favorite things

I haven’t posted in what seems a really long time. Sometimes I find that life moves so quickly that before I know it, a couple weeks have passed and I can’t remember what kept me so busy. It’s been like that. We’ve been running this way and that and haven’t had much of a chance to slow down. Most memorably over the last week or so, I got my 40th birthday present (albeit a little early)- a new bike. I have a major race in a few weeks, and my husband was sweet enough to not only buy me my dream bike, but also to get it for me early enough so I could race on it. I also had a beyond fun road trip with some dear college friends to Baltimore, where we met up with a group of our friends from college. It was incredibly fun. So fun, in fact, that I’m still tired from it. This girl is getting old. Another great thing that happened is that my last post was featured on West Elm’s design blog, Front and Main! I was so incredibly honored and excited to see that. It really and truly made my day when I saw that yesterday. It was (and still is) a fantastic feeling to have someone share your work. You can see the post here: http://blog.westelm.com/2013/08/18/lets-get-moving-brooklyn-plates-more/

Today, I felt like sharing a few more favorite things of mine. Most of these things are newly placed on my radar, and for good reason. Here they are:

Could this possibly be the coolest candle ever? I think so. It’s the Muse D’Or by Jonathan Adler- a floral candle in a beautiful porcelain gold vessel. At $78, it might be more than you would normally spend on a candle, but personally, I think the best part is using the vessel after the candle is gone. It wold look great with flowers, pencils, keys…just about anything. I love it. It’s from Waiting on Martha, which has become one of my favorite shops and blogs. Great place for all things home/entertaining related. http://www.shopwaitingonmartha.com/

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This is Anastasia brow gel, and I don’t leave home without it. Brows can really change a face. They can make you look like a mess-or they can make you look amazing. One little swipe of this stuff will tame and shape you brows, and it will stay all day. I’ve tried a few different gels, and this one is by far my favorite. It’s $30 and you can buy it here: http://www.sephora.com/

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I literally ordered these candle holders today; I got the CB2 catalog in the mail and as soon as I saw them, I knew they had to be mine. CB2 is a place that I love to go to for really affordable home decor. The prices are definitely husband-approved;  the set of three is $19.99. (whaaaaaat?) I bought gray taper candles to go in them, which gave them a kind of moody feel. Great for fall. I found them here: http://www.cb2.com/

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Today, I was turned onto a site called Wunway, and I found the sweetest little hair clips and accessories for little girls that I have ever seen. When my daughter saw this one, her face lit up. If you have a little girl, you really must take a look; everything is so charming and whimsical. This particular one is their crown clip and it’s $22. http://www.wunway.com/

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Ok, so I’m not a fan of taxidermy. It freaks the hell out of me. (Dead animals as decor? I don’t get it.)  But this (faux) deer head, for some reason, I’m obsessed with. I’ve had it as one of my “favorite items” on Etsy for the longest time, and if I had enough wall space for it, I would order it. I visit the shop from time to time to make sure they’re still being made, because when we move to a bigger place, this will be one of the first things I buy. It’s so cool, and it’s a great conversation piece.  And don’t get me stared on the glitter antlers. It’s $119.99 and can be found here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/107367343/gift-ideas-for-him-her-couples-white?ref=col_view

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I definitely have a thing for skulls. Especially when they’re on a pretty little box like this. You can never have enough little trinket boxes. I want this one for my coffee table. For $29.99 it can be on yours, too. Find here: http://www.zgallerie.com/

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This beauty is from Zara’s fall line. I’m head over heels for the gold hardware on this bag. This would be such a great everyday bag, and it’s big enough for juice boxes and extra Spiderman underwear. Bonus. Available at http://www.zara.com/us/

I am in a full-on macaron obsessed mode. It’s funny, because there’s so much hype about these tiny little pastries, and for the longest time, I didn’t get it. The first time I had one, I was baffled. It was fine, but didn’t blow my hair back. I thought they were just for snobby rich people. (Think Blair Waldorf.)  Then I tried another one a little while back. And then I got it. It was heavenly. Since then, I pick them up whenever I can. They haven’t all been divine, as like everything, some places make better ones, but they haven’t exactly sucked, either. And I can always count on Trader Joe’s for a fix. They are cheap and surprisingly good. But there is one place that I have yet to go to-and that’s Laduree. These dessert shops are all over the world, mostly in France, and I am lucky enough to have one close by on the upper east side of NYC. They are a bit pricey here, but I am hoping to receive one of these lovely little pink boxes for my birthday in a couple months. (Ok, honey? PINK box, please. Love you.) http://www.laduree.com

Now that the season is winding down and my husband and I are caught up on Breaking Bad, I plan on writing more. Not just here, but I’ve had some things swirling in my head for years that I’ve got to get on paper. (Or computer.) I’ll share if it becomes anything.

