Saturday, July 31, 2010

{I} Covet

These Dior Thigh High's...

Quite simply put, they are beautiful!  When I visited Fashion Foie Gras last night, I just had to sit back and just enjoy the sheer beauty of them.  I think the editorial with Emily Blunt showcase them so much better than the ad, don't you think?

 These Kurt Geiger nude beauties. 

Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!

Friday, July 30, 2010

{Friday Five} Places I'd Like to Visit

1- London, England

I can remember precisely the moment I was overcome with desire to visit London.  I was spending a 6 weeks of my summer vacation at my favorite uncle's house in Florida and it was extremely hot outside. I remember sitting in front of the television the week leading up to Princess Diana & Prince Charles' wedding and watching the morning news channel show a week long feature of places of interest to visit in London.  I was in awe. Such beautiful old buildings! And how strange...they drive on the "wrong" side of the road.  Summer of 1981 commenced my love affair with London.  It has always been on top of the places I'd love to visit.  Hopefully, we will be fulfilling that desire next summer, if all works out as planned!

2- Paris, France

This is another place I've wanted to visit since I was a wee little girl.  How, you may ask?  This one tell tale line will tell you how:

"In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines ...". 

I was an early reader, and Ludwig Bemelmans books were the very first ones I was introduced to by the librarian at our local library.  I remember clearly reading the book to my mother and wanting her to take me back to get some more!  Years later, Paris, France, was the topic of my 4th grade Social Studies report.  The Eiffel Tower was not the only thing that enthralled me, but also The Louvre, Notre Dame and the countless cafes, and delectable food and shopping....who can forget SHOPPING!

3- Rome, Italy
It's been said, you have not tasted pizza till you have had an authentic one in Italy.  Not only am I a huge fan of Italian food, but I am a sucker for places filled with architectural details and rich in history.  The Colosseum, the countless piazzas and fountains, and who can forget The Sistine Chapel.

4- Maui, Hawaii

Just look at this photo....this is paradise.  A little piece of heaven, on Earth.  Need I say more?

5- Barcelona, Spain

Growing up I remember my paternal grandmother (who I was very attached to) telling me stories about her parents.  Her father grew up in a town not far from Barcelona.  When she was a little girl, he would tell her stories of what it was like to grow up in Spain.  She never did get to visit the place of her father's birth. I would one day like to envision the stories he told her, and she retold to me, with my own eyes. Hopefully, while I'm there, I can attempt to trace back more of my family tree. 

I love reading your comments.  What are 5 places you would love to visit?  Have a great weekend!
3, 4, 5

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sweet Deals & Lovely Day

Here is my sweet deal of the day!  Bought myself 5 cami's in an array of colors for $10!  Yes, ten dollars for 5 cami's! Old Navy is hosting a $2 Cami sale starting today 7/29 through Saturday 7/31 in stores only. Get layering camis regularly priced at $8.50 for only $2 when you present this coupon or say "Cami 4 me" (which is what I did) to the cashier. 

I spent a lovely Thursday morning at the movies with Mr. Man.  We saw the movie "SALT" starring Angelina Jolie and Liev Schrieber.  My thoughts?  A definite must see.  Angelina Jolie is at her action star best in this movie.  The story has it's twist and turns but keeps you enthralled from start to finish.  After the movie, we visited our favorite Japanese restaurant for some sushi.  I swear, if I could only eat one type of food everyday for the rest of my life, it would be Japanese food...especially sushi.

If that weren't enough to constitute a lovely day, I had 3 hours all to myself after I dropped off Lil Miss at her weekday activity.  What did I do?  There is only one!  After driving around and exploring the surrounding vicinity Monday and Tuesday I discovered there were some very nice shopping malls.  The one discovery that made my Anthropologie store!  I was in heaven.  I didn't buy anything since I was on a strict budget.  Today's shopping expedition was strictly for gifts for close friends children we are going to see this weekend.

Bargain Shoppers heads up!  Gap has an additional 40% off markdowns on adult and kids (baby excluded) clearance items.  Janie and Jack has sweet items on their clearance rack with an additional 30% off at the register.  J Crew & CrewCuts has select clearance items at an additional savings of 30% as well.  And anyone in the market for book bags....Staples has an offer you can't pass up.  You purchase any book bag between now and Saturday, you will get a rebate for the full amount in the form of a Staples gift card.  

