Friday, April 30, 2010

GET-SY

If I have any hopes of being remotely productive at work , I try desperately to avoid the overwhelming urge to pop over to Etsy at all costs. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before Intervention starts airing episodes on Etsy-holics, and we'll all look on in disgust at their bloody mouse clicking finger and their crazy "gimmee" eyes.

I'm only human, though, and every once (or more than once) in a while, I get sucked into this crafty little vortex of unique goodies. After a particularly long and shameful sitting, I came away wanting, needing, rationalizing excuses for buying goodies from the following shops:





Like these ethereal photos from Yann Pendarie's dreamy collection of Parisian-born photos.





Or these irresistably cute personalized prints from Silhouette Blue.







.....or something from the bevvy of burlap cuteness by Next Door to Heaven




And the cutest bibs ever (pink weiners??!!!) courtesy of Chloe's Closet Boutique.
Enjoy ladies, hope you've got a few hours to spare.............

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Going Green.....with envy (the saga continues)

source unknown

There are several things about this dining room that I absolutely L-O-V-E.... there's a good possibility I might trade my first born for the funky, yet elegant floral settee (I said might), and the shell chandelier gives me serious grabby hands. In fact, I can safely say I love almost everything about it, with the one blaring exception of the random goose rug. I just don't get it. However, the main reason I clipped this little photo and put it in my "one day, when I'm cool" folder was because I've suspected for sometime now that I absolutely must have a vintage Chinese Chippendale chair (or 2) and once I saw this photo two more things became very clear to me:

1. It must be this exact shade of green wonderfulness
2. It must have the perfect cheetah print seat

Of Course, I could just swoop up a pair from Jonathan Adler, design genius and sassy little gay potter that I've always dreamed of being besties with:


But seeing as I'm not made of solid gold, it probably won't be happening anytime soon. So I've been scouring Craigslist and eBay of late for the perfect pair and have been mostly unsuccessful, until NOW:


Tah-dah! So, they're a little more rounded at the top than I was hoping for and ideally, I would want a set of captain's chairs with arms, but the "buy it now" price for both is just $150 and I think with the perfect shade of green (I'm thinking Apple Orchard by Behr) and some snazzy cushions, they just might work.... Haven't sealed the deal yet, but I'm thinking.....Happy Mother's Day to me????

What do you think? Should I hold out for the arm chairs?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cham-brazen

I've had my eyes (and my wallet) open for some new summer staples, and I swear, I haven't seen this much chambray since 1994. The last time I wore something chambray, it was probably of the sleeveless, button-down variety and I was probably drinking a smuggled wine cooler at a Gin Blossoms concert. Our fair-skinned denim friend is back, and it seems to be back with a vengeance, ladies. Maybe it's all those fond memories made while wearing chambray, but I'm loving it. As a matter of fact, I recently swooped up two little chambray pieces that I am wearing whenever the weather allows.

Chambray Roll-ups, Anthro, $58

I snagged these comfy little staples at Anthropologie and they are so lightweight and wonderful. Plus, the length is everything my thirty-something legs could hope for, long enough to cover my cheeks, but just short enough to avoid looking Talbots. I threw these on with my new cheapie platform sandals from Target and I was feeling long, lean and summery.

Our friends over at J.Crew are also churning out the chambray looks and these drawstring shorts are looking equally wearable:


j.crew drawstring short, $58

And for those of you who like a little more breeze between the thighs, here's the skirt:


J.Crew Lightweight Cotton Cottage skirt, $45

Now that we're on the topic of skirts, let me get to my next big chambray purchase. Very sadly, I have yet to document this fun little purchase on film and H&M, being the stingy Euros that they are, have failed to post said fun skirt on their site. I will do my best to give you a visual: think light chambray, pencil skirt silhouette and happy bow-lined pockets, a la the Mulberry Betty Bow short seen here:

Mulberry Betty Bow Shorts, $198

I think maybe you get the picture. Hopefully, if the weather cooperates I can take it for a spin and snap some pics. Fortunately the skirt was not $198, but in the very reasonable $25-$30 range. Yeah for H&M. I do believe they make a version of the skirt in shorts, so if you're loving the look of the Mulberry's above, head to H&M for the bargainista version.

