Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sweet and Savory

Day two of my recent getaway was equally as indulgent and enjoyable as my first night in LA, just minus all of the white leather furnishings. I headed out to Encino to the lavish home of the very gracious Brown family, where I spent some serious time with some of my favorite haute mamas (and not yet, but still haute, mamas) celebrating several toast-worthy occasions- new babies, a new engagement, a newly published work and a new decade with old friends. We did a whole lot of drinking and a whole lot of eating, starting with an incredible blintz souffle. Eggs with jam on top? I was a little hesitant....until I tasted this incredible masterpiece:




Preheat oven to 350
Butter 13*9 inch baking dish
In blender, or large bowl, mix butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, orange juice, flour and baking powder until blended
Pour half of the batter into prepared dish

Prepare Blintz Filling
In a Medium Bowl or Food Processor fitted with the metal blade, combine all ingredients for filling until blended

Drop filling by heaping spoonfuls over batter in baking dish with a knife, spread filling evenly (it will mix slightly with the batter)

Pour remaining batter over filling
Unbaked souffle may be covered and refrigerated several hours or overnight until ready to use.

Before baking, bring souffle to room temperature
Bake uncovered 50-60 minutes or until puffed and golden
Serve immediately with sour cream and blueberry syrup or jams.

Thanks girls for a fabulous weekend!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hooray for Hollywood!

I typically have a fairly acceptable excuse when I leave you ladies hanging for so many days, as I have this past week. I suppose my current excuse is acceptable, though also admittedly very, very selfish.

You see mamas, I went on a vacation- by myself. And by myself, I don't really mean by myself (I indulged in oodles of quality girl time), but the without kids kind of "by myself". You know- the good kind. Don't get me wrong, I love a good family vacay, but they're not always conducive to poolside cocktails, power-shopping and un-interrupted bouts of magazine reading, and I reeeaaaallly needed all three of those things.

The hubs kept referring to it as my Sex and the City weekend (in between repeated use of the phrase "I can't believe you're leaving me"), and though I guffawed at him when he said it- I have to admit, that's kind of how it turned out.

I think the Universe had read some of my prior posts and decided that maybe it had been a little rough on me for a spell there, and I think, maybe, just maybe, it decided to make it up to me in the following ways:

First, and most importantly, there was "the upgrade." I was initially headed down to LA to meet some of my college besties (go Team V!) for a little ten year (ugh- really?) reunion on Saturday night, which was a very exciting prospect in and of itself, but decided to up the fun ante even more by meeting up with the infamous Tia for some poolside lounging and anticipated celeb sightings at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel.

The Roosevelt is one of those hotels that makes you feel a little cool just by being there, and thereby convinces you that you just might be able to afford all of those $15 mojitos. I was all set to check-in to my hip, yet inevitably miniature and overpriced room, when I got the news- we'd been upgraded. I still don't really understand how it happened, but ladies, Tia and I did a spastic "movin' on up" dance when our bellboy left us and we could finally squeal with giddiness at our little bit of good fortune.

roosevelt main SMALL
Our Digs.

roosevelt tia SMALL

Tia, post happy dance.

The pretending we were rich continued with a frenzied trip to Barney's coop where an incredible clearance sale was being held (seemingly in my honor) and again that night with an incredible dinner at STK (Cohenator- good call on the parmesan truffle fries). Because we were in LA, I felt it was a reasonable excuse to get what would be considered here in suburbia, "overdressed." This prompted me, for some reason, to pose like a ridiculous cougar.



Despite my high-anxiety pose, the dress, by Corey Lynn Calter was super comfy and on maaajor sale at Macy's. The heels, which also happen to be crazy comfy (a gift from hubs a while back) are Vince Camuto, and guess what?? also happen to be on sale at Macy's. The awesome crystal necklace was a gift from Ti McGhee a few bday's ago, but was purchased at one of my favorite SF boutiques, Two Skirts.

So, stay tuned mamas, for day TWO of super-relaxing, well-deserved, universe payback, solo vacation- more to come soon!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

That's how we roll with dad.

Father's Day has come and gone, but I'm feeling like keeping the dad's day spirit alive with a little tribute to the hubs, who just happens to be out working overtime because he knows he has a high-maintenance woman to provide for.

The boys and I had a great Father's day, but it was missing one thing, and that was their father.

When Ryan decided at the ripe-old age of 31 that he was going to become a police officer, I was more than hesitant at first. Sure, there was the whole dealing with criminals and life-on-the-line thing, but more than anything, I was just worried that he wasn't going to be around quite as much anymore. This was not exactly a validated fear, and to the contrary he actually has 4 days off a week, during which he and the boys head out on adventures in their painfully mismatched outfits with wild, ungroomed bed heads. When I expressed some concern at the fact that they looked like total hobos when sent a picture of them from the beer isle in Costco ( typical outing), a motto was born that I've been hearing quite frequently of late: "That's how we roll with Dad."

