Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Hope everyone has a Happy & Safe Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

{Movie Review} Hereafter

After much deliberating, hubby and I decided to take in Hereafter once we were done with our combination celebratory birthday lunch of shumai, sushi, and tempura ice cream dessert (which, by the way, was absolutely delicious, as always).  Unfortunately we didn't have much options since we are a few weeks shy of the major box office movie release date known as Thanksgiving weekend.

Hereafter was directed by Clint Eastwood and staring Matt Damon as a blue collar worker with special abilities to communicate with people in the afterlife.  It also follows a French journalist, Marie Lelay who escapes death from a tsunami; and a young British boy named Marcus, who is grieving the loss of his twin brother.  The three of their lives intertwine as they search for answers.

I have to be brutally honest....the movie was a bit slow.  There were some good scenes, especially the interaction between Matt Damon's character, George, and Melanie (played by Bryce Dallas Howard), George's culinary class partner.  Without giving away much, there was a scene performed by George and Frankie McLaren that moved both, Mr. Man and I to tears.  These two young boys are very talented and ones to watch out for.

My final thoughts?  This is a movie that you can wait for on video.  The storyline was one many of us ponder....Is there life after death?  But it is definitely a 2 hour movie that is best to watch at home on a rainy day.

Friday, October 29, 2010

{DIY} Queen of Hearts Scepter

Lil Miss (or Lil Diva as we like to call her when she gets demanding) loves to ask for my help in choosing a costume for Halloween.  Having been that kid who went shopping for costumes late due to monetary constraints growing up, I always ended up with a costume that wasn't my first choice.  I vowed when I became a parent, I would make sure my children would always have their first choice costume.  I am "that" parent that sets out to purchase her child's costume in late August.  Lil Man was easy....he wanted to be Captain America.  His only request...."I don't want to be the muscly one mom.....just a plain comfortable costume."  Fine, I appeased him, much to my dismay.

Finding the perfect costume for Lil Miss is so much fun!  I scour through the endless costume choices online and then bring my selection to her for the final verdict.  This year?  She will be a cute and girly Queen of Hearts. She and I both looked online at the props and saw this one. 

We loved it.  What we didn't love was the price.  $20?!!? plus shipping for a ribbon decorated dowel with cards? No way.  I looked at Lil Miss and told her, I can make this for at least half the price.  Lucky thing Lil Miss reminded me she needed her prop on Monday....I ran out to the store to purchase the necessary items.

A lot of the consumables (glues, trimmers, heart punch, glitter glue, white acrylic paint, red and black cardstock) I already had at home.  I ended up purchasing: Dowel, deck of cards, Red, Black, white ribbon (didn't end up using the white), and gold ornate jewelry.
How Did I Do It?
*I started off by painting the wooden dowel white. *Since the center of the gold ornate jewelry was blue, I used my red glitter glue to change it to a more appropriate red.  *I removed the Jack, King, & Queen of Hearts cards out of the deck and adorned the hearts and the letters with red glitter glue as well.  *I let them dry overnight to insure they had dried thoroughly.  *Next morning, I hot glued the red ribbon candy cane style around the white dowel. *I adhered the black ribbon around the bottom where she will hold it from.  *I then took the red wire ribbon and tied a bow to where the black ribbon meets the white dowel portion.  *I secured it from unraveling with a dot of hot glue.  *Once that dried I attached the now red centered gold ornate jewelery to the center of the bow. * I attached the King and Jack off centered to the back of the dowel, and then adhered the Queen centered to the front of the dowel. * Finally, I added the framed red heart to the bottom of the Queen of Hearts card where it meets the dowel.

And this is the final product:

My $8 take on the Queen of Hearts Scepter.

{Friday Five} Looking Forward to....

1} Surprising Mr. Man with a Heath Bar Trifle in celebration of his birthday today.

2} A combination birthday date of Sushi & a Movie.

3} Baking cupcakes.

4} Helping my two slip into their costumes & taking them Trick or Treating on Halloween.
 5} Bidding October a bittersweet goodbye till next year.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work.
- Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

{What a Bargain} In Search of the Perfect Peacoat

Two years ago, I decided I was through with carrying around the last 15 pounds I had left to shed from having my Lil' Man.  Since I had already had much success with the Weight Watchers diet after giving birth to Lil Miss, I knew once I put my mind to it, I would accomplish my goal.  Within 6 months, I was back to the weight I was during my University years.

