A blogger seeking a richer life... in a wasteland called the suburbs... for my family, myself, and anyone who will listen!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Design Waves

Changes, rather trends in fashion (or in science for that matter) happen not only in one discipline but usually as a wave across all areas of design... some bloggers have been showing these trends in a format which coco + kelley did here just beautifully!
"Rooms from the Runway: Malene Berger"

"Oh Joy" does this also, in 2 different ways... This and...


I'm looking forward to going to NYC today with friends... tell you all about it tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bathing Suit Shopping

WOW!... this is such a loaded subject for many of us... body image and our issues about our bodies can take on a life of their own in the dressing room when that moment of truth comes while trying to find a bathing suit that suits!
Yesterday was my day and I have to say it went quite well for a number of reasons...
First and foremost I have a positive attitude about my body, even with my shortcomings, which I can assure you makes a good size list...
Secondly, I'm proud of myself for losing over 20 pounds this winter!
Nevertheless, I was in a dressing room with a 20ish young woman in the room next to me, who with her knockout figure was trying on bikinis... and I was still OK.
Here's my BIG TIP... spend more on a good suit, even if you only buy one, it will make a big difference.
I went shopping at 'Great Shapes' in Woodbury, NY, because the service is fabulous...  they listen to what you want, but have the experience to choose suits for your body type so you don't get discouraged spending time trying on the wrong suits.
I loved the fit and styling of Karla Colletto's Swimwear!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

2 of My Favs!

As you may have noticed I'm clearly in a summer schedule, what with no school for the kids, one off to sleep-away camp, the other kid, a teen and night owl sleeping until 11ish (that's a big 'ISH' too), I've been sleeping late, late, late... I will get back to an earlier schedule but it may take a few days of enjoying this resbite.
Today I wanted to give you some insight into 2 of my favorite bloggers... not mommy bloggers... just bloggers with great style in fashion, home, cooking and design... I'm such a big fan!  I read them regularly...

Thank you ladies for providing so much pleasure in your  'jewels on the web'.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Blip in My Blogs

A BLIP on my BLOG time line happened yesterday... yes I actually didn't post a blog yesterday for the first time since I began writing last September!  Is this some ominous omen... NO... does it mean I'm losing my drive to write, to connect... NO... I'm still Type A, really driven to create, although not OCD where I'll go crazy that it's not a perfect (Virgos can be perfectionists, but I'm not one of those) time line... and oh, does it really matter, who cares?, is anyone really reading...  following my blog?  I'm allowed an insecure moment here or there, but the real reason it didn't happen yesterday is that my whole schedule is being thrown off by school ending on Tuesday.

Yes, my morning routine is so out of whack!!!

There IS NO routine... there's been 8th grade graduation, parties to celebrate, my other son is leaving for sleep-away camp on Saturday, it was my husbands' birthday on the 1st day of summer, trying to get the pool in shape still, the dog still has a booboo on his neck... then there's the dentist, orthodontist appointments, the 'last sushi supper' before camp, last requests before camp errands... it just keeps going... and then it will all suddenly come to a halt on Saturday when my challenging 12 year old leaves on the bus... peace and tranquility will follow... and it will probably be deafening... and I will miss him.

What will the TV do without him...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

School is Over!

No one really told me that when you have kids you go back to school too!  I mean my kids are independent students, but the schedules, homework, papers, testing and extracurricular activities... OMG... I'm so glad it's summer vacation today.  It feels so good to sleep in, to breathe the hot humid air (NOT, but it sounds good), and to not be nagging the kids about EVERYTHING!

To be silly

Take naps anytime

Oh, one more big thing tonight... my 14 year old is graduating from middle school, off to high school next year and he can hardly wait... NOT ME!  I'm sad that it's all moving faster than I can take it in...

After the graduation ceremony the kids are being bused to a party with DJ and all, where he'll dance (he loves to dance) and look something like this...

Loved every minute of middle school, and next year I get to experience both middle and high schools at once!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Summer Bag!

