Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday FIND.

So, I know that I've said I have been trying to cut back on the shopping, but it's date night tonight ladies, and I get really excited about date night. Gotta look good for the hubs, right? PLUS, Tia made me go shopping with her on my lunch break today and it is a torture slightly akin to having one's finger nails pulled off for me to watch and not buy anything. DOUBLE PLUS, I spotted a serious MUSTY at Forevs and absolutely could not pass up. I have been eyeing this LUSTY for some time now at Madewell:

Which is why my wallet-grab reflex went into affect when I spotted this knock-off (which I nabbed in faux gold) at F21. It's not quite as awesome, but it's certainly not ninety percent less awesome and it did cost ninety percent less. Which is awesome.

And, oh yeah, I might have also bought this. (way cuter in person)
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Return on Investment

After Max's basketball practice, which, btw, ended in tears as it does almost every week thanks to a severe lack of coordination that Mr. Max apparently inherited from his mother- I thought I would take the boys to a nearby park and duck pond for some cheering up- which, coincidentally was located at an outdoor mall and in dangerous proximity to an Anthropologie.

It was literally like swimming against the current trying to keep myself out of the store. Cash is getting a little tight these days, so I've tried to convince myself that my current wardrobe will suffice for the remainder of the summer ("tried" being the operative word), but I'm a total junkie when it comes to shopping, and to quote Edward Cullen, Anthro is my particular brand of heroin.

So, I caved. However, I tried to rationalize my spending by purchasing something that I considered to be totally practical and left with a slightly pricey, but totally flattering, pair of khaki capris. To further rationalize my purchase, I've devised several ways in which to wear them and have come up with outfits for the following scenarios:

First off- the khakis:
Three Season Capris, $88

Khakis at Work:
work khakis

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Clean Sweep

Although you would never guess it by looking at the current state of my house, I actually really love to clean. Nothing gives me quite the same sense of satisfaction and peace as a freshly cleaned, lemon-and-amonia-scented house. Every couple of weeks, I kick the men out, throw on a holy old nightgown and some rubber gloves, blast the itunes and get jiggy with the Comet. Afterwards, I love to just sit back with a Diet Coke or a glass of white wine (depending on if it is before or after noon), soak it all in and do my best to pretend that three filthy boys aren't going to start dirtying it up with their greasy little paws, cookie crumbs and dirty underwear in literally, just a matter of minutes.

Recently, I discovered something that will make my cleaning experience an even better, and more stylish(?!) one. Yes, I know, the holy nightgown is far from stylish, but perhaps I will have to upgrade my cleaning wardrobe to match the ridiculous cuteness of these cleaning supplies I spotted in the latest issue of Lonny from the geniuses of Alice Supply Co:

Dustpan, $22

broom, $26
Wouldn't these make cute house-warming gifts?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Musty Monday.

A few years back, when I was in need of a major, post-baby, fashion pick-me-up, I splurged on an amazing silk camisole by Tucker(similar to this) and two years later, it's still one of my summer wardrobe staples for both work and play. I've been pining after one of their printed blousy versions ever since, but the dangerously-close-to-$300 price tag has kept me apart from the likes of this gorgeous leopard print version:

So, you can understand why I did a quiet little happy dance in my cube this morning when I spotted this incredible musty replica from H&M.

Not sure of the price, but I have a very good feeling that it's less than $300. Ladies, it's just a matter of time.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pretty Pleats.

pleated trousers

I've been really over my nine-to-five these days.... I was just tempted to add something cynical along the lines of, "but who isn't," and then I thought for a moment about those lucky people out there who actually love what they do. While I am not one of those people, I can still dream that maybe one day, I can be, and in the meantime, perhaps the addition of some fun new work staples might give me reason to keep showing up.

I'm kind of loving the return of the pleated trouser and the cropped version is a nice summer solution. Will they make me look bloated? Possibly- but I managed to find a few pairs that were such steals, I just might be able to risk it.

