Featured

Curb Appeal

It has come to my attention that I haven’t put in nearly enough effort in the fall transition on the front porch. Honestly? It’s still summer; Technically AND in my head. Many of you are familiar with my favorite hashtag of all time #lovesummerhateeverythingelse. I can’t take credit for this tag but I do borrow it frequently from the famous fashion blogger/stylist Leandra Medine from the famed Manrepeller site.

I digress. So needless to say I am not ready for orange pumpkins or mums of any sort yet. I hold off on all that until at LEAST October 1st. Something about my Nordstrom training to take one holiday/season at a time. It’s embedded in my soul even though Target put the Christmas section up this week…. aghhhhhh!! But yes, there needs to be a slight changeover since the hybiscus and petunias have burned out and there are no flowers in the front pots, and my summer wreath was a bright white dogwood.

So yesterday,I changed the wreath to my standard Fall (before Thanksgiving), velvet and twiggy swag style wreath from last year; $30 at Homegoods of course… I also added this cute Hello decal (I know so trendy right now). Quite frankly, I ordered it on an Etsy shop so I could get free shipping on something else and had no idea where I was going to put it. It was $3. I teased these pics on Insta yesterday after I realized the pots are lonely and the doormat is harboring mold, ants, moss, and is about 100 lbs. now because its soaked. But it was a start.

With no time to get all fancy with visiting a local farm because, you guessed it, SOCCER, I headed to Home Depot. (I know, shame on me). I was inspired by a few pics I came across on Insta and Pintrerset. No mums, lots of grasses, maybe a few blooms.

Sooooo, I took what I could get and realizing the the temps are going back into the 80’s this coming week I chose some late summer grasses and a ground covering..and without my husband’s green thumb I tossed those puppies in the planters before he could tell me I was doing it wrong. ūüėČ Here’s what I came up with for $68. 7 plants and 2 cinnamon broom sticks to keep those bugs away. As the weather turns colder I will definitely Add some purple cabbage and then the white and orange pumpkins…followed by the “not so Halloween” Halloween decorations.

Now that that was done…Stepping back I completely forgot about the moldy, mossy doormat…So off to Target I go. There’s no time to wait for a custom Etsy purchase because… we have, You Guessed It! Soccer!!! Here’s what I did… Ive been looking for a larger mat with no luck because I don’t want it to be that thick kind that can get soaked and heavy, and I’d like to get something that is somewhat cleanable. So I chose the large black indoor/outdoor mat (similar to what you’d see in a store entrance.) $19.99 with a 5% cartwheel discount and a 5% redcard discount. Then I layered it with that pretty woven burlap doormat by Magnolia Home. (Oh Joanna and Chip I love you two) $14.99 with a 5% redcard discount. I finished by adding a cute welcome mat to the bottom step. $12.99 with a 5% cartwheel discount and a 5% redcard discount….. for a grand total of $42.21 spent at Target. (in adddition to $100 more on snacks obvi..)

Finally satisfied (for the rest of September at least), I sit down to finish some work and open my emails to find that Anthropologie must be “big bothering” me today because apparently I need one of these to complete the look. Isn’t it so WEIRD when that happens????

Which one should I get??

For more Entryway and early fall inspo, click on these boards on my Pinterest account! Happy September friends!

xo, cc

September. Reboot.

Hi. It’s been a bit. Like 3 years. Lets recap…

Sept. 17, 2014 2am. : I started this little lifestyle blog as a creative outlet to my already creative visual merchandising retail career.

March 2015: Broken arm.

June 2015: quit said retail career, joined the carpet cleaning family biz, and continued to blog right here….

Sept. 2015: I was lucky enough to start selling and styling products for India Hicks, dream come true, while still working at the carpet cleaning biz and continued to blog right here….

Jan 2016: quit blog cold turkey. wasn’t feelin’ it. Sorry Princess. This was my last post…

Since then… I’ve been helping friends and fam shop and redecorate rooms in their homes on the fly; planning parties; floral arranging for fundraisers, b-days, communions, hayrides, beef and beers etc..; styling ladies for nights out and weekends away; honing in the art of gift giving (all for hobby), oh and… selling fabulous Clean Crafted Wine!! (which we’ll get into later I promise).

