Toddler Talk

April 16th, 2012


Me:  “Okay, get out of the shower and go to the bathroom.”

Latham:  “No, I don’t have to.  Daddy said I could potty in here as long as I hit the drain.”

The toilet training technique my husband secretly shared with my 3 year old.

The Ciaté Caviar Manicure

April 11th, 2012

Great Britain seems to be shaping up as a breeding ground for cool nail lines. There’s Nails Inc., which turned us Statesiders on our side with stunning glitter effects polish as well as magnetic manicures, and now has Couture, a nifty personalized nail experience where you can pick your color, polish bottle cap, and box adornments.

And now there is Ciaté, which has a cult following in the U.K.  Started by Charlotte Knight, a top U.K. editorial manicurist who also has a chain of highly successful nail bars, the brand offers everything from polish colors to hand and foot care.

And now Ciaté has finally crossed the pond and brought us the Caviar Manicure.  It puts 3-D nail art at your fingertips. The kit comes with a Paint Pot, a bottle of “Caviar pearls“—which look like seed beads, but lack the little pin hole—a tray to catch any errant pearls that wish to escape you, and a little funnel for making sure you don’t lose any of those precious pearls that managed to escape.

The steps are fairly simple: After applying two coats of the supplied Paint Pot, place your finger over the provided tray and sprinkle on your pearls. Once you achieve full coverage, gently push the pearls down using your finger (this supposedly makes them last longer). Then you’ll go about funneling all your escapee pearls back into their bottle, and probably read your latest issue of Allure or watch Dance Moms repeats—I don’t know what you do, but this is what I do—and after 20 minutes, you have yourself some Caviar nails.

The Ciaté Caviar Manicure is kind of pricey – $25 for the set – and if you want it, it’s now available at Sephora.  But there are a lot of do-it-yourself videos and tutorials on the web that will show you how to get the same look for less.  This video is my favorite.

So, are you as excited for Ciaté’s stateside debut as I am? Would you wear a Caviar Manicure?

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Happy Easter!

April 8th, 2012

The Day Latham Wore Something Other Than Sweatpants And Didn’t Cry About It.

April 8th, 2012

Sweatpants and a t-shirt are all you want to wear

Jeans and a button down you say you can’t bear.


So every morning we battle, just you and I

You peel off your pj’s and say it’s sweatpants you spy.


You scamper to your dresser and pull out the third drawer

And dig out your sweatpants in the color you adore.


The sweatpants are not green, blue, black, brown, or grey

They’re red – match nothing – and you wear them every day.


But you dressed yourself yesterday in something surprising

“Mommy, you’ll just love it,” you happily were chiming.


I walked in your room expecting the same sweatpants in red

And there you sat in jeans and a polo while giggling on your bed.


“The Easter Bunny will say I’m handsome,” you said smiling wide

I agreed, high fived you, and gave you tickle on your side.


So we all went to the mall – your dad, brother, you and I

To show the Easter Bunny your outfit and sit on his thigh.


But as soon as we got home, you ripped off your clothes

And pulled on your red sweatpants – I guess that’s how it goes.


But I bought the Easter picture so I could have evidence of the day

You wore something other than your red sweatpants or your batman pj’s.

 * Latham, my 3 year old on the left, is the little guy who wears nothing but pj’s and sweatpants.

Take A Dip In the Pastel Pants Pond. The Water Feels Fine!

April 7th, 2012

From bright pink to neon yellow, the world has dipped their legs into the candy-colored trend of brightly-hued denim.  And now I’m swimming in the pastel pants pond, too.  I can’t believe I finally found colored denim that fits and doesn’t make my bottom half look behemoth.

Thank you Ann Taylor.

I heart you.


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I Have Two New Best Friends. So What If They’re Handbags. No Judging.

April 3rd, 2012

One of the best parts about visiting my hometown of Phoenix last week:  the shopping.  I was driving down Camelback  when I spotted Red on the right side of the road.  Not only is the place packed with incredible vintage modern furniture, art, and accessories – the boutique also holds the most beautiful collection of vintage clothes, jewelry, handbags, and accessories.

It was so fun to look through all the mint condition pieces for a few minutes.  And yes, I did buy a couple things – a super shiny silver 70s box bag with two shoulder straps and a small cream purse with a brown lucite handle.

