Saturday, July 31, 2010

At home.

Today we woke up, had a leisurely breakfast.  We played cards (still all in our jammies).  We changed into our swimsuits just before lunch.  Leisurely, indeed.  We then moved our lounge act to the pool.  We played a game of Marco Polo and then Sharks and Minnows.  We all read our respective books/magazines by the pool for another hour.  So, in all, our day has been like any other Saturday at home.  Completely unexceptional.  Except we are still here in paradise.  But there has clearly been a shift.  In all the past 14 days we never spent an entire day at the resort.  But now we are so perfectly comfortable and content in paradise that we can spend the entire day doing nothing much at all.  Perfectly at a home and perfectly sated by all our amazing experiences.

So, I suppose it is time to pack it up before I start acting like a local and complaining about the heat -- high of 83 is still not hot to me.  I have the distinct feeling, however, that the Texas heat will feel like home again much too soon!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Too lucky.

Well, today we broke new ground: day 12 of our vacation.  We have never been on day 12 of a vacation before.  And day 12 was amazing.  Of course, so were days 1 through 11.  

Only three days left.  So much and yet nothing left to do.  Life cannot possibly get better than this.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cup 'o Joe.

I know, I know, I am in paradise and blogging about coffee. Well, the roosters woke me up again, albeit at the almost decent hour of 7am.  Kevin is out exercising and the kids are still asleep, so here I am -- stuck in a room and reading the 5 million emails I've ignored over the past 7 days.

And believe me, I am journaling about our trip and will share it with you at an appropriate time.  I simply haven't the time to put it into blog form yet. Truth be told, I still need to gather my thoughts, let them sit and marinate a bit, before I can share them. Paradise, as it turns out, is amazing and overwhelming. My senses are all on high alert.  I am simply exhausted by taking in every little facet of paradise.  So, instead of sharing all that with you, I give you a nice coffee reference chart. Just in case you wondered.

via design*sponge.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


The end to our perfect day. Kids on lawn watching The Princess and the Frog. Kevin and I on the balcony watching the sun set (with a great bottle of wine). Ahhh.  Life is good.  
Actually, life is quite spectacular!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ransom Note.



Love that!  Check out this site that allows you to create your own ransom note.  Clearly,
however, I do not condone using this for actual criminal behavior (nice disclaimer, right -- I just cannot seem to shake that little bit of lawyer left in me!

Foiled again.

We left our hotel at 4:30am. That's right. That means we had a 3:50 wake-up call. It was a very early morning. For me at least. My kids,however, are completely unfazed. They bolted out of bed and show no apparent signs of fatigue. Why is that? Why do kids have immeasurable energy even under the most harrowing travel situations? I know it sounds cliche but if I could bottle that energy . . . You know how it goes.

We are currently in PHX in the President's Club. The lady from the front desk just had to come ask me to ask my kids to stop running around the business lounge. It's 6:30 in the morning local time. I have no idea how I became that mom - the mom that let's her kids run wild regardless of the setting. We are about to be on a plane for seven hours,though, and the "business man" I think she thought we were disturbing is actually my husband and their father (though he does look like he doesn't know us with his head buried behind the computer screen). Come to think of it, I'm glad I'm that mom. Time to hang loose.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bon voyage.

This morning I sat down and my computer beeped at me, as it often does, to remind me of an upcoming event.  Today the reminder was not required.  I am quite aware that we are leaving for Kauai.  In fact I am elated and have thought of little else for days (ok, weeks) now. 

I may share some bits with you while I'm away or I may choose to stay off the computer entirely.  It is, after all, a vacation.  


Let me say it again:  vacation!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Let lemon do the work.

Let lemon-infused steam do the work of cleaning your microwave.

Pour about two cups of water into a bowl. Squeeze juice from half a lemon into the bowl and place lemon half in the water.  Microwave on high 5 to 10 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes with the door closed. Wipe inside of the microwave clean with a paper towel or cloth -- the work is done. 

Blank you very much!

Here's a fun site to get your weekend started. displays witty letters to cover a variety of situations.  Worth a  giggle, chuckle, or possibly a full belly laugh.

Dear Twilight Fans,
Thank you for making us look sane and well-adjusted.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Style Squared: Warhol

This Diane von Furstenberg dress is a much better tribute to Andy Warhol 
than the posters (or "prints" as I fondly called them) I plastered to my college apartment walls.

Of course, nothing beats the real thing....

You know what they say though: fake it 'til you make it!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Banana Bites.

On my goodness, how good do banana bites look?
 I don't even like bananas that much, but I'm sold.
And what a fun "cooking" experience for the kids!