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
Look at the sunny side of everything & make your
optimism come true.
Think only of the best, work only for the best & expect only the best.
Forget the mistakes of the past & press on to the
greater achievements of the future.
Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side as long as you are true to the best that is in you!
- Christian D. Larson

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lazy Monday

There is no better way to spend a lazy Monday afternoon than sitting with my laptop at a Starbucks cafe catching up on all my favorite blogs.

My weekend was really busy but enjoyable for the most part.  My brother and his family came down for a 3 day visit.  I was able to spend quality time with my beautiful niece.  It never fails, I am always rendered speechless to observe how quickly children grow!  Is she really 18 months already?  We all spent the better part of the day at the beach on Sunday enjoying the hot weather, sand and amazing waves.  I was so exhausted by the fun in the sun, I promptly fell asleep by 8pm!

This morning, we all ate breakfast together and said goodbye to my brother and his family and thanked them for their visit.  They enjoyed the beach so much, they are planning to come back up again in August.  With the house back in order after entertaining family for the weekend, it is back to the usual.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  Have a wonderful week!

Friday, July 23, 2010

{Friday Five} Things that Made Me Smile This Week

1- Spending time shopping with a friend.

2- Two whole days back home in the heart of NYC.

3- Introducing Lil' Miss to the world of antique shops.

4. Exploring a hip artistic urban town a mere 30 minute drive from home.

5- Making surprise weekend plans involving a full house with loved ones.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

The future belongs to those who believe in
the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday @ Shake Shack & Times Square

Nothing is better than enjoying a hot summer day in NYC with a great friend trying out Shake Shack's new location on 44th Street and Eighth Avenue.  We both had the Shack Burger...which definitely did not disappoint!  I had mine with an Arnold Palmer (for those that don't know what this is, it is a mix of iced tea and lemonade...oh so refreshing on a hot afternoon!), and for dessert, Pretzel the Concrete. Goodness, this was absolutely delicious!  This was made using chocolate custard, peanut butter sauce, chocolate covered pretzels, and marshmallow sauce mixed to perfection!  How I wish I had some more of it right now....  My friend, K, also had the Shack Burger, but opted to have hers with their delightfully crunchy crinkly french fries and a make your own Concrete (don't remember exactly what it consisted of...I do remember lots of chocolate goodies and bananas...YUM!)  We were in food heaven!

Afterwards, we walked to the heart of Times Square, because, being the fashion enthusiast that we are, we had to pay a visit to the new Forever 21.  We were absolutely overwhelmed!  It was four stories, and hundreds upon hundreds of square feet of wall to wall clothing.  Every girl's dream. K took the shopping bag the greeter offered and we were off!  We had some great laughs while perusing the racks upon racks of frocks.  We then went into the dressing room and tried on the items that caught our eye. K walked out with 2 great tops and a pack of socks, I walked out with a layered knit top (pictured above).

It was an amazing way to pass a few hours....without a care in the world, doing what you love to do, with people who put a smile on your face!

Friday, July 16, 2010

I {heart} M.A.C.

Oh boy, am I in trouble!

M.A.C. is coming out with a delightful assortment of "eye candy" (and lip and face....) this September aptly called The Venemous Villians Collection.  There are so many goodies I have my sight on.  I've already started a wish list. Good thing our wedding anniversary is in September!

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

{I Heart You, Mr. Postman!} Lucky Girl!

It wasn't exactly my Postman, but the friendly neighborhood Fed Ex guy!

A couple of weeks ago, I visited one of my favorite blogs, Trust Your Style, and entered a giveaway for an adorable pair of tweezers & set of miniature nail files adorned with little paw prints Mary Jo was hosting.   I actually never expected to win since I was the very first to post, but I just had to tell her how cute her giveaway was.  More importantly, I loved the fact the company designed them to be sold to raise money for the U.S. Humane Society.  

Imagine my surprise when Mary Jo stopped by my blog on Monday and told me I had won!  I was even more surprised to hear the knock on my door on Wednesday and realize when I opened the package that it was the tweezers and nail files!  Talk about super quick shipment!