1. Gracia Stretch Trouser, $69
2.Charlotte Russe Pleated Cropped Trouser, $29
3. Need Supply Cropped Trouser Pant, $52
4. GAP Cropped Slouchy trouser pants (my faves), $59.50

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The SnakeKeeper's Birthday Party.

So, I've mentioned before that Max is one of those slightly strange kids who loves reptiles. I have to admit, I am hoping that when he gets a bit older, he'll realize that the "snake guy" is never the one baggin' all the babes and he'll opt for something a little less creepy, like skateboarding or maybe woodworking- I don't know. In the meantime, I am doing my very best to embrace and encourage his interest, so when the request was made for a "Snake Keeper's" birthday party (yes, this is what he refers to himself as), I had to comply.

As further evidence of the peculiarity of my child's passion, I was unable to find any Snake party decor- anywhere. I thought, surely with the world wide web being as large as it is, some wierdo out there would be manufacturing boa constrictor cake plates and python printed goody bags. I was wrong.

I couldn't disappoint my little man, so it was time for me to get crafty, and ladies, I am a good many things, but I honestly cannot include crafting among my arsenal of personal talents. That said, I have to say that I was rather proud with the end results. I don't think M-Stew will be calling me anytime soon, but I'll share with you my recipe for a successful snake party.

Although I didn't have much luck with actual snake goods, I thought a jungle theme would suffice as a starting point. I swooped up some tropical, leafy print table cloths and plates to start. Now, the real crafting began. I stumbled upon this cool DIY on how to make jungle vines out of paper bags and enlisted the hubs for a night of brown bag makeovers. Throw in some super cheap jungle leaves found at Oriental trading Company and tah-dah:


Thanks to Grandma Cath, as always, for lending us the party house :)

The sign was a little photo shop job I threw together and printed up at Kinkos . We enlisted the help of a local party store, Sweet Celebrations, to whip us up some twisty snake balloons:

snake <span class=

After some consideration, I decided to throw some other reptiles in the mix, so our little frog friend made the cut (even though he's technically an amphibian- woops). I was particularly fond of him though:

The next element required no crafting on my part, just a little bit of research and some frayed nerves. After a few positive reviews from the Berkeley Parent's Network (surely these granola hippies knew about positive influences?), I dialed up "Desert Dave" to see if he was available to bring his posse of creepy crawlies to the party. After sending a check for the entire amount (Desert Dave ain't cheap) in the mail to a guy whose name was NOT Desert Dave, I started to get a little anxious. Deeper digging and a closer look at said reviews revealed a bad review on Yelp when Desert Dave did NOT SHOW and that the reviews I was previously looking at were actually from several years ago!! I started envisioning the scene from Parenthood when the anxiety riddled seven year-old loses his sh*t because Cowboy Dan doesn't show. What will I do?? Perhaps ship the hubs off to Petco for a few garter snakes and a turtle and hope for a lenient return policy? So, naturally, I begin stalking Dave, who half of the time, sound as if he has just fallen off of a barstool somewhere. I tell myself I'm just being paranoid. I call morning of to ensure "Dave" is en route and "Dave" answers in a voice that indicates heavy Bloody Mary consumption at 9:30 AM. It is now revealed that Sebastian, Desert Dave's assistant, will be coming in his place. I try not to panic, and find solace in the fact that someone who speaks intelligibly is on his way with reptiles to entertain my 4 year olds. He may not be named Desert Dave, but as long as he's wearing a freaking Safari hat and some khaki shorts, I know the little dudes won't be the wiser.
Well, surprise! Sebastian did not show up looking like Steve Irwin, but rather, Steve Irwin's Goth nephew- complete with greasy black hair and Doc Martens.

Fortunately for me, Max was muuuch more concerned about Sebastian's little friends than he was with Sebastian's likely possession of a Hot Topic frequent shopper card, and I do have to say, Sebastian was a totally nice guy. I guess you can't judge a reptile keeper by his cover.

Max 4<span class=

Despite my smile, I am slightly horrified.

Hud has no fear.

