Sunday, May 26, 2013

Trenches and T-Rexes

Trench: Zara/ Scarf: J.Crew/ Tote: Tory Burch/ Jeans: Gap/ Flats: Ivanka Trump (similar)
The forecast in New York has not been ideal the past few days but we didn't let that dampen (no pun intended) our spirits.  Instead, we kicked off Memorial Day weekend with a trip to the Museum of Natural History.  We were especially mesmerized by the African mammals and naturally, the giant T-Rex...a perfect way to spend a rainy and cold Saturday afternoon.  Although I couldn't wear my new J.Crew white toothpick jeans with these Michael Kors wedges, I did pull together a look for this uncooperative weather that would take me from a date with dinosaurs to pizza with the family.  What's your take on rainy day chic?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Daily Delights

This past week was jam-packed with appointments, baseball games, swimming lessons and birthday parties.  So, these small but meaningful treats put a smile on my face and a spring in my step.  Here is a list of seven things that brought me joy each day this week.  What's on your list?

My recent favorite mid-afternoon snack, pineapple smoothies.

A Mother's Day gift from my son Matthew.

These Ivanka Trump flats were a find on the clearance rack in Marshall's.  Here is a similar pair.

My azalea bushes which are in full bloom.  

I swapped out my usual scent for this lighter fragrance.  It's perfect for spring.

These homemade fries are so easy to make.  Just toss with olive oil and season with dried parsley and sea salt.  Yum!

This driftwood votive holder was from a gift shop in Savannah.  It has me craving  this driftwood wine rack.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

Purple Passion

Growing up, we had a lilac bush on the side of our property and every May, when it peaked, my mother would cut some blooms and arrange them in vases around the house.  I can still recall their divine scent and to this day, I equate the month of May with lilacs.  Lately, I have been envisioning planting two lilac bushes, one in purple and the other in white, alongside my deck.  I have high hopes of leisure afternoons spent sipping iced tea, thumbing through Vogue and breathing in their intoxicating fragrance.  In the meantime, I feel ever so guilty for abandoning my other purple gems, the regal and reliable iris.  As I was pushing my two year old son, Patrick, on his swing this morning, I glanced over at these graceful perennials and reminded myself that May has another beauty, named after the Greek goddess "Iris."  According to legends and mythology, she was the messenger of the gods and the personification of the rainbow who acted as the link between Heaven and Earth.  Pretty impressive, if you ask me....

May's purple blossoms have me suddenly craving this lovely hue in more ways than one.  Here's a few items on my wish list.  What are yours?

1. Cashmere Sweater in Bright Lilac Snow (J.Crew)

2. Crossbody bag in Aster Purple Patent (Cole Haan)

3. Striped Beach Scarf (Calypso St. Barth)

4. Plum/Putty Diamond Pillow Cover (Serena and Lily)

5. Shea Butter Lavender Soap (L'Occitane)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread

I love anything that compliments a cup of coffee and this banana bread is no exception.  Whenever I see our bananas begin to freckle, I know it's time to whip up this sweet concoction.  The marbled chocolate effect gives this bread a little pick me up and is a huge appeal to all children.  Besides, bananas pack a healthy dose of potassium.  Our "mellow yellow" friends help to ease anxiety, irritability, and stress.  So, the next time you're craving a savory treat, try throwing this recipe together.  Oh, and the best part?  I found this on Cooking Light so fewer calories equals minimal guilt.  Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Back to Basics

Back in the late nineties, as a young twenty-something professional pounding the pavement in Manhattan, I subscribed to the false notion that in order to" make it" in the fashion industry, I was compelled to follow the trends religiously.  Some trends worked while others ended up in the wardrobe malfunction category.  I can recall a particular incident where I spent the better half of my day fidgeting with a pair of kitten heel slingbacks while trying to navigate my way through the Coterie.  Those shoes ended up on the chopping block. On another occasion, I remember fussing with a pair of ill fitting trousers that kept falling down.  Needless to say, that did not make for a relaxing commute.  After graduating from Parsons, I landed a job as an assistant buyer for Calypso, St. Barth.  It was there, I believe, that I finally began to understand that personal style has less to do with embracing the latest trends and more about being in sync with oneself.  At the time, Calypso was under the ownership of Christiane Celle, a French native and a former stylist for Elle.  I was one of the few American women working in the office and I immediately noticed the distinction between American and French style.  American women are polished and groomed from head to toe...manicured nails, every hair in its' place, the latest "it" bag.  Everything is well choreographed and coordinated...and it shows.  French women, on the other hand, take a practical approach to style.  The golden rule is moderation.  They invest in timeless pieces and incorporate trends in the form of a well chosen accessory.  It is all about looking "naturelle."  The result is a nonchalant elegance; an understated chic.  So, don't retire the basics just yet.  Take an inventory of your closet.  What items make you feel elegant and confident?  What are the things you can take from day to night and season to season?  Those are your blank canvas.  The accessories are your palette of paint.  Now, make your own unique creation and don't forget to give your hair a good tousle for that effortless effect.  Et voila!