Sept. 1, 2019: I went back to this little bitty blog for a laugh or two with the realization that I’ve still been doing all the things I used to write about but haven’t been sharing it except for bits on Insta and here and there on a closed FB group. Since IH closed her doors this June I’ve been wrestling with what can be next for me creatively? I have cut back on my Insta posts and FB page info because I needed a break, and I realized that I would like to use my professional creative skills, well… professionally again. I already have a domain, and following on all those channels, and its all able to be connected here. so,


Duh Carin. @lifeofgorgeouschaos…..is the landing spot.

Sept 4th, 2019: School starts tomorrow and so does my new biz.

I’m starting before I’m ready because I thrive under chaos. Ha! I have no service menu yet, nor pricing available BUT Don’t let that stop you from inquiring and spreading the word. In the coming weeks I will be re-doing this site and adding all those things listed above, plus a portfolio of what I can help create. Your favorite Mary Tyler Moore/Rhoda mix is back.

It’s a little bit of all the things I’m good at: a la carte. Tailored to the client and their creative needs. So stay tuned!! And THANK YOU for sticking with me! and Oh Yes…I AM still selling that wine

xo, cc ūüėČ

Lucy: the first 60 days.. and I don’t do crafts part 2.0

Well, this is the third year I’ve managed to not write a solitary thing during the month of December. I skipped November this year too. Oh well, I added to my plate remember? So, Jan 3rd is here and I have a few things to go over.

  1. I will try my hardest to write more. I love to do it. It makes me happy. And several of you have told me it makes you happy to read my posts. (which, with the exception of my mom who is my biggest fan and sometimes I think my only fan, is totally unexpected and kind and makes me happy to hear) So. I will Try. Here goes..
  2. We got a puppy. Yes. It was time. She is 12 weeks tomorrow.

Introducing Lucy Rose:img_1783

So Lucy joined us just in time for the holidays. She was welcomed with open arms and two very surprised children.. We didn’t tell them! And since then its like we have a newborn sibling. I have to admit, she is a good puppy so far and I welcome the company as I am home now most of the day by myself. If you ask the kids, they totes love her BUT she definitely takes up a lot of doll playing and x-box playing time around here.

It’s good for them, this new responsibility. They are soooooo very used to doing what they want, when they want; just hibernating in their own little worlds, especially in the winter months when activities slow down ….Lucy’s shaking things up. She’s bringing us together again, playing in the kitchen with the kids as I get dinner together. Forcing us to maybe watch a movie all in the same room and giving us an excuse to go in the back yard and throw around a ball or two. Almost all family activities during the past 2 months have included the little miss including our New Years road trip to visit friends in North Carolina… and she did it! 10+ hours in a packed Ram truck. Fit right in, that little munchie.

img_2444
#pugrummy

img_2434
#pugonaminitrampoline

img_2145
#pugclaus

img_2492
#pugonaroadtrip

She’s a peach. (my new saying for 2017. I don’t know, just go with it.) Although she is no longer allowed on this rug. grrrrr….img_1767

My annual Holiday rewind besides all things Lucy goes a little like this:

Ugly Sweater party: checkimg_2239

Nutcracker and Brunch: check

img_2166
All the drink options covered here. #winning

Santa Hayride: check*  Santa Brunch: check*

*disclaimer: we’re holding onto all things Santa by a real thin rope… My phase 3er (aka 11 year old…see a previous post) is on the fence if ya know what I mean. Now, nothing was concluded this year BUT I’m glad I have an entire year to come to terms with what lies ahead for next year’s Christmas Magic..

All school concerts, parties, ugly sweater and gingerbread house making: check**

**disclaimer #2: In what will go down as a record breaking year, I did attend EVERY SINGLE thing I was invited to as a parent on the school level. Now, I still have a “no room mom ever” rule so I wasn’t privy to the class parties BUT, I did attend 2 crafting¬†sessions that helped me emerge from my usual “I don’t craft , I delegate the creation of the crafts.” norm.

