Thursday, March 31, 2011

One Day Without Shoes.

I certainly cannot imagine a life without shoes. And I’m not talking about my favorite wedges or stilettos.  

I’m talking about a life without SHOES.

Walking barefoot. 


Being prone to disease and at higher risk of infection (which they cannot afford to prevent or treat).

This is a reality of hundreds of millions of children around the world.


TOMS Shoes is doing their part to eradicate these horrible conditions through their One for One Movement. For every pair purchased, TOMS gives a new pair of shoes to a child in need. One for One. Using the purchasing power of individuals to benefit the greater good is what they are all about. The TOMS mission transforms customers into benefactors, which allows them to grow a truly sustainable business rather than depending on fundraising for support.

I'm not here to ask you to buy TOMS Shoes {though I'm considering it and am quite frankly torn between these two cute numbers}:
burlap classic
gilded herringbone.
But do consider spending just One Day Without Shoes.

On April 5th, 2011, people all over the world will be going barefoot to raise awareness of the impact that a pair of shoes can have on a child's life. There will be organized walks and events that day - all in an effort to spread the word.

Many bloggers / mothers work from home, so it can be hard to really raise awareness just by going barefoot when nobody sees your feet except your family. So instead I challenge you to blog barefoot.

Write about whatever you choose, but post a pic of your bare feet
 doing whatever you are doing! Then join me and link up at  Peggy Ann Design.

If you are not a blogger, post a picture of your bare feet on your Facebook page
or grab a button and raise awareness by emailing or posting it.

Just one day.

It can make a difference!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Young, gorgeous and in love!

No, not me {well, at least not young}.

This may be the cutest, most original "save-the-date" I have ever seen. 

Lex & Loren - Engagement/Save the date! from Brinton Films on Vimeo.

I want to be young and giddy in love again {with the hubs, of course}!

Or at least spend a day frolicking in a field.

Actually, I'd take just a day alone in a field.

With a good book {sorry hubs}.

So how did you announce your big day?

I'm pretty sure I just called all my friends
{we didn't text and even email was mostly relegated to work in those days}.

Oh, how times have changed!

See what I mean about not being young -
I just said: "in those days" and "oh, how times have changed!"


Monday, March 28, 2011

All tied up!

I live in a windy city. Not the windy city, but a very windy city nonetheless. Especially in the spring. The last few days winds gust have reached 35 mph. And that's not just one gust. It's like that all day! All day, people.  

So you can imagine how my hair must look. Absolutely hideous. 

Sorry to strap you with that mental image, but truly, it is impossible to have long, gorgeous locks in 35 mph wind gusts.

My point {yes, I have one}: I often wear my hair in a low pony. And by often, I mean by at least 2 pm every day it is pulled back. Some days just straight away. And I've tried every hair tie on the market - fancy, drug store - you name, I've tried it.

Some pull, some break.

Some just give me a headache.

(please note the rhyme there - watch out Dr. Seuss).

Anyway, I discovered this darling little company called Emi-Jay that designs hair ties that won't rip hair or {drumroll please} leave dents!!! 

And I wouldn't normally blog out a new hair tie (though dog poop bags are  clearly par for the course), but this "little" company I reference was started by two 15 year old girls, Emily Matson and Julianne Goldmark. How cute is that?

And a portion of the proceeds from every sale benefit one of the following charities:
  • Locks of Love
  • Project Knapsack
  • Toys for Tots
  • Partners in Health/Haiti
  • The Zimmer Children's Museum
  • Operation Smile
  • Melanoma Research Foundation
  • Carol M. Baldwin Cancer Research Foundation
Love that!

I now own a 3-pack of bronze  Emi-Jay hair ties. 

Of course, Little Miss Thang has already high-jacked one. And wears it most days as a bracelet!

Just so long as she doesn't start borrowing shoes, we'll be just fine.

Check out Emi-Jay here.  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Up, up and away.

When 78-year-old retiree Carl Frederickson's house takes off into the air aided by the help of hundreds of helium balloons in Up!, viewers saw it as a heart-warming moment of pure fiction.  A flight of fancy. 

A team from National Geographic, however, brought fiction to life.  Scientists, engineers, two balloon pilots and dozens of volunteers built a light-weight 16 x 16 foot house, attached 300 helium-filled weather balloons (each of which is 8 feet tall when inflated) and managed to get the small house 10,000 feet into the air.

