Monday, November 29, 2010

{In a Few Words} The Past Week.....

Baked 3 desserts & 4 side dishes
Entertained a crowd of 17
Stood on a checkout line for 2 hours to make one Lil Diva really happy Christmas Morning
Woke up @ 3:30am to go Black Friday shopping
Relived my childhood by giving Lil Bro a girly makeover
Enjoyed watching my children further the bond with their cousins who live hundreds of miles away
Took 2 hours to bring my house back to clean & pristine after family bid their goodbyes
Decked the Halls to jazzy Christmas music
Officially finished my Christmas Shopping
Just need ideas on what to stuff Mr. Man's Christmas stocking with

Thoroughly exhausted....but looking forward to sitting back and enjoying the 2010 Christmas Season!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

{ A Quick Hello} To Do List

Just stopping in for a quick hello.

I am incredibly excited! At about this time tomorrow, my front door will start to have a steady stream of loved ones arriving in preparation for the holiday.  Today I buckled down and made my "To Do" list and I plan to stick to it and get as much accomplished before I get to bed this evening.....

Some random items on my list include:

* Go to Costco
* Bake Thanksgiving desserts
* Set up guest bathroom toiletries basket & towels
* Make a trip to market for fruits and veggies.

Of course this is only a few of the things I have to get done in between taking Lil Diva & Lil Man to their respective after school activities.  I'd love to get most of the items done prior to family arriving so I can relish every single minute of our time together.

Friday, November 19, 2010

TAG (by JulieLeah): I Love Your Blog

 1} Why did you create your blog?
I love writing...always have.  I find it extremely therapeutic. To me, this blog is a means in which I can express myself and jot down things that may seem extremely random to many and inspirational or useful to some.  For a while it really didn't have much of a direction.  But in the past several months it has been slowly taking shape.  I love sharing retail finds, great recipes, movie reviews, beautiful and useful information I may have found and inspirational quotes. It's my way of sharing a little bit of me with the blogging community.

2} What kind of blogs do you follow?
I can't say I follow specific kinds of blogs.  I tend to follow those blogs that make me happy and smile.  Whether it be fashion, recipe, makeup, inspirational, whimsical, comedic...whatever tickles my fancy at the moment.  I love looking at beautiful things, so you will find that many of the blogs I follow tend to have beautiful imagery.  Some of my faves are:

The Simply Luxurious Life
Absolutely Ladylike
Brown Eyed Belle
Trust Your Style
Delightful Bitefuls
Oh La Frou Frou

3} Your favorite makeup brand?
If you have been following me for a while, you know the answer to this one without even reading this.  MAC cosmetics.  I was turned on to them by my younger sister several years ago, and since then that is my go to brand.  There are certain products that are not made by them that I rely on as well, like Lancome is my go to for mascara, and Sephora for my lip balm. But, when it comes to foundation, eye shadows, and lipsticks...MAC all the way baby!

4} Your favorite clothing brand?
I don't think I have a particular favorite clothing brand.  For me, the quality, the durability, and the timelessness of the clothing item is the most important thing. I like to purchase items that are going to last, that wear well, and that won't be dated next time that season comes around.  Looking in my closet you will find a lot of clothes from the Gap, Banana Republic, Express, Ann Taylor Loft, J Crew, and NY & Co.

5}Your indispensable makeup product?
This one is MAC Viva Glam VI lipstick, Lancome Hypnosis mascara, and Rosebud Salve.

6} Your favorite color?
Red, Black, Taupe

7}Your favorite film?
The Notebook.  I can watch this movie a hundred times, and still cry at the end.  Some other favorites are Titanic, Grease & Beaches.

8} Your favorite perfume?
Thierry Mugler Angel

9} What country would you like to visit and why?
I'd love to visit Paris.  It's the city of love. It is so fashionable. And French cuisine is a favorite of mine.

10} Your favorite magazine?
In Style

11} Write the last question and answer it yourself.  What celebrity style do you admire most?
Rachel Bilson.  Whether walking the red carpet, or going out for a latte, she always looks effortlessly put together.  She always plays up femininity even if she is in cargo pants, jeans or a tee. She is a natural beauty who looks good in practically anything she wears.