In both circumstances I had a super fun time because there was the complete absence of rules and “how to” or wrong and right way. There was only childlike creativity which I thought was FANTASTIC and bravo to the teachers. Super fun and inspirational to see. We are lucky enough to live in a school district where we have art classes in school and every year these kids really pull out all the stops due to some very thoughtful and creative teachers. I was so happy to see this continue in the holiday activities. I’m a smidge¬†tired of seeing so many perfectly planned “Pinteresty” crafts that would never come from the imaginations of a grade schooler. Their minds wonder much more abstractly and are naturally less rigid about art and being creative.

img_2272
5th Grade project: Ugly shirt decorating using whatever you have that mom didn’t want to decorate with to be worn at the holiday concert.¬†

img_2274
The beginnings of a¬†1st grader gingerbread creation…ALL decisions made by miss Eloise, I was only a contracted worker…¬†

img_2308
The Masterpiece complete with a lifesaver truck. I loved it so much I made it the centerpiece in the kitchen mixed in among the bottle brush trees and deer antler wreath. 

To put it in terms of a FRIENDS analogy:

Art for a kid should be more Phoebe than Monica ūüėČ

I mean look how little miss Eloise rolls to the Nutcracker at the Academy of Music for crying out loud.

img_2187
Nobody puts Baby in the Corner

So there ya have it. We completed the festive month with a road trip that had us all shoved in a truck for, like I mentioned before, 10+ hours each way. We survived and had a BLAST visiting with old friends.

img_2454
Those are “only 4 hours on the road so far” smiles… ha!¬†

I’ll leave you with a fabulous “craft” idea that was not mine. My friend Sarina told me about it. ¬†Something she heard about from some lady¬†named Martha Stewart ¬†(have you heard of her?) Ha! This craft is actually doable and quite the time/money saver.

So ya know all those beautiful holiday cards that we all display so proudly (at least I do) for the entire month of December?

I always feel so bad but most of the time after the holidays except for some of family and friends that I do frame, they either get shoved in a box or tossed. Don’t lie, you all do it too. I’m not offended. Lets be real. So turns out Martha, (Oh¬†that Martha, what a peach), suggests cutting the well wishes such as “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” or “Joy to the World” out and saving them to use as package tags for the following year!!!

OMG, she should really do this for a living. (hee hee) Anyway, THAT’S a craft i can get my ass behind. So here you have it…img_2583

img_2584
OOH…AHHHH.¬†

Holiday 2016. AAAAAANDDDD Scene!

 

Cheers to the new year friends, and¬†RIP dear Princess…you inspired me to start writing. xo, friends.img_2445

 

 

 

I don’t do Halloween, part 3.

So this is the third year I’m writing about this and the truth is that I now do Halloween.

After years of diffusing it and making it not so fun… I’m all in. This is partly due to the fact that I now have a few more hours a week (like 15-20) where I’m not commuting on some highway in traffic, drinking black coffee while falling asleep at the wheel, and partly because it seems as though everyone else around me LOVES Halloween. So, I’m in.

I’m still buying my costumes on Amazon, like 12 hours before we need them but some things will never change.

Here’s a peek into how I’m spreading the spook this year…Be kind, I’m a beginner, and I still like things pretty. This will also never ever change.

Let’s work our way outside/in, shall we? Entry: Fall- meets- a very small serving of All Hallows Eve… A witch hat from a primitive craft store on a wreath I use every year in between seasons, some witch hands coming up from the dirt, and the obligatory hanging skeleton/ghost thing. Adding in many interesting and colorful gourds (well at least all the kids could carry to the car), mums, those red spiky things and last but not least, Pumpkins.

img_1053

Moving inside, the dining room has been done for a while. I like to keep it “Martha spooky” by still using my milk glass and wine barrel lazy susan. I mixed in a few skeleton wine glasses with my vintage etched glass and added some black feathers and a spider web table-cloth for darkness….and of course there’s led twinkle light strands for evening. img_1044img_1043