If you haven't visited Mary Jo's blog, take a moment to take a peek.  I adore all her creations (especially love this cocktail ring).  Thanks again, Mary Jo, for the wonderful giveaway!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.
-- Audrey Hepburn

photo: Flicker

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sweet Finds

What do you do when you have 2 hours to yourself, and $30 to spend?

Well, if you are me, you try to figure out how far you can stretch $30. I decided I would take a trip to the mall.  I must have been one eager beaver because when I arrived I thought there was something terribly wrong.  All the stores were closed.  No worries, I just arrived 15 minutes prior to the start of the business day.   I decided to stop at Starbucks and get a Caramel Frappachino....just the energy boost I needed to decide which stores I wanted to visit.

I vowed I would not take out the plastic.  This meant I could not go over my allotted $30. My only cushion was $2 (my change from Starbucks). What did I get?

@ Forever 21
Loved this T.  It's a lovely blush color, of course, but the details on the sleeves are so girly and delicate.  If you look closely you can see pretty pleating and gatherings.  The hanger does no justice for it. $6.50

@ Forever 21

Seems like blush was the color of the day.  I spied this adorable 3/4 sleeve crop cardigan on the sale rack. And since I was wearing a cami today, tried it on, on the spot.  Loved it.  One look at the price tag, and the decision was made! $4.99

@ ALDO's
A pair of sandals were just calling my name as I passed ALDO's to Starbucks at the start of my adventure.  But I thought, there is no way I am going to find anything within my budget in there.  Went to peruse the Macy's shoe sale rack, nothing.  I was about to walk out the Macy's exit when I realized...I didn't park on this side of the mall! Through Macy's I went and out into the mall area....I had to pass ALDO's to get to the exit where my vehicle was parked. Again the sandals started taunting me....CJ....CJ....  Oh, well, what can looking at the price tag and laughing do to me right?  I walked in and it was then I noticed a sign...SALE up to 75% off.  A smaller sign on the shelf where the sandals were calling me from stated $19.99. I asked the sales woman if she had my size in these sandals and sure enough, she did!  I came home with these pretties!

My grand total for my finds today? $31.48.  Sweet finds indeed!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Flirty & Oh So Girly

J'adore these three dresses worn by Olivia Palermo & Jessica Alba during Paris Fashion Week. It proves it's so much fun being a girl!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

You're Going Places, Baby!

It has become a soothing ritual for me....twice a day, every day....once in the morning and then again in the evening, I make it a point to come on my blog and take a look at my list of blog favorites to see which blogs have been updated.  I then sit with my cup of coffee (remember, I'm a caffeine addict) and read through each and every one.

Imagine my surprise when reading The Simply Luxurious Life update I realized I was bestowed with the You're Going Places, Baby blog award.  My very first award!  I was beyond excited to receive an award from a blogger who, in just a few short months, I have come to treasure.  Her updates are tremendously uplifting, beautiful, and chock full of wisdom. I must admit I eagerly anticipate each one.  So when I saw she presented me with this honor my heart swelled with tremendous warmth and gratitude.  Thank you so much, Shannon.  It really does mean a lot to me.

As the proud recipient of this award I must also comply with two things:
  • Describe where you think you'll be in 10 years
  • Pass the fun along to other bloggers
 Ten years from now I hope to find myself fulfilling a dream which was inspired by my daughter.  She has big hopes and dreams for her future and the moment she shared them with me, she said she would like to see me at her side helping her every step of the way.  So in ten years I hope to be managing a brilliant young woman's career.  I hope to keep her grounded and help steer her in the right direction.  I hope to be able to give her sound advice and to be able to take a step back and allow her to make her own decisions when my advice is not required.  The path that she wants to take is a tough one, but she has already demonstrated the maturity, commitment and perseverance needed in order to make her dream a reality.  So I am in it with her and for her, all the way.

I would like to bestow this marvelous award to :

Ladies, your blogs always put a smile on my face.

