One of my fav blog as you knows is Cupcakes and Cashmere. I love the modern Martha Stewart-ness of it all and how accessible Emily Schuman seems. Emily just posted this "manifesto" and I just had to share.
Check it out below. Isn't it great? I especially love "work hard; play nice." I think for years I've taken the "work hard; play hard" advice to heart and end up exhausted both mentally and physically. So instead I'm trying to take a step back, smell those beautiful cut flowers I bought while dashing through the grocery store, play with my baby on the floor, call a friend I haven't chatted with in a while, and accept myself- As is. Right now. Without tweaking. Because if you look around, life really is beautiful and inspiration can be found around every corner.
Most days I feel like the lady at the carnival with spinning plates trying very hard to keep everything (work, baby, husband, food, sleep...) going without crashing down around my ears. To do so I find myself stopping at the store on the way home from work, or worse on my lunch, to pick up such mundane but necessary items as detergent and flour nearly every evening. It's the worst dashing through the isles in my high heels trying to speed shop so I can get home as quickly as possible. However, it must be done, so stop I do. Until now that is!
Enter Soap.com and it's fab friends including Reichenberg Fam Fav Vine.com. Free overnight shipping to your very doorstep when you purchase $49 worth of stuff (and let's be real: you can easily spend that in a heartbeat on toilet paper, hand soap, dish soap, almond flour and baby snacks....the list goes on). Also, now that our household is "greener" by the day, Vine.com is particularly grand because I can find a ton of all-natural products for the house, bath, baby and even cupboard with just a click of the mouse. Better living through technology indeed.
And that's how 10 minutes on the web saves you 45 minutes after work and keeps your plates, and not your wheels, spinning.
I cannot believe it - Muffin is one today! This time last year we were watching the Oscars at the hospital post-baby arrival (or, should I say we noticed it was on and that's about it).
I've been putting together his birthday party and gathering some little items to help commemorate the year. So much for a tiny fete! C'est la vie...Here are a few lusty Etsy finds. Gotta love all those mommies on Etsy!
This morning I had yet another wonderful conversation with our own infrequent Mary Poppins, Rosario, about raising children. She, of course, has two grown children and has watched many more so she's experienced whereas I am a novice. While I'm always having short conversations with her on my way out the door, I find myself taking the time now to ask her questions and get her input because I really love her calm, wise and orderly approach to child-rearing.
As you know, I'm a proponent of a flexible baby schedule a la Baby Whisperer. I'm now in somewhat uncharted territory though since Muffin is officially a toddler and it's not all about eating and sleeping anymore (which, thankfully, is going like gangbusters). Now it's also playing, walking, falling, climbing, wanting, getting, not-getting, insisting, crying, laughing...and that was just the 6-7am slot.
So I asked Rosario - "What about when he gets upset and screams because he wants something I've taken away? He doesn't understand my explanations yet." I also wanted to say "And I hate being the bad guy and hearing him cry." She calmly said "You take it away and give him something that he can play with. Then someday he'll understand your words and if you tell him every time why he will eventually understand." She also told me, "Once he understands your words, you can also put all the fragile things back out in the house. If you explain to him what is and is not a toy, he'll understand."
So simple, but it made me think:
Remember he's constantly growing and changing, and what is happening today won't happen forever.
Remember he's a child, so even before he understands his boundaries I need to enforce them (even if that means screaming).
Remember he can't understand everything now, and respect that, but someday he will understand if I'm consistent.
We all have a lot to learn from children and those who understand them.
Just a few deep mommy lessons before my first cup of coffee for which I am truly grateful.
Now that our clan has been vegan for nearly two months, we've established some favorite foods and easy, go-to recipes. This has been crucial since life moves at the speed of light thanks to lots of travel, friends, events, etc. all mixed in with the usual laundry list of daily tasks. Add to that Muffin is walking, and lookout world!
Anyhow, back to the food. Without eggs, bacon, etc. we've been making the most of cereal, tofu scrambles and some fantastic blueberry pancakes, modified slightly from a recipe from our fav Engine 2 guy, Rip. I love that I can trust that the food I make from his recipes is healthy, fresh and amazing.
Now for pancakes!
The Best Almond Blueberry Pancakes (Muffin tested, Muffin approved)
2 cups almond flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
4 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal (unground it just goes right through you...FYI)
½ teaspoon salt
3 ½ cups low fat soy or almond milk
4 tablespoons applesauce (all natural, no sugar)
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen; other berries are great too!)
INSTRUCTIONS: Combine the ingredients in a large bowl.
Heat a dry skillet. Spray with a tiny bit of cooking oil.
Ladle a large scoop of batter into the pan. Several pancakes can be cooked at once if you’re using a large skillet.
Cook until the batter begins to bubble and the bottom of the pancake is golden.
Flip and cook on the other side until both sides are golden.
TIP: Our cakes tend to be lovely, dense and moist. Try letting them dry on a cookie cooling rack rather than a plate. Also, double this recipe and freeze the leftovers in a large, plastic baggie (separate layers with wax or parchment paper). They warm nicely in the toaster on fast mornings!
The best part of these cakes is you feel satisfied and healthy after eating them, not semi-sick from all the white flour and sugar. We love them topped with applesauce (Muffin and me), peanut butter (Sweetie), more fruit and pure maple syrup (everyone!).