Kitchen. This will be the main hub for trick or treat night when I usually have a crowd. This table will transform into snack-central. Candy, goldfish and juiceboxes galore. I think I mentioned last year that we reside in THE trick-or-treat neighborhood in town. Like, kids from other neighborhoods get dropped off here. So we host. After the kids go around the blocks twice or three times, they gallivant in the yard after all getting amped up on the sugar, so we adults eat, drink and be merry around the fire pit. There is always an excuse for a party. This lesson we have learned after there are no more babies/toddlers to deal with. (aka phase 1-ers…from an old post;) )

By DAY….

img_1046img_1047

and NIGHT…I filled the hurricanes with plastic spiders and bat lights..wahahahaaaa

img_1036img_1038

I’m sorry but aren’t these the cutest little stupid monster faces?

img_1048

K. Family room. I never decorated this room for Halloween before. It’s a first. I just used some fabric to spook it up a bit and it also added to the warm and cozy effect. Candles, gourds, garland. Simple stuff.

Day..img_1041img_1031

and night. The only thing missing here on the table is the vino… img_1034

Last but not least I got this phone at target. When you walk by or pick it up it scares the shit out of you. (well, at least the first 3 times) The kids love it. And it’s growing on me too. The whole holiday is actually.

I guess never say never.

xo, friends!img_1021

 

 

 

The funny thing about Homegoods…

….and agreeing to help a friend pick out curtains, is that it can go one of two ways:

  1.  Boring, indecisive, wishy-washy and tears of frustration OR
  2. you pick the right friend, incorporate wine and have a few laughs and get something accomplished all at the same time.

I get this text one day…image

“Nice”, I say. “What else?”. She texts, “That’s where you come in.  You’re good at that, please help me.” hahahahah!! Yes, I do have a lot of experience when it comes to color combos, setting a room, and finding things online…BUT…I’ve always wondered how good I can be at not pushing too much of my own taste on someone who needs a little direction. I guess you can say it’s kind of like styling clothes, but with clothes you’re dealing with body type, fit and personality and function; all variables that narrow the choices a bit. Rooms have the same to do list too as far as fit, function and personality BUT I feel like there’s more room for pushing my own agenda here. Ha!

So why not start with someone who has the balls to tell you you’re nuts or on the other hand, also trust your wildest instincts because she’s seen you at your worst (bathroom on 21st birthday) and best (wedding day)?

The before is simple. Let’s make this makeover a sleepover too! so we start in the backyard with some Ros√© and a catch up chat. imageimage

Then we pawn the kids off with her hubs and haul on down to Homegoods in search for curtains and a wall hanging that she fell in love with.

Wellllll, The wall hanging wasn’t as perfect as she remembered and we both fell in love with another piece that was way over budget. So, in a frenzy and a little giggly with ros√© brain, we are immediately distracted by THIS… Like, where in the world does this fit in the suburbs of PA? They may need to transfer it across the bridge to a Jersey store…image

Ok after making quite a few friends over this piece, (including a fellow Jersey girl), we get back on task. She already has a few mirrors that she’d like to hang on the wall between the windows so I suggest a mirror over the couch. Now we’re cookin. Mirror in tow, and still making friends, she tells me all about these curtains she loves. And they are lovely.

And tan. And white.

Here’s where my bossy comes in. If you tell me you want to add color and pop, you can’t go with the curtains that are tan and white. And that couch is such a pretty shade of blue. It’s begging for some color to join it in the room. And she’s still giggly about that ferris wheel thing, not to mention the ros√©. So I go for broke. Here:image

Note: I am holding those neutral ones off to the side now because clearly, I win and am making a case for COLOR again. We even got some of our new ferris wheel friends to approve. Here we go before she changes her mind, swiftly to check out. Not really sure if the mirror will fit in the car but whatever. We are invincible and our new friends will totes help out if needed. We’re a suburban shopping strip side show. Ros√©. 

imageThe stars align and the mirror fits. We go back and eat a fabulous dinner and stay up chatting all night…and completely forget about the room. image

So the next night I get a text…motivation set in and she’s off. All she needed was a little bossy push.