Confession... when I find a top, bag, or shoes that are the perfect fit, I latch onto that one item for the whole season and wear it to death... I wonder if anyone notices or cares for that matter...
I think this bag is going to be one of those things.  I saw a family friend wearing it this past weekend and instantly knew it was for me... a great summer bag, weightless, big enough to throw a beach towel into, and easy to wipe off the ice cream drippings, and it's a great textured microfiber...
'eBags.com' had it in the color I wanted (black), and had the best online price I could find (including free shipping)... Carlos Falchi Microfiber Tote, $176
It comes in other great colors too!

Included is the attached purse, inside pockets for phone, and a hook for keys

If you're traveling this summer, what a great bag to take along, but be careful there isn't a closure at the top.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Watching The Creative Process

'Work of Art: The Next Great Artist', the new Bravo TV reality show I'm hooked on... what I love about it... watching the creative process unfold for each new challenge, critiquing by art world dignitaries, and just seeing how differently each artist responds to the challenge...  with great results on this last episode where the artists used 'found electronic junk' to make a sculpture.
The idea of artists competing against one another is secondary (although good practice as the art world is quite 'cut throat'), it's all about 'the process'!

... winner of the last challenge

Friday, June 18, 2010

Stripes for Summer

Stripes... I'm not the biggest fan, but what I do like about them is the crisp clean look they create for summer, whether in this dress in cream and black...
Forever21, $15.80

... or this great canvas tote.
Forever21, $24.80

I love this watch to wear with the dress for a punch of hot color...
Huset, Coral Flamingo Chronograph for $170

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Striking Melamine

Melamine = Fun Designs!
The return of melamine about 8 years ago brought a modern spin to an old product... now there's some great designs out there at very affordable prices.  Melamine is not only great for summer al fresco dining for the obvious reasons, but with kids I use it all year long, not usually for dinner but when the kids want lunch or a snack instead of paper plates.
Here are some great designs from French Bull...
... for the young ones

Matching ice bucket

Neoprene bottle tote

This dinnerware is safe to eat on not like some of the dinnerware products from China (see French Bull website).

Wishing you great patio dining without the bugs!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Baseball and Tacos

Last night my 12 year old had his second to last Little League playoff night game which started at 7:45pm.  My husband was running late so I fed the kids dinner and then packed up our dinner for a picnic (of sorts) at the ball field... fish tacos one of our favorite meals, tacos with chicken or pork too for that matter... I adapt to whatever I have around, but there are my basics (which I usually keep in stock)...  soft tortillas, cherry or grape tomatoes, romaine lettuce or cabbage, onion (red or green), salsa (Green Mountain), cilantro, lime, Helmann's Mayo and Cholula Sauce (a staple for us).  If I have a ripe avocado and pico de gallo (instead of salsa) that's great but not necessary...  I marinated the fish (a flaky one) in lime and garlic for 30 minutes, pan fried it, then in a small bowl I mixed mostly mayo, a dollop (love that word) of greek yogurt, a little Cholula (hot sauce), and fresh lime juice to taste... combine a little of the above ingredients together in a warm corn or flour tortilla, add a spoonful of the dressing and you have a perfect meal!
If you prefer to follow a recipe, this one from Food Network is a little different but simple and easy...
My mayo dressing with Cholula sauce, yogurt, and lime is a real winner and you'll want to eat it on everything!
I wrapped the tacos in foil, sliced up some lime, packed some fruit and something slightly sweet and crunchy that I can't live without lately and I eat for breakfast, snack, and dessert almost everyday (Trader Joe's or online) ...

  It was a beautiful night for a ball game!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Plans

With Summer almost upon us, and my 12 year old son going to Sleep-away Camp for 7 weeks, my 14 year away for three of those weeks, I try to think beforehand about MY summer goals, something just for me... not an easy task when throughout the rest of the year I'm in kid mode, changing gears is not easy...  whether it be a big cleaning project, taking a course, traveling with my husband, just doing nothing...  for me it's usually means having time to make art, walking the beach at sunset everyday, putting a photo book together... whatever it is, now is the time to plan because Summer flies by... I like to get the project(s) going quickly because the last 10 days before they come home, when I miss them terribly, I'm unable to do much of anything and find it hard to focus.

Maybe you'll even design something like this Shopping List Bag...

