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.

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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!!

 

 

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march madness

Well, since my Disney Coma I’ve been skitzing out on posting anything. First of all, winter is very uninspiring to me personally, and I don’t really ever want to spread my negativity or bad mood on this blog. You’re welcome. We finally got away to celebrate both 40th b-days (a year later because of last year’s broken arm mishap), and our upcoming 15 year wedding anniversary! Paradise was nice while it lasted…

But, eventually, you have to come home and get through the rest of the winter…so I found a new hobby..image

That’s where we are at. Things are looking up in the Northeast, thanks to that groundhog who didn’t see his shadow. Thanks Phil! So with warmer weather ahead, I always get inspired to tear things apart, make some good messes and create again.

Ya know when you go to Target and buy a can of gold metallic paint just because, and then 4 months later decide it’s time to use it somewhere? Oh, that’s just me? huh.

So that can of paint chose the inside of the front door to live. The white door was starting to get really dirty and I knew that it needed tending to, so instead of touching it up like  normal person would do, I went ahead and painted it gold. Now, I’m not completely random as I do have “some” experience with color stories etc…

I wanted to bring together all the warmth surrounding the white door. With the dark hardwood floor,  mustard walls in the dining room and the gold touches in the surrounding artwork, curtains and rug, gold seemed to be a good option. And, hey, I already had the paint! Here’s the progression..imageimageimageimageimage

Three coats and some touch up later…image

Feeling accomplished and happy to have used the paint finally.

Moving on…Of course I went to the flower show again this year and was so happy to be with my family girl squad and to be among all the beautiful exhibits.

And of course I had to purchase some succulents for my mantle. They are so cute and easy to take care of. I’m still loving the green groupings for a Spring mantle look. Thanks to Terrain for the inspiration. image

Also, I’ve been needing a new spring wreath for some time but haven’t had any new ideas. Thanks to the dried floral booth at the Flower Show I got just what I needed. And instead of the usual Pinterest or FB time suckers during lunch on Monday, I made a big old mess with dried flowers on my family room floor. Here’s what I came up with..(15 minutes total labor).

Sometimes all you need is a little warm weather, a few good spin classes and a night out with the girls to give you a push in the creative direction.

Happy Spring!  xo friends!!image

June Is…

SUMMER IS HERE!

Can you tell that this is my season and that this marks the beginning (and end) of a brand new start… 13 weeks later and the arm is on the mend! So we will start this new beginning with a pictorial, if you will, because for many reasons I haven’t been able to settle in and write lately. School is almost out, sports are slowing down (never over), plans are being made for summer trips and we’ve been crashing a few pools. Oh, and I made the crazy, major, insane, and exciting decision to leave my Visual merchandising position of the last 14 years to stay home and build my husband’s business with him and be more a part of the kids growing up. That’s all. Not a whole lot going on.

(insert crazy eyed laugh here) More on all that later. for now…

JUNE IS….

All about having fun any way you can. My favorite month so far in my Ban-Do planner.

All about having fun in any way you can. My favorite month so far in my Ban-Do planner.

JUNE IS…

The first Friday night Bloody Mary at the BEACH

The first Friday night Bloody Mary at the BEACH

having an almost empty beach most of the month because schools and sports aren't out yet

having an almost empty beach most of the month because schools and sports aren’t over yet

JUNE IS….

Your 3rd grader's art show and being so proud,  and inspired that art in schools still exisits

Your 3rd grader’s art show and being so proud, and inspired that art in schools still exists

and graduating from Pre-school in a the-dye shirt that she made herself

and graduating from Pre-school in a tye-dye shirt that she made herself

JUNE IS…

playing a baseball game with family during happy hour on a Saturday

playing a baseball game with family during happy hour on a Saturday

getting to walk this path a hundred more times this summer

getting to walk this path a hundred more times this summer

JUNE IS…

Finishing projects (yes STILL the closet..estimated completion in my head is now August; thats 2 full years...)

Finishing projects (yes STILL the closet..estimated completion in my head is now August; thats 2 full years…)

Taking time to cut some of those blooms to enjoy inside

Taking time to cut some of those blooms to enjoy inside

and getting used to a new "office space" stay tuned on this one...

and getting used to a new “office space” stay tuned on this one…\

Happy Summer!! It’s just the BEGINNING!!

xo friends!