(Via Framed)

Avocado & Cucumber Soup

I love chilled soups during the summer.  I love vichyssoise. I adore a good gazpacho. Light, cold and refreshing -- just what I need for a summer dinner!  Well, this is my new go-to recipe for the summer -- Avocado and Cucumber Soup. I have literally made it three times in the last two weeks (thankfully for three different friends). Thank goodness my husband adores it too!  It is so fresh and delicious and pairs perfectly with summer fare. Some chopping involved, but otherwise, dump the ingredients in the blender and let her rip. Creamy perfection!

Here are the ways I've served it to date:

1.  as a starter when serving the Roasted Chicken & Spicy Soba Noodles (perfect compliment for the spicy noodle dish also featuring cucumbers),
2.  as a starter when serving fresh flounder,
3.  as a light lunch for a friend who just had a baby - with some Naan we both tore from and dipped (yum),
4.  as a sauce last night for poached salmon with cucumbers and dill (I had just a little left from the prior day's lunch).

Honestly, when something is easy, healthy and tasty, I latch on to it like a life preserver.  This recipe fits the bill.

Try it out and let me know what you think.  It is either universally enjoyed or my friends are all so hungry they will eat anything.  I believe it is the former.

For the recipe, click here.

*also a little tip - instead of buying buttermilk for recipes such as this, simply pour 3/4 cup of milk in a bowl, add 1/4 cup of vinegar.  Let it sit for about 15 minutes and you'll have the equivalent of 1 cup of buttermilk.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Should contraception be free?

The monthly cost of birth control pills is absolutely obscene.  I think this is long overdue. 

The Daily Beast
Health-care reform raised the possibility that birth control could soon by free for most women. But not if conservative activists have their way. Dana Goldstein reports.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Have a Lollie Day!

I love the idea of giving my kids lollipops to help fight cavities!  And what a great potty-training treat (for those of you who still have that in front of you)! Or, to help "heal" a scraped knee or injury of the heart. Couldn't we all use a lollipop for a pick-me-up every now and again?! Of course if it's only ever now and again we needn't be overly concerned with cavities. These babies suggest a serving of 2 per day!   Truly, the world would indeed be a better place if we all had two lollies a day!


Xyli-Tots Lollies are great for

  • An anti-cavity reward for kids of all ages
  • Making cavity prevention fun
  • Reducing cavity-causing bacteria in a way your kids will look forward to

Georgia O'Keefe inspired afternoon.

I spent a good part of my youth dancing in the basement to my mom's Barry Manilow album.  That and the Carly Simon.  I can still sing every single word to You're So Vain (though I promise never to do so in your presence).  It may sound sad, but these are happy memories of my youth.

Yesterday I began thinking about what now seems vintage to me -- Barry, Carly, the many large flower prints and owls that adorned our house in the 70s. And I wondered:  what will my kids' perceive as vintage when they are my age?  What will stick out in their minds? We do listen (and inevitably dance) to Dancing Queen more frequently than I should probably admit. Maybe ABBA will be their Carly Simon?  Or will it be something I currently think of as hip such as Natasha Beddingfield and her ubiquitous Pocket Full of Sunshine?  Hard to say. I would love to stage the moments of my kids' youth that they will remember and hold dear as I do with my basement melodies. Unfortunately, I am certain that is not how it works.

In my vintage-inspired reveille, however, I decided we should watercolor huge, colorful vintage flowers.  My son immediately said he didn't like flowers -- they are girlie after all.  Pish, posh.  I asked him to Google Georgia O'Keefe images for inspiration.  He happily obliged.  I explained that we could use our imaginations to see the flowers from the point of view of a bee or some other perspective.  I encouraged them to ensure their subject touched all four sides of the piece of paper.  We sketched the flowers in pencil and then began painting with bright, beautiful colors.  We then traced over the pencil drawings with permanent markers.  We all really got into our work and I think our finished pieces are gorgeous!

Perfectly modern and vintage all at the same time.

Happy Painting!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Invitation-only shopping.

The sample sale is a cherished ritual of the urban fashionista.  Luxury brands hold these events, usually by invitation only, to unload inventory at discounts of 50% to 70%.  In Paris they call it the vente privée.  In New York the semiannual Barney's Warehouse Sale has them lined up around the block.  Sales are always final, so shoppers strip down to their skivvies between the rack to make sure a $3,000 dress is a good fit at $600.

The Web has given luxury closeouts a new life.  The granddaddy of the bargain-luxe Web is France's, which in six years has amassed 5 million members. C'est bon!