Anyways, we do have to roll without dad sometimes these days, and holidays and weekends just happen to be some of those times. It's a bummer, but I guess it makes me appreciate the one full day a week that I have to spend with him even more. And while on the topic of appreciation, prehaps I will share with you just a few of the items on a very looong list of things I appreciate and love about my husband:

1. I can't believe that I am admitting this, because I roll my eyes at him as he proclaims it every day in the mirror, but he really is getting more handsome with age.

2. Since my dad has passed away, he finds himself in charge of three very unorganized, erratic and emotional women. Despite his grumblings, he can always be counted on to run out and get a jumbo pack of super-plus tamps for my sister, or to help my mom with the eight bags she always feels the need to travel with, even if it's just for the weekend.

3. He makes a mean lasagna, a deadly au poivre sauce and a ridiculous enchilada- and he somehow manages to keep the kitchen clean when he cooks.

4. He admitted to me the other day that I do better impersonations than he does. When I do them- particularly when I do funny animal voices, like the Manatee rationalizing his obesity on Rikki Lake, he gets this big cheesy grin and this lispy chuckle that makes his shoulders shake and makes him look like he's 4 years old. I love it.

5. Despite the depressing effects of childbirth, gravity and too much popcorn, he still thinks I have a great butt. Or at least does a very convincing job of lying about it.

6. He has seen me at my ugliest, at my saddest, at my meanest (yes, I can be mean) and he still loves me. I believe he loved me from the moment he met me and begged me for a kiss only minutes later, just as I did when I met him and had to try so hard not to give in to his request.

Happy belated Father's day Ry. I love you.

Monday, June 21, 2010

She's Crafty...

I'm having a serious love affair with all of the faux floral goodies over at emersonmade. This chick has a weird thing for poultry and other farm-dwelling birds, but her site is impeccably styled and just the right amount of quirky and I am currently faced with the dilemma of narrowing down the list of 50 things that I need to purchase from her right this very minute.

For instance, I can't imagine living another moment without one of these clutches:

And all of my old shoes would be new again with help from a little flora face-lift:

And this lovely little necklace somehow manages to make even this strange, hairy chicken look cute.

So, I think I've established that I am loving the whole floral thing, a la Carrie Bradshaw season 3, but there's MORE. Oh- yes, she does runners:

and napkins:

all images courtesy of

AND- get ready for this one- her clothing line is coming this fall! Looks like I've got some saving to do...

Happy Monday!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Gig is Up.

I'm just curious as to why J.Crew has been greedily hiding their sister store, Madewell, from us Northern Californians for so long. Shame on you, Jenna, for keeping me apart from this incredible skirt for so long:

Mariposa Skirt, $88

And from the ethereal goodness of this tank:

Paisley Hazy Days Cami, $98

And from the effortless perfection of this dress:

Briolette Cami Dress, $175

And from this freaking necklace. Why don't I own this necklace??!

Color Drop Jewel and Chain Necklace, $58

And from these very cool pants that may make me look long-crotched and butch, but I am willing to risk it anyways:

Surplus Pants, $72

Cat's out of the bag Madewell. Now, where's my credit card?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In the closet.

It's true, my husband was living in the closet for awhile there. OK- I admit, it was not "the" closet, but rather, "a" closet- in a one bedroom apartment he shared with 3 other adult males in the infamous Isla Vista (and yes, the apartment did look as filthy and smell as rank as you may be imagining right now). Ever since those years spent passing out in the closet with him after a night of Silver Bullet consumption, the thought of closet living has always left a somewhat sour taste in my mouth.

So I figured while we were on the topic of down-sizing, I'd share with you yet another inspiring little space I stumbled across in the blogosphere of late that has changed my outlook on closet residences and is further convincing me to simplify my crowded life. One of my favorite bloggers, Jordan Ferney, a very talented San Franciscan party planner and writer of Oh Happy Day! lives cozily and creatively with her hubby and two sons in a very stylish one bedroom apartment. Her two-year old son, Moses, lives in the converted walk-in closet pictured above and I think it's super cute. Check out more pics of this cool little space here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

HAUTE MAMA of the MONTH II- finally.

Sometimes I fantasize about selling my cute little1950's rancher and moving into a monster tract home with 6 bedrooms and no personality, but oodles of storage space and a giant toy room that I could just let the boys completely trash and simply close the door when company came over.

In my mind, the house would be immaculate (with the exception of the aforementioned toy room) because everything would have a place- a tidy spot in a closet somewhere reserved especially for whatever that particular item might be. But in reality, I know that the more space I'd have, the more stuff I would accumulate and I would ultimately find myself in the same predicament that I'm in now- too much stuff (and by stuff, I mean shit).

Lately, I've been thinking just the opposite- that maybe all we need to do is simplify- move into a cozy little condo and get rid of all the "stuff" (with the exception of my shoes). And just when I start to tell myself it's crazy talk, I am reminded of my adorable friend and this month's long-overdue HMOM , Mrs. Gina Shoemaker. The incredible, charismatic, creative and enviably skinny Miss G is the mother of 3 little munchkins, ages 4 years to 1 month and she manages to contain her growing brood on the top floor of an old Brooklyn brownstone apartment with no elevator (possible contributing factor to skinniness).