This was a huge accomplishment.  Although I was extremely excited about dropping 3 dress sizes, my pocketbook was in dire distress.  I couldn't wear clothes that were literally falling off of me.  This meant I had to start acquiring a new wardrobe.  Of course one of the priciest things to replace is outerwear.  Living in the Northeast where we have to wear a coat or a jacket on an average of 7 months out of the year, means we usually have about 4 different types of them in our coat closet.  Last year I replaced the dire everyday coat and jacket, and my dress coat.  I decided to leave replacing my peacoat for this year. 

I have been scouring all the websites looking for the perfect one in style and value.  I had seen several updated stylish looking ones which I was tempted to buy but decided against it thinking "The ruffles are cute, but will I eventually say, I want a classic looking one?"  Over the weekend, I went shopping with my mother and came across the one pictured above.  I was instantly drawn to the camel color.  The coat priced originally at $129.95, was on sale for 40% off making it $77.97.  Great deal, right?

Well, keep in mind, I am the bargain shopper.  I remembered I had a store coupon for $35 off the purchase of $75 or more at home.  I decided to call Mr. Man and send him on his bargain shopping mission.  I took a picture of me modeling the peatcoat, jotted down the style number, told him where I kept the coupon at, and sent him on his way.  When the cashier rang Mr. Man up, she even exclaimed "Wow, this is an amazing bargain!"

Final cost for my new peacoat? $42.97

Monday, October 25, 2010

Where Did the Weekend Go?

It's hard to believe, it's already Monday!

Here are my weekend highlights:

* Took an early bus into NYC to visit my hairstylist to get a much needed haircut.

* Met up with my Mom and had a shrimp scampi over linguine lunch in City Island.

* Accompanied Mom to a happening birthday party.

* Sent Mr. Man on a mission to pick up a peacoat at an amazing price. (More on the tomorrow!)

Even though I am a city girl through and through, one thing that I definitely became accustomed to about living in suburbia is the quietness of the evenings.  All we hear here by the shore at night are the sounds of crickets. In NYC however, specifically where my mother lives, I was awoken every 30 minutes by the sound of the NYC Transit Bus approaching and departing from the stop across the street.  I also heard the firetrucks, police cars, and individuals arguing with each other as they walked by.  So, needless to say, I was happy to get a restful night's sleep after a fun filled weekend.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

{Sweet Find} J Crew

I love adding pretty 3/4 sleeve and long sleeved tees into my fall wardrobe.  You can dress them up by pairing it with a nice pair of trousers or a pencil skirt and some fun accessories, or you can wear them more casually with a nice fitted pair of jeans.  I was scouring through the J Crew sales section and happened upon the above tee, which I had my eye on several weeks back.  The ruched front and cascading ruffle give it that added touch of femininity.  Lucky thing I waited.....the price came down from $42.50 to an extremely reasonable $14.99.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Beauty is a gift. Intelligence is an investment. Wealth is a result. Humility is an achievement. 
-Author Unknown

Sunday, October 17, 2010

{Weekend Highlights} 10-17-10

Fall is my all time favorite season.

We have been  spending a lot of times outdoors ever since the brisk autumn weather has arrived.  There is just something so wonderful about donning a warm sweater or jacket and staring at the marvels Mother Nature has to offer us during the months of September, October, and November.

Many of my family's all time favorite family traditions take place during Autumn.  One of our favorites is visiting a pumpkin patch and picking pumpkins straight from the vines.  Each year, each of us goes in search of the perfect pumpkin.  We then bring them home, wash them off, and paint faces on them before setting them on our front porch as a decorative element.

This year I introduced a new "tradition"....corn mazing.  I knew once my Little Guy was old enough, that this would be something we would love to do.  The farm we go to has a 5 acres large corn maze.  We were given riddles with clues of which direction we need to go.  It was so much fun getting lost and going around in circles till we finally made it out.  Lil Diva said the moment we were done..."This is definitely something we have to do as a family tradition every year!"  And so an additional family tradition is added to our ever growing Autumn list.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, October 15, 2010

{I Covet} Marc Jacobs

Received my November edition of Elle magazine and I literally spent a good 20 minutes just staring at this beautiful dress from Marc Jacobs Resort 2011 collection.  Gorgeous!  And it looks beautiful on Ms. Kate Hudson too.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

You must not only aim right, but draw the bow with all your might.
-Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

{Tuesday Treasure} A Special Phone Call

What is a friend?  A single soul dwelling in two bodies.  ~Aristotle

I received a phone call from my mom this weekend:

Mom: Hi Mama, you will never guess who I ran into in City Island yesterday?

Me: Who?

Mom: She walked up to me and was so happy to see me because it meant getting back in contact with you.  She had the cutest baby boy in her arms and when I asked her who did the baby belong to she said, he's hers.

Me: Wow, you've intrigued me, who was it?

Mom: Your friend, M!