Thanks again, Shannon.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Perfect Day in NYC

A few weeks back Grandpa asked Lil' Man if he wanted to go visit the USS Intrepid.  Being the military enthusiast that he is, he answered with an enthusiastic yes without skipping a beat.  Grandpa then turned to Lil' Miss and asked if she'd like to come along.  "Oh Grandpa" she said.  "I'm sorry, but I visited the USS New Jersey with my school for our class trip and that was enough visiting air craft carriers for me."

Lil' Miss not only looks like me, but she thinks and acts like me too.  She is my carbon copy, improved.  So it is suffice to say that she is a "girly Girl".   Not wanting to miss an opportunity to ride into NYC, I decided to plan a whole Girly Girl Day in the city.

We had a whole six and a half hours to do whatever we liked and I had the day planned.

Lil' Miss and I were dropped off in front of the steps of the MET (The Metropolitan Museum of Art).  We always plan a pilgrimage here every summer.  But this year there were two exhibits in particular I wanted her to see.  She had just been learning about the renowned painter, Pablo Picasso, in school this year.  The Met was featuring an exhibit where their entire collection of his drawings, paintings, sculptures, and ceramics were being displayed in their entirety for the very first time.  We were in awe by the museums extensive collection and by Picasso's vivid imagination.

The second exhibit we visited was most definitely after a budding fashionista's heart. American Woman: Fashioning A National Identity was amazing. It displayed how women's fashion from the 1890's to the 1940's helped shape the way women are seen today.  We were both quickly drawn to the beautiful intricate details of the gowns on display from "The Heiress" era of the 1890's and "The Screen Siren" period of the 1940's.  She made the immediate correlation on her own to the reason why woman dressed the way they did during the fight for civil rights. It was an amazing exhibit.  Afterwards, we spent thirty minutes perusing the books for sale in the gift shop.  Which did she decide to purchase?

A beautiful coffee table book.  A perfect purchase.

We checked the time and realized that it was quickly approaching lunchtime.  We took the bus to 42nd Street and walked up to Eighth Avenue.

We arrived a little early to our lunch date at Dallas BBQ's.  We were meeting up, for the first time, with an online friend of mine, the author of Tres Chic En Ville.  She is just as sweet and amazing to talk to in person as she is online.  It proved to me yet again the great advantages of the Internet.  Via the wonders of blogs and online chats, we are able to forge friendships with fascinating individuals who share our same interests which we may have never been able to meet due to distance.  I am so thankful for the brains behind the Internet and blogs and social networking sites.  I have met some pretty amazing people I am glad to call my friends.

We passed on dessert at Dallas BBQ's because I had a special stop planned for Lil' Miss.  We made a quick stop at a kiosk in the Port Authority before heading into the subway to take  the shuttle train and then the number 5 train uptown express one stop to 59th Street.  I couldn't wait to take her to the last place to visit on my agenda.

During my University years I would spend plenty of evenings in the city with my friends.  If we weren't going out to a club, we were scouring the novelty shops in the Village or Soho, or checking out a comedy club, art gallery, or finding the nearest coffee shop or restaurant.  It was during one of these aimless walks in the city that we discovered a tiny little place with a throng of people just waiting to get in.  My 3 friends and I looked at each other and thought, this unassuming place must be good if people have committed to waiting the 90 minutes to get in. And so we placed our name on the list and waited our turn to get inside.  It quickly became one of our favorite "go to" places for out of this world dessert.

Serendipity 3 is located in a tiny little venue on 60th Street between 2nd & 3rd Avenue.  Decorated with an array of little tchotchkes, hanging Tiffany lamps, and elaborate chandeliers decorated with pearls and flowers, it is every girly girls dream of a sweet shop.  I have been dying to take Lil' Miss here for her first visit, but each time we have planned it either something came up, the wait was too long, or we were with a party that was too large to be accommodated without reservations and in such short notice.  Since this time we were only going for dessert I knew we would not be able to make reservations.  We just have to keep our fingers crossed and pray we would be able to get in.  I felt good about it; Today would be the day.  All our wishing and hoping worked! After waiting 35 minutes, we were led to our table upstairs.  Lil' Miss was about to experience a treat so delightful, there are no words to describe it!