Setting a new world record for the largest balloon cluster flight ever attempted, the entire aircraft from top to bottom was a whopping 10-stories high, made it to an altitude of 10,000 feet, and flew for about an hour.

And yes, the house was inhabited when it took flight. 

Simply amazing!

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You can catch the full story when the new series "How Hard Can it Be?" premieres later this fall on the National Geographic Channel.

I cannot wait to see what they try next!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Good Pointe.

Aren't these ballet flats from Tracy Porter delicious?!?  

The colors just scream SPRING!

Have I ever mentioned how much j'adore Spring?  


Friday, March 25, 2011

Children's books that didn't make the cut.

Source: via Donna on Pinterest

I ran across this list today and literally laughed out loud. 

I may have cried. 

And probably peed. 

But that's another post entirely.  


Children’s books that didn’t make the cut

1. You Are Different and That’s Bad
2. The Boy Who Died From Eating All His Vegetables
3. Dad’s New Wife Robert
4. Fun Four-Letter Words to Know and Share
5. Hammers, Screwdrivers and Scissors: An I-Can-Do-It Book
6. The Kids’ Guide to Hitchhiking
7. Kathy Was So Bad Her Mom Stopped Loving Her
8. Curious George and the High-Voltage Fence
9. All Cats Go to Hell
10. The Little Sissy Who Snitched
11. Some Kittens Can Fly.
12. That’s It; I’m Putting You Up for Adoption
13. Grandpa Gets a Casket
14. The Magic World Inside the Abandoned Refrigerator
15. Garfield Gets Feline Leukemia
16. The Pop-Up Book of Human Anatomy
17. Strangers Have the Best Candy
18. Whining, Kicking and Crying to Get Your Way
19. You Were an Accident
20. Things Rich Kids Have, But You Never Will
21. Pop Goes The Hamster & Other Microwave Games
22. The Man in the Moon Is Actually Satan
23. Your Nightmares Are Real
24. Where Would You Like to Be Buried?
25. Eggs, Toilet Paper, and Your School
26. Why Can’t Mr. Fork and Ms. Electrical Outlet Be Friends?
27. Places Where Mommy and Daddy Hide Neat Things
28. Daddy Drinks Because You Cry

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What is the point?

I adore Anna Quindlen. She can so beautifully boil motherhood down to its very essence. 

To the core we all share. 

And today, for whatever reason, I yearn for some sense of meaning to it all -- the ferris wheel ride we call motherhood. For simple words of encouragement, maybe. Words that make this full-time mother gig seem meaningful and worthy.  

So today I share her words instead of incessantly rambling about poop bags or pasta or how the internet is stalking me


I'm sure I'll be back with something silly tomorrow!

By Anna Quindlen

Oh, I loved having babies. The smell, the feel, the … well, I liked the stupidity of them. The way they grabbed their own feet and then looked perplexed at the fact that they somehow felt it in their bodies. The way they’d be entranced by sunlight or ringing phones or the thrum of the dishwasher. There’s a popular YouTube video that shows a baby in near-hysterical laughter because someone is tearing up a piece of paper. That’s babies all over. Why paper? Why tearing? Who knows?

And toddlers — they were great, too. The way they would march across the lawn once they acquired motor skills, then run back to the shelter of mom legs, then sally forth again. The way they would mangle their words and chew their consonants and name things obsessively: Hot dog. Big bird. Good boy. The way they would dress themselves and then wind up looking as though they’d done so in the dark, color-blind. The way they would catch you if you tried to skip a sentence or two in a beloved book: “That’s not right!” They had such a strong sense of fairness and no filter at all. “That man is fat!” they would say, then be perplexed by the notion that there was anything wrong about that.

I loved having elementary school kids, holding their pencils like etching tools as they worked out a subtraction problem on lined paper, their faces scrunched. It was great how they would work out more complex matters, too, realize that one of their classmates was not now nor was ever going to be a good person, understand that when they hurt someone else they might also wind up hurting themselves. You could read human progress through the tears. The tears of a baby are often a reflex, for a toddler almost always the fruit of frustration or fatigue. The tears of a child begin to be the tears of knowledge. The older heart is more breakable.