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curve balls

So, last Monday this happened 

black ice sucks

and now I will look like this for a good portion of spring 2015:"ootd" for say, the next 40 days

“ootd” for say, the next 40 days

Way to greet year 40 right? I had so many plans and things I was looking forward to doing and working on the next couple of months before the summer; trips, house projects, exercise regimens; the list goes on. I’m a planner remember?

I’ve been forced to put all of that aside for a moment in time and sit. And heal, so that I can do all these things in the same way that I’m accustomed to. Talk about 180 degree shift. My usual hair on fire schedule went to: “I can’t even wash my own hair”.

So I’m going to listen and do what I’m told because I WILL go back to my “normal” but this may have been a sign to bring my “normal” and all the expectations and standards I have for my life down a notch or two from super-human to well, maybe Wonder Woman’s first cousin once removed.

I’ll share some of the things I’ve been able to do to keep my mind going and spirits up. First and foremost the family, friends and neighbors that have been dropping in to feed, decorate, clean, deal with the kids schedules and just sit with me are enough to pull me out of any funk I may have been falling towards. Also, My other half is on nightingale duty as well and can now do a pretty perfect pony tail on both me and my little Eloise. I haven’t asked him to apply my mascara yet though…

The house is full of cheery flowers, balloons and cardsimage

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I have been trying to get dressed everyday (And yes unfortunately, under these circumstances leggings ARE pants); as well as keep a really good skin care routine. I’ve been barefaced but making sure I moisturize and cleanse (see earlier posts) as well as do a little concealing and highlighting for all the drop in visitors so I don’t look like the walking dead..Plus, I can’t help it; products make me happy:

so my hands and skin stay soft and toned

so my hands and skin stay soft and toned

for the dark circles, and uneven post winter/pre-pring face

for the dark circles, and uneven post winter/pre-spring face

bare as bare can be

bare as bare can be

I’m eating healthy and staying hydrated..and keeping up with all the “stuff” that feeds my creative soulimage

contemplating ordering these shorts... kind of obsessed

contemplating ordering these shorts… kind of obsessed

I’ve also learned about this cool app that prints your Instagram photos into hard bound book,including captions, dates and location. It’s called Chatbooks http://www.chatbooks.com $6 (shipping included) gets you a 60 page book and they can put you on a schedule too so that they automatically send one to you every time you have 60 more pics! There are also options to make custom books as well. Pretty cool huh?

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Lastly, I’m going to make more of an effort to practice what I preach around the house:

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So stay tuned…more to come from the home front. Wish me luck. In the words of Ferris Bueller….

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frozen blooms, thai peanut sauce and the ice storm of ’94,

Some winter traditions; because the roads still look like this:image

But at least we don’t live in Boston. A few states away is close enough.

So, The annual Philadelphia Flower Show. A winter tradition for more than a decade for many reasons.

First of all, flowers mean spring is coming. An enormous convention center wing full of the most beautiful and fresh flowers is sure to lift one’s winter blues, no? Yep. Second, it’s an uber inspirational outing if one is at all visually inclined, loves to decorate, loves to arrange flowers or landscape or just generally loves to see the art and beauty in nature. The showmanship is unreal. Some of these exhibits surely take a ton of money and months to complete.

Every year, the participants keep out doing each other in grandeur and style. I highly recommend. Also, there is the opportunity to spend a ridiculous amount of money that you don’t have on cut flowers, small plants and herbs and some super crafty things that you may not see anywhere else. (All this at a price, because like Disney…you’re already there, and you need it NOW). Here are a few snaps. Unfortunately, I only had my iPhone because of course my camera battery was dead and the charger has disappeared. It’s probably in the basement amongst the Barbie dream house decor being used as a vehicle of some sort, but I digress…

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This year’s theme was Disney movies…and you entered through a gorgeous “art deco theatre” made of flowers

of course there was a Frozen exhibit. I mean come on...

of course there was a Frozen exhibit. I mean come on…the steps are 1000’s of carnations. This pic doesn’t even come close to doing it justice. google it. 

