Monday, April 29, 2013


Hello, friends... I'm finally back. The kids and I spent last week in Texas visiting my mom, and arrived much later than expected on Wednesday night/ Thursday morning (thank you Congress and that air traffic controller nightmare) which meant everyone was home from school Thursday, and I had to spend the weekend playing catchup. You know the drill. On Friday, thankfully, I was able to get a chance to go down and visit the memorial that was created for the victims of the Marathon bombing before it was taken away. Being away from home while all the madness was going on was really hard for me, but being back in the city, and seeing the beautiful outpouring of love, really did help being some closure. I find that there are very few times in life, when you can be with complete strangers, and know that they are feeling the exact same emotions as you are. For me, this was one of those moments. Being a few weeks removed, I still feel so much anger and sadness. Four people lost their lives, one child, hundreds were changed forever, the culprits are either dead or in jail, and one of the most amazing events that this city offers, will never be the same again. It seems like it was all for nothing. No message was sent, there is no one else to go after, no group to target, life just keeps on moving forward, and it just breaks my heart that so many had to give up their lives so senselessly. The whole thing is such a tragedy, such a waste of life, just like what happened in Newtown. Clearly, there are no real answers. I, like most of you, am having a heard time coming to grips with the evil in this world. 

When I was down in Copley square, I took a few pictures of the memorial. At first I thought it would be in bad taste to share something that is so personal to this city, but then I thought that there is no better way to show how Boston is honoring those who were harmed. I think it is a beautiful tribute, only matched by kindness of those who have donated their time and money, to try to bring some normalcy back to those who lost so much. If you'd like to help as well, please consider donating to The One Fund. 

I'll be back to blogging tomorrow, with the usual frivolity, but I just wanted to take today to continue to mourn so much that was lost. #bostonstrong

April 15.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

 This is how my kids spent the morning of Marathon Monday. Playing in the Boston Common, having a picnic two blocks from the finish line. My sister watched them while I went to the gym on Boylston street. On my way to meet them, I tried to stop at Sugar Heaven to get them lollipops. Frustrated, that I was "stuck" on the other side of the street, in the scaffolding, I gave up and met them around the corner, less than one block away from where the explosion occurred. This was at 1 pm. Two hours later, I received frantic texts from my best friend who lives 2 streets away from the blast, making sure we had left the site. We were lucky, we were home. Across the river, it was business as usual. Gray was napping, Liam was playing with a friend in his room. I was stressing because I had so much laundry to do before we leave for Texas on Wednesday. We had absolutely no idea what had just happened to our City. 

We were completely safe, we made it out unscathed, and yet, all night, all I could think is that we somehow had just barely escaped. I can't even grasp that my children were playing less than 100 feet from where someone was setting up a bomb. When were were there, this thought couldn't have been farther from my mind, and now I can't imagine ever walking downtown without thinking about it.    That someone would target civilians like this, kids in the candy shop next door, I feel like this is something I can't even wrap my head around, it is beyond comprehension.

Honestly, right now, the whole thing is so surreal. This is the kind of stuff that happens somewhere else. To other people. We watch and we cry, and we try to help, but I have no idea what to do when this happens in your city. There isn't one part of one day that we don't go down to that area. Our life is there, and I am so sick that someone would target something that is so special. So "Boston." I am just so sad, so afraid, so concerned for all of those who were injured, who saw what happened, for all those kids who, like mine, who went to sleep last night talking about the "explosion." Wanting to know if they are safe. I really don't know what to say, when you can't say, "don't worry, it happened really far away." We were right there. We have spent countless hours in that exact spot. We were attacked. I never thought it would happen. Not here, and certainly not now. 

Thank you to all of you who reached out to us, making sure we are okay. Boston is an amazing community and we will absolutely get through this, although I can't imagine things ever being the same again. My family and I are leaving for Texas tomorrow, but I'll try to get back here to post on how you can help. Right now I know they are in need of blood in the city. If you can, please donate today. 

Our thoughts are with all our friends and neighbors, fellow Bostonians, my son's schoolmates, those first responders, and, of course, everyone who was injured, who saw what happened. Those heroes who ran towards the explosion, to try to help, you are proof that good is better than evil. Visible evidence that they will never win.  

(Image from a friends Facebook page. This was minutes before the attack.)


