Will someone please buy me one of these?

Dressing for spring is tricky. In the mornings you can almost see your breath, so you pile on the layers or a heavy coat, only to be sweating your ass off 3 hours later. It’s hard to know how to dress. I always feel like the worst parent ever when I send my daughter to school in shorts and sandals because after checking Weather Bug ten times on my iphone, it says it will be 78 degrees, only to get outside and see it’s only like 40. And because we’re running late like pretty much every day, there’s no time to change. Thankfully, it’s a short drive to school and my car heats up fast. Oops.

For me, the best solution to this is light layering. A tee under a light sweater under a denim or light jacket does the trick. But sometimes I want to zhush up the layers, and right now I’m really coveting floral blazers. They feel so right now, so fresh. I know floral is a very obvious and literal print to choose for spring, but it always feels right. And in a blazer? So right. I love them with jeans and a tee, with shorts to make a suit, or over a dress. It ups the ante on any outfit. But I think my favorite effect is mixing it with another print-especially stripes. A striped tee, floral blazer and jeans is as perfect as it gets for me right now. And the cool thing is, the floral blazer comes in every price point. Everyone from Forever 21 to Stella McCartney is whipping them out, so for as little as $30, you can welcome one of these beauties into your closet. I have had my eye on one particular one for a couple months now. What’s your favorite?

Stella McCartney $1855

Stella McCartney, $1855, http://www.net-a-porter.com

136 Topshop

Topshop, $136.00 http://us.topshop.com

f21 32.80

Forever 21, $32.80 http://www.forever21.com

Pencey Shopbop 363

Pencey, $363 http://www.shopbop.com

zara 99.90

Zara, $99.90 http://www.zara.com

248.00 Shopbop Ella Moss

Ella Moss, $248 http://www.shopbop.com

Ella MOss 159.60

Ella Moss, $159.60 http://www.bloomingdales.com

Still not a believer? Well then here’s a few styled looks that might change your mind:

Images from my Pinterest.

See what I mean about the stripes and floral mix? Love. So like I said, will someone please buy me one of these?

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Nice and easy.

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Life gets so crazy. We are rushing this way and that, time is short, and everyone is busy. School, work, playdates, soccer games, dance class…does it ever end? Well, not really, but that’s life. But every now and then, you get one of those days. A day when you have nowhere to be, no one to meet, and nothing to do. And those are my most favorite days of all. I live for the days when we don’t have to rush out the door to school-when I can scoop up my kids in their jammies and bring them in my bed in the morning for some snuggling and giggles. Then we all get to have a slow, lazy breakfast, stay in pjs as long as we like, play on the floor, and then if it’s gorgeous outside like it was today, we get to go outside and explore. And that’s just what we did. All day. My son put on his superhero cape as soon as he woke up and kept in on until he went to bed. My daughter and I played with sidewalk chalk for hours. We played hide and seek and admired the blooming flowers. And when my husband came home from work, we all went out to dinner (my son still wearing his cape) and then walked to go get ice-cream. In my book, it doesn’t get any better than that. It will all change next year when my daughter will go to school every day, but for now I am cherishing these days more than I can express. Here’s a snapshot of our day:

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We ended the day with Zoe using chop sticks! Kiddie chop sticks, but hey…gotta start somewhere. I’m pretty sure my husband ate his baby food with these, so she’s in good hands.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and that you get a chance to slow down a little bit.

What’s in my bag? Well, it ain’t pretty.

Have you seen a feature bit called “What’s in my bag?”-where celebrities and the like empty out their purse to show you its contents? I’ve seen it in Us Magazine, InStyle and numerous blogs. And it always makes me feel like crap. Its always beauty products that look like they were just bought, a cell phone, a wallet, and some jewelry (Because you never know when you’ll need a pair of chandelier earrings. ???) It’s always so…..pretty. Every time I see it I wanna say bitch, please. These chicks need to take a look at my bag. Granted, I don’t carry around a dainty clutch, I carry around a diaper bag that might as well have been made by Samsonite. I pack as much crap in that thing as possible. Because I have found that in toddlerdom, (pretty sure that’s not a word but it needs to be) every time you don’t have something, that’s when you need it. Today, I was at the park with some other moms and their kids and a mom said to me “What don’t you have in there?” Well, nothing, really. Remember the bag from Mary Poppins-the one where she pulled everything out of it from a brush to a coat rack? It feels like that sometimes. And it made me want to take inventory. I got home, emptied it out, and took pictures. I didn’t clean it up first, either. (Which is why I had to vacuum afterwards-I took home some wood chips and dirt from the park.) So here it is. Here’s what’s in my bag:

