It's a Wrap.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Well kids, that's a wrap. 2013 has almost come and gone, and I have to say I don't have any strong feelings one way or another about this year coming to a close. This year was probably the best that we've ever had as a family, but I have a feeling things are only going to get better as the boys keep getting older, so really I'm just excited for what is coming next. I spent the year surrounded by my family and friends, and while there were definite ups and downs, I can look back at the last 365 days with nothing but fond memories.

 I'm not a big resolution kind of girl, I find you usually forget what your resolution was sometime in the middle of January, so instead I try to document a few goals for the year ahead. There will be nothing groundbreaking here, but this year I'd like to write more, run more, and yell less. I'd like to spend more quality time with my boys, and more time by myself. I'd like to talk to my friends more, and in a dream world see them every day. I'd like to be less harsh on myself, while continuing to grow as a person. I'd like to buy less, and appreciate what I already have more. I want to spend more time in the real world, and less time in my virtual one. I plan on reading more books and less blogs, and ultimately decide once and for all what I would like to do with mine. I want to sign up for more things at my kid's schools, but I also want to be careful not to over commit. I'd love to learn how to take more beautiful pictures, and cook better meals. I want to focus on getting strong,  and not care about what that looks like for my body. I'd like to stop obsessing over my hair (but I'm pretty sure that is never going to happen). I'd like to find a way to give back more, and lead by example for my children. I want to spend more time as a family of four, and more time alone with my husband. Oh, and I'd really like to sleep more… there's always that!

Whew, have you got all that. I suppose I'll start to tackle that long (never changing, never ending list tomorrow). For now, I'm just going to remember the year that was, with my husband and a bottle of wine. There is a lego set to finish, and lobsters to be cooked. 2013 was a great year, and I plan on sending her out with a bang.

For those of you who are interested, here is a little look back on our year that was. 

Happy 2014, my friends! I look forward to spending another year with you all!

The LOOK for NYE (and do people even go out any more?)

Monday, December 30, 2013

 In my 34 years on this earth, I have been to 1… yes, 1!!! New Year's Eve party. Kind of like Valentine's Day, I'm just one of those people who don't really get it. The long lines, the ridiculous cover charges, and limited menus are such a turn off for me, not to mention the champagne hangovers, inability to get a taxi, and drunk drivers. Just the idea of it makes me sleepy. That being said, I know there are people who absolutely love NYE and I'm not going to lie, I love the idea of getting dressed up for the big event. Like Halloween, it seems that Dec 31 is one of those days where you can really go for it in the style department. Sequins, false eyelashes, sky high heels… really there are no rules. If I were to be going out tomorrow night, I would love to wear something menswear inspired, like a deconstructed tuxedo. Party dresses aren't really my thing, so I'd take a cue from these ladies, and show everyone who's boss. 

Let's be honest, the truth is that I'd get all dressed up, take a few pictures, and then put my sweats back on, and binge watch a few more episodes of Masters of Sex with my husband (we're obsessed) but in my mind I'd be showing everyone who is boss ;). Here's a little outfit inspiration for those of you who have yet to find the perfect look for the big night! 

clockwise from top left

Black tie, not optional.


Friday, December 27, 2013

 Merry Christmas!

 I hope you all had a great one! Our toned downed Christmas was a smashing success, so much so that we all stayed in our pajamas the whole day, and never left the house. If you've ever met my family, you know that we can start climbing the walls after about an hour when we are all home together, so you know we were having a good time! The only downer over this week and the last is that I have been so sick. Remember when I complained a few weeks back about the cold that wouldn't quit? Well, it still hasn't quit, and now I have completely lost my voice, which has made it quite challenging to yell at my kiddos ;). This is is why I've been absent from the blog… well that, and the fact that I am coming off of what will forever be called #bestweekever. Yes, EVER. Here is a look at what went down. 

Before the weekend began we had snow. And then more snow. Gray took every opportunity he could to try to eat it. We all know how this ends in the movies...

The Little Man and I went to the Nutcracker, which he LOVED. Whew. The whole night was magical, one I won't soon forget 

and THEN the weekend began. 

On Friday, my best friend in our trio of three took the train up from NYC so together we could all see Beyonce!!! Oh my god. The show was insane, and our seats were unexpectedly amazing.

Yep, she is the queen. I bow down. 

The next day I packed up the kids, and we drove back to NYC where my girlfriend trifecta was again reunited. While the kids spent time with their beloved Auntie, we had dinner here, at abc kitchen. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

and then saw the show Sleep No More which was so crazy, so good, and like nothing I've ever seen before. You will have to read these reviews to get the full picture, but really, if you can, go see it for yourself. It's so worth it!

As if the concert, dinner, and a movie weren't indulgent enough, the next morning the three of us spent the morning floating in the Turkish baths that are heaven AIRE. I've been to a few spas in my life, and this one most definitely took the cake. You can bet I'll be back there again soon!

After the baths, I met up with my boys, and we spent the next day pretending we were New Yorkers. Here we are on the subway on our way to Grand Central Station.

With a stop to escape the rain at Build a Bear. This unexpectedly was the highlight of their trip… go figure. 

We went to Rockefeller Center to see the tree..

… which was very quickly trumped by the adjacent Lego store. (Not a surprise)

After seeing three floors of Legos, we made our way over to the famed Museum of Natural History. 

Which was fun, but exhausting. 

The next day, after my favorite dinner, we headed back to Boston. Luckily it was Christmas eve, so the excitement just continued!

Before bed, the boys exchanged pajamas (I die) and we had a great night with my sister and her boyfriend.

Christmas day we exchanged presents, minds were blown, and fingers were worked to the bone building Legos. In short, the kids had a great time.

What Christmas is complete without a movie and popcorn? This is pretty much what we have been doing since Wednesday. 