Weekend Links.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Happy Friday. Oh wait, there is nothing happy about this Friday, because it feels like it's winter outside, and it's raining cats and dogs. Oh, and there was no school today because of parent teacher conferences. Blah. Okay, I can't complain too much, because our little man got the most incredible report ever (almost makes me cry thinking of it) and I was able to sneak in a trip to the gym before... okay, I guess I can't complain at all. What do you all have planned this chilly weekend? My husband has his last full weekend of call EVER, so I have the kids, but knowing this will be the last one, somehow makes it better. Sunday, the little man is continuing to teach me how to skate, so here's to hoping I don't break anything. 

I hope you all have a great weekend, preferably somewhere dry and sunny! Here are a few links for things that caught my eye this week! 

A rainy day, like today, is just screaming for these roll up wellies.

The most amazing home I have ever seen. Seriously, I think I have looked at these images like 10,000 times, and I will give one of my children to the first one of you who can find me a zebra coffee table. For real, please, please, please email me at if you happen to come across one.

Speaking of skin, I have been hearing great things about beauty balms, and just picked this one up. I'll definitely report back!

This dress is everything. I'm pretty sure this is as close to perfection as you can get.

I kind of feel bad for Anne Hathaway. I, like most people, all of a sudden started to find her beyond irritating, but can't figure out why? I guess I'm not alone.

This tumblr made me laugh out loud. Gray has been having a week like this.

I'm kind of obsessed with this hat, but my sister thinks it's too much. I'm afraid she's right.

This jumpsuit is OFF THE HOOK. I want it so, so badly. #noshoppingchallengessuck

How I "trained" the little man to sleep until 7am. (in other words how I instilled the fear in him to stay in his room ;))

Some eye candy.

What a great idea for an end of the year teacher gift.

Is it summer yet? I'm loving the look of the long sleeved T with bathing suit bottoms! Let's be honest, that body and tan are pretty awesome too!

8 ways to wear leather is spring. I bought a pair of deeply discounted leather shorts when we were in Paris last year, and I'm dying to break them out!

Finally, the most adorable salad bowl!

I'll see you all Monday!

On Skin.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ever since I was 16, I remember being at war with my skin. Basically, I can't remember a time when I didn't have at least one or two cysts on my chin. It was never dramatic enough to seek "real" treatment, but it was annoying enough that I was constantly thinking about it, thus touching my face, about 10,000 times a day, making the situation worse. I went on this way until I was in my early 30's. Surprisingly, the time it was the clearest, was when I was pregnant with the little man, but given the 30 or so pounds I traded for it, I wasn't really all that excited. Things got bad when I started the clomid, and then then really bad with the first round of IVF in 2009, followed by the second in 2010. Honestly, the acne, for me, will always be the worst part of that whole experience. The needles and pain I could take. Looking like a teenager I could not. Obviously, the hormones were to blame, but considering this was something I had been struggling with forever, it made the problem worse, but was not the cause of it. 

To say I tried everything to "cure" would be an understatement. I can say with absolute certainty that I had tried every available treatment out there, except Accutane. Now, I was open to try the so called wonder drug, but given my desire to get pregnant, that was the one thing that wasn't really an option. Now, when I say everything, I mean everything. Proactiv, herbal pills, every treatment in the drug store, every skin care regimen from every high end makeup line, facials, retinols, levelan, blue light treatments, chemical peels, microdermabrasion... and on and on. Everything. Some of these things would work for a while, yet there was never, ever a time when I didn't have at least one cyst on my chin. Then, I got pregnant with Gray. Things got worse, then they got a little better, and then, last Summer when we were in Costa Rica, things got as bad as they had ever been. I have no doubt that the combination of the heat and sunscreen was the culprit, but those are two things that are unavoidable down there. Feeling desperate, from the middle of the jungle, I booked an appointment for the week after we got back to try to get my hands on some Accutane. Feeling really, really, really desperate, I even thought of trying to get some from Canada, since I was sure the dermatologist was just going to make me try 100 less invasive treatments first, and at this point I was fed up. While I was reading about the side effects, of which there were many, I was so disappointed to read that even that isn't a cure all. People often have to take it a number of times, and for that level of crazy, I was looking for guaranteed results. 