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Gross, right? And to clarify: those napkins are soaked in grape juice (actually so are some of the tickets), the green cup was my veggie juice from this morning and I’m pretty sure it smells like ass right now, and if you look closely you can see bits of dirt and wood chips. Here, see:

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A ball (because my son always freaks out when we’re at the park and other kids have a ball and he doesn’t), the grape-juice soaked napkins, the grape juice, pop chips, Desitin, cheddar bunnies, oyster crackers from my soup at lunch yesterday, a coffee sleeve, tickets from a kid’s play place, an empty water bottle, keys, a jammy sammy and a mystery brown paper bag.

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And here we have my phone, diapers and wipes, a spinosaurus (duh), hand sanitizer and cleaner, a piece of a broken toy, sugar in the raw (I find that a lot of places don’t have it), my wallet and a rubber band. (and what the hell is in that paper bag?)

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Grape-juice soaked napkins and receipts and a Mickey Mouse band-aid. There’s only one band-aid becuase my daughter likes to put them on for fun. So then when she walks out of the house covered in band-aids, I get all kinds of fun looks.

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Here’s my daughter’s inhaler (that thankfully hasn’t been needed in a long time but you never know), 15 different lip products, and a baggie of crayons.

Also in my bag is Tinkerbell, Batman tattoos from a birthday party, 2 pairs of sunglasses, straws and a note from my eye doctor. (from 2 months ago.)

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It almost all went back in. And I found out that the mystery brown paper bag had my daughter’s pound cake from our Starbucks trip yesterday. Score! I have dessert for tonight now.

And now you now what I haul around every single day. And most likely why I have back problems.

The Gap is rocking my world.

Ok, so our weekend kicked my ass. I’m done. Nearly comatose. Between dance class, a birthday party and a barbecue, I’m lucky I’m even able to sit upright. As we speak I’m pretty sure I’m drooling into my coffee. It was fun and all, don’t get me wrong, but I’m done. But I just can’t retire to the couch for Game Of Thrones (anyone else obsessed?) without getting just a little something in for Monday. Yesterday at a birthday party, a friend of mine was wearing the most kick-ass gorgeous pants-and I found out she got them at The Gap. Normally, I’d have been shocked; but has anyone else noticed how incredibly awesome The Gap has become? I think everyone I’ve ever met has shopped there at some point. I know that in junior high I probably thought it was as good as couture-that pair of pea-green acid-washed jeans I had were nothing short of perfection. But after buying my clothes there for most of my teenage years, I pretty much forgot about it. That is, until recently. Some stores go through periods of awesomeness-they get different buyers, etc.. And now is The Gap’s time. It has become one of my go-to places for printed pants, shorts, and basic tees. Not to mention, they’ve come out with some great shoes and bags. The Gap is cool again, peeps. If you haven’t checked it out recently, I highly recommend it. It’s casual chic with a great price tag. Your closet (and your wallet) will thank you.

Here’s what I’m currently coveting:

All looks available at: http://www.gap.com/

I’m really, really digging these looks for spring. The prints and colors are so vibrant! I have a pair of pants on order and can’t wait to get my hands on them. You just can’t go wrong with a beautiful floral.

Happy Monday!!

Car show hell

I like to think I’m a decent person. Of course I’m far from perfect and have a laundry list of flaws, but I don’t exactly suck. But if by some chance something goes really south between now and my final days and God decides I’m not Heaven-worthy, I’m pretty sure I know where he’ll send me. To a car show. That will be my very own personal hell. Nothing but thousands of people shoulder to shoulder and rows and rows of cars. That’s it. That alone is enough to keep me on my very best behavior for the rest of my life.