these were chandeliers in the "nightmare before Christmas" display

chandeliers in the “nightmare before Christmas” display

tulips were everywhere..

tulips were everywhere..

chandeliers at the grand entrance

chandeliers at the grand entrance

luminous and over the top "weddng" table

luminous and over the top “wedding” feast table

in the peter pan exhibit, they recreated "never land" complete with a pond and peter's hat hiding in the bushes

in the peter pan exhibit, they recreated “never land” complete with a pond and peter and captain hook’s hats and hook hiding in the bushes

What I did with my “purchases”…

on the bottom left is a cool succulent patch that can lay anywhere from a tray to a wall and just needs to be spritzed

on the bottom left is a cool succulent patch that can lay anywhere from a tray to a wall and just needs to be spritzed

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when I arranged these they reminded me of my wedding bouquet back in december 2001

arranging these reminded me of my wedding bouquet back in december 2001

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"Eloise and Talulah" hobnobbing with the horticultural enthusiasts.

“Eloise and Tallulah” hobnobbing with the horticultural enthusiasts. They had to carry bags for all the brochures they collected.

Time to switch to another winter “tradition”. I like to call this Mrs’ V’s Peanut Pasta. So, back in college, specifically freshman year, my girlfriends and I would occasionally escape campus and travel to each other’s homes (which were relatively close by/ only an hour at the most). The moms would always have a meal and an empty washing machine for us to use. Mrs. V used to make this pasta dish that, to this day is one of my faves and possibly one of the simplest but most flavorful weeknight meals you can make for a family (without peanut allergy’s obviously). Follow along. It’s so simple you may miss something.

Ok, so Mrs. V used scallions and sometimes chicken but you can really throw any veggie in and even switch to shrimp as well.

you'll need: 1lb of pasta, olive oil, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 bottle of preferred thai peanut sauce, and veggies/chicken/shrimp etc..

you’ll need: 1lb of pasta, olive oil, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 bottle of preferred Thai peanut sauce, and veggies/chicken/shrimp etc..ps, it’s March in the northeast, we still are on  frozen veggies. 

boil your pasta and micro steam your veggies a couple mins and get your onions sautéing in the oil.

boil your pasta, micro steam your veggies for a couple minutes, and get your onions sautéing in the oil.

add the veggies and garlic to the onions and oil and sautee some more

add the veggies and garlic to the onions and oil and saute some more, browning a little bit for sweetness

add the boiled and drained pasta

add the boiled and drained pasta and pour in the whole bottle of sauce. you can add some parsley and maybe ginger or spice of choice  (you get the picture)

eat. oh and remember to make this for your starving college age kids and their friends when they come home to do laundry during an ice storm. thanks Mrs V :)

EAT. oh and remember to make this for your starving college age kids and their friends when they come home to do laundry during an ice storm. thanks Mrs V 🙂

There you have it. March 3rd and it’s coming in like a lion. Still winter. Keep those traditions going, it’s what gets us through the “inside” months. It only gets warmer from here.

XO friends!!

rest in peace my sweet maggie. there will be plenty of warm sunshine in doggie heaven for you. xo

rest in peace my sweet Maggie. there will be plenty of warm sunshine in doggie heaven for you. We love you. 

The age of Aquarius

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I couldn’t have said it better myself. All of that. And I’ve become more true to the definition of an Aquarius as I’ve gotten older. There’s no hiding for an Aquarius. We usually put it all out there. And I’m proud of that.

Always slightly different from the pack. Enough to be original and not too much as to alienate myself.

Water baby. Love the water, the sun, the outdoors to a fault. Les miserable in the winter months. Which is why I find it really strange that the Aquarius is born in the dead of winter. So anyway, I celebrated the big 40 (I hate that saying) last weekend. It was a bunch of small celebrations with family mostly. The big bonus? For the first time in I think 10 years it didn’t snow and was above freezing.  I have some fun sunshiny trips and outings planned for the rest of the year to feed my water sign personality so don’t worry, it’s a full year of celebrating. I think that’s fair for forty right?

Lets recap in pictures!

saturday started with some hot yoga (my new favorite thing) and continued in a normal fashion and then I put on a sequin skirt and went to dinner with my family. Food, WINE, and family.