Feeling defeated, I spent a few hours scouring the Internet, trying to find testimonials for people who had problems similar to mine. I realized my problem was an over production of oil, but nothing seemed to help that, without completely drying out my face, causing me to need more moisture, which made more oil... the cycle went on and on. Anyway, during my search I stumbled upon this product on Amazon, and was pretty impressed with the amount of people who practically wrote books, raving of its success in the review section. Given how inexpensive it was, I had serious doubts that it would work, but since it qualified for prime shipping (my Achilles heal,) I figured I would try it out, and after hearing from people that they saw results in 2 days, I hoped beyond hope that it would do that for me. 

One we arrived home, I ran through the door, and the first thing I did after setting our bags down was try it out. Shockingly two days later, I could already see a huge difference. My husband said it was just because we were out of the sun, but I swear things were really changing. I canceled my derm appointment and figured I would give it a month or two, to see if it worked. After about two weeks, no joke, my skin was clearer than it had been in my entire life. It took a little bit of messing with the product (I cut out step 4, and used step 3 twice a day, also adding in this on breakouts) but I really was amazed that something so inexpensive, and so readily available could work so well. Now 9 months later, my skin is still acne free (no pun intended) and I have never once had any drying or irritation from the product. 

Now, I know every one's skin is different, but if you, like me have had problems with cystic/ no cystic acne due to oily skin you have got to give it a try. If that is your issue, I've since read, benzoyl peroxide is pretty much the only thing that is going to work. That is all that is in this product (steps 1-3) and that's why it works like a charm. I wouldn't believe it, if I hadn't seen the results myself, and after almost 17 years, I can't believe I have finally found something that works on my skin. The other day, at the gym, someone told me I had great skin, and honestly I wanted to hug her and cry. That is the last thing that I would have thought I would ever have anyone say about my face! 

I still have issues with oil in the sun, and in the winter, so I've still had to try other products (sunscreens, and moisturizers) that won't effect the amazing effects of this stuff. I feel like I've found the perfect cocktail for my skin, and I figured I'd share with you all, in case someone is dealing with the same thing. Obviously, it might not work for you, but it's cheap enough that it's worth a try. Recently, I've started using baking soda for an at home microdermabrasion(3 tbs mixed with 1 tbs warm water, put on in a circular motion, leave on for 5-10 minutes, and follow with a toner) and that has done wonders for any scaring that I had, but other than that, here is what has worked for me. No prescription needed. 

2x a day I use my "miracle" omitting step 4 (the retinol)

At night I use this on my T zone.

When needed, I use this moisturizer, which is the only one I've found that really, really, really is oil free. 

For sunscreen, I've found this amazing product that actually is a powder, so it doesn't put oil on your face, and actually absorbs it, instead. I like the one for oil problem skin. (The only bummer is that you have to re-apply when you get out of the water)

2x a week, I use my beloved clarisonic with step one of the Acnefree kit. 

and 1x a week I do the at home microdermabrasion. 

I've found that this is the best foundation, and I use it rarely and sparingly. 

Those few things have changed my skin, and really a lot of my life. I used to get so down with one breakout after another, and not having to worry about that has really given me a boost of self confidence. I read somewhere that you should treat Acne treatments like medicine, if it's working, don't ever stop using it. That being said, I will probably use this stuff until the day I die. I find that it's sometimes hard to get, so I buy 4 boxes at a time. It is one of my greatest fears that they will stop making it! 

I hope this helps someone out there, who has been dealing with the same issue. Otherwise I probably just bored a ton of you for no reason ;) If you have found your miracle product, please share in the comments, everyone can use a great testimonial for a new product! 

Wardrobe Essentials: Save, Crave, Investment #1

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I thought it would be fun to bring a new feature to the blog, discussing what I think are the top 20-30 (or so) wardrobe "staples" that I think every woman should have in her closet. To mix things up a bit, rather than just showcasing the best of the best, I thought each week, I'd post a new "essential" item at 3 different price points; the save, the crave, and the investment. I'm sure I'll be throwing in my two cents regarding what is worth investing in, and of course, I'll be providing quite a bit of photographic inspiration (thank you Pinterest!) I hope you all enjoy!