Now it's Friday, we are still laying low and the kids are home for another week! I hope to get back to posting regularly, but you know how it is when the littles are home!

I wish you all a great weekend! xoxo

A Toned Down Christmas.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

 Confession: Our last Christmas was slightly out of control, and the morning ended with the most epic fight that we, as a family, have ever had. There were way too many presents, a combination of me being hyper organized, and it being the first Christmas that both boys remember being a part of. Also, our kids are the only grand kids, nephews, etc… so even without realizing it, things start to add up. My husband hates "stuff" and "waste" and I'm all about making magical memories, and last year it just didn't work. We had my sister and her boyfriend over first thing in the am, and a few hours later the kids were bouncing off the walls, a combination of present overload, coupled with sugar overload, and everyone lost there damn mind by noon.

 That night, over a very large glass of wine, we decided that this coming year we would do things a little differently. We would spend the month of Christmas making memories that didn't include actual gifts, and on Christmas day we would really limit what the kids received, and keep it small, with just our family of four. My annoyingly, always right husband, made the point that unlike when we were kids, and holidays were pretty much the only time we received gifts, our kids pretty much get what they want throughout the year. I don't think they are spoiled exactly, it's just that if they really want something, there is always a way to "earn" it, whether it's allowance, star charts, the first and final day of school surprise, or the we're going on vacation for a month, and you all need a few things so you don't kill each other. You all know the deal. So, by then, giving them even more for Christmas and Birthdays, things can get a little excessive. Let's not even get in to the fact that I'm the one who then constantly has to pick up, organize and find space for everything. It is not a good scene. 

I really took our conversation to heart and this year we have definitely made a change. As a family we got really in to the Christmas spirit, with crafts, the elf on the shelf, cookie and gingerbread making, tree trimming, etc, and then found ways to get the kids involved in giving back. Each were responsible for getting toys for their Toys for Tots collection and we "adopted" someone in need to help make their Christmas dreams come true. I've had a lot of discussion with the kids about what happened in the Philippines and how much need there is around the world, as well as close to home, and the LM has really responded to that. He/ we decided that the boys would only get 3 toys (Lego's for the LM) and anything else would be items they actually needed (pajamas, blankets for their beds, books.) While they won't have a ton to open the day of, I know what they are receiving in exactly what they want, and there will definitely not be any opening, and then quickly moving on to the next box like last year… They are going to be psyched, and we are going to escape world war three. We also reached out the the extended family, and each have, or will, receive something when we are all together. That way they get to see them enjoying it, and the kids will really remember who it was from. Short of a new (much needed) Nespresso machine, we aren't doing any gifts for us adults, and we let the kids know that it's because we have everything we need. 

I realize that none of this is exactly groundbreaking, but I have to say it has been really refreshing for me, because not only has it allowed me to make more positive memories with the kids, over more time. But it has also made gift buying, and giving a breeze. We are still going to spend time with our extended family on Christmas eve, and the day of, after the present opening is done (which should be pretty quick) we are all looking forward to going to the movies. It should be a nice day. A nice, toned down day. 

Let's Talk About Summer.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I know it hasn't technically even started yet, but I am already totally OVER Winter. Perhaps its a) the foot of ice/snow outside my door, or b) that my 10 minute commute home last night took over an hour, or c) maybe because it was -1 outside when I took the LM skating on Saturday, or d) all of the above, but basically I am so done with the cold and I am already dreaming of warmer weather. Beach weather specifically. Even though every piece of Fall/ Winter clothing seems to be on sale right now, I just can't bring myself to purchase any of it, because it just feels like I am giving in to the cold if I do so. Instead, I've just decided to jump two seasons ahead, and fill my wardrobe with some much needed beach items. Not Summer mind you, but beach.

 I know, I live in Boston, but this year the kids and I will be spending almost 2 months Costa Rica, and after a decade, I have yet to figure out the right wardrobe for such a hot and humid place. I used to basically live in denim cutoffs and tank tops, but the denim never seems to dry, and after one trip the tanks never seem to fare that well. I never want to bring any of my "nice" Summer clothes, because those too can get destroyed living and walking through a jungle. During our last trip, I realized what I really needed are some killer suits, and a few breezy coverups made of linen or unlined fabric, and then I could probably pack for a month in nothing more than a handbag. I spent some time trying to find the right pieces, but couldn't find anything that I loved, that wouldn't fully break the bank. 

Enter MIKOH.

Somehow I ended up following Kelly Slater's adorable girlfriend on Instagram, and it turns out that she has a killer swimsuit and cover up line. I wasn't blown away by the 2012/13 pieces, but when I stumbled upon 2014 I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Not only is it exactly what I have been looking for, but most of the pieces are plus/ minus $100. Um, sold! I had a bit of a hard time tracking down a site that sold everything, but this one  seemed to have the best selection. I am now eagerly awaiting my purchase to arrive, mostly because just having it here means there is a chance that someday soon, I will be trading my snow boots in for flip-flops. Even if that day is 3 freezing months away. 

Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the collection.

Gorgeous, right? Well done ladies, well done. 

Now, if there was only a way to purchase that perfect tan, and surfer bond hair! Maybe they throw that in as an extra bonus ;).

Can These People Please Adopt Me?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

 Okay, I like to think that I have a "fun" family. Some nights we blast gangster rap and ALL of us dance in our living room. Some mornings we eat cookies for breakfast with a frosting chaser, and on the weekends we often play musical beds, so everyone gets a chance to sleep with everyone else.

That's fun… right?  

Well, clearly we don't know what fun is, because after seeing this video, I've now seen the light, and I'm pretty sure this family may be having a little more "fun" than we are. You guys have to watch this!

The bar has seriously been raised, friends. Now, where do I find some of those awesome Christmas jammies!?!?