And they are my two new best friends.


Image 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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If This Doesn’t Put You in a Good Mood, I Don’t Know What Will

April 2nd, 2012

If the LC by Lauren Conrad collection for Kohl’s doesn’t put you in a good mood, I don’t know what will.  I mean, this girl is on roll, with her growing lifestyle sitebeauty blog and People StyleWatch gig.  Her spring 2012 collection is feminine, colorful and California-cool. There are spring dresses, skinny jeans, and breezy blouses in a mix of floral prints and light brights like coral, dusty rose and sky blue.  There is a perfect little black dress, a faux-leather jacket and a tailored blazer – all great wardrobe staples, while a yellow and white colorblock top, peplum vest and high-low skirt will let you check off all the latest trends without spending too much.  And you’ll gasp when you see all the sweet fashion jewelry.

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Husbandism #49

March 30th, 2012

David:  “I’m not sure I like your new shampoo.  I mean, it smells like what we used to wash our dog with when I was a kid.”

What my husband said last night after smelling my freshly washed hair.

A Goodbye For Grandma

March 29th, 2012

My 91 year old Grandma passed away recently, and I just wanted to share with you what I read at her memorial service last weekend.  She was an amazing woman and I miss her every day.

A Goodbye For Grandma

One of my first memories of memories of my grandma was when I was about 8 years old.  I was at her house spending the night because we had to get up early the next morning for a super special trip – our trip to Florida.  She took my brother, Devon, to visit my Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Ray the previous summer but this year, she said, was my turn.

I waited all year for this trip.  And Grandma had been filling my head for months with all the adventures the two of us would have together.  She said we were going to do magical things I had never done before, like go to Disney World and meet Micky Mouse, go swimming at the beach where we would dig in the sand and find seashells, and she promised to take me to a place called Sea World, where someone named Shamoo would fly high in the air and do tricks.  I didn’t know who Shamoo was, but I knew if my grandma said it was going to be cool – it was going to be cool.

“But before the adventure begins,” she whispered to me the day before we were to leave, “I have something for you.”

And with that, she revealed a small, red suitcase.  It was exactly my size!

“Grandma,” I said while jumping up and down, “this is so awesome!  I’m going to pack all my stuff in here and take it on our trip together! Thank you!”

You see, I was raised with a lot of love, but not a lot of money, so any present – even a suitcase – was exciting.

“The suitcase,” Grandma giggled, “is only part of your present.  Unzip it and look inside.”

I did as I was told and I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Inside the red suitcase that was exactly my size, were treasures – lots of them.  I discovered a baby doll that wet when you fed her, and a blanket with little flowers that I could wrap her in when she got cold, but the best part – the clothes.

Grandma reached in a pulled out two pairs of shorts and two tops that matched – not to mention the cutest dress I’d ever seen.

“Look,” she said smiling, “can you read what the label says?”

“Made especially for you.  From, Grandma,” I whispered.

My grandma had sewn those clothes just for me – just for our trip – together.  And I felt special.

And she made me feel like that my whole life – special.

She would invite me over to spend the night at her house when I was a kid and she would let me eat Cheetos, drink 7up, and play UNO way past my bed time.

I went with her to K-Mart one time when she somehow found out about a secret shipment of Cabbage Patch dolls that were about to be delivered, and I literally witnessed my grandma body slam another woman so she could buy me one.  It was the 80s people – a Cabbage Patch doll was better than gold in those days.

She would sew me and my mom matching dresses.  And when I was a little girl, there was no one in the world I wanted to dress like more than my mom.  And my grandma made it happen.

And for family holiday dinners, she would make a banana desert topped with pudding and peanuts.  And every time, she would save some of the pudding in a dish just for me because she knew I loved it.

Since both my parents worked full time, I looked for her every day to pick  me and my younger brother up from school, and it never failed – her car was always the first one in the parking lot.

For Halloween, she aways gave me and my brothers lots of candy, and not the small sized candy most kids get when they trick or treat – the regular sized candy adults eat.  And we loved her for that.

When I was in college, she would invite me over once a week for a home cooked meal and we would sit at the kitchen table and talk for hours about the times when she was a little girl on the farm with her 11 brothers and sisters.  She said her sister, Lucille, was the brains behind all the wild schemes the pair pulled on their parents.  But even to this day, I think my grandma was more a part of that dynamic duo than she ever admitted.

