Monthly Archives: March 2012

Seeing Red (Pants, that is!)

I am not usually one to jump on the latest trend (mostly because I’m too cheap to spend a lot of money on something I’m only going to wear for one season), so I surprised even myself when I decided to jump on the red pants bandwagon. Unless you’ve been living in a hole, I’m sure you’ve noticed that everyone and their mother is buying, selling, and wearing this trend. Even my daughter has an adorable little pair of red flared sailor pants. So this weekend, I went out in search of the perfect pair of red pants.

First Stop:  Gap
The Broken-in straight khakis were exactly what I was looking for, but apparently so was everyone else. I searched 3 Gap stores and the Gap web site and couldn’t find any of these bad boys in my size (or even close to it) in red. Bummer.

Slim Cropped, $49.95

Modern boot, $59.95

Broken-in khakis, $49.95

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Up:  Target

I bought these coral-colored jeans thinking I found a steal (nevermind the fact that they were from the juniors section). I played it safe and bought a couple sizes up from my usual.  While I managed to get them on, they nearly cut off the circulation to my legs, and I have what my dad calls “chicken legs.” RETURN.

Mossimo Skinny Jean, $22.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third Try:  JCPenney

These bright MNG by Mango skinny jeans looked great on the mannequin. Note to self: the mannequin didn’t push a baby through her hips. Next.

MNG Ella, $40

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop #4:  Old Navy

The Rock Star skinny jean wasn’t as bright and springtimey as I was looking for, but it didn’t matter—it was all sold out anyway.

Rock Star, $19

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fifth Stop:  MNG by Mango

I figured if the ones at JCP didn’t fit, maybe I’d have better luck at the actual store. Super cute on the web site; not so much on me.

Cropped Skinny, $59.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Attempt:  J.Crew

I saved the best (and most expensive) for last, probably because I knew I’d find the right pair and I was hoping I’d come across something just as good somewhere else for less. I was right. I loved both the Toothpick Jeans and the Bennett Chinos.

Bennett Chino, $79.50

Toothpick Jean, $125

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the winner is. . . the J. Crew Bennett Chino! Bring on spring! 


Scarlett’s Ballerina Birthday Bash

My friend, Desi, is so creative and talented—she even has her own accessories boutique on Etsy, Scarlett and Co. (see? super creative!). So it was no surprise when she whipped up this adorable, ballerina-themed birthday party for her daughter’s first birthday like it was just another day’s work.

Desi handmade the invitations and did nearly all of the decor herself, with styling help from our friend Brooke of Granger & Wit and from her mom (check out that handmade tulle tablecloth!). She purchased the hanging poms from Sweet and Savvy Designs and the old-fashioned pink and white striped paper straws from Dime Store Buddy.

The tutu cupcakes and sweet, pink smash cake were made by her mother-in-law, as were the ballet slipper chocolate pops. Desi and her mother-in-law worked together on the ballerina cookies, and I love the clever sign next to the basket, “Please take one {not tutu}.” So cute!

The birthday girl changed from her Janie and Jack pink tulle party dress into a custom onesie from Orchid Avenue to enjoy her birthday cake.

Well done on the party, Des! Everything looked absolutely perfect!


Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

Opening Day for baseball season is just under a month away, so knock one out of the park with some cute baseball gear for your little slugger! (Ok, I’m all done with the baseball idioms, promise!)

Old Navy, $14.94

Gymboree, $20.99

Carters, $8.99

Pumpkin Patch, $9.99

Gymboree, $15.99

J.Crew, $36.50

Children's Place, $8.00

Carters, $8.99

Gap, $14.50


Do You Have Enough Free Time? Not According to this New Study!

My Twitter feed blew up this morning with the hashtag #womenandtime. Real Simple was sharing some interesting live Tweets from their breakfast panel with Amy Chua, Bobbi Brown, Claire Shipman, and Ruth Konigsberg. The discussion, which kicked off their month-long coverage of women and time, corresponded with a new study from the Families and Work Institute (in partnership with Real Simple), about women and how they spend their free time. The study piqued my interest, since I was under the impression that free time was right up there with unicorns and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow—a pipe dream of mythical proportions.

Ellen Galinsky, President of the Families and Work Institute, highlighted some of the findings of the study, which she refers to as surprising, from the study in her article for The Huffington Post:

  • Fifty-eight percent of women “feel that we have to finish our chores before we can enjoy time for ourselves.”
  • “We do tasks in our free time. . . that we don’t really enjoy,” such as laundry, cleaning, and decluttering.
  • “. . .almost one in two women ages 25-54 (49 percent) feels that we don’t have enough free time.”

Uhhh, women spend a good chunk of their free time doing household chores? Thank you Captain Obvious. Any mother could tell you that much. I’m not so sure what was surprising about any of these findings. Sure, we would all like to spend more of our free time with our families, but the dishes aren’t going to do themselves and toys don’t magically dance back into their bins (but how awesome would it be if they did?!).