As far as apartments go, it's incredible, with unrestricted views of the NYC skyline, but it's still half of the space that we're working with her at Casa Madigan and Gina manages to make it work and make it adorable while she's at it.

An excellent example of her resourcefulness would be the little hallway art center she recently crafted for her toddlers with some moulding, chalkboard paint, shelving brackets from Anthro and some mason jars. The Shoemakers do not waste space.


I love the little tape measure with paper clips!

Here is the lovely G before the recent arrival of Johnny Charles.

And here are her adorable design assistants. I miss you G!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Summer of Crazy Shoes

I hate casual Friday. I'm typically dressed either one of two ways- presentably or not- and my "not" outfit usually has holes and grease stains, so pulling off the whole polished casual thing just isn't my bag.

This past Friday, after a particularly frustrating morning in the closet, the hubs surveyed my slightly unusual outfit, which I felt the need to finish off with some big, clunky sandals, and proclaimed this, "the summer of crazy shoes."

He nailed it. Something's in the air this year and it's got me snatching up impractical shoes like a woman with no children, but I just can't help myself. Which is why, when I caught a glimpse of the complete Pour La Victoire Spring 2010 collection, I started contemplating picking up a night job.

These are just a few of the styles that are giving me grabbies.

the Erika

the Edie

the christa

the Carol

the Caitlin

check out more of this fabulous collection here!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I'm Back!

Ooooh mamas. Where to begin?

Because I live in an imaginary world where my blogging serves some sort of purpose other than justifying hours spent staring at things I don't need online, I like to think that you all have been missing me- lamenting my absence, obsessively checking HMD (which you've bookmarked, of course) and praying for some glimmer of hope that I haven't abandoned the cause altogether.

Fear not, lovelies, for I am back, with a blogging vengeance.

I'd like to say that I was simply too busy lounging poolside, soaking up the dry Arizona sun, drinking cocktails and enjoying my well-deserved vacation in Scottsdale with the family. Perhaps this is what I would have been doing had I not been holed up in my hotel room waiting for the battle that had been taking place in my stomach for 5 long days to cease. I jinxed it mamas. I made one too many comments of the, "I guess I have mommy immunity" variety at work after mopping up assorted piles of vomit from my floor, furniture, walls, etc. the week prior. My turn had come.

I would be lying if I said I didn't squeeze in some family fun time. Thankfully, everyone's gastrointestinal tracts were back in order for some serious cupcake eating at a Toy Story birthday party at Grandma Cathy's this weekend. My little Hud turned 2 today. I just can't believe it.

I do believe I'll have another cupcake.

Could he be any cuter??

Friday, June 4, 2010

Wedding Looks for Gina!

Although I like to fancy myself a pretty stylish person, I do realize that taste is all relative and that the ruflley turquoise and hot pink floral blouse I'm wearing to work today probably looks a little bit ridiculous to half of the people here (yes, I am posting at work, btw- don't tell) and there is a lot of "who does she think she is" going on at the water cooler.

That said, it's nice to have some reinforcement from time-to-time, which is why I am always totally flattered when you lovely ladies come to me for advice- which is exactly what Miss Gina did last week when faced with a dress that needed some accessorizing for multiple wedding that she's headed to this summer. Gina was looking for colorful (but not "rainbow" colorful -good thing you clarified Gina- because I was gonna set you up with something this)and affordable.

First off, here's the dress:

So- here we go.

Look #1- The dress has a great, sort-of abstract hibiscus print on it that I felt would lend itself well to a slightly beachy look, so I paired it up with some mother-of-pearl accents and a hint of wood. I Love the ruching in the strapless neckline, so thought it best to go with earrings and let the decolletage do the talking. This is what I came up with (forgive me for the small pics today ladies, am having some issues with the Dell and had to literally put these together in Word with 5 Clicks- pretty resourceful if you ask me.)..

Love the Coral hue of the shoes and the two-tone, chunky heel, Boutique Nine Uziri Sandals, $99
Mother of Pearl Shell Disc Earrings, TopShop, $20 (!)

Look #2- As an alternative to the above, I thought we would go the other end of the spectrum and make this look a little more evening. Now, I didn't go colorful on this look, but I just couldn't resist suggesting these shoes and earrings because they were a spot-on match for the dress. You could easily infuse some color with a bright pashmina (I would go with a plum or purple shade) or even a colored clutch. The earrings still just have a hint of mother-of pearl, in keeping with a very subtley beachy vibe.

Rae Back Zip Sandals, TopShop, $135

Crystal Crustacean Earrings, J.Crew, $68

Gina- let me know if I came even remotely close to hitting the mark on these, or hit me up if you want more looks. Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Now that's more like it..

I really want to help impoverished children in every way that I can, but I just haven't been able to get on board with the whole Tom's thing. In fact, when my sister came home with hers, and excitedly unveiled them, I proclaimed that I just couldn't- just wouldn't- do it. My huge feet would most certainly look like two giant, canvas, vegan burritos.

Obviously, our friend Tom must have gotten word of my hesitance, because looky-loo what's coming soon from our humanitarian friend:


Now that is an act of kindness that I can get on board with. Coming soon to Toms.