Enjoy the week.

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favorite things

I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July!! I find that the Fourth has a way of unifying people like not many other things do. It’s like everyone forgets their differences and remembers what they have in common: being an American. For one day, people remember all the wonderful things they share-all the freedoms, luxuries and opportunities. Even my douchey neighbors manage to smile and say hello. (Tomorrow it will be business as usual, I’m sure, and they’ll be back to complaining about everyone.) It’s a great day filled with family, friends and patriotism. I wish I could say that my kids enjoyed the fireworks, but they spent the entire time on my lap (not a pleasant thing when it’s 90 degrees and muggy as all get out) and crying about wanting to go home. Sigh. Maybe next year. I said that last year, too.

Besides having a wonderful Fourth of July, there were just a few little special things going on that I wanted to share. Just a few favorite things that have made me smile. And here they are:

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A new candle always makes me happy. And this is one of my favorites-Voluspa Crisp Champagne. It smells like luxury. That’s the best way I can explain it. I dare you not to want to drink champagne while burning this.

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Paper chevron straws. I love little details like this. These little straws make a glass of water seem just a little more special. And my kids love picking one out. So fun. I got mine at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/InTheClear.

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My monogrammed clutch. It came in the most beautifully wrapped box. So beautiful, in fact, that my daughter was convinced it had to be for her. Who else could get such a pretty box? I don’t have a middle name, so the monogram is a little smaller than I’d like, but I’m still so happy with it. And a white leather clutch goes with everything. I got it here: http://www.markandgraham.com

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On Friday night, I told the kids we could have a picnic/movie night in the living room. So we ordered a pizza, put down a blanket, watched The Incredibles and ate. It was so much fun and the kids loved it. We’ll be doing that again, for sure.

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Working out with Zoe. As I mentioned previously, our sitter moved away. We are still in the process of finding another one (had to fire one before she even started; long story), so I can’t get to the gym. So I’ve been working out at at home. It’s not always possible, but when it is, my daughter likes to join me. It’s hard to focus, because it’s so cute and funny. She has so much fun-until we get to the planks. She says, “this is too hard, mommy.” We’ll have to work on that. (Did you notice what Zoe is using for weights? Barbie dolls. Atta girl.)

That’s a wrap. Have a wonderful weekend!

favorite things

For my favorite things today, I looked no further than my own home. I’ve mentioned before that I think it’s so important to fill your home with things that make you happy, whether it’s a framed piece of your kids’ art or a ticket stub from your favorite concert or a delicious candle. Your home is your sanctuary. Here’s just a few of the little things (and one not so little) that have made me smile today:

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My daughter and I went to the mall the other day and we came across this little Eiffel Tower ring dish in Anthropologie. She immediately picked it up and announced loudly, “Eiffel Tower!!!! Eiffel Tower!!!” So the Eiffel Tower dish came home with us and is currently housing her little hair clips. It’s adorable and made her so happy. How could I not pick it up?

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This is my little cross-body bag from Madewell and my current favorite sunglasses. The bag was a Mother’s Day gift to myself; as unromantic as it is, my husband and I often buy ourselves what we really want for special occasions and pass it off as a “gift”. Kinda sucky, I guess, but at least we both get something we really want. A week before Mother’s Day I went out shopping and came home and told my husband, “You got me my Mother’s Day gift.” Most of my bags are ginormous, so having a little one is actually pretty nice. The sunnies are from Anthropologie.

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The same day I got Zoe her Eiffel Tower dish, I also picked up this sweet coral salt cellar. It’s perfect when you just need a pinch of salt, and it’s just so cute.

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Oh, how fresh flowers make me happy, I can’t even explain. There’s just something about them. Today, I was thrilled when my local Whole Foods had a ton of gorgeous peonies. Peonies are my absolute favorite-they look equally beautiful when they’re closed up and fully opened. I also picked up a bunch of white hydrangeas, which I also adore-they’re so big and full and you only need a few to make a full looking bouquet. My table is so pretty right now.