And for the final piece de resistance, I dusted off my apron and made a snake cake. Thanks to two bundt cakes (halved and re-aligned), a little carving, some M&M eyeballs and a licorice tongue, we came up with the following masterpiece:

And he was sssssso delicioussssss.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lady Like.

I've always felt a little schizophrenic when it comes to my personal style. Depending on my mood, I might find myself longing to be totally relaxed, boho, J.Crew chic- only to wake up the next day, wishing I had a polished, professional power-wardrobe full of tailored skirts and Theory blouses, or perhaps a Shopbop-fueled closet, full of edgy tops, modern dresses, platties and funky jeans.

Lately, though, I've been inspired by several sources to get my retro on. Regardless of my frequent fashion wanderings, I somehow always seem to find my way back to my personal favorite look- which is uber-feminine and full of lady-like dresses and blouses, voluminous skirts and girly prints. I've always suspected that I might come back in another life, a bolder version of myself and go all-out Rock-a-billy- but in the meantime, I'll aim for some occasional looks like these:

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Image courtesy of The Sartorialist, via The Lil Bee

This chick looks absolutely flawless in this combo of bold prints, and classic style with modern accents. Fortunately for me, our friends over at Modcloth have a very similar and equally delightful little frock, in almost this exact shade of sunny, yellow perfection:

yellow dress

ModCloth Quiet Campus Stroll Dress, $89

I'm also loving the retro vibe of the blouses floral dresses from British line Nadinoo:

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Nadinoo dress as seen on Cup of Joe.

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Naomi of Rock Star Diaries, rockin' a retro inspired skirt from Anthro that I may possibly need to own.

I've also been finding a lot of inspiration of late from the lovely blogger behind The Rock Star Diaries and her casually cool, but super-girly looks. From the looks of things, she frequents her local Anthropologie. The geniuses behind Anthro continue to torture me with their incredible selection of lady-like lovelies and vintage inspired goodies. A few items that currently have me seeking night jobs include:

The Vappu Dress,$98

Good thing my hair is growing out, because I'm thinking these both call for the perfect ponytail.
Don't you think?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Something Borrowed.

with kell at wedding

Yes, Tia, we know you have Laboutins and I don't. Stop rubbing it in.


Despite some road bumps along the way, including this little debaucle and the fact that one of the sizes of my Tibi, back-up-turned-only-dress, arrived with the elastic shot in the waist (fortunately both sizes worked)- I would have to say that the end result of my Rent the Runway experience was a successful one. The electric shoulder was a hit and the compliments were rolling on this particular night. I was feeling pretty good- if not just a little bit Disco Grover.

And you know what, for the very lovely price, I would, and probably will, do it all again.

Special thanks to my favorite photog and Haute Mama of the Month, Linds, of Lindsey Stafford Photography for the pics above!

And on a very random side-note- does anyone feel like their face has completely changed since they've had kids? I swear mine grew like 4 inches in length (as evidenced by the first photo above). What's up with that?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yummy Yumi

Even though I seem to continually blog about them, I still haven't pulled the trigger on a romper yet this season. This incredible 3/4 sleeve version by Yumi Kim may just change all of that:

Another trend that hasn't made it's way to my closet yet is the maxi dress- but Yumi might take care of that situation as well with this lovely ditty:

Kiera Maxi Dress in Grecian, $98 (on sale from $238!)

And, while we're at it:

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Max 4th bday 079-SMALL
Despite a Catholic upbringing, I've never considered myself a very religious person. It's not that I don't want to be. In fact, I've always been envious of truly devout people- people that feel certain that something better awaits them after this life. I baptised my boys, not just for the sake of tradition, but in the hopes that they might be comforted by a faith of their own some day. Catholic or not- it just seemed like a good way to start them on that path.

Although I still struggle with my beliefs, there was an instance in my life that keeps a certain window open in my mind to the possibility of God. It could have been just chance that we got pregnant without trying just three months after our wedding(considering my age and my child-bearing hips), but at a time in my life that would have otherwise been plagued with sadness and illness and loss, God sent me a beautiful angel.