Okay, so without question, my personal, number one wardrobe essential is a striped T. Navy is great, but you can get the look in so many different styles/ colors, I find it hard to limit myself to just one! The thing I love about the striped T is that is goes with EVERYTHING and you can dress it up, just as easily as you can dress it down. I swear, if I was getting married all over again, I would find some way to incorporate this into my wedding. Can't you just imagine it with a big ball skirt, in pink, yellow, white... .I die. Anyway, the striped T is where it's at, and as a timeless piece, I would say it's well worth the investment. That being said, since it is such a versatile, every day item, getting a few of these, at a great price point, is never, ever a bad thing. 

Can't think of the 1,000 ways you can wear it? Let this be your guide. (My favorite way is to wear it with floral, or bold prints, I think it's a little unexpected, and it always looks great! Like leopard, try to think of it as a neutral!)

Don't have one already, or are you in the market for another? Try one of these, perfect for any budget!

source 1/ source 2
source 3

There you have it. My number one wardrobe essential. I hope you all like this new feature, I will try to keep up with it weekly until the perfect (virtual) closet is created!

Over The Weekend...

Monday, April 8, 2013

 Over the weekend...
LM: Mom, did you know that I am really, really brave? I am only scared of two things in this whole world.
Me: Really? Wow, you are brave! I'm afraid of a lot more than that (snakes being at the top of the list.) What are the two things you are afraid of?
LM: Dying, and waking you up early.
Me: Oh sweetie, you don't have to be scared of dying.
LM: What about waking you up?
Me: It's okay to have one thing you are afraid of. That seems like a good one. 

In my defense, one needs to be fully rested before dealing with these two ANIMALS all day. It's only fair ;)

Weekend Links.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Confession: I didn't post yesterday because, after getting It's All Good on Wednesday, I found myself re-creating 8 different recipes with the LM, and you know what? It's not all good... it's all AMAZING. The vegan brownies, the sweet potato muffins, the sriracha salmon, mango/ avocado salad, quinoa and kale scramble, lentil salad, the portabella mushrooms with asparagus, the beets, oh mah gawd, I am #obsessed with this cookbook. I'm not going to lie, I don't buy into the whole gluten free thing, and substituted whole wheat flour, but there are so many amazing recipes in this damn book, I could not be more of a satisfied customer. The whole book is supposed to be shocking to your system, but considering we are pescetarians who are {almost} vegans, due to Gray's dairy allergy, I just found it to be incredibly awesome, and after dogearing the entire book, I haven't been this inspired to cook in a long time. Bonus: the kids have loved everything so far (except the salmon, because of the spice) and I haven't even cracked the kids food section (yes, it amazingly has that too.) I'm hoping to try out some of those recipes this weekend. #reallyfreakingobsessed. Other than that, we don't have a lot planned. The weather looks awesomely, Spring like, and I see quite a bit of bike rides, and skate outings in our future. (That is if I can break away from the kitchen ;))

Here are some fun links from around the web, if you are in a blog reading mood! Hope you all have a good one!

I can't even deal with this news. No more Charlie on GIRLS? I cry.

Perfect (easy!) Spring/ Summer hair.

How secure is your password? It would take .5 seconds to crack mine. Oops!

My little man, dropping bombs.

Great, great belts.

I am obsessing over this skirt, after seeing this picture. If I have a 100 dollar gift card, would I really be breaking my no-shopping challenge. Hmmmmm

No more" redshirting" in NYC. I feel this really is doing a disservice to kids, especially those with summer birthdays. As you know, we ran in to this last year, and is sadly, why we had to chose an independent school. This makes a great case for re-ealuating what should be expected of kindergartners

This article had me crying in my soup yesterday, I can't imagine how hard it was for her to leave. 

My best friend is doing an amazing run, for a great cause! If you can, please help the MS society!

This was the arsenal that Adam Lanza had access too. I just can't understand why this is legal. 

For those of you with tweens in the house, you have to read this. This is why kids + technology is so scary. 

This had me laughing out loud! Poor Gwyneth. {Not really}

This sweet little boy is looking for a home. Please spread the word. 

Warby Parker is coming to Boston! This is perhaps the greatest thing that will ever happen to this glasses lover. 

This packing list, for travel, is pure genius.

P.S. Word is it's going to be almost 70 on Tuesday! This news makes me want to jump up and down for the next 3 days!!!!