She starts simple by hanging those mirrors as instructed. But those curtains, I’m getting worried as they lay on the arm of the couch…Will she change her mind?? image

And then a few days later I am giddy (no Rosé this time) with glee.. We have a transformed room .imageimageimage

Now all she needs is a little table and possibly a chair. I haven’t told her yet that I really would adore it if the chair was the chatruse color from the curtains and that the table was oval and mid-century style like the sofa and maybe on the gold metallic side of the fence… In my head it’s all working but that’s the problem. No one, not even a bestie can see all the colors working inside my head until I physically walk them through Homegoods after a glass of Ros√©.

Cheers to seeing the world through ros√© glasses…

image

xo friends!

dipping my toes back into the water..

You know I couldn’t stay away long….from style, styling, and new products, that is.

But DO NOT PANIC. I am not going back to the mall. I am still part owner of my family business and working from home and watching my kids grow. BUT, I need to be a part of something creative and have been thinking for a while about a few things.

  1. Kids are going back to school.
  2. NO MORE BEACH
  3. I need to start thinking about shopping for Christmas and x-box games are $89 each these days for God’s sake. Not to mention Elliemonster’s obsession with American Girl Doll….
  4. Fall turns into winter
  5. WINTER SUCKS. (sorry NE winter lovers, I’m never going to change my mind)
  6. I need to move to the Bahamas… (wait that’s not going to happen yet…)

Hey! (Lightbulb goes off in head), I’ve been stalking this cool new company on FB and Insta for months now and have been craving the product for my own. Not to mention, I’ve admired her style and story for years…India Hicks.

Here’s the scoop:

India is a designer with royal roots (if you‚Äôre a royal fanatic you may remember her as one of Princess Diana‚Äôs bridesmaids in that fab ‚Äė80s dress). She‚Äôs also the daughter of David Hicks (so if you‚Äôre design-obsessed like me you may already be drooling at the thought of her style sense).

Despite that background, India is authentic, hilarious, and smart. She has made her home out of the limelight, on a tiny island in the Bahamas, and with her significant other, raised 5 children without the fanfare of the life she herself grew up in… while keeping her feet firmly rooted in the sand.

And I’ve recently joined a¬†tribe of women who help bring her gorgeous brand into the home.

 

IH-Style-Ambassador-Logo

Here area few glimpses of the beautiful product.

IMG_6697IMG_2363-2IMG_1408brittangoetzllc-mamacita©indiahicks201513©indiahicks20159©indiahicks20153©indiahicks20153-3IMG_1484

AND Here’s my very own website!!

http://www.indiahicks.com/rep/carincolgan

Let me know what you think! In the next few weeks I’m going to learn some new things, revisit some things that I already know and love how to do and put together my launch party.

I am pretty excited to add on some newness this fall. As always I am a fan of starting all new projects, ideas, endeavors in the Fall. I mean that’s when kids start school, when the September issue of Vogue hits and when we start drinking all things pumpkin.. gag. Sorry, I’m over that custom. ūüėČ So why not dip, or dive into this? No time like the present to start Multi-tasking again. Stay tuned!

Oh, and you pumpkin people…There are still 22 COUNT THEM, 22 days of SUMMER left!!

xo friendsIMG_1975_1INDIAHICKS-SRPING2016-105

 

Summer Luvin’ had me a blast…

I came across the most amazing sentence¬†that I can take no credit for but it sums up my occasional “seasonal depression disorder” quite nicely. (This disorder btw, I realize is totally a made up thing in the past decade by us gen-xer’s; always the innovators.) So I’m turning it into a hashtag.