The top US versions include Gilt and Hautelook.  Both sites provide a reminder email approximately 15 minutes before the sales open.  It is a surreal experience.  Some items sell out within the first few minutes! You can literally spend a mere 30 seconds considering a bag and then, poof, it's gone. I admit:  I may have made a few impulse purchases simply because the clock was ticking!  But honestly, who can blame me?!

This is certainly not a casual shopping experience.  If, however, you cannot stand the thought of missing out on a $1,200 Vera Wang gown marked down to $400, well you better sign up and sit at the ready.

Of course, it goes without saying that some tech and fashion savvy individual would have the ingenuity to organize all our invitation-only shopping options! Mais bien sûr. Enter: Luxe Choice, a site which not only rates your various invitation-only shopping option, but also provides you with an open invitation!

I say it again:  C'est bon!

If you prefer a personal invitation, I am happy to personally invite you to join the madness. Simply say the word.

Gift closet.

Saw this posted by Momfilter on Facebook and just had to pass it along.
These sticker mosaic kits are fantastic for ages 4-9. I just stocked up on a bunch for gifts. Only $9 for hours of entertainment!
Make the picture come alive as you create beautiful mosaic scenes by placing the sticky foam squares on the numbered scene boards. Then attach the magnet strip to displayour finished works of art on the refrigerator, file cabinets, or lockers.

Creme de la Plates!

Personalized melamine plates
I am crazy about these melamine monogrammed plates from La Plates.  You will not believe the irresistible styles, colors and options!  Here are a few that caught my eye.

Imagine the school handwriting as a 1st day of school gift - perfect for a Kindergartner - and so fun to use for after school snacks!

This khaki gingham with red would work perfectly in my living room!  I'm thinking a casual Christmas tablescape, totally inspired by the way  Eddie Ross mixed his new plates (below) with vintage opaline goblets, smokey champagne coupes  and silver for the perfect kid-friendly mix.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tunic Love, indeed!

As I have shared before, I love a good tunic.  I may have a tunic obsession, though neither my husband nor any good friends have yet scheduled a tunic intervention.  This may, however, be the breaking point. 

I found a tunic company with a conscious!  I am simply giddy with excitement:  I can now quench my near insatiable tunic desires whilst providing clothing for children in developing countries and supporting communities and artisans.  There is indeed good in the world!  The company is TunicLove and their tunics are as varied as they are fabulous!

The mission of TunicLove in their words:

  • We create the finest tunics and simultaneously respect our earth's resources. We are determined to cause the least impact on our environment, and we value social endeavors that are important in today's world. Our mission is best conveyed by our desire to:
  • Deliver quality and customer happiness
  • We use the finest quality fabrics and materials and our garments are crafted to be the best.
  • Support local communities and artisans
  • We are happy to be a source of support to local communities, weavers, and seamstresses who devote their entire lives to their craft, and who we are fortunate to work with. When you wear TunicLove, your contribution goes directly towards preserving these age old skills.
  • Support children in need-- With our ‘You Buy 1-We Gift 1” each purchased by you is matched by a gift of a basic set of clothing from us to a child in need in the developing world.
  • Each of our garments is handcrafted with love and care which is all passed on to you!

Well, it is official:  I love TunicLove!  Here are a few of my favorites!

If all this wasn't enough, they also will custom size a tunic for you!  You pay an additional $15 and provide your measurements.  How easy and wonderful is that if you are exceptional tall or petite!  

Friday, July 9, 2010

Style Squared: Bold Florals

Beautiful buds make quite the statement on this Battersea Sofette from Anthropologie:

Having trouble making the commitment?

This Tucker blouse will satisfy your floral fix (and save you about $2,800!)

Hope you have a GREAT weekend!

Sunscreen guide on the go!

Just when you thought I would stop going on and on about sunscreen, here you find yet another post!  After all my chatter I realized the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has not only done all the research for you, but they have made it accessible to you via a handy little iPhone App.  It is fee to download and allows you to check the ingredients of sunscreens on the go!  Despite my recent sunscreen purchasing extravaganza, after which I assumed I would never buy another bottle again, I nonetheless downloaded the app.  Just in case.  

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Savvy designers are branching out from traditional home goods to leave their mark on the world of technology. As much as we all walk around in public with our respective phones to our ears, I suppose it logically follows that it too should become an outlet for expressing personal style.

My style is currently solid aqua which, until today, I thought was quite suitable.  That was, of course, before I had my eyes opened to the Cath Kidston iPhone covers. I now emphatically state the obvious:  solid, boring colors are so passe!  

I think I'm a Provence girl.  What about you?

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