What I did find interesting were some of the comments made by the panelists:

“Women get more stressed by a work e-mail or phone message interrupting their free time than men do.”
  -Ruth Konigsberg 

“We are more  effective and productive when we can work the way we want to work.”
-Claire Shipman

“With delegating you have to realize that things will get done, but not on your terms.”
-Amy Chua and Ruth Konigsberg

From what I’ve seen of the published findings so far, there hasn’t been a lot of mention of how work (and workplace flexibility) affects free time and stress levels. As a working mom (and a control freak), I’m really interested to hear more of that part of the discussion. The April issue of Real Simple (and the next month) will be dedicated to the topic of women and time, and I, for one, am looking forward to diving into this study’s findings a little deeper.


Safety Tips for Children and Pets

Bringing a new baby home to meet your first “baby” or introducing a new pet into your family can be really stressful and, if you’re not careful, dangerous. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips for keeping things safe for both your children and your pets.

1. Keep pet toys and children’s toys separate. You don’t want your toddler playing with a slobbery dog toy anymore than you want your pet choking on a Lego®. Aside from those obvious facts, keeping the toys separate will avoid any territorial conflicts—for both parties.

2. Make sure your pet has a “time out” spot, and teach your children that the space is off limits to allow your pet to get away and de-stress if needed.

3. Teach your child the warning signs of an aggressive animal (growling/hissing, fur standing on end, forward posture, sharp movements, showing teeth, etc.) and to back away slowly (and quietly) if they notice any of this behavior.

4. Never leave your baby, toddler or child alone with a pet unsupervised. This may seem obvious, but even previously “harmless” dogs have been known to snap from time to time.

5. Protect your pet as well as your child. Toddlers are especially notorious for not knowing their own strength, and they are testing their limits by hitting, stomping (yes, stomping, my daughter goes for our dog’s feet mostly), and pulling (usually ears and tails).

6. “Let sleeping dogs lie” . . . and cats and whatever else you have in your menagerie. The same goes while pets are eating or caring for their own babies.

7. If you’re introducing a new baby, give your pet a blanket with the baby’s scent on it so they can become accustomed to the new smell.

8. Don’t assume all pets are as kid-friendly as your own—a lesson my brother learned the hard way at the age of two, and he still has the scar on his lip to prove it.

9. Teach your pet basic commands (sit, stay, down, etc.) and enforce them or, better yet, enroll your pet in a training class.

10. Follow the 3 S’s when introducing  a new baby to your pet:  Sniff—Sit—Supervise. Allow your pet to sniff around and get used to the new smells (aka your baby); let your pet sit calmly with you and the baby; always supervise your pet and your baby.

Sources:
http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Dog-Bites/biteprevention.html
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/kids-and-pets/safety-tips.aspx
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/pets_babies.html


The Land of Nod Art Jar- Brilliant!

I love free stuff, and I love having wonderful coworkers who bring me well-loved toys from their kids to pass along to my daughter. So when my coworker, Christine, stopped by my desk yesterday to ask if I wanted anything from her box of goodies that her boys had outgrown, I pounced on this adorable art jar, which had never even been opened!

The I’m Not Bored Anymore Art Jar, Junior from The Land of Nod is just brilliant—all the arts and crafts supplies you need, along with instructions, to make several fun little projects. The Junior version is for ages 3+ (and it’s on sale right now for $14, bonus!), but there’s a regular version too for ages 6+. I absolutely love this concept, and I’m thinking it might be a fun idea to recreate for birthday gifts—you could create a personalized jar label for the birthday girl/boy, personalized instructions, and themed craft projects and supplies. The possibilities are endless!

 


Rent the Runway

The hubs and I have a black tie wedding to go to at the end of April at the St. Regis downtown, swanky swanky! Seriously though, I am so excited to get all dolled up and have a classy night out. I haven’t had a reason to get dressed up like this since before Little O was born, and I don’t know when I will again, so I’ve decided to go big or go home, which means. . . shopping! :)

While shopping online for possible dresses, I came across a web site that intrigued me. Rent the Runway allows members to rent designer dresses and accessories for a fraction of what you would pay retail. You can search through tons of dresses, filtering by length, body type, neckline, occasion, etc.

Prices range from $40 for this $295 Halston Heritage dress up to $400 for this $3,500 Narciso Rodriguez, which is still a chunk of change but a lot less than 3k!

Halston Heritage

Narciso Rodriguez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not sure if I will go this route or stick to the traditional stores—I am pretty picky about fit. Has anyone ever heard of Rent the Runway before or rented a dress from them? I do have to admit, the dresses are gorgeous, and I rather like the idea of not having to store yet another dress that I will likely never wear again.