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Sunday was a real treat. Sunday I went to the spa with the beauties pictured above. And then some delicious fresh Mexican mmmmm…

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A champagne surprise!

A champagne surprise!

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The wallpaper here was trippy...

The wallpaper here was trippy…

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I can not explain in words how good this was.

I can not explain in words how good this was.

A perfect gift from a super amazing cousin.

A perfect gift from a super amazing cousin.

I wanted to take this chair but I think it would have been frowned upon.

I wanted to take this chair but I think it would have been frowned upon.

Monday (my actual birthday) hubs told me to take the day off and we wandered around sans les enfants. Not to worry the kids gave me gifts Friday (my new yoga pants and a gift card for many yoga classes!) and we celebrated after gymnastics on Monday with waffles and ice cream. Mr. 3rd grader thought it would be fun to write the numbers 4-0 in chocolate sauce on the waffles as well.  And I can’t help but mention the fact that elliemonster wrapped up one of my moms necklaces and gave it to me as her very own gift.

But back to Monday afternoon. Meandering through Longwood Gardens.

We spent most of the time in the conservatory with all the retirees because it’s February but just being around flowers, plants and life was re-energizing  and inspiring. Then onto a very relaxing, almost vacation like lunch at Terrain.

We didn’t talk about the kids. Yes we did. But not the whole time. Some pics…

Reminded me of the old lady's mansion in Great Expectations

Reminded me of the old lady’s mansion in Great Expectations

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The largest green wall in the world (this is only a section obvi because that's a pretty big statement)

The largest green wall in the world (this is only a section obvi because that’s a pretty big statement)

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For the ride home

For the ride home

A few more gift snaps…

Another amazing special gift from a super amazing cousin. We have a very creative family ;)

Another special gift from another super amazing cousin. We have a very creative family 😉

My new grown up bag

My new grown up bag

A gift from a friend and a gift to myself...

A gift from a friend and a gift to myself…

So that was that. Super appreciative of all the good wishes and all the thoughtful gifts and fun moments. Looking froward to 10 more months filled with fun 40 celebrations because more than a few of you are turning that same number…

Getting a little closer each year.

Getting a little closer each year.

Here’s to us!

Xo friends!

Shoprite Flowers

Ok so let me first say that I have dabbled in the floral industry. I have worked on many weddings and events, alongside people who are actual talented floral artists. And I worked enough times to be able to fake it till I actually knew how to make already beautiful flowers into beautiful arrangements. But there is something to be said for the supermarket flowers. I feel like we need to talk about this.

Flowers are expensive. But we all deserve to have a little pretty arrangement to look at while we watch Scandal or make lunches for the next day. That’s where the 3 for $12 supermarket flower deal comes in. And if you don’t worry about rules, which I rarely do, arranging them can be relaxing and fun.

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Last Sunday, I had exactly 1 hour to get some food for the week before we had to be at the soccer field (Yep total soccer mom as well, but we’ll get into that later).  Since I  rarely do anything leisurely, I ran into Shoprite on a mission once again to realize quick shopping is not something that one should attempt on a Sunday morning in suburbia. Distracted and overwhelmed by the masses, the first thing I saw was the floral corner. Of course I get sidetracked because my head is saying… “Get in, get out” but there’s a little voice in there also that says: “These poor supermarket flowers look sad. They could use a little styling. I can help some of them” Sure, why not bring home a project I have no time to complete. So I do. For a total of $12 I chose some green and white mums, and a bundle of coral mini roses.

Of course I don’t have a before pic because I’m new to this. And they sat on the counter in a cup full of water throughout the soccer game and all through the dinner I had with my family, my brother’s family and my parents.

When I finally got around to doing them it was about 9pm; before the lunch prep of course. I mean really, let’s prioritize here.

The point is I wanted to share this so you can see what supermarket flowers have the potential to be…

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When I brought them home they were a little dried out in the stem and leaf area and needed to drink clean water. The trick is to take off all the crap. Cut them short and stick to keeping “likes with likes” (it’s a retail thing, remember I’m a merchandiser, I will use some terms from time to time it’s just me). By keeping the arrangements pure and small, they will look more expensive and actually last longer.

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And I looked at this little beauty the entire time I was making the lunches for Monday. At 11pm.

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