Wow, my goodness, it has been at least 4 years since I last saw M. It was for her second wedding.  

M and I became friends the first day of the second semester of freshman year of high school.  I remember as clear as day the first day I met her.  She was walking down the hallway with a confident stride wearing skinny jeans and high heels, her beautiful long black waist length hair swaying down her back.  Of course the teen boys were intrigued.  Some of the girls looked on with envy.  A girl standing next to me immediately made a statement "Pfft, who does she think she is walking around in heels?!  She walks with her nose in the air!"  Personally, I never was (and to this day) a person to judge a person at first glance.  I recall looking at the girl standing beside me and saying. "Why do you say that?  Is it just because she is pretty?"  I must have taken the girl aback.  She sputtered a few incoherent sounds and walked into the classroom.

I walked back into the class and took my seat.  A few minutes past the last bell, M walked into the room. There were a couple of seats available, one of which was next to me.  You can see girls snickering as she walked towards the one next to me.  She looked at me before she sat down and had a nervous smile.  I smiled back and said "Hi, by the way, love your shoes!"  The nervous smile turned into a huge genuine one that lit up her eyes and that was the beginning of our lifelong friendship.

We became fast friends because we shared many of the same interest, were raised with similar morals and values, and both dreamed of succeeding in school and life in general.  We both graduated and I was a bridesmaid in her wedding and later became the godmother to her first born son.  One thing that was always true in our friendship was the fact we would lose touch because life would get in the way and her phone number would constantly change. But I believe it is a sign from God that we are meant to be friends forever, because somehow...she would always run onto someone who knew me, whether it be a friend or a relative and she would quickly give them her number so we can get reacquainted.  

This morning, I spent 2 hours catching up with her.  It was great.  I was so happy to hear after some heartaches in her past, she is genuinely happy now with her second husband, her children,especially the new addition.  

What's know a true friend when no matter how much time passes, and you lose touch, when you meet up again, you pick up right where you left off.  

My Tuesday Treasure is "finding" my dear friend again.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

{Weekend Highlights} 10-10-10

Just stopping in for a quick hello!  Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  Even though we had absolutely nothing planned....for a change, I enjoyed every minute of it.

* Spent an hour in a Starbucks cafe sharing a latte and just chatting with hubby.
* Visited my mother in law who just returned home after 4 months away.
* Got a case of the sillies with the family while driving.
* Cuddled on the couch with hubby to watch Deception.
*Reconnected with some dear old friends on Facebook I have lost touch with for over 15 years.
*Sat on my front porch with some magazines & soaked up the warm October sunshine.

Hope everyone has a great week! <3

Friday, October 8, 2010

{Friday Five} Things I Look Forward to In the Fall

1} The leaves changing colors.

2} Wearing warm cozy sweaters.


4} Running through a corn maze.

5} Hot Apple Cider.

photos (1,2,3, 4, 5)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Often in life we Forget the things
we should Remember and
Remember the things we should Forget.
-Author Unknown

Monday, October 4, 2010

{Make Me Up Monday} MAC Venemous Villians of Disney Collection

The day I was anxiously awaiting for had arrived!
Cruella DaVil

MAC launched their Venomous Villians of Disney Limited Edition Collection.  I am sure I have said it many times before, but I am a huge fan of MAC cosmetics.  Yes, you do spend a little more than your average drugstore brand, and Lord knows, I love to save a buck here and there.  But since being introduced to MAC cosmetics by my sister several years ago (she gave me a very generous birthday gift of an array of eyeshadows and a lipstick), I have become a believer that sometimes, you get what you pay for.  I adore the fact that with MAC cosmetics, a little literally goes a long way.
Dr. Facilier

I stopped by my local MAC store several weeks ago to get a new fall shade of lipstick and was told by my MAC girl, Ebony, the launch for the new line would be on October 1st.  She then invited me to reserve my spot for a makeover and try the new products, no purchase necessary. ( you can go for a makeover at MAC and NOT buy any products, :) )  Of course, having seen the line, I happily obliged.

All of the colors were amazing.  I did tend to gravitate towards The Evil Queen.  The makeover was beautiful, as always.  I then carefully made my selections.
Evil Queen

Which two items are not the proud new additions to my makeup bag?

Friday, October 1, 2010

{Friday Five} Things I Am Looking Forward to This Weekend

1} Take my Fall clothes out of storage.

2} Watch my daughter take the stage for her last performance
of her very first show with a large production company.

3} Go Apple Picking with the family.

4} Attend the MAC Venomous Villians of Disney launch.

5} Snuggle up on the couch & catch up on 3 episodes of Vampire Diaries.
Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!