And of course, what would a discussion of chambray be without the classic chambray button-down. You'll find these all over the place ranging from modern and oversized at Shopbop to cowgirl cool from Urban Outfitters. As usual, we can count on J.Crew for the essential chambray button down, which I've dressed up for a summer party below.

Chambray shirt


And here's another fun look featuring a very wearable-looking chambray skirt from my increasingly favorite people over at TopShop. Just add Cerveza.

Going Green

Maybe it's my notion of keeping everything kid-friendly and therefore inexpensive, or my predominantly beige color scheme, but lately, I've been surveying my home decor and the overall look is feeling just a little blaaah- don't get me wrong, I love my little house (as evidenced by the fact that we are paying up the wazoo to stay there), but it could definitely use a little 2010 pick-me-up.

I've been poking around daily at numerous design blogs, and I'm finding that neither kids, nor money, should be an excuse for the interior Blahs. That said, implementation of Operation Haute House has officially begun.

First Action item: Add a few, or more than a few, splashes of color.

Right now, we've got a whole lot of earth tone going on at Casa Haute Mama. Seeing as it's one of my favorite colors and will jive quite well with the earth theme- I'm going green ladies- and I'm not going to be shy about it. I'm thinking chartreuse, or a nice Granny Smith.

Maybe in the form of some new window treatments...

source unknown (woops)

I've been a big fan of this imperial trellis print for some time now, but apparently, the real deal by Kelly Wearstler can be pretty pricey (especially considering window treatments of this sort can be pricey regardless)- which is why I was excited to find a very comparable version at P.Tree textiles. It would also work nicely in a lovely little flea market find chair:

source

Or perhaps just a splash of wallpaper??(or more than a splash)



Pillows are also always an easy way to inject some color and whaddya know, the Imperial Trellis does pillows:



Esty Find!

More Green goodness to come!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Making Dreams a Reality.

I've really been inspired of late by all of the impressive DIY sites out there in the blogosphere. I have all these aspirational DIY ideas floating around in my head, but very few of them (read, none) ever come to fruition. Remember my bright idea about displaying jewels on fun Anthro knobs? As usual, I didn't get all TLC and make it happen, but to my delighted surprise, one of my favorite bloggers, Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere did! See more pics of her bathroom makeover here.


image courtesy of Cupcakes and Cashmere

And, speaking of jewelry, I just recently discovered the jewelry site Max and Chloe and it makes me really happy. Prices range from reasonable to not-so, but the selection is pretty awesome. Some of my relatively realistic wish-list contenders:


Catherine Weitzman Blue Topaz branch Earrings, $130
Kendra Scott Edo Necklace, $145
Wendy Mink Peruvian Interlocking Earrings, $120

And there's plenty more where that came from Mamas. Check it out.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A little something lovely.

I must admit, I've had a little less time for my Mamas these days, because, as much as I would love it to be so, HMD just isn't paying my bills and the people who are have been requiring that I actually work for it. Ugh. That said, I'm turning the brain off tonight, because I deserve it, and simply leaving you with some lovely images of my snowball viburnums which are blooming like crazy in my neglected garden right now. For those of you interested in a little green-thumbing, I highly recommend one of these lovely shrubs. They are frost hardy, low-maintenance and they make spring just that much springier!




I'll be back Mamas- so don't go away!

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Just Can't Get Enough

image courtesy of Target.com
I have never in my life been very much of a high-heel person. Perhaps I've always felt more like channeling Audrey Hepburn than Sophia Lauren, but I tend to favor a cute comfy flat over a fun, sexy heel. Maybe I am just desperately attempting to reclaim my youth, but I am sort of obsessing with the vast selection of heels that are on the rise, quite literally, for Spring.