I would like to tag the following amazing bloggers. Would love to read their answers to these questions!:

The Simply Luxurious Life
Trust Your Style 
Cafe Fashionista
Love, Lipstick, & Pearls
Oh La Frou Frou

Thursday, November 18, 2010

7 Days & Counting....

In exactly a week, my house will be bursting at the seems with family.  This is the time of year I look forward to most. Of course growing up you think, wow, I can't wait till I live on my own.  But when you do, you realize you miss the comfort of having the people that know you best around at all times. 

Today will be spent at the market, not only to pick up all the items necessary to insure a delicious Thanksgiving meal, but all the comfort foods I remember growing up with.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

  Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

- Langston Hughes 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

{Tasty Treats} Bronx Style

 If I've said it once, I'll say it matter how long I live on the Jersey Shore, how much I love it here, or how deep we plant our roots, I will always and forever be a "New Yorker". 

I love going back "home" to visit, even if it is just for a few hours.  Yesterday I took a spur of the moment trip to spend some time with my mother.  Mom needed my help sorting a personal matter, and I immediately told her I would jump on the morning bus into the city to help her out. 

The matter took all of 30 minutes to resolve, but it left us with 6 hours of Mommy and Me time.  She took me out to lunch to Seafood City in City Island, which is a mecca of delicious seafood restaurants. We used to go there at least 4 times each and every summer growing up.  The seafood was just as good as I remembered it.

Afterward, we went to the Bronx's Little Italy.  If you've seen the movie A Bronx Tale, starring Robert Deniro, you have seen the 60's version of the area.  Mom and I always visited this neighborhood in order to get the best pastries, breads, and cheeses around.  Pizza is amazing too, but since we were already full from lunch, we decided to buy a box of delicious pastries from the ever popular Palombo Pastry Shop.  The freshly baked sweet treats were a welcome surprise to Mr. Man that evening.

 Even though the visit was short, I was able to spend some quality time with my mom and visited areas that bring back wonderful vivid memories of childhood.  It never fails to remind me why I love being a native New Yorker.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

{Weekend Highlights} 11-14-10

* Friday Family Game Night was incredibly entertaining building a 33 story Jenga Tower.
* Enjoying picture perfect autumn weather.
* Managing to spend the whole afternoon getting our garage totally organized.
* Discovering a new Mexican Grill restaurant for our family to enjoy.
*Attending a beautiful afternoon baby shower at a delightful local Italian restaurant.
* Bringing the weekend to a close with a glass of White Zinfendel.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  Wishing you an amazing start to the new week!

Friday, November 12, 2010

{Fashion Friday} EXPRESS

Having subscriptions to a multitude of magazines has it's privileges!

As I was perusing one of the many magazines I received this month, I came across a coupon for $25 off of a $50 purchase to Express.  This is a rarity in the world of coupons for this store.  So what did I do?  I clipped the coupon and went merrily on my way to the mall.

First thing I selected was this off white rouched v neck sweater.  Last week I spotted a lovely tweed skirt at the Gap. I resisted purchasing it because I wasn't sure if I could find the perfect top for it.  When I saw this, I decided immediately I would get it and wait till next Wednesday to go back to the Gap with my 40% off coupon and pick up the skirt.

Just as I was about to select a bracelet to add to my collection, I came across this absolutely adorable beanie!

I just had to have it! Keep my head warm all the while looking quite chic!

My total came out to $35 after the $25 off. 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day

Many people have the day off from work and school today (neither Mr. Man nor the kiddies do in my house) as a day of remembrance for those who have given up so much of themselves, some who also have paid the ultimate price, in order to afford us with the freedom and liberties we enjoy today.

Birthday wishes are also in order to the United States Marine Corps.  Happy 235th!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

There are no regrets in life, just lessons.
- Jennifer Aniston

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

45 Days Till Christmas!

And with that, I am ecstatic to say, Lil Miss & Lil Man's Christmas shopping is officially done!   I already picked up presents for my nephew and nieces. So this means I only have the few adults on my list to shop for.  I do not have to venture into the toy sections or tween clothing stores at all during the Christmas rush!

Has anyone else started their Christmas shopping?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

{Happy Birthday, Lil Man!}

Happy 8th Birthday to my Lil Man!
My little Energizer Bunny, you keep me going and going and going.... 
I love you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

{Friday Five} Birthday Loot

I was overwhelmingly blessed with how much love I received for my birthday this year.  All the phone calls from loved ones, birthday cards from friends near and far, and email, tweets, and Facebook messages made my day.   I truly felt loved and cherished. 