Spring is by far and away my fav season and it's just around the corner. Spring ushers in warmer temps which means livelier events and all kinds of outdoor fabulousness: Easter, weddings, showers, parties, the list goes on. And all of this make me think of one thing - (you guessed it!) - what to wear?
Well, I'll tell you, if I had an unlimited budget I'd be buying up everything Katie Ermilio makes! I just discovered this "classic with an edge" designer and it's all so, so lovely and covetable. Apparently the designer's grandfather was the "personal clothier" to Grace Kelly. I too would like a personal clothier, but I'd settle for a few of Ms. Ermilio's 60's-yet-modern frocks designed for the girl who loves clothes but abhors a fashion blunder. It's all very To Catch A Thief if it were filmed today (preferably on location with yours truly as the lead!). Oh! - the Riviera is calling, and I want to go!
Looking to make an investment? Barney's seems to have the biggest array of her wares.
I know - it's a day of mixed emotions. Thinking back on my many V-days (well, not THAT many...) I can recall everything from getting excited I received flowers at my sorority house only to read the card and realize they were from my Dad (and not my on again/off again BF at the time) to having my husband slave over an incredible 4-course dinner followed by a movie he'd made of our life together so far. Oh, the peaks and valleys!
This is our first Valentine's with Muffin and we are treating ourselves to some take-out, some Veuve and an early bedtime. Crazy romantic? Maybe not, but life is a little less about each of us these days and more about all of us. Which is why I really loved stumbling across a new blog: TOAST. Finally - a blog that "gets it."
TOAST is like a great girlfriend with her finger on the pulse filled with ideas, suggestions and info for the "modern woman" (also see - "lady wearing many hats who tries to do it all"). There are fun local tid-bits for those of us in the Tahoe area, but also wonderful ideas and articles that women in different stages of life anywhere can benefit from. Given my circumstances, my personal fav was an article on how to select a daycare (hello, MASSIVE) including questions to ask, and where to look, etc. Love it, and thank you I needed that.
But I guess I especially love that TOAST is for the whole woman, not just one facet. Because like all of our Valentine's Days, life changes, we grow and develop, and the support we need changes too. Always moving, always striving, and some valuable help and inspiration along the way: now that's something to celebrate.
I adore high heels for work and going out, but sometimes they're just too much to manage - it's been a long week, you were up all night with Muffin, just looking at your heels makes you tired, and frankly if you wore them you may fall over and break your neck. Nobody needs that.
Luckily for all of us, flats are "in" and there are so many fun, snazzy options out there for day or night. Even luckier is that Sole Society offers a ton of flats that all have the flair of higher price tag shoes for only $49.
I personally am coveting all the wonderful light pinky/nude colored leather out this season (see some totally covetablebags here). I was debating a fairly sizable handbag purchase in that vein when I came upon these little Josephine beauties on Sole Society in Adobe. They're subtle but different. On trend and yet classic, so they go with everything. And comfortable without looking like you belong at Baby Gym (you can go, but never look like you belong).
At $49, its true shoe love and everybody can get in on it. And shoes never talk back. Long live shoes!
Valentine's Day is upon us, and you know what that means: overpriced, crowded dinner out and the search for the perfect outfit in which to eat said prix fixe fare. As a married woman and mother, I will (sadly?) not be wearing a tiny cocktail dress as I would have in yesteryear. Instead, my search recently leads me looking for something fun, with some pop of color, and warm. I have some contenders, but my big hold-up this year was what to carry.
I suddenly have been craving a large, black clutch the way I used to crave ice cream shakes when I was PG with Muffin. My biggest issue is actually finding the bag I wanted. I don't need another logo bag but I also don't want a cheap, boring, black clutch. I want something simple yet fashionably over-sized without an over-sized price tag. And definitely with swanky, but discrete hardware. My search appeared futile until I discovered the Clare Vivier line.
I know, I know: Late to the party as usual! Whatever. They're classic and I want one. Or three, but for sure one. They're everything I've wanted, and nothing more, which is a rarity in a time of studs, tassels and offensively over-sized logos. A black and a leopard Fold-Over Clutch for all-purpose fabulousness (animal is a neutral after-all) and white Monogram Striped Flat with a bold black stripe and my initials for...well, anything I want. (It's that fab!)
Is there anything better than finding your bag soul mate and having it accompany you to dinner with your one true love? I think not.
I love chunky gold accessories, especially ones that work for dress and play. Recently, I was seeing a ton of the HRH Original Cuff (see image from HRH's site, below) on one of my regularly-checked blogs, My Style Pill. Every time I saw it I thought "I NEED THAT NECKLACE." I like MSP but, truly, I prefer her outfits with "The Cuff." It is a testament to my willpower that it has taken me this long to procure this fabby necklace.
Anyhow, I finally broke-down and bought it. And it really gave my wardrobe the punch I had hoped for! Skinny jeans, booties, T and The Cuff? Super cool. Fitted sweater, pencil skirt and The Cuff? Client-ready. LBT, heels and The Cuff? Holly Golightly approved. Seriously, my only real concern is that it holds up to all my (perceived) overuse. May it live on shiny and statementy!