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This is my latest score from Bauble Bar. I love a good statement necklace, and this one more than makes a statement. It’s pretty in-your-face. I love wearing it with simple pieces like a solid dress or tee. It gives any outfit just a little bit of edge and I’m obsessed with it right now.

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And my most favorite thing of all today: solo time with each of my kiddos. I love being with both of my little ones, but it’s really nice spending one-on-one time with them too. When my daughter is at preschool, I get that time with my son. Those 2 1/2 hours are all about him and what he wants to do. It’s usually spent on the floor playing with cars, trucks, superheroes and dinosaurs. I cherish every second of it. I get my time with my daughter when Brody takes a nap, and that time is usually spent watching a Tinkerbell movie and doing arts and crafts. It’s so fascinating just how different these two are.

So that’s just a little bit of what’s made me smile today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and do plenty of smiling of your own.

welcome, summer

So we have arrived at Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial beginning of the summer season. The weather here in New Jersey is looking pretty dismal, and although we won’t be able to hit the beach or pool, we still paln on going down the shore (that’s NJ speak for beach) to walk on the boardwalk, eat some really bad food (think pizza, ice cream and fried dough) and go on some rides. I’m really looking forward to it, and I just know my kids are going to have a blast.

With summer right around the corner, I put together a few beach essentials for both you and your kids. If you live in the northeast, you might not be able to put any of them to immediate use, but before you know it, your facebook news feed will be filled with people complaining about how hot it is. (the weather complainers bug me…)

First, for the ladies:

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Topshop high waisted bikini / Topshop underwire bikini / Topshop / Madewell sandals / J.Crew j crew tote bag / Pendant jewelry / Multi strand necklace / J.Crew palm leaf straw hat / Ava Tortie Shades / Fouta Beach Towel Midnight / drugstore.com

These a few of my favorite things for summer. I know I went on and on about one piece bathing suits, but then I came across this high-waisted bikini. It covers up my tummy funky bits and is really very flattering. It also comes in pink and red. The tan towels are a must for me in the warmer months, as my pasty ass burns after being in the sun for 15 minutes, so I bathe in SPF 5000. But I don’t like to look like Casper the ghost either, and Tan Towels give me the perfect glow. Also pictured are my latest sunnies from Anthropologie-I’m obsessed with them. And I looooove Turkish towels for the beach. They are incredibly cozy and chic at the same time. The cover up and necklaces allow you to go from the beach out to a restaurant, and the sandals, hat and bag are my summer staples.

And now, for the kiddos:

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Dripstik Ice Cream and Popsicle Holder Various Colors, Red / Old Navy Hibiscus Print Swim Trunks For Baby / Old Navy Reversible Canvas Sun Hats For Baby / Pink/Green Butterfly Beach Towel / Old Navy Sueded Cork Sandals For Baby / Gap Scalloped Trim Straw Hat / Lobster Beach Towel / Gap Piped Two Piece / Gap Embellished Flower Jelly Sandals / Jason Mineral Natural Sunblock SPF 30, 4 Ounce

Since becoming pregnant, I’ve really tried to switch over a lot of our health products to organic/natural/a little less full of chemicals and crap. An easy switch out was sunscreen. Most of them are loaded with a zillion chemicals. I like the Jason line quite a bit. Chemical-free sunscreens tend to be a bit thick, but worth it. And I must mention my favorite thing here-it’s those funny looking things in the middle. They’re called Dripstiks. I noticed a family at the beach last summer using these, and had to approach the mother and ask about them. They’re ice cream/popsicle holders. One side holds a popsicle stick and the other a cone-and all the drippage goes into the dripstik and not all over your little one’s hands. It’s just brilliant. Do yourself a favor and go pick some up. Like now. And of course a couple cute little bathing suits, sun hats, sandals  and PBK beach towels. My daughter insisted on getting a new “pikini” this summer, so of course I obliged.

So there you have it. I hope you all have a very happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. Enjoy every last minute!!