Those nearest and dearest to me also spoiled me with lunches out (sushi not once, twice, but three times!).  And they showered me with gifts as well. Each one definitely carefully selected specifically for me.

1} Books- I am an absolute bookworm.  I spend hours upon hours reading...whether it be books, magazines, blogs, newspapers.  You name it.  I received the latest book by Nicolas Sparks, Safe Haven  from my mom.  After all, she was the one that nurtured that love for reading.  Second book I received Are You a Jackie or Are You a Marilyn? was purchased by Mr. Man as a last minute addition.  Actually, he was ordering Lil Man's birthday gift on Amazon and realized if he spent $14 he would get free shipping.  After discovering that shipping for the gift was $12, he decided to ask me if there were any books on my wishlist he can add to his order.  Our reasoning...may as well get something substantial for that amount of money, than spending it on shipping.  This book came highly recommended by Shannon, author of The Simply Luxurious Life.  Can't wait to get started on it!

2} Shoes- What girl can resist a new pair of shoes?  My MIL purchased me a pair of double t-strapped Nine West heels. (They are not the ones pictured above. Sadly, I could not locate a pic of them online.)

3} Music- Anyone who knows me well knows...I am an avid music fan.  You can pretty much play the first few notes of a song and I can safely determine the title, and most times, artist.  Lil Miss Diva and Lil Man know all my favorite bands.  Since Lil Miss Diva shares the same passion for music as I do, she scours through the new releases at Target.  She discovered Kings of Leon was releasing their latest album the week prior to my birthday.  Between her and Lil Man, they purchased the CD and presented it to me on my birthday.  I love it!

4} Perfume- I can scratch one item off my wish list 2010!  I received Coco Chanel Madmoiselle from my very sweet father-in-law with a sweet card where he stated I am the daughter he never had.  Brought tears to my eyes.

5} Camera- Last, but not least was a gift Mr. Man gave me.  A few weeks back he told me with a triumphant smile, "I know exactly what to get you for your birthday!  What's great is, it is something you need, and something you would want too.  And best of all, it isn't on your wish list!"  Of course, this made me think....what do I want and need that I haven't already placed on my wish list?  But he was definitely right!  I have had the same Olympus digital camera for the past 6 years and it has been showing signs of needing replacement.  He did well!

This weekend we wrap up the week of birthday celebrations with Lil Man's 8th birthday celebration. We will celebrate it with a 2 hour party with 6 of his closest buddies at a Laser Tag place followed by dinner at his favorite  restaurant, LongHorn's Steakhouse. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

{I} Covet - Lanvin for H & M Collection

There are so many pieces in this collection that I am in love with, but the one that has definitely caught my eye and has my undivided attention is the belted zebra print jacket. L.O.V.E.

Happy Thursday Everyone!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Spread love everywhere you go. 
Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
- Mother Teresa

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

So happy to be blessed with an abundance of wonderful, caring people 
in my life who make each birthday special!

Can't wait to eat the special Applesauce Carrot Cake Mr. Man ordered for me from The Little Pie Company in NYC.  When we lived in NYC it was the cake I celebrated with each year. 

Have a great day!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy November!

Is it just me, or has 2010 breezed by?

After celebrating the last day of October with sweets, glitter, candy, and mischief....the first day of November is always greeted with this intensely calm and serene feeling.

In my home, this feeling doesn't last for much longer than the first day of November though.  Although the rest of November is a flurry of activities (my birthday, Lil Man's birthday, in addition to nephew, sister, best friend's date of birth too), I also start the intense planning for Thanksgiving.  I host this holiday and it means a house filled to the brim with 14+ people.  With a little over 1,700 square feet of living space, this means carefully planning and orchestrating where everyone will sleep, careful menu planning for a large group, and what activities we will entertain each other with.  We are huge on entertainment! This year, Lil Diva has already written an original screenplay for us to perform.

Last, but not least, November also means making my list and checking it twice with regards to Christmas.  I am not much of a fan of huge crowds, so I try to avoid the shops when I can during the month of December.  Only day that is an exception to the rule is Black Friday.  There are just too many deals to be had that day...and seeing that the family is here too, it is a family affair!

Hope everyone has a wonderful start to November.  Enjoy everything the last full month of Autumn has to offer!