Whilst on an innocent trip to Target to pick up gifts for some of Max's preschool buddies' bday parties, I was reminded, as I passed the shoe isle of a friendly tip passed on to me by the lovely Jenne by way of comment on my last shoe post. Cynthia Vincent's shoe line with Target is in stores and although I didn't scoop up any of Miss Vincent's collaborations (though I have to say, the beauties pictured above were temptingly gorgeous, surprisingly comfortable and high-quality), I did manage to walk away with not one, but TWO pairs of fun, chunky sandals. Behold, my steals of the week:

Tayla Platform Sandal, $19.99 (!!??!!)

Mossimo Presta Sandal, $24.99


These shoes are soooooo not me on paper, but I love them. They seem fairly well-made and pretty darn wearable, since the heels are nice and sturdy. I've already worn the Prestas 3 of the last four days and my feet are totally unscathed. Can't wait to debut the Taylas with a light, summery dress, like this Airy dress by Roxy that I snatched at the mall for $29.

It was a tough call settling on these two pairs, since I had to take a deep breath and talk myself out of the shoe department when I discovered Miss Trish, purveyor of adorable (and pricey) Capri sandals that make every day feel like a jaunt on the Italian Riviera, was also in cahoots with our friends at Tar-jay.

Miss Trish for Target Seahorse Sandals, $24.99

Don't worry little turquoise bejeweled seahorse, I'll be back.
(oh- and did I mention this comes in little hautie as well??? Thank heavens for little boys :) )

Sunday, April 18, 2010

BIG Book, little Book

I did it. I made a promise to my fellow Mamas and myself, and I followed through. I'm happy to say, it came back like riding a bicycle and I almost had forgotten how much I love losing myself in a good book. It was getting late in the game, so I didn't have much time to research and choose something very thoughtfully, so I scooped up a title that I had been hearing buzz about among the Mamas and hoped it lived up to the hype. I chose The Help by Kathryn Stockett and I have to say, it did not disappoint.

The story unfolds in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962, and while the rest of the country is immersed in the Civil Rights movement, the white women of Jackson seem oblivious to the climate of change outside of their humid, segregated bubble and the black women of Jackson seem either too fearful or too resigned to embrace it themselves. Skeeter Phelan returns from college to her parents' cotton farm to find that her childhood nanny has quietly disappeared, which prompts her to examine not only the relationship her family had with the black woman who practically raised her, but also these same relationships among some of her closest friends and the women in their homes known as "the help."

The story is narrated in three voices, that of Skeeter and those of two black servant women named Minny and Aibileen who also happen to have worked for Skeeter's best childhood friends. The first person narration style gave the book an intimacy that I enjoyed, but also left me feeling slightly conflicted. The author, Kathryn Stockett, is a white woman of Jackson descent herself, and her use of the black colloquial tone, left me wondering whether it was brave or slightly offensive. Regardless, I think she managed to capture their voices and perspectives well and I enjoyed the message that I took from this book, which was not only a racial one, but at it's root seemed to be a celebration of the relationships and bonds developed among women.

I was particularly moved by the moments in the book shared by Aibileen and little Mae Mobly, her most recent of dozens of children that she's raised sinced birth and refers to lovingly as "her babies". Aside from being heart-wrenchingly tender and sweet, it made me appreciative of all those women who choose to spend their lives caring for children, whether their own, or someone else's, and made me even more appreciative of the wonderful women in my life that have helped to raise my boys. In short, Mamas, you should definitely read this book.

image courtesy of Chronicle Books


Now on to the "little" book ... the Little Pea by Amy Krausen Rosenthal is another family favorite. There are books that Max and Hud absolutely loooove and I will read them repeatedly, silly voices and all, because they love it so much, but only because I love them so much. Little Pea is one of those that I willingly read twice because it's short, sweet and totally adorable.