#lovesummerhateeverythingelse

Who said it first? Don’t know but I saw it on ManRepeller’s insta last week and Leandra is my new hero. Gotta love her. I’ve been obsessed with her wit and style for years but recently been relating to her blog a bit more as it encompasses much more lifestyle/family/style etc. than just the “fashion on and off the runway and how we wear it” themes, when it first launched. See it here. I promise it’ll bring a smile. ¬†http://www.manrepeller.com

Commercial break over. Back to my new hashtag. #lovesummerhateeverythingelse

But after a hectic June (school ending, sports winding down), we settled into a mindset and routine. Yes, we still work a lot but we make a hell of a lot of time for fun. If you know me at all, I can juggle with the best of them, so we say YES to all the fun please. Here’s a pictorial collage of the last 2 months of Summer¬†LOVE

LOVE: Crashing Pools with my kids and mobile office on Wednesdays. (and a few Thursdays)image

LOVE: Doing new things with the kids like pond fishing at sunset. image

LOVE: Summer Outdoor Concerts and dancing in the aisles with friends and strangers #spreadthelovetourimage

LOVE: Summer Birthday Celebrations image

LOVE: Beach Days, Beach Vacations, Beach bikes imageimageimage

LOVE: Cousin Time, Family Time, Family that we haven’t seen in forever but get to spend a whole week with Time…whew what a week!imageimageimageimage

LOVE: Time spent with friends that are more like Familyimage

LOVE: Surprise 3rd of July Fireworks out on the boat!!image

LOVE: The Bay, Boats, Sunsets, Docks, Happy Hoursimageimageimage

LOVE: New Traditions like Pontoon Day, and Soccer Tournaments on the beachimageimage

LOVE: My Mom armed with a Selfie Stickimage

LOVE: Rummy on the porch with RyGuyimage

LOVE: Happy Doggies outside all dayimage

LOVE: Very Tired Kidsimage

Now with only 3 weeks left, I have fallen into a frenzy of, “WAIT!!!!! We’re not done yet!!” So we will make the most of the next few weeks sprinkled here and there with school shopping, soccer practices and my obsession with the Rio Olympics.

See you in September people who love to rush through to the next season, but my Bando Planner¬†still¬†says August... so I will plan accordingly ūüėČimage

xo, friends!!

 

 

 

 

on the cusp

Memorial Day weekend is such a tease. What I’m learning from my work from home role and also as the kids get older is that waiting for the end of the school year is like waiting for nail polish to dry if you are painting your nails outside in 98 degree humid July heat. It feels like the actual summer will never, ever start.

Everyone was so amped up about good weather FINALLY making it to the Northeast ¬†States, and Memorial Day weekend was epic in many aspects. First and foremost, me jail braking the kids out of school a little early because I’m not chained to setting up and working a retail holiday weekend sale anymore. Also, we finally had one weekend away from sports and headed to the beach to do all of our absolute favorite family things: beach, boat, sun, swim, porch, bike, repeat.

image

image

Only to have it all feel like a dream…This Tuesday was the “Monday-ist Tuesday ever”.

Relax, I’m not gonna get all Sad Sally here. I realize that in 2 weeks it will officially be summer break and as usual we are almost planned out till August 31st. I also realize that in 2 weeks or so I will be yelling at my kids to get outside and wait while I finish work until we can go crash a pool. Oh and “Boo hoo…your life must suck as the only kids in town without a pool…but I guess the beach house doesn’t count now does it?” I’m sounding a lot like my mom in 1986, (sans the beach house..we had a sprinkler and a slip and slide).

So that’s my random rant. On to all things “on the cusp” aka “early¬†June”.

imageMakeshift outdoor offices are the key to working from home.

imageMakeshift outdoor offices turn into twilight wine and relaxation area…

When you go away for Memorial Day weekend and come home to sad peonies who have been attacked by a nearby wisteria plant. grrrr…¬†imageSo, you cut them. And enjoy.

Lastly, on the fashion front (well not really..just personal style front). I purchased my yearly 6 pack of white men’s Hanes tanks. I’m thinking about single-handedly bringing them back. There are not many garments in my opinion with the exception of the denim jacket and possibly leopard flats that go with EVERYTHING in one’s closet.

Dress it up, down, and around it. The 6 pack costs $9.99 and is universally flattering to all shapes and sizes. Don’t ask me how. It just is. Trust and Believe. I’ve been dedicated to these since 1993. Wore them all the way through 2 pregnancies too. A few examples:

imageWith Culottes 

With a skirt, any skirt; Long, short, or this vintage cotton 1970’s skirt printed with white and pink lambs…

You can even layer it under a dress, or THIS skirt that is now doubling as a dress. 97 cents on a clearance rack at Old Navy, friends. These are the odd things that never sell at Old Navy full price; A black viscose, shiny midi skirt. These cast offs always call my name.¬†imageIt’s totally unacceptably wrinkled though… apologies to my visual merchandising friends.¬†

And with the trusty denim bottom, jeans, shorts, skirts…you get it.¬†image

May I also recommend fun accessories. Since the tank is the simplest of garments and white, you can pretty much choose anything!