Favorite things

I thought I’d give my favorite things post another go. The list just keeps getting longer and longer and quite honestly I think I could do this post every day and not repeat an item. (Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing?) Not to mention I find this one really fun to do. Today’s favorite things are all over the map, but I had to start with shoes:

These lovely numbers from Zara combine two of my favorite things: sneakers and leopard. I’ve put together so many outfits around them-in my head. The only problem with them? I don’t own them yet.

Mast Brothers Chocolate has quickly become one of my very favorite things of all. The company was founded by two brothers who have a deep passion for chocolate-and it truly shows. They have a factory/tasting room in Brooklyn, but you can also buy the bars online from them or a number of other retailers. I was lucky enough to find them at my local Whole Foods. With flavors like Vanilla and Smoke, Serrano Chili, Black Truffle, Sea Salt and their special Brooklyn Blend, their bars are like no other. My personal flavor is the Coffee. It’s crazy good. The texture is a bit different, however-a bit grainy-which I actually like, but my husband doesn’t. More for me. And the packaging it comes in is the prettiest I’ve ever seen-it’s almost too pretty to open. Almost.

Meet my jewelry staple. It’s the Three Spikes necklace from Alimonada. Alimonada is another Brooklyn-based business that has become my favorite go-to source for really cool and really inexpensive jewelry. I love every piece they make, but this necklace is my fav. It really goes with everything and makes everything just a little bit cooler. Oh and did I mention it’s only $26.90?

I’ve been wanting some major art over my bedside table but couldn’t find the right piece-until I came across this. It’s a fashion illustration called “Cricket” by Leigh Viner. (I’ve mentioned her before. She’s incredible.) I want to super-size this for a major effect and I’m really excited to get on it. I’ll share when it’s purchased and hanging.

One of my favorite times of day is after the kids have gone to bed and my husband and I get to cuddle up on the couch and watch all the DVR’d shows that we haven’t been able to watch because all we’ve been watching is Dinosaur Train and Peppa Pig. (Who I’m not opposed to-she’s actually quite polite unlike that ahole Sponge Bob.) And we always cuddle under a blanket. In the colder months, that blanket is a heavy faux fur one-it’s so soft and divine. In the warmer months, I switch it out for a lighter one that I got at West Elm. I had it monogrammed, which really made it ours. West Elm has such great pillows and throws, and they go on sale all the time. Go get your cuddle on.

I love me some Kiehl’s. Do they make anything that isn’t awesome? My daughter’s skin is super sensitive and she gets these really dry and itchy patches on her butt and face (yes, butt and face) and though it’s not quite eczema, it’s not pretty. I’ve tried a bunch of different lotions, but this is my favorite. It’s rich but also light and just perfect.

Can someone please explain to me how little boys can have such stinky feet? I mean, seriously? After a long day, my 2 1/2 year old son’s feet smell like a steak that’s been sitting out in the sun for a week. I don’t get it! So in the summer months, I try to air out his feet as much as possible. Last summer I discovered Natives. If a Croc and a Chuck Taylor had a baby, it would be this. It has the anti-stink holes of the Crocs and the cuteness of a Converse sneaker. Adorable. Now my little guy’s feet can be dealt with without a gas mask. Best. Shoe. Ever.

If I didn’t have regular trips to the salon, I would start to look a bit like Helen Mirren. I’ve had a few gray hairs since my late 20s, but after 2 kids, it’s not just a few-it’s a shit load. I find that my blonde highlights mask them a bit and buy me a bit more time in between visits. But I swim quite a bit, and chlorine is deadly for highlights, so I need to protect them. I use Kerastasse Aqua Seal every time before I get in the pool (or beach or anywhere I’ll be spending a lot of time in the sun). It protects from UV and chlorine and it has kept my hair from going full-on green ‘fro. At $40 a bottle, it’s pricey, but you know what’s more pricey? Having to go back to the salon for all new highlights.

Ah, springtime. When your nasty toes that have been cooped up in thick socks and boots all winter long are finally let out. When you can get out your sandals, peep-toes and flip flops…but you better not until you’ve had those things properly cleaned up. (In the winter months I’m more a DIY pedicure kinda gal-I refuse to get a professional pedi and either a: put my shoes back on and wreck it or b: wear flip flops in 20 degree weather. No thanks.) Essie’s Watermelon has been one of my favorite spring/summer colors for awhile now. It’s not too much of a departure my my beloved red and it’s just the right amount of pink. I just put in on my toes last night and I promise to get it professionally done before I break out my sandals.