He came home from the hospital 3 years and 363 days ago today, on the very same day that my dad came home from a stay of over 30 days in the hospital. We laid him on his adjustable, hospital-issued bed, just under the nook of my father's arm and they would nap that way for hours, both slowly adjusting to the world around them.

My dad grew stronger for a good while; they both learned to walk (my dad for the 2nd time) and he held his first grandchild, swam with him and read with him about trucks and more trucks, and let him claw the hairs from his infamously well-groomed beard with his surprisingly strong little clenchers, while my dad just laughed his big old laugh.

Max, you may never understand what a miracle you are to me. You brightened what may have been our darkest days and you continue to fill my heart with so much love that it hurts sometimes. I may not be a terribly religious person, but I thank God for you every single day.

Happy 4th Birthday my sweet little man.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Home Sweet Tia!

tia room
Miss Tia is currently plotting a big move to a new pad and because I live in a house full of boys that would feel their masculinity threatened by so much neon pink and chartreuse, I am taking the opportunity to play decorator and help Tia get her new life off to a fresh start with the help of a cool pad. I've taken a stab at the living room with some affordable pieces that I felt were fun, bright, modern and feminine, just like their future owner. Fill in the blanks with lots of cool flea market loot and it's move-in ready.

Indigo Ikat slipper chair, $328 Urban Outfitters
Jasper Slipcover Sofa, $399, Room and
Martha Stewart Scalloped Mirror, $199
Sheepskin Rug, $199, Room and
Ikea Maskros Chandelier, $90
LOVE pillow, $45,
Pink Ikat Pillow Cover, $40
Jonathan Adler Chevron pillow, $175 (splurge- but the inspiration for the whole room)
Madeline Weinrib Cotton Navy Chevron Rug
CB2 Lucite Peekabo Coffee table, $249 (look closely!)
West Elm Parsons Console, $299
Pair of Vintage Murano lamps, probably very expensive :)
Ikea Vejmon Side Table, $99
Turquoise Foo dogs, Hopeful flea market find :)
Rothko Print (Tia's fave), $8.80
Praia Piquinia Beach Print, $50

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mini Rotation

I know I've mentioned before that my little men are very opinionated these days about what they wear (hmmm...I wonder where they got that from?). While I encourage their individuality, I do have to bite my tongue and comply when I see some of the ensembles they've put together. For the most part, I have relented. I never thought I would be, but I am totally one of those moms that let's their kids rock superhero costumes and head-to-toe disney character outfits out in public, because I've realized that I care less about my kids looking cool than I do about them feeling cool- and there's nothing like the ear-to-ear grin on a three year-old face when you unveil a new Buzz Lightyear t-shirt.

I will, however, still occasionally splurge on something a little more "hip" for my boys, and then do my darnedest to convince them it's awesome enough to choose over the dump truck shirt. I just spotted these super cute, retro-inspired tees by Mini Rotation and couldn't help but snatch them up for my dudes:

Monkey to the Moon tee, $28

Hot Dog Hi-Five Tee, $28

And, oh yeah, I also pretended to purchase this for my imaginary daughter:

Here's hoping they make the cut.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bird Brain

I've always had a love/hate relationship with birds. On the one hand, they're kind of like flying rats, and after living in a major metropolitan city for a few years, you'll see enough disfigured pigeons to scar you for a lifetime. And please, don't even get me started on live poultry. I live in constant fear of the huge and repulsive wild turkeys that roam around my neighborhood in gobbling packs. When I found out my neighbors were going to raise chickens, I began plotting our move immediately. Though, I have to say, I think that my little chicken friends (they have been known to venture into my yard) have actually helped me overcome my bird ickiness- just a little. Plus, the fresh eggs are a bonus.

Despite all of this, birds in the abstract, have always been much more appealing to me than the reality. Ironically, I've got quite a bevvy of bird goodies- bird jewels, bird figurines, and I'm always on the lookout for additional bird loot to add to my collection. Here are just a few of the latest bird items on my wish list:

Dwell Chinoiserie bedding, $280 as seenSFGirlbyBay

Hope everyone has a nice loooong weekend!