Which brings us to teenagers. Ah. This is where I am supposed to admit defeat, but I just can’t. As hard as it was, as challenging as they could be, I really liked having teenagers. Some of that was about me, not them; I can’t really remember what it was like to be a little kid, but I remember very well what it was like to be a teenager. So when one of them would blow an assignment or a curfew, say something stinging or thoughtless, I would usually think: I would have done that, or, sometimes, I did. Besides, the smarts and the cool helped make up for it. I know about music and movies and slang I never would have known about otherwise. The house was full of snap crackle and pop. There were always kids at the dining room table, and if the dishes sometimes didn’t get done — well, I definitely remembered having left dirty dishes in the sink, too.

I don’t have babies anymore, or kids, or teenagers. I have adults, with their own dishes and their own sinks — and, I suspect, their own sinks of dirty dishes. The house is not always full of snap crackle and pop. But here’s my bottom line on this continuum for any woman bemused or becalmed or bedeviled by any part of it: it just keeps getting better.

Oh, don’t mistake me: I still miss breastfeeding, and having someone holding my hand when we cross the street, and high voices in sleepy conversation over the baby monitor from the bedroom. I miss laying down the law, enforcing arbitrary rules, having some modicum of control.

The old arsenic hours were when the homework was done and the squabbling began and there was still an hour until baths and bed. (Once, I remember, I lied and said it was 8 p.m. at 6:45 just to get them out of my hair. Note to the mothers of young kids: don’t buy digital clocks.) The new arsenic hours are when I’ve knocked off work for the day in an empty house and have a cup of herbal tea and an hour of whatever’s on the DVR before my husband shows up for dinner. Occasionally, if the universe is feeling merciful, I will hear the dogs bark as the door downstairs opens, and a voice will call, “Mom?” And my heart sings.

I regret being pinkslipped from my 24/7 Mom job, although there were times over the years when I thought the inexorability of it would kill me. But it’s hard to imagine anything better than right now: the family dinner with the five of us, all talking about politics, books, work, friends, and one another. It’s hard to imagine anything better than three smart and insightful people who live in the same city we do, who make me remember that there was a point to the whole exercise, and the point was this.

I couldn’t wish for more than that. Except for grandchildren, of course. But that’s another story for another time.

Excerpted from The New York Times

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Poop bags.

Yes, you read the title correctly -- I'm now blogging about poop or, rather, bags to hold poop.  Let's hope this - poop - is not the pinnacle of my blogging adventure!

But truly, those little poop bags we use may help clean our neighbors' yards, but do nothing for our  world at large. We can now, however, join the “green team” by using these biodegradable poop bags made of cornstarch and vegetable oil, leaving a bag that will compost in as little as 40 days!

Here's the scoop {on the poop}:

$12.99 for 50 bags at Olive ~ Green Goods for Modern Dogs.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pasta Carbonara (or scrambled egg pasta).

via Epicurious
When I was away with my family last week I craved pasta carbonara. We had bacon and eggs for breakfast. And the kids virtually lived off pasta for the week {carb loading for their big ski days}. So the perfect storm was brewing right there in our refrigerator.

And this is most certainly a recipe you can commit to memory and prepare on the fly. Even if you are lacking an onion. 

And I was just positive I'd blogged it out before. Certainly I'd shared one of my favorite comfort foods, right?!  

I was simply aghast when I discovered I had never paid this little gift forward.

How selfish I've been. 

Simply rude.

Clearly it is time I remedy this situation. 

So here you are . . . 

Pasta Carbonara

4 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
8 slices thick bacon, chopped (my favorite is from Nueske's. And no, I do not think it strange to mail order bacon. In bulk.)
1 onion, chopped
4  cups al-dente cooked pasta (left-overs work just as well as freshly cooked)
Salt and pepper to taste

  • In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and cheese. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, fry the bacon until the meat is browned and crispy. Set aside. 
  • In the same skillet, sauté the and the onion until it begins to caramelize. 
  • Add the crispy bacon back to the pan.
  • Add the pasta (if using cold day-old pasta, cook until it’s just warmed through, about 1 minute).
  • Reduce heat to low. Pour the egg-and-cheese mixture into the skillet. Stir continuously until the pasta is coated with the eggs and they have begun to solidify. Be patient. Do not rush this step or you will end up with noodles surrounded by scrambled eggs. What you want is noodles coated in creamy goodness.
  • Season with the salt and pepper.  Serve immediately, with extra grated Parmesan on the side
(Recipe adapted from Epicurious  - I cook the bacon and onions separately and think it works much better than the method they suggest). 