And later, when I moved away and started my own career and my own family – I loved that Grandma and I kept our relationship strong with handwritten letters.  I have years of correspondence with my grandma that I treasure.  And every letter ends with, “Keep sweet and I love you.”

And I just want you all to know – I plan on keeping sweet.  And I love her too, so much.

My grandma and her family in 1969. My grandma is in the green dress and my mom is the teenager on the left in red.  Don’t you love her cat eye glasses?

House Tour: Family Room

March 7th, 2012

One of my guilty pleasures about meeting new people: taking a tour of their home.  I am such a fan of home decor and I love seeing how others style their own.  It’s been a while since you’ve sneaked a peek at my house, so I thought today, I’d give you a tour of our family room.

I’ve got five main colors going on in here: robin egg blue, avocado green, white, brown, and gold.  In our family room, you’ll find polka dot and stripe chairs, mixed with large paisley print valences hanging from a trio floor length windows.  Combining different prints adds a lot of texture, warmth, and playfulness to a room.  But here’s the thing – you must keep it in the main color palette.

To me, a room is all about finding and displaying the accessories you can not live without.  I love my little white rhinoceros that lives on the shelf, the pretty blue McCoy pottery I’ve collected over the years which holds Christmas cacti that not even I can kill, and the beautiful bezel mirrors I discovered on super sale at Target a year ago.  But the accessory I love the most:  the 3 1/2 foot letter ‘Y’ I bought from a thrift shop.  I was told, it used to be the ‘Y’ in the sign of a bakery shop which went out of business.  But when I first set eyes on my ‘Y’, it was a mess.  There was rust, and dents, and bolts that made David’s hands bleed when he removed them.  But through it all, I could see with a little love, a lot of elbow grease, and a coat of glossy white paint, my ‘Y’ would add a fun touch of personalization to our family room.  And it did.

I hope my guilty pleasure is yours as well, and you enjoy the tour of my family room.

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Toddler Talk

March 6th, 2012

Reichen:  “Daddy, what’s that called?”

David:  “It’s called an electrical outlet and you should never put your finger in one.”

Reichen:  “Why?”

David:  “They are really dangerous.  If you put your finger in one, you get electrocuted and all your hair falls out.”


Reichen:  “Daddy?”

David:  “Yes, Reichen?”

Reichen:  “Is that how you lost all your hair – when you put your finger in a light socket?”

The Best and The Brightest – Orange

March 1st, 2012

Orange Crush. It’s the new red and looks best with a neutral, like beige or black.

how to wear orange

1. Nail Polish

2. Necklace

3. Button Down Shirt

4. Skirt

5. Jeans

6. Watch

7. Bracelet

8. Sunglasses

9. Clutch

10. Platforms

11. Lip Gloss

12. Dress

13. Tank Top

14. Cardigan

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The Best and The Brightest – Green

February 29th, 2012

 Green.  Find your shade – whether kelly, mint, or olive.

How To Wear Green



1.  Silk Dress

2.  Drop Earrings

3.  Cargo Pants

4.  Tennis Shoes

5.  Shirt

6.  Maxi Dress

7.  Nail Polish

8.  Nail Polish

9.  Sunglasses

10.  Eyeshadow

11.  Sweater

12.  Chandelier Earrings

13.  Shorts

14.  Clutch

The Best and The Brightest – Blue

February 28th, 2012

Electric Blue.  A hue that flatters all skin tones.  how to wear electric blue



1.  Ballet Flat

2.  Pants

3.  Sash Belt

4.  Leather Belt

5.  Sunglasses

6.  Tights

7.  Shorts

8.  Dress

9.  Platform Pumps

10.  Skirt

11.  Bracelet

12.  Scarf

13.  Nano Wrist Strap

14.  Necklace

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The Best and The Brightest – Yellow

February 27th, 2012

Yellow.  You think you can’t wear it?  You can.  And the brighter, the better! 




1.  Scarf

2.  Sandals

3.  Shorts

4.  Tennis Shoes

5.  Belt

6.  Trench Coat

7.  Handbag

8.  Dress

9.  Bracelet

10.  Necklace

11.  Earrings

12.  Jeans

13.  Rain Boots

14.  Watch

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