(Photo from here)

Finished Bedroom Makeover. (For Real)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

 I know, I know, a few weeks back I posted pictures of the new paint in our bedroom, and declared "I'm done" but after seeing the room on the blog, all I could think is that I needed more color, and more editing. I'm not going to lie, I obsessed about it more than one should for the afternoon! I just so happened to stumble on some great pillows from Furbish, the same day, and then the suzani, and well, if you give a mouse a cookie ... she's going to end up re-decorating the bedroom. 

Honestly, it really didn't take much. A great throw, some mounted horns, a switch of paper in my DIY tray, I am so proud of, and, well, I finally feel as though I can (finally) say "I'm done," and really mean it. Or, as my husband would say, if you add one more "layer" to this room, I'm moving out. (Geesh, men really don't get layers, do they?)

In all seriousness,  I really couldn't be happier with the final result, and the best part is that every inch of this room, couldn't be more "us."I feel as though we are both equally represented in this space (which is sometimes hard to do in a master) and I feel as though the room has that eclectic, california vibe that I am always drawn to in magazines. In short, I LOVE it!

Here is {another} look at my new favorite room in the house... I promise, this time will be the last. ;)

8 Fun Pieces To "Spring" Up Your Wardrobe.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

 Okay, by now we've all seen Gwyneth's latest Spring fashion pull, and while I would love to own almost anything she featured, these shoes especially, I don't happen to have an extra $500,000 dollars lying around, and honestly I can't imagine that there are more than a handful of people who are willing to shell out that kind of dough on one season of clothes. Dare I say, she's gone a little crazy? 

That being said, a new season, with the promise of warmer temperatures always inspires the desire for some new pieces in your wardrobe, and if you aren't crazy like me, here are a few more (much more) budget friendly options that area fun way to "Spring" up your wardrobe.

Here are my 8 picks for the season.

My number one pick for this spring is an easy one. I honestly cannot get enough of a good shirt dress, and this one in chambray totally fits the bill. You can wear this with sandals, flats, wedges... you name it. Me = want.


This year I'm also loving patterned chinos. Denim can feel a bit heavy in the warmer months, and these skinny chinos from Gap are great! (Side note: The key to wearing a cropped pant is to make sure it hits right above the ankle bone, I think these on the model are to short. You want to keep them from looking like capris, which pretty much make anyone look shorter. This is a cheap and easy fix at the tailor, and one that too many people skip!)


 What can you say about these adorable cap toe flats, except "do they come in my size." Comfortable, versatile, totally on trend. I love everything about them!


My absolute favorite thing that I own is a denim jacket that I got from the Gap years ago and every year I wear it pretty much every day, until the temperature reaches 90 degrees. I think this is a staple item for your closet, and this Madewell version is pretty much perfection.


Statement necklaces are here to stay, which makes me very, very, very happy! This affordable piece would look just as great with jeans and a white T, as it would with a LBD.


Talk about the perfect spring dress! I love the ease of this little striped dress, with the tucked in waist. I prefer it without the belt, but would absolutely love to wear it with those glasses! 

 People can't get enough of J. Crew's pencil skirts, and that is because they are "magically" universally flattering. I love this bright color, and would absolutely wear this all season long with a chambray shirt and heels, or dress it up with a great navy blazer!


I absolutely love this clutch! Such a great knock off of the famed Claie Vivier version, for a great price.  


There you have it. My Spring edit! Is there anything I left out? What are you all craving this season?


Monday, April 1, 2013

 Hot damn it's Monday... which means one thing, DADDY IS COMING HOME! Throw your hands in the air, as the LM would say! The boys and I survived the week, just fine, but I am definitely looking forward to having my buddy back at night! Last night, after one to many glasses of wine, I became convinced that I desperately needed a yard of this fabric to make throw pillows for our bed.* Then, I woke up in the middle of the night, and thought our neighbors were being robbed because I heard their dog barking. It turns out that it was not the middle of the night, but rather, 7am! Oops. Anyway, today is the big day, the big man comes home, and my stepping foot in a grocery store for the first time in a week, pretty much seals the deal (did you know kids will east pancakes for dinner every night if you put berries and whipped creme on them? :)) which means tomorrow we will be back to business as usual. 

Here are a few pics from the long weekend that was.

* I really wish I could say this was an April fools joke, but after watching three episodes of The Rachel Zoe Project... in a row, I became obsessed with leopard and decided it was all that was missing from my life. Luckily, I have family and friends who will talk me off of my ridiculous fabric ledge!