This dish never fails to please.


So, what is your favorite no-fail, on-the-fly comfort food?  Are you too willing to share?

Monday, March 21, 2011

An open letter to the Internet.

Dearest Internet, 

You know I adore you. I do. 

And quite honestly, I'm certain you know I cannot live without you. 


But I have to be honest: You are absolutely, positively freaking me out.

You watch me.

You know where I've been.

You even know where I'm going. 

You seem to anticipate my next move.

Or do you simply suggest it based upon my past moves?

I'm not sure.

I am, however, certain of this:  you are quite a savvy little minx.

And, frankly, a little annoying {just being honest here}.

I search for flights to Ft. Lauderdale. Now airline ads greet me at every turn.

I book the kids' ski lessons and rentals at Beaver Creek.  I now see nothing but "Not exactly roughing it" everywhere I turn. Even on my own blog.

You know both what I want and where I'm headed.  

I ordered a large printed canvas. For days every site I visit displays ads for prints on canvas.

I already ordered the print. It's hanging. Shouldn't you know that too!? 

So I spend an hour {or two} dreaming about a new Burberry trench. You need not taunt me by parading my folly around wherever I go. 

I know I don't need a Burberry trench. I was just looking. Stop tempting me further. 

Stop it. 

Before I clear my search history for good. 

Or only use the kids' computer for surfing. 

Or *gasp* stop wasting hours searching for the perfect metallic wedge for summer. 

So that's it, my husband put you up to this didn't he. 

Forever co-dependent, 

Friday, March 18, 2011

If you need a good laugh.

This is a little racy for my otherwise G rated blog, but truly, they have me crying.  


And laughing. 

Out loud. 

And we all need a little laughter in our lives. 

I think those guys over at Apple are laughing the hardest of all. 

We all know they are smart enough to implement a fix for these atrocious autocorrects.  

But like I said, we all need a good laugh now and again. 

damn you auto correct funny iphone fails and blunders

damn you auto correct funny iphone fails and blunders

damn you auto correct funny iphone fails and blunders

damn you auto correct funny iphone fails and blunders

damn you auto correct funny iphone fails and blunders

damn you auto correct funny iphone fails and blunders
To see more visit Damn You Auto Correct.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pour Form.

This video featuring the process of creating one of Holton Rower’s art exhibits makes me want to start pouring puddles of paint! My kids would have a field day with this concept.  

Here’s what one of his finished products looks like:

Mesmerizing and quiet amazing, don’t you think?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shop for a cause!

Dear Friends,
Teach For America has once again been selected to be one of the charitable beneficiaries of Gap's Give & Get campaign and we need your help to outdo ourselves and top last year's results. From March 17 - March 20 receive 30% off any in-store purchases at Banana Republic, Gap, and Old Navy. Five percent of what you spend will support Teach For America's work to expand educational opportunity.

Over the past one and a half years, the Gap Give & Get campaign has raised more than $1,250,000 for Teach For America thanks to the incredible support and participation of our friends and family. Thank you!

To take advantage of this opportunity:
  • Go shopping! To get your coupon, just click, print, and shop. 
  • Pass it on. Please forward this to your friends, family, and workers. When you're done shopping, pass the coupon to a fellow customer!
  • Post this link to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts.
Facebook: March 17-20, save 30% at Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy and support Teach For America! From March 17-20, save 30% at @Gap, @BananaRepublic, and @OldNavy & support #TeachForAmerica! 

Thank you for helping us make the most of the Gap Give & Get campaign and for all that you do to support Teach For America.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Social media advice.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

I don't ever waste time. You?

Anyone who has ever lost time in an internet wormhole can relate!

Source: via Beth on Pinterest

Friday, March 11, 2011


I'm boycotting blogging today!  

It's a bloggy boycott day. 

As if I needed a reason!  

If you tweet, find me at @amyeatlivelaugh.

I'm sure I'll be tweeting up a storm. 

Not just taking a day off. 

Of course not. 

Tweet you later, tweeps!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to my darling duo!

Eight years ago today my world forever changed.

It became brighter. 

More intense. 

And, of course, much more challenging.

But all in all, it became better. 



Happy Birthday to my most precious blessings! 

And thanks again, God, for answering my prayers. 

and note: Little Miss Thang was flippin' off the world {or me} from day 1. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ode to a BFF.

Today is my BFF's birthday.