As I've said, I'm a sucker for illustrations and Jen Corace's work really makes this book. What's not to love about a family of happy little peas? Aside from that, it's clever story line involves a little pea who reluctantly eats all of his candy for dinner so he can finally get to his delicious broccoli for desert- an irony not lost on my little men who giggle giddily every time, like it's the first time they've heard this outrageous claim. If you and the little love it, which I know you will, scoop up Little Oink and Little Hoot, two equally charming collaborations from Ms. Rosenthal and Ms. Corace.

Happy Reading & Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Silver and Gold.

As I mentioned, we entered Scooter in the Golden Gate Fields Wiener Nationals in Berkeley this past Saturday. We almost flaked because the weather was so cold and miserable, and although I'm definitely glad we stuck with the plan and braved the elements, I likely would have saved myself some serious embarrassment had we skipped it. Apparently, I didn't get the memo that humans weren't in the running.

video
Yeah, we're in the pink. Scooty came in a close third to my second.

For my fellow wiener lovers, check out more pics of the event here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sophie's got our back


These days it feels almost impossible to keep up with the constantly changing barrage of all the parenting do's and dont's. Sadly, it seems like everything our kids touch is toxic in some way, shape, or form. I want to keep on top of it all and buy them the $17 sippy cups that won't give them cancer, but sometimes it just gets to be a little overwhelming. I just want it to be the responsibility of manufacturers to start providing me with affordable, natural and safe solutions to feeding and caring for my little guys. That's why I was excited to find The Soft Landing, an online store and blog that is loaded with safe, non-toxic solutions to plastic wares and toys for kids.

Its's nice to know that some of the old standards are not camping behind enemy lines. I was pleased to see that our old friend Sophie the Giraffe made the list. Soph, we knew you wouldn't betray us.

Another way to keep chemicals out of our food and air, is to swap out your non-stick pans with one of these non-toxic versions by SafePan. Dr. Oz told me that the fumes from one of those non-stick pans was enough to kill a canary in an unventilated kitchen. I mean, I'm not a bird person, but that's freaky. Plus, our friends at Safepan are Australian. Those Aussies nailed it with the Wiggles and Koala bears, so I figure these have gotta be legit.


G'day Mamas.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nice for the Price.


Cynthia Vincent Titus Sandal, $295

I just had to share a Musty spotting with you all. Remember these covet-worthy Roadwalkers by Cynthia Vincent? They may not be an incredible shade of dusty taupe like their predecessors, but I spotted these Replicas by A. Marinelli (that's actually what they're called) at a local boutique for less than $100 bucks! I think I must own them.

She's at it again....

My infamous HMOM, Lindsey, is at it again, building her empire on the foundation of genuine talent. OK- Lindsey, we get it- enough already with the awesomeness.

Miss Lindsey was featured today in Daily Candy's "Who,What, Wed" section. Check it out here!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

She lives in a pineapple under the sea...

There's something about eating fried rice for dinner two nights in a row that makes me feel like applying for next season's Biggest Loser. It might be the greasy rice, or the fact that I've been popping cookies like Tic Tacs or that I haven't hauled my butt to the gym in a week, but whatever it is, I feel myself on the brink of a downward spiral and I've decided at this very moment that I need to nip it in the bud STAT. Hence- the bikini post. What better way to put an end to the madness than envisioning my pasty flesh exposed in broad daylight at a public place.

Lately, I've been seeing a lot of the retro, high-waisted styles and am really pretty excited about them- in theory. In years past, I relied upon the tankini to hide my flaws- covering the majority of my pooch, with just a hint of waistline to give the illusion of body confidence. After the boys were born, I was dismayed to discover that the tankini just didn't cut it anymore. To make matters worse, it highlights the very spot on my body that I am now most self-conscious about- that bothersome little wrinkly bit of excess skin that I've named the "sack", with two healthy stretch marks flanking it on either side. That said, the high-waisted bikini seems like the perfect solution to my woes. Bonus- it even covers up the blurry tramp stamp on my hip (we've all made mistakes).