On Mother's Day, we spent a glorious day at the Central Park Zoo.  I needed an ensemble that would take me from church to the zoo to dinner....with four children!  Here is my take on uncomplicated style.

Shirt: French Connection (similar one here),  Aqua for Bloomingdales Boyfriend Blazer (similar one here), Skinny Black PantsMichael Kors Sunglasses (similar ones here) , Kate Spade Crossbody Bag (similar one here)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Shell We Decorate?

When I was in my teens and early twenties, a trip to the beach entailed a conservative application of the lowest level of SPF (ever hear of SPF 8?), the latest issue of Vogue, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My friends and I would alternate between baking in the sun, cooling off in the ocean, and flipping through magazines.  Oh, to be young....  These days, an excursion to the beach involves a generous slathering of at least SPF 15, a "beach read" that I inevitably end up reading after the kids go to bed, a cooler full of snacks, drinks, and sandwiches and a beach bag packed with enough items that some might think we were relocating to Space.  Aside from the fact that I now know better than to sunbathe, I am also way too restless to remain stationary for more than ten minutes at a clip.  Enter seashell collecting.  It answers my perpetual need to get up and go.  Plus, it keeps the kids occupied.  Oh, and the best part...seashells are free.  I have collected so many over the years that I had about five buckets full of shells out in my shed.  On a recent rainy afternoon, my son, Michael, and I methodically rinsed them off and displayed them in mason jars, bowls and vases throughout the house.  We were quite pleased with our efforts!  So, grab a cute beach basket , an over-sized straw hat, and please don't skimp on the sunscreen.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pop of Paint

A few weeks back, while my husband was out with friends on a Saturday night, I found myself sitting on my couch sipping wine and catching up on Smash.  As my eyes inadvertently wandered over to the kitchen, I took note of my tired looking table and chairs and for a fleeting moment, I envisioned this distressed farmhouse table and these unfinished natural wicker chairs.  Alas, I beamed back down to reality and suddenly remembered I had this extra can of paint in my hall closet.  I had bought it months before when I was considering repainting my guest bathroom.  Four hours later, my kitchen chairs were transformed into this pretty shade of green (while my bathroom walls remain lemon yellow).  It's amazing what a pop of color can do for a room.  Since then, I've been on a kind of painting spree.  I've completed numerous touch-ups around the house as well as repainting my deck the other weekend.  My next project will be to tackle my flower boxes.  Have you been inspired to paint recently?  If so, what are your favorite shades for Spring?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pretty in Pink

I admit I have never had a propensity for pink.  As a native New Yorker, most of the time, I lean towards black and grey.  When I'm feeling adventurous, perhaps I experiment with blue and purple.  Pink, however, is not part of the rotation.  That is, until last week when I inadvertently came across a Trina Turk frock that was beckoning me from the sale rack.  I dubiously allowed it to accompany me to the fitting room and from the moment I slipped it on, I was hooked.  Perhaps it was the St. Tropez self-tanner I had just applied that morning or maybe there were magical mirrors installed unbeknownst to me.  Whatever the reason, I was feeling daring that afternoon and I made an impulsive purchase.  I wore it to my son's Communion this past weekend and received numerous compliments.  So, Dearest Pink, I apologize for casting you to the side.  I promise to never breeze past you again.  In case you are not convinced of the persuasion of pink, here are a couple of more reasons to embrace spring's prettiest sidekick.   

Dress: Trina TurkShoes: Sam EdelmanSunglasses: Michael Kors (similar ones here)

Pink Hyacinths smell divine!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


We live a mere ten minutes from the ocean so we try to get down to the beach as often as possible.  Luckily, for us, we have discovered our own little niche, a circular boardwalk off the beaten path where we like to escape with our four children, breathe in the fresh sea air and decompress.  Although we visit this spot twelve months per year, I must admit I enjoy it more minus the harsh Arctic winds that require four layers of clothing.  This past weekend, we ventured down and it was so refreshing to bask in the warm sun and wear just a light jacket.  It has me looking ahead to long summer days and starry summer nights down by the water's edge.  Here are a few of my must haves post Memorial Day.  What are yours?

1. Bobbi Brown Sunscreen

2. Valencia Straw Tote

3. Scoop Gold Flip -Flops

4. Poupette Coral V Mini Dress

5. J.Crew Ruched Crossover Tank

6. The Great Gatsby

7. Iced Green Tea Lemonade