Her 40th!   

We've been friends since 6th grade when she moved from the Midwest to Houston. She showed up the first day of school wearing a suit.

You read that right: a suit.

In sixth grade.

I cannot offer proof in this regard, but I have a sneaking suspicion she was also wearing panty hose and a slip. 

We were in journalism together all through junior high and our friendship quickly blossomed amid the  picas and developing trays {suit notwithstanding}.

Thankfully the suit was quickly replaced by Gloria Vanderbilt jeans and the flipped-up-collar polos of the 80s.

circa 1984
When you've been friends with something for nearly three decades you know the backstory. There is little we do not know. There is nothing left unsaid. We've simply lived through most of life's major moments together:
  • Periods (you know, Aunt Flo). 
  • First boyfriends.
  • Heartbreak. 
  • Broken bone (my collarbone after falling off the back of her moped). 
  • Incarceration (together, but clearly, we were innocent). 
  • Shaving.
  • Sneaking out of the house.
  • Sleep-away camp (journalism and volleyball camps - oh the stories there alone!).
  • First limo ride (8th grade dance).
  • Tampons.
  • High school (the experience itself and all the little moments).
  • Stealing my sister's car (did we really do that?!?)
  • Serious boyfriends (really, those middle school boys were just silly).
  • High school dances.
  • First kisses (Jen's on my couch while wearing my sister's bunny slippers - sexy!).
  • Makeup.
  • Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers.
  • Concerts.
  • More wine coolers (but only a four pack to share).
  • Unsupervised time at the beach!
  • Shopping.
  • Prom. 
  • Graduation.
  • Moving thousands of miles away (yet never breaking our bond).
  • Summer as working girls in Austin.
  • College Graduations.
  • First Jobs.
  • Again with the thousands of miles away.
  • Engagements.
  • Weddings. 
  • Babies. 
  • More babies (I had to catch up).
  • Transforming from career girls to moms. 
  • Loss (my parents who she too loved). 
  • Daughters.
  • The inevitable ups and downs of marriage.
  • And now, reaching middle age.
A friend like this is priceless. She truly is one of my greatest blessings on this earth. So today, on her birthday, I celebrate her.

I celebrate her for being my friend. Through it all.

I celebrate her for being my constant counselor -- my conscience. For buoying me through the worst of times and keeping me level-headed through the best of times.

I celebrate her for growing up to become a woman I not only adore, but respect.

I celebrate her for standing strong through the storms.

I celebrate her for being my mommy mentor and never making me feel inadequate (even when my kids refuse to eat for an entire weekend).

I celebrate her for being the best BFF a friend could have.

Here's to you, J!  I love you.

And here's to our 40s -- which are going to be our best years yet!



Today - 5/10/11 I entered this post in Author Tina Martin's Show Off Your Bestie Contest!

Oxygen therapy.

Anthropologie in London
I read a little bit the other day about an Anthropologie store in London with a huge green living wall. Huge -- spaning over 3 amazing floors. Very impressive.

Now I've started noticing green or living walls in all sorts of applications and all over the globe {all via the internet, of course}.


Sky Farm in Toronto
This takes green living to an entirely new level. Fifty-eight stories to be exact. Amazing!  That building in Toronto provides 8 million square feet of agricultural space.  {images via}

I love the thought and look of these, especially in urban settings where greenery is scarce.

For those who want to embrace the concept without the expense of commercial installation, you can start with just a few vertical planters by yard lover.

The effect, even in small doses, is amazing don't you think?

The mother-daughter bond lasts forever.

Do not ask how I stumbled across this moving video essay by Katherine Center. I could not retrace my I've-spent-much-too-much-time-in-front-of-my-computer steps if you offered me a million dollars. 

But I will say, I was holding my breath by the end and tears were streaming. 


It's been a while since I've said it out loud, but I still miss my mom. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Frump to fabulous.

Please tell me it's not just me, but I think Talbots Spring line looks a lot more like me than my mom. 
Or is it that, after turning 40, I'm starting to look more like . . .  my mom 
{don't answer that unless you can honestly *gasp* and say "not at all!"}. 

But truly, these are fresh looks.

Classic, yes, but fresh.

Or is it just good imagery and photoshoping?

Certainly Julianne Moore wouldn't pimp herself out in bad frocks?!

I'm cannot be sure, but I think I may make a Talbots run to see for myself!

Anyone with me?

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