Still- I can't commit. I'm undecided. I've found some really cute ones online, but have a very sneaking suspicion that they'll make my butt look like it's about 5 feet long and I'm not down with that.

Anyways, here are some of my contenders. This first one is my favorite, and I think they are making attempts at solving the long butt dilemma with a little bit of lace-up action in the back. Not sure if it's working. Loooove the print though (and her boobs). Hmmmm....

Free People High Waisted Bikini, $128


Here is my second option- a little bit of Some Like it Hot. Again, loving the print (I'm a sucker for all things leopard) and the girls could definitely use the boost offered up by this cute halter top. This one also has a full skirted bottom, but you can ruche it up and showcase a little cheekage if you so desire.
Diane Von Furstenberg "Bonnie" High Waisted Swim Bottoms, $155

And lastly, we have yet another cute vintage inspired print and cut at Anthropologie.

Wild Watermelon Two Piece, Top & Bottom, $88 each

Looks cute right? But check this out:


I bet she'd be pretty bummed if she knew I was calling her Square Butt Long Pants- but I am.

What are your thoughts?? Any green lights out there?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Haute Diggity Dog

Guess what I'm up to this weekend????

source
Get excited! Nevermind that he's the third fattest in the entire competition (110 dogs), Scooty is taking home the gold. Team Scooter!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Baby Mama Day

Work, as in my real work, is really busting my balls right now, and although I am feeling thoroughly exhausted, I'm welcoming the challenge (sort of) in the hopes of proving that I've earned a much deserved raise come my one year anniversary in June. My other job is managing this insane household and the four variations of messy boy that inhabit it. In return, I don't expect much, just a little help, very occasional foot rubs and some white wine and magazine time in absolute silence. Mother's Day is fast approaching, however, and although I usually insist that he not buy me anything (and I really mean it)- hubby always does anyways, so I figure I may as well throw some suggestions out into the universe, because if you're going to get something, get something you want, right? Oh, and it's the thought that counts too.
That said, I wouldn't mind getting this adorable little gold necklace from Fred Flare. So, think on that hubster.



Sweet Nothing Heart Necklace, $44

I'll be keeping my peepers peeled for good gifts to give as well, because I've got some moms in my life that really deserve it. I looove these little succulent gardens as an alternative to the traditional flower arrangement or potted plant. When I lived in Spain, there was a little floral shop on my walk home from school and they had tons of these little teeny potted succulents. I started adopting them, and had quite a few living on my sill by the time I left. I gave them names like Lester and Mario. Cacti have had a special place in my heart ever since.


Etsy Seller Hens and Chicks Echeveria Succulent Garden, $38

More gift ideas to come~
It's almost Friday!


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Musties for Heather!


Miss Heather did not miss a beat and I was on a musty mission first thing this morning. She's been looking for the perfect crossbody bag in a nice, soft chestnuty brown leather and has been wringing her hands over the Sasha Turnlock bag by Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Marc makes a mean bag and I was fortunate enough to get some pretty hefty discounts from my days in e-tailing on the two cherised MJ relics that I own- but Heather, you don't have to tell me you're not ready to shell out the green- or at least not quite so much of it, cause I feel you. So, here they are, my girl-about-to-move-to-LA-who-needs-to-save-her-cash alternatives.


Lucky Brand Stash Leather Cross-body Bag, $139

ok- so maybe the leather doesn't look quite as sumptuous as the lusty Sasha, but the color is spot on and it has a really similar polished-boho vibe about it. Yes?



Nine West Sousxie Hobo, $149

I love that this one has the option of both shoulder strap and removable cross-body strap- which, in addition to the soft color, makes it super duper versatile. It might not have all of the fun hardware, but I love the braiding on the longer strap and the leather actually looks pretty lux. If this bag could talk, I think it would say, "Heather, I can't wait to cruise the Grove and eat Sprinkles and Pinkberry with you." Am I right?