Or not... if you're not that ambitious just give yourself a big break and recharge!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Just Sandwiches

Is it like the phrase 'Just Desserts'?...  meaning: That which is deserved, a reward for what has been done, good or bad.  Well if this is a reward, it's a good one because this website, Scanwiches, is a treat...  but be careful because viewing when hungry may drive you crazy!  All the sandwiches are not photographed and downloaded, but carefully scanned in,  I mean they're placed directly on the scanner, grease and all, that's why they look like one could just reach out and take a bite...

The guy lives in Brooklyn, so if you're not in the neighborhood, where you can frequent these places, and follow this gourmand of sorts, actually he's a graphic designer so he gets off on how they look mostly, then use this site as inspiration for the 'making of a sandwich'...  I believe there is an art to good sandwich making.  My father, a southerner, was good at it, slathering all kinds of things together and they were delicious.  I often make sandwiches for my family for dinner, especially in the heat of summer.

So here's to sandwiches...
... and  Thin

and 'Just Desserts' too...


Friday, June 11, 2010

A Special Gift

Last night I attended a special dinner party with six other friends from high school at one of the girls fabulously fabulous home overlooking Long Island Sound... it was a great evening as one might expect, with lots of catching up and good food paired with savory wines... what wasn't expected was an unexpected gift, the first being the sight of a friend I most wanted to see and didn't know was coming... the other was the lidded vessel, urn, jar (not sure what to call it), that upon arrival she held up and asked me if I knew what it was, while all waited for my reply...  as my life in terms of objects flashed before my eyes, it looked familiar like an old friend, but I wasn't sure so I replied with a question, "Was it mine, something from my family?"...

Yes, it was something my parents sold to her at a Tag Sale they had before retiring from the suburbs to NYC.  She bought it years ago with the idea of someday returning to me!!!... How wonderful is that?!
Now that's what I call a Special Gift... Luv ya girlfriend and thank you!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Driveway Tennis

"Driveway Tennis" is our name for hitting the ball back and forth to each other in the driveway when we can't get to a court and when my dog tells us to (which is daily)... what I mean by that is, he goes to the closet door where the racquets are kept, lays down beside it and cries to play... his role in all this, 'BALL DOG'!  It's great exercise for him and he's really good at 'BALL DOG'...

This is how it works... you need 2 or more tennis balls, preferably old ones, a driveway (ours is on a hill and curves so it's far from ideal), 2 people with racquets (patience too) and a ball-loving dog.  We hit the ball back and forth until we miss and then he pounces, leaps, jumps the bushes, and whatever it takes to retrieve this dirty yellow and now wet fuzzy rubber globe... in the mean time while he's doing his thing we're hitting the other ball back and forth to each other until we miss again, and so on...

At first he would steel our ball and run away.  It took us a while to get this down and him trained, but now he brings the ball back to this bush (in the photo) on the side of the driveway where he drops it there for us!

I wish I could show you with a FLIP-BOOK made from these...

It's a great workout for my dog and a great time for my 14 year old and I to catch up on things!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Morning Like So Many Others

I used to pump-it-up everyday for 30 minutes on a 'Power Walk' through my neighborhood with ipod in tow... now I pump-it-up everyday with my 'CardioTrainer' app (free on the Droid) and my dog in tow.
The sights, sounds, and smells of suburbia is my music, noticing over the last 7 years or so sometimes subtle changes, like weeds growing at an abandoned house, and not so subtle changes in the landscape, like 70 foot oaks being cut down indiscriminately...
It talks to me in a sexy British voice

Garbage day stinks in summer when the juices are squeezed out onto the street

Is that an electrical symbol?

He sniffs another dog

Yeah, try 40mph

Old garbage on town property

The artist in me is driven crazy by the off center boarder

Just love this landscapers truck

Ran into my wonderful painter working next door, Conrad Painting

Back home, checking out my garden...
Oak leaf hydrangea, roses, spirea, geraniums

Just blooming hydrangeas

Annuals waiting to be planted

On the front porch... he wants to play 

Now that it's spring, my son, my dog and I play what we call 'driveway tennis'... I'll tell you about that tomorrow.