It’s no secret I own lots of Baubles. I lean towards¬†kitschy earrings like bees or birds to go with plain white tanks and arm candy for days mixed with watches that I don’t really use to¬†tell time when sleeves¬†disappear in the summer. The last pic is an ode to wooden bangles. If any of you have ever worked with me in my styling days, I was always on the hunt for wooden bangles for the mannis to wear in the windows. They too, are a universal, go with all summer looks, essential.¬†

So that’s my hard sell on the basic men’s Hanes¬†tank (or Jockey, whatever brand you prefer. I’m sure theyre made in the same factory ;)). June has officially begun!! On the cusp of another fabulous summer!

Now if I can only find a reason to rock this vintage Marc by Marc Jacobs on a random Wednesday in June…image

xo friends!!

 

 

Theresa goes viral…

I came across the most perfect Mother’s Day inspiration today. My AMAZING mom posted a pic of my nana (who passed about 6 years ago) on her Facebook page. Then my crazy family started commenting and posting snippets of Theresa-isms.

Anyone out there from a crazy Italian/American family with all the stereotypes? The made up “italian” words, the hugs, the yelling, the love, the EATING, the traditions?

Then you’ll relate.

Nana passed when she was 96. (I know…I’m in for a long life, her sister is still kicking at 100.) In all seriousness, I swear it’s from the lack of preservatives; everything was homemade, the wine consumption, her undying faith in God, and her ENORMOUS love of her family. I miss the crap out of her and I am so grateful that she was here with us for so many memories. My mom reminds me more and more of her everyday now that I have kids of my own. I can only hope to be half the woman, mom, and nana that each of these ladies were and are.¬†imageimage

What ended up being posted today was a hilarious video that my cousin Janine and her husband shot during a road trip to Easter at my Aunts house. This was the very last Easter we had my nana around.

As hilarious as it is, there are many lessons to be learned here from a wise old Italian Nana.  I will list them here:

  1. She’s so humble when given a compliment.
  2. Family holidays are a very big deal. Do not take them for granted. Travel if needed to keep a tradition going.
  3. Wearing a rain hat will prevent frizz.
  4. Even if someone is filming you in a car, it’s important to say your prayers.
  5. She loved all of our significant others so very much and treated them like part of the family.
  6. When asked if we can do a holiday meal without the meatballs and braciole, the obvious answer is no. Traditions are meant to be kept.
  7. She’s listening and understands everything you are saying even if she doesn’t respond right away or at all.
  8. When you ask whats wrong and when she says “Nothin”, that means something. Watch out.
  9. If you piss her off, her silence is deadly.
  10. When all is said and done, Family is first, ALWAYS. Forgive and forget.
  11. Bonus: When you arrive at the destination, you arrive humble and kind and ready for a good time.

So without further adieu, I’m going to give you a gift. I hope you laugh your ass off and can see why we all loved her so very much.

imageimageimage

xo friends and Happy Mother’s Day!!

Phase 3…because tween is a stupid word

A while back, like while potty training my 2nd child, I posted something on Facebook to the effect of: ¬†“Potty training sucks. And to all you moms who tell me I will miss this someday I say…I will NEVER miss the poop. ”

Now, While I don’t exactly¬†miss the poop, The idea of being in charge of someone’s whole day from start to finish, including personal hygiene, was shall we say MUCH easier than what lies ahead 10 years later.

I still have a 5 year old so not all is lost on controlling the majority someone’s day and I am occasionally needed in the loo but let me break down what’s been swirling around my (and many of my friends- don’t lie) heads lately.