At the end of the day, Lil' Man told me he had a great day with grandpa, and I had yet another day to explore the city that runs deep in my veins with the most important young lady in my life.  I truly enjoy showing her the wonders NYC has to offer along with the precious time spent bonding.  It truly was a perfect day!

photos: Flicker,, google

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

If Money Were No Object

I happened upon photos of Chanel Couture Fall 2010 collection when visiting one of my favorite blogs yesterday, The Simply Luxurious Life, and was quite literally drooling.

If money were no object, I would most definitely be ordering these 5 exquisite pieces for my fall wardrobe.
You can see the whole collection here.

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Heat Wave!

Photo: weheartit

The Tri-state area is being hit with record breaking temperatures this week.  I am not a huge fan of extreme weather conditions.

Yesterday, I donned a light, cool sundress from Old Navy and went with Lil' Miss to select a present for her best friend.  I quite literally melted the short 30 or so steps to the car!  The car was like a sauna. Fortunate for us, the spotty air conditioning had been checked and repaired prior to the spike in temperature.

The heat was so taxing that upon our return, I promptly laid down and settled in for an unplanned two hour nap.  Now I believe whole-heartedly how quickly heat exhaustion can set in.  Thank goodness for central air conditioning.  I am actually glad major cities have set up cooling centers for those who do not have it.  It is scary what a rise in temperatures can do to the body.

Hope everyone is staying cool while the heat index is on the rise.  Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of H2O. Have a great week!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, America!

Two hundred and thirty four years ago today America claimed their independence from Britain.  That very day, democracy was born.  It was due to those brave colonists who banded together and stood up against the injustices they were suffering who made America forever known as "the land of the free, the home of the brave".

So as we head out to BBQ's or the beach, swimming or the park, we should all take a moment to give a silent thank you to all the men and women who put their lives on the line in order to maintain the very freedom our forefathers fought to gain.  Because, in reality, Freedom isn't really free.

Happy 4th of July!  Have a happy and safe one.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Nothing Says Summer.....

photo: weheartit

Nothing says summer more than a delicious ice cream cone.

We have several local ice cream shops in our area.  My favorite is a place called Sundaes.  They make all their ice cream on the premises.  My favorite?  Key Lime Pie!  It is like literally like eating a frozen slice of Key Lime Pie, graham cracker crust and all.

But when I want to bring home a pint from the market, I am a bit of an ice cream snob.  And it can be nothing but the best.  Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey or Cherry Garcia.  Mr. Man always tries to get me to select one of the ice cream brands that are on sale, rather than paying regular price for just a pint of the gourmet stuff.  But no such luck. Once you try it, you just can't go back to plain vanilla.

What is your favorite ice cream?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Favorite Finds

I just love when I stumble upon new things....

During my day trip in NYC, I just had to pay a visit to my all time favorite cupcake bakery, Crumbs.  Typically, their Red Velvet cupcake screams my name each time I go there.  But this time, a newbie boldly told me "CJ, trust me, you want to give me a try.  You will definitely be blown away when you sink your teeth into me."  I am not shy to trying something new and decided to respond...."Let's see what you got!"

Tiramisu cupcake was....OUT...OF....THIS.....WORLD!!!!

My mouth waters just thinking of how incredibly delicious this cupcake was.  I actually raved about it so much to Mr. Man, he can't wait to try one.  Hopefully, he will bring one home for me too so I can experience the tasty goodness all over again.

Everyone knows I am a MAC girl.  But that doesn't mean I do not take a peek into other shops like SEPHORA.  The closest Sephora to me is the itty bitty one located in JC Penney.  No fun, since they do not offer everything a stand alone shop has to offer.  The little people who accompanied me in my recharge trip to NYC all groaned when we turned a corner on our way to lunch and saw the Sephora store beckoning me on 67th and Third.  I compromised, I told them "I will take you to lunch first, then if you let me take a peek in this "candy store", I will take you for cupcakes!"  They quickly agreed, unbeknown st to them that I was going to take them to Crumbs regardless.

Luckily I did take a peek.  I found the above headband.  You can match it to your hair color and looks so natural, as though you took the time to actually braid a piece of hair and create this hairstyle.  A wonderful summer accessory whether you are wearing it to the beach or out to dinner.  And for the tune of $10, it is extremely affordable.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Photos: Crumbs, Sephora