This is Parisian Chic: A Style Guide. You know how French women have that certain something, that ‘je ne sais quoi”? (Also known as how the hell do you eat nothing but cheese and bread and not weigh a thousand pounds?) Well, this book tells you to how to get it too. It gives the style tips of the oh-so-chic French women and is such an enjoyable read. It also tells  you all the great must visit spots in Paris-shops, restaurants, museums, nail salons…everything. This sits on my night stand and I never tire of it. Because I’m prepping for my trip to Paris. (ok not really….)

That’s a wrap. I hope you liked a thing or two (or ten), and I hope you all have really wonderful weekends.

Favorite things

So today I’m going all Oprah on you. No, I’m not going to shout “and YOU get a car!!!!!, “and YOU get a car!!!!!” There will be no goodie bags. No one is going home with diamond watches or major appliances. But I am going to share just a few of my favorite things with you. I thought this would be a fun feature post to do because I love hearing about things that other people think are really cool-things I never would have heard about otherwise. Some of these things I own, some things I wish I owned, and some of them just inspire me and I think are just downright awesome. This is a really, really long list but I’ll start with five.

1. The Lumineers. I love finding new music. I’ve always been a big music lover, starting with an all-out obsession with Cyndi Lauper that led to stalking out her favorite consignment shop in NYC when I was in elementary school. (Screaming Mimi’s in NoHo-it’s still there-and big props to my mom and dad for that one.) The Lumineers are not “new”anymore, but I still can’t get enough of them. When I first heard the song “Ho Hey” it was like a breath of fresh air. It’s a folksy, feel-good song  sung by people who clearly love what they do. (Did you see their performance at the Grammys? They were so damn happy to be there. Love that.) The rest of the album is equally as good and worth checking out if you already haven’t.

2. Bloom Theory camera strap. Now that I’m starting to get into photography, I clearly need the appropriate accessories. I found out about these camera straps awhile back but couldn’t justify getting one; my husband is the photographer in the family. He’s all serious and stuff. I’m the pleeb that takes pictures with my iphone. But I’m learning how to use hubby’s fancy camera now, and I can’t think of a better way to dress it up. Bloom Theory has quite a few decorative straps, and they are all gorgeous. My absolute favorite is called the Stardust and it’s at the top of my wish list.

3. Gold tray with gold spikes by TheWayWeAre on Etsy. I really love to put things together on pretty trays. Candles, jewelry, perfume, keys, mail…anything looks nice on a beautiful tray. This one takes the cake. It is so. Damn. Cool. It’s gold. With spikes. You could put garbage on it and it would look good. I have had this on my ‘favorites’ list on etsy for so long, and I would buy it right now if I didn’t think my kids would use it as a weapon and I’d like to save myself the E.R. visit. But when they are a little more calm, it will come home with me and find its rightful spot on my coffee table. Until then, I’ll keep visiting it on etsy.

4. Voluspa candles. Starting in November, one of the things I get excited about it getting out my Voluspa Golden Cypress candles. My scrooge husband insists on a fake Christmas tree, and I grew up with real ones and miss the smell of a real tree oh-so-much. But with this candle, I miss it a little less. It smells like Christmas. But not in a strong, yucky way-it smells like you are out in the wilderness searching for your own tree to cut down Griswold-style. It’s pure heaven. I always buy a few at a time because I burn them nonstop from the day after Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Then after the holidays, I love the Crisp Champagne one.  I’d buy it for the name alone (champagne=favorite thing ever), but the smell is truly divine. Fresh, just a touch sweet. Perfect.

5. Domino-The Book of Decorating. This is, by far, my most favorite design book ever. It’s my decorating bible. If you’re not familiar, Domino was a design magazine (with a cult-like following; I was part of that cult) that went out of publication years ago. When that happened, I was truly heartbroken. Domino gave me my love for interior design. But thankfully, Domino put out a book that is like the best of the best of the magazine. Pages and pages of gorgeous interiors, tons of great tips and decorating advice, and a source list that tells you where to get tons of stuff. I have given it as a gift more times than I can count and I continue to pull inspiration from it all the time. Don’t walk, run to buy this book. It’s a classic.

So that wraps up my first favorite things post. I hope that there will be many more of these to come. And maybe one day a goodie bag. Have a wonderful weekend!