Phase 1: Baby. The first baby, a baby boy, so unreal and foreign and cute and amazing and hard and sleepless, and messy and traumatizing and expensive and crazy and….NO. I wish I would’ve realized how awesome and I’m gonna say it…easier it was while it was happening. Which is why I enjoyed the second one’s first year much better.

Phase 2: toddler to little kid. so much running and bending and standing and running and playing and cleaning and running. BUT, you’re still happy to be out of the baby phase and they’re totally cute and it didn’t matter if the f-bomb flew out of their mouths at age 3 because it was soo f-ing cute. And as they get bigger like 7 thru 9 it’s all still cute (but not the f-bomb analogy anymore), playing with legos, and light sabers and making friends and talking about pokemon cards, and learning how to play sports for real but still just caring about the ice cream after the game.

Phase 3: I started to really miss babies about 4-6 months ago.

Whether or not you see it coming it literally happens over night. The bedroom door is closed as they are getting ready for school or anything.  They have an actual opinion about things and know stuff. Like smart stuff, history and math and science and they are not at all afraid to tell you when you are wrong. They lean in for a hug in stead of run into your arms.

And they are most likely staring at a screen of some kind for 60% of their waking hours. You can try and take the various devices away but you are also probably staring at one yourself so….you pick the argument you’d rather have. Also:

Dear Black, you bought them those devices. Love, Kettle.

On the other hand, Phase 3-ers still really love you too and they are not ready to fully let go of the Legos and Pokemon cards yet, and will still ask to sleepover in your room with little sis when dad is away. So there’s still time I realize to remember these little things before I forget. (as first depicted in the Baby Phase of baby #1)

So out of the blue I found this book that was recommended by one of my favorite Blogs http://www.dinneralovestory.com

image

 

It’s about remembering the times that are happening before you forget them. Like, in the moment kind of stuff. Stuff I started to finally watch for with my 5 year old when I left my old career and started spending more time with her. It’s harder with the Phase 3-ers because they’re not home as much… Sports, activities and friends pull them away after school and weekends. But the book talks about even when you’re waiting for them in the car at the field or school, watch that time and remember it before you forget to.

Imma gonna try.

I also recently gave my Phase 3-er a room makeover. So ¬†It’s been a while since it looked like this but here’s how we started in Phase 1:

imageimage

I think I should mention this was back before iPhone pics were the norm and also back when I (ehem..) actually scrapbooked. I mean come on. Little miss Eloise was lucky to get a few pics a month shared over Facebook. ¬†Don’t feel too bad though, she holds her own now…and usually runs the show.

Back to the new room for my Phase 3-er. We, no I, ¬†went to the paint store and brought home swatches. He picked a fantastic color. I spent 13 hours painting the ceiling 3 times and the walls twice. We kept the furniture he had since big boy room makeover in Phase 2 and the Pottery Barn bedding I thought was so necessary to a 4 year old’s bedroom six years ago; thank God I didn’t pick out a character theme back then or soccer wouldn’t be the only thing that costs $900…he walked in when it was all done and said “cool, thanks”.

We also scaled back on the amount of things he had taped and pinned to the wall in the past 2 years and came to a compromise. We did not let go of all those Lego creations, some of which took days to finish. We’re both not ready yet. So I made showcase cubes out of an ikea unit and added colorful backing. Below are the results of the Phase 3 makeover:

image
we kept the dream catcher and bean bag chair from Phase 2 but updated the curtains

image
waiting for dad to build him a desk. stay tuned to my insta! in the mean time, a basket for the electronic devices and chargers

image
we kept the couch from Phase 1, and the Lego shelf is perched on the dresser

image
Star wars is still VERY IMPORTANT

image
Books that sometimes take a second place to the internet

image
LEGOs and awards….and deodorant

image
Bulletin board full of important artwork, friends messages and homework

So for now I think this will suffice for the perfect Phase 3-er escape. Most times it looks like this but at least I still can barge in whenever I want. image

Apparently watching British teens play video games instead of actually playing them yourself is a thing. And, being the best big brother that he could be…Little miss E is still welcome to hang.¬†image

Phase 3-er in the making.

xo friends!

image

image

%d bloggers like this: