look tame.

When the kids don't have an early game on Saturdays, Geoff and I really look forward to sleeping in, drinking coffee and reading in bed until we start to develop bed pain (something we have discovered happens in your mid-forties.  Delightful).  However, despite our steaming cups of caffeinated goodness and some tasty snacks, Geoff wasn't feeling good at all.  Back pain.  Shortness of breath.  A burning sensation in his chest.  So, after a quick Google search of heart attack symptoms, we decided to head to the urgent care clinic.  Once you can check off a few of the symptoms listed for heart attack, you tend to not debate too long about what to do.  From there, after an EKG that involved light chest shaving (always pleasant), they sent us to the St. Anthony's emergency room.  Note to self, if you really want to get into a medical clinic fast, let them know you're having chest pain.  We did feel slightly cooler than the other sick people at the clinic that morning as we sailed past them waving our EKG print out.  We'll take what we can get.

Geoff ended up needing a battery of tests to determine what was wrong.  We spent over six hours in the hospital and despite his having to go through two EKGs, two enzyme blood tests, a stress test, fluids, strange pills and liquids, and a CAT scan - we actually had a pretty good time.  We loved being able to chat without interruption.  We watched football and read.  Our kids were calm and cool about the whole thing.  And, once Geoff got the all clear, the wonderful St. Anthony's staff sped us through the checkout process because they knew we had to get JD to his lacrosse game.

Turns out, severe reflux feels A LOT like a heart attack.  After a GI cocktail and copious amounts of Prilosec,  Geoff is feeling much better (chorus of angels, please).

And on top of all that, JD played great, scored three goals, and got the game ball.  Eliza found a dress for Winterfest.  We went out for burgers.  I bit my lip three times while eating my burger, but the swelling actually adds something to my lip area causing me to look a little like Angelina Jolie on one half of my face.  Not bad.

I wore this to shop for Eliza's dress on Sunday.

It's a little Hot Lips Houlihan.  I'm thinking it was a subconscious choice due to our Saturday of emergency medicine.  Army green is a wonderful color, it goes with everything.  Layering delicate necklaces looks just as cool as wearing a statement piece.  Fourteen-year-old girls can't stay away from cameras.

gratitude:  the St. Anthony's ER staff, Purell, sun salutations, real cream for our coffee

thanks and love.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.

I need to break up with our milk delivery company.  We've been together for such a long time - I honestly can't remember what life was like without them.  But just before Christmas, as I pulled into our garage, a sales rep for another milk company was leaving our front door.  He stopped in the driveway and waited for me to get out of the car.  I'd never even considered another milk company, so I had every intention of brushing him off.  But once he started talking about milk quality, glass bottles vs. plastic, Vitamin Cottage/Whole Foods kinds of natural goodness, Colorado proud and happy cows - I was hooked.  Then he capped off his spiel with two bottles of egg nog.

I couldn't bring myself to cancel with our old service during the holidays.  It just didn't feel right, so we took milk from both companies and ended up with 43 bottles of skim in our refrigerator.  After the holidays I told myself it was time to let the old company go, but I chickened out at the last minute and only cancelled that week's delivery.  Now I have to drop the bomb.  I can't keep leading them on.  They're a great company and we were never unhappy with them.  This new company just has so many great qualities, not to mention nicer coolers for drop off, a good website and unsweetened lemonade during the warmer months.  Really, it's not them, it's me.

I doubt the old company will be devastated by the news.  They probably read the writing on the wall when they delivered our milk and saw the other company's cooler in our courtyard.  I'm sure they won't lay on their couch crying, eating ice cream, writing in their journal and burning our old invoices.  Still, I just feel bad.  I have to do it though, we can't keep up with our milk supply.  I'm running out of smoothie and chowder recipes.  I've even considered using it with champagne in a little brunch delight I'm calling a Milkmosa.  I'm just going to make sure I'm not home when they come by to pick up their box.  That would be so uncomfortable.

I'm wearing this today.

Mostly because it's cold.  After the holidays I prefer temps in the 70's so I'm throwing on a wool crewneck.  I'm doing it ironically though.  Of course, there's nothing ironic about the awesome necklace.  The Lillith.  Sigh.

gratitude:  our new coffee-maker, fresh herbs, Advil, Yogaglo (online yoga studio), this video and everyone who made it

thanks and love.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'll Do It My Way.

So I found a great program online for getting your house looking spiffy at the start of this New Year.   Every day I would be sent an assignment and in one month, my home would look better than ever.  I lasted three days.

The first day was easy; make a list of projects.  I could grab any of the 12 lists scattered around our desks, bedside tables or kitchen island for a current line-up of 'to-do's'.  These range anywhere from cleaning Spike, the guinea pig's, cage to having a hot tub installed in the backyard that looks like a natural hot spring.  We're good on project lists over here.

Day two caused me to raise an eyebrow.  I was told to establish an 'outbox'.  This is cute term for a place you'll put something you may not totally want or need and it can stay there until you decide to part with it for good.  Using a closet or a corner of an unused room was suggested.  Alrighty.  I have half a basement already dedicated to this task and it currently looks like a Tuesday Morning store after a devastating weather event.  Perhaps it was just an issue of semantics, I thought.

They lost me on day three.  This part of the plan covered the weekend and it began by encouraging us to buy flowers for our house.  I do try to have flowers at home regularly, so I felt like I was probably going to ace this part of the program.  Unfortunately, they followed the flower assignment up with 'vacuum and mop all floors.'  Over the weekend no less.  Clearly this program was not meant for someone outside a small, city apartment.  Or for someone with two teenage kids.  The weekend is the worst possible time in our house to tackle any big project, most especially one that involves clearing floor space.

At any point over the weekend, we may have up to four extra people in our home.  And typically our floors are covered in Vans, Nikes, and Uggs.  I oftentimes feel people that come to our home bring an extra pair of shoes to leave as some kind of offering.  Our mud room, once thought (during our home purchase) to be a magical place that would contain all our coats, bags, footwear and the guinea pig, is usually overflowing to the point one cannot stop to even remove a shoe, causing footwear to be left in the adjoining hall and after that, scattering well into the main living space of our home.  There is no way I could vacuum and mop my entire home over a weekend.  This is a project I like to reserve for a Thursday or Friday when no one is home and a celebratory glass of wine at 4:00 is not out of the question.

Needless to say, I'm no longer checking the helpful 'task of the day' emails.  I delete them without even seeing the subject line.  I'll wing it myself and trust that by the end of January there is a very good chance I will have thoroughly cleaned my floors.  Maybe.

Anyway, to avoid the guilt of my failed home makeover and to provide my children with some form of dinner, I ran a few errands yesterday.  I wore this.

Between the stripes and the leopard belt it was a real pattern-fest.  I probably would have thrown on a floral scarf if I could get my hands on one.  The blazer is one JD grew out of.  It's weird to get hand-me-downs from your kids.  Plus, I was wearing boyfriend jeans - which is a style I'm really on the fence about.  Does anyone outside Sarah Jessica Parker look cute in them?  I think if I were like her, wearing them with a high-heeled pump and dashing across a New York City street, I may.  Instead, I wore my boyfriend jeans with flats and dashed across the King Soopers parking lot.  A stunning sight, I'm sure.

gratitude:  breakfast for dinner traditions, those new Tide pods, the view from my kitchen, Pinterest

thanks and love.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Just Another Minutiae Monday.

I do hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.  Our Wonderful Weekend in the West was indeed just that.  We dined at the new home of our dear, dear friends, the Shapiros and had a blast.  I managed to christen the abode by dribbling prosecco on a new chair during the house tour.  Now it feels even more like home, I'm sure.  I also made lentils.  I don't understand why they didn't generate more excitement among the family.  We spontaneously dropped in on my parents for a face-to-face 'Happy Birthday' wish for my mom where we drank wine and laughed.  And we capped it off with a celebratory dinner in honor of Mom at the Capital Grill.  It was fabulous and such a wonderful occasion.  I wore this:

This is my cello concert look.  It's a classic and works every time.  Also good with black pants, but then it's less cello concert and more Geek Squad.  And, in a very MacGuyver moment, I lengthened my Estate Bib necklace with a Nina bracelet and created this longer awesome statement piece.  I felt chic and crafty.

For anyone wondering if I indeed have a head, here is a group shot from the dinner.  I had no idea anyone invited Molly Brown.

Geoff and I took a walk this weekend as well and I made a realization that I need to beef up my fitness apparel.  I wore this:

Yes.  Those are ski socks.  And some Adidas pants that I thought were cool, but actually look more like a man's dress pant with some stripes on the side.  And also some very sorry looking shoes.  I bought those spiffy kicks at DSW (truly a hotbed of athletic apparel) about 8 years ago.  Since then they have been worn by both children, even once by JD to lacrosse practice when he forgot his cleats.  The stain was the result of an art project JD was working on in school (in fourth grade).  He was probably startled and dropped the paint when another kid yelled, "Hey!  Are those your mom's shoes?"

The ski socks are my fault.  It was cold.  And I had a load of whites that lingered for a couple days in the washing machine.

I am also lifting my pants to better expose the ski socks.  Dear gravy.  It was bad, but not cropped pants with knee socks bad.

During our walk I looked like I was recuperating from an illness or that I'd just popped out of a chair aerobics class.  It occurred to me (and anyone else who may have seen me that day) that I may need to have something to wear that's a tad sportier than a J.Crew sweatshirt-style pullover.  

In order to be prepared for the occasional need to dress for fitness while communing with the general public I will make some key additions to my wardrobe this year.  I think I'll start with the shoes.  I don't suppose I'd get any arguments there.

gratitude:  dear friends, scented candles, private dining rooms, family,  Kinkos

thanks and love. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Fabulous Friday.

It concerns me more than a little that unsweetened lemonade Kool-Aid offers the same cleansing benefits as white vinegar and bleach.  In an overwhelmingly domestic moment I Googled how to get the funky smell out of a dishwasher.  This was not in any way an effort to move myself closer to Domestic Goddess status, but rather a knee-jerk reaction to the fact that our last load of dishes smelled like cheese.  Knowing we haven't had Kool-Aid in the house since Eliza tried to dye her hair with it this summer, I took the vinegar/bleach approach.  Turns out, through some careful measuring, durable glassware and really, really hot water, your dishwasher can be returned to its original freshness!  I can't remember what our dishwasher smelled like originally, but now it smells like the hot springs pool in Steamboat.

And now for something completely different.

Tomorrow is my mom's birthday.  She is a great mom.  She's done so much for me, and no one in the world has taught me more about the importance of having a sense of humor than she has.  She believes this is a throwback to our Irish heritage.  Humor can get you though anything.  Well, it helps you get through things.  Sometimes you need medicine or counseling or a rescue helicopter, but humor makes it better.  My mom seems to laugh more now than she ever has.  And her laugh makes us all laugh.  It's great.  My mom has always encouraged my love of fashion and style.  She can tablescape like nobody's business.  She is an Ebay wizard.  She can do the New York Times crossword (even on the hard days).  She's a fabulous friend.  My dad is crazy about her.  So is her cat.  Working with her in our staging business was the best thing about our staging business.  She is an incredible Nana to her grandchildren.  I love to talk to her.  She cares about everything.  She. Is. Wonderful.

Happy birthday, Mom!!!  I love you!

I wore this yesterday.  It's a multipurpose outfit.  We sat through Eliza's MRI then were off to the Nuggets game.  A rich, full life, indeed.

Looking back, this isn't my best effort.  The cardigan was a nice layer in the MRI waiting room, but after the dash home I added the blazer to experiment with the long cardigan/short blazer concept. I should have belted the cardigan.  Would have made all the difference.  Live and learn.  Now we all know.  Belt the cardigan.

gratitude:  modern medicine, heated car seats, Google, expensive lotion samples

thanks and love.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Let's Do This.

Today is the day it all starts, isn't it?  I know yesterday was truly the beginning of the New Year, but if anyone is like me, today is go time.  Yesterday was sort of a rev the engines, check the rearview mirror, fasten the seat belts kind of day.  One of my many tasks along with moving my business forward, daily yoga and writing this blog, is taking the dry cleaning in.  Today.

I'm not the best at dry cleaning.  We just don't have such a regular need for things to be dry cleaned that we're taking it in on a weekly or even monthly basis.  An article of clothing can linger in the dry cleaning bag for literally months - perhaps even a couple seasons.  People have grown out of things, they've gone out of style or we've completely forgotten we own certain pieces just by their having been left in dry cleaning purgatory.  I'm the same with ironing.  I don't iron.  If it wrinkles, I believe it's proudly flaunting its natural fiber content.  The Downy wrinkle release spray is a life-saver for me (although, I have my doubts that we should be spraying it on while we're wearing the clothes).

Like drycleanable clothing, I'm feeling like I don't see much of my laptop anymore either.  It's an odd feeling.  Geoff gave me a new ipad for Christmas and now my relationship with my laptop feels awkward.  Everything is so easy with the ipad.  I can touch the screen and read my emails, read a book, watch a video, so so easily.  My laptop feels clunky now.  Granted it is more of a vintage laptop.  A hand me down from Geoff that I was so grateful for since my prior computer was just a step away from the amber screens of my youth.  I suppose like in any relationship one needs to make an effort to stay in touch.  Trying to post something three times a week, I suppose, will ensure the laptop and I at least have a working relationship.  I do hope computers don't have feelings.

I'm wearing this today.

I love a statement necklace over a plaid shirt.  I added the sweater because I looked a tad like a gussied up Temple Grandin without it.  The necklace is my all-time favorite.  The Lilith Fringe from Stella & Dot.  I shouldn't love a necklace so much.  It makes me happy to wear it and, since I'm taking JD to the orthodontist, it'll be fun to show the girls at the office since they always love a little S&D (and it's a Trunk Show Special this month to boot).

Good luck today everyone.

gratitude:  pizza delivery, paper towels, lemon water, calendars (the desktop kind)

thanks and love.