I learned very early on in our courtship that my husband was really into cars. I mean really into them. He reads car magazines, car blogs, participates in car forums, goes to car “meets” (where a bunch of other car-lovers go to a parking lot and check out each other’s cars. That was painful just to write.), and goes to car shows. After we had been dating for a few months, he asked me to go with him to a car show in Boston. His car was in the show-so he had to get it there early and leave it there for the duration of the show. I said “of course!” We were in the throes of new love. Remember that? When you wanted to be with your significant other 24/7, never to leave their sight for a single second?  Yeah, me neither. The drive to Boston was lovely; (albeit really, really loud- his car is ridiculous-think Fast and the Furious.) We chatted for hours. Then we got to the show. Holy effing crap. This was no ordinary show. It was the “tuner” cars-the cars that guys spent thousands and thousands of dollars to soup up. Most of them looked like they were out of The Jetsons. But more than that-was the atmosphere of this thing. It was Fast and the Furious meets Showgirls. Half-naked girls were laying all over the cars, while groups of guys sat and drooled at them while taking a gazillion pictures with their cameras. (And you know how they’ll use those pics.) Then there was the music. (I use that term loosely.) Ear blasting, glass-shattering bass-heavy club music was coming from about 250 different speakers. And each one was playing different music. I think I was the only female at this thing not wearing a string bikini. And the only one who can’t work a pole. All in all, a recipe for a nightmare. But I was a pretty good sport, I think. (My husband might say otherwise.) And I swore I would NEVER go to one of those hellish things ever again.

Enter kids.

At 2 1/2, my son has shown a real interest in cars. He’s slightly obsessed, actually. He can identify almost all cars he sees in any given parking lot and imitates different ones by the sound they make. I’m either horrified or really proud. My husband is, of course, elated. So this year when the annual car show came to NYC and my husband suggested we go because our son would love it, I said “of course!” Now mind you, there are no half-naked ladies or thumping club music at this particular one-it’s family-friendly. (I use that term loosely.)

The trip started out lovely enough. We decided to take the ferry into the city; the kids have never been on a boat and we thought they would love it. It didn’t get off to a good start, however, as one of the ferry workers yelled “HURRY UP, LADY!!!” as I was holding both of my kids’ hands and was apparently not moving at an acceptable speed to get on the boat. (strike 1.) The ride itself was fine. The kids weren’t jumping up and down in excitement or anything, but it was smooth and everyone was content.

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We got to the convention center fine. It was crazy crowded, but I expected that. We walked around a bit, checked  out some cars. My husband must have asked me “What do you think of this one?” a thousand times…(4 wheels, some doors and a steering wheel? It’s effing fantastic.) But I know he loves it and my son loves it. My daughter just likes getting inside the different cars. So far, it’s pretty cute. Annoying, but cute.

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My daughter checking herself out in the mirror.

bporsche

b4wheeler

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motorcycle

Then my kids see someone with popcorn and decide that they MUST  have it too. So we start to look for a popcorn stand. And look. And look. And look. Navigating through shoulder to shoulder traffic with 2(now very unhappy and on the verge of a fit) kids is not fun. 20 minutes and 3 floors later, we found the popcorn. Of course, there’s not a seat in the whole damn place so we park it on a nasty floor and eat our $8 popcorn. (strike 2)

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After popcorn, there’s more cars. And more cars. And a poopy diaper. (an 8-wiper) And more cars. And then there’s a man who nearly pummels down my son without so much as an apology. Needless to say, that ended poorly for all involved and I didn’t leave that day with any new friends. (strike 3. I’m out.)

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Her face says it all.

The day went quite differently in my head. Upon expressing this aloud to my husband (and maybe complaining a bit), a passerby said to my husband “You gotta come here with your buddies, man.” Uh, hell yes he does.

Why I can’t write about shoes today.

I was going to do a post today about shopping for kid’s clothes. I started it a few times, got up, did something else, came back to it, but I’m just not feeling it. At all. Sometimes, with all that is going on in the world, talking about where to get cheap shoes seems so……insignificant. When I heard that an 8 year old boy died in the Boston Marathon bombings, a familiar heaviness and deep sorrow came over me. It is the same feeling that I experienced after Newtown-which affected me so profoundly I often am at a loss of words to explain it. Events like these affect every single human being. Every single one. But as a parent, the effect is a bit different. For me, the Newtown and Boston events triggered a grief so deep-but also a guilt. Guilt about being able to hug my babies-give them their bath, get annoyed that they’re not eating their veggies (again), read them their favorite book. And the parents who lost their kids can’t. Shortly after Newtown, my daughter had her preschool Christmas show. It was the first she had ever participated in. It was the cutest thing EVER. But as soon as it started, I started to cry. Not because the show was that good, but because I felt guilty. I was so blessed that I could watch her. That I could be there as my daughter donned her angel wings and sang Christmas songs. That she could giggle onstage as she forgot the words and dance all around-looking to make sure we were watching her. I thought of all those parents who were robbed of that experience. And it hurt my heart. I find myself feeling these exact emotions again now. I took my kids to the park today to meet some of my daughter’s preschool friends and their moms, and immediately I thought about that 8 year old boy in Boston who went to the big race to watch his family’s friends cross the finish line. I then felt guilty about asking what kind of pizza all the kids wanted when we went out to lunch afterwards. But I know life goes on. And we all must continue and do our best to appreciate every single minute that we are blessed enough to have.

Another thing came to my attention yesterday. A mother’s blog. A blog that was only meant as a way for her to update family and friends about her young son’s health condition. It’s called Chasing Rainbows. (http://www.kateleong.com/  -please read. You will never forget it.) It’s about a beautiful family that has overcome more hardships than most families dream of, yet still hadn’t come across their most difficult one-losing their 6 year old son, Gavin. He was born with a mysterious genetic condition, giving him life-long health issues. After a long list of issues, he fell very ill and eventually progressed to brain death. His family made the decision to donate his organs, which they did yesterday. This family’s story really affected me. For one, my job before I became a stay at home mother was an organ transplant coordinator. I would have been the one to come to Gavin’s mother to talk to her about donating his organs. Then I would have monitored, cared for him and kept him stable, treating him as necessary. Next is finding recipients for his organs and bringing him to the operating room, where surgeons would remove and prepare his organs to be transplanted. I know the process all too well. What I don’t know about is being on the other side. About having to say good bye to your child. About having to leave his body, knowing that afterwards he’ll spend the night in a cold morgue and not in your arms. I know nothing about that.

I know nothing about going to a marathon and when it’s over, not being able to go get pizza and ice cream and talk about how much fun you all had. I know nothing about dropping my kids off at school and then going to a firehouse and waiting to see if they walk in to meet me there, only to find out that they were killed by a psychotic gunman. I know nothing about those things. And I pray to God that I never do. I pray that you don’t either.

I know that life goes on. But for now, I just can’t post about shoes.

Equestrian chic

I wish I could say that I’m writing about horses in art today becuase I spent my childhood in stables. Or that I had a beloved pony who was my very best friend, igniting a life-long love of horses. (Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode about having ponies when you’re a kid- “I had pony. My sister had pony. My brother had pony….. ” If you’re not a Seinfeld fan, I just lost you. Sorry.) But it’s just not the case. I do find them quite beautiful, however. Recently I’ve been seeing images of horses popping up all over the place. I knew it was a ‘thing’ when interiors featuring horses were all over blogs, design magazines, and Pinterest. “Equestrian chic” is big. And I like it. I love that where I’m seeing the horses is not where you’d expect-in country-style houses or barns. They’re  in modern spaces, and the combination is really great. A few weeks ago, a friend and I were walking around the design store Lilian August in NYC, and what I saw confirmed the horse trend. Here’s some (crappy iphone) shots of what I saw there:horse6horse4horse3horse5horse1horse2

I could have spent all day there; it was so very inspiring. Alas, dinner reservations beckoned. You can see more here: http://www.lillianaugust.com.

Here are some of my favorite interiors featuring horses:

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Images from my Pinterest

Totally unexpected, right? The last thing you’d expect to see in a modern space is a big ol’ horse. But that’s why it works and what makes it so cool. And why I must have something like it immediately.