Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom {Late Edition}

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder…

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Always Look Your Best.....

“I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. 
And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny.
And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”
Coco Chanel

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's Been a While.....

Time just seems to escape me these days.  I have been dying to update this wonderful little place I call my own in cyberspace, but have felt so glum.  I didn't want that to come across in my blog.  It's been a rough start of the school year for my little guy and me. I've  been handed so many lemons, I can make enough lemonade to quench the thirst of the whole USA!

I am a non-confrontational person. But in the same token, I am the type of person who can not stand for anyone, children especially, to be treated unjustly.  So this makes for a terrible mix.  In one instance you don't want to cause waves, but in the other, you are forced to in order to make sure your child is being treated fairly. 

After several therapeutic walks and discussions with a dear friend of mine, I have come to terms with the fact that even though we want to respect a teachers method of teaching and disciplining, if we see it is simply not working for our child, we need to speak up.  Letting things go will only escalate the issue and make it grow like a tumbleweed.  Some teachers may feel threatened by what we have to say, but the same way we have to hear them out, they need to hear us parents out too.  The only way both of us will have a successful school year is by working together. 

I have a second meeting this morning.....wish me luck!

Miss all my blogs!  Can't wait to catch up with everyone!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

{L*O*V*E*} Bryce Dallas Howard - Kate Spade Autumn 2011



photos via Kate Spade

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value.  Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point - that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you.  There is only one alternative - self-value.  If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved.  You will always think it's a mistake or luck.  Take your eyes off others and turn the scanner within.  Find the seeds of your jealousy, clear the old voices and experiences.  Put all the energy into building your personal and emotional security.  Then you will be the one others envy, and you can remember the pain and reach out to them.  ~Jennifer James

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

{Tried & L*O*V*E} Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha

Fall is my all time favorite season.... not just because the heat of the summer is a thing of the past, but because of the rich colors, textures, and flavors only the fall can bring us.

Last year, I tried Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and their Toffee latte.  Loved both.  This year they have enhanced their menu with the introduction of the Salted Caramel Mocha.  Of course I was intrigued.  (Remember, I am the one that believes caramel should be a food group!)  Last couple of times the temps were a wee bit too hot to consider anything but a frappachino.  But today was perfect.  I was greeted Sunday afternoon by a brisk fall breeze upon leaving to run errands.   So I knew, this would be the perfect day to try Starbucks new drink.

One word can describe it....*SIGH*.... DELICIOUS!

It had just the right amount of caramel and sea salt to enhance the mocha taste.  It will definitely be a latte on my autumn faves list.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Muse....

* Schools back in session...miss my Lil Diva & Lil Man, but they are loving school so far....
* Had a stressful week dealing with individuals who should have kids safety in mind, but don't.
* Stood my ground, and had the issue corrected... I am, after all, my child's top advocate.
* Loving the cool fall weather....
* Have a full schedule of after school activities....they begin today!
* Enjoyed the weekend with the family at Six Flags Great Adventures...
* Got an amazing deal for season passes for next year, had to jump on it!
* Started walking around the reservoir again with a great new friend.
* Began a new tradition of giving Lil Diva mani's Sunday afternoons.
* Figured I would do the same too.
* So ready for my sushi date with a great friend.
* Looking forward to the week ahead!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Later - 9/11/01

It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
It is so hard for me to remember exactly what happened two weeks ago, but I can remember clearly each and every detail of that day, ten years ago today.

- How blue the skies were that morning, not a cloud in the sky as I walked toward my midtown office building.

- The overjoyed feeling knowing my mom was on an American airlines flight to NYC at that very moment, to visit us and see the very first home we had purchased 6 weeks earlier.

- Wondering as I looked out my 34th St office window shortly after 8:46 am, while eating a buttered egg roll and coffee for breakfast, what could have possibly happened to the pilot to make him veer towards WTC Tower #1.

-  Calling Mr. Man, who worked across the street from the WTC to see if he felt anything, or had seen what happened.

- Looking on in shock as my coworkers and I saw the fireball emerge as the second tower was struck.

- The sheer panic and fear knowing America was under attack..... my mind registering, my Mom is on a flight that could possibly be filled with husband mere feet away from the disaster happening in lower Manhattan.  My sister alone with my daughter and nephew back in our home 70 miles away. 

Life as I knew it, had changed forever at that very moment.  My mom's flight was grounded in North Carolina immediately.  Once they landed, the choked up flight attendant informed the clueless passengers as to the reason why they were requested to land.  Hearing her voice on the phone was a welcome relief.  

The hours ticked by as I waited to hear any news from Mr. Man. I called his cell phone frantically, but since a Verizon cell tower was located on top of the WTC, my efforts were fruitless.  Finally, a little before noon, he contacted me to tell me he was walking uptown from Wall Street....approximately 7 mile walk.  I met up with him in front of my grandmother's apartment on Park Avenue and 38th Street.  Save for his shoes and bottom of his pants covered in soot, not a scratch on him.  

So many lives lost....2,977 innocent people murdered by an act of terrorism.  I pray for those families who mourn not only every September 11, but every day.  Those individuals will never be forgotten.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Everyday is a chance for a new beginning,
Don't fret about what's been lost, but be thankful of what is left.

photo via Tumblr

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Good Riddance, Irene!

Hurricane Irene came and went with her Category 1 force winds and dumped a whole slew of rain on the tri-state area. She was a bit weaker than expected due to the fact that North Carolina & Virginia took on the brunt of her wrath.  To many, this was little more than the Nor'easters we are accustomed to with rain instead of snow.  But to us in the northeast, who are not accustomed to hurricanes, even a Category 1 is a big deal.

We were fortunate, our home, nor that of our friends and family, sustained any damage due to this storm.  What Irene did do was cause several hours of lost sleep due to worrying about tornadoes that were developing and the rattling of the window panes due to the wind force.  Many around us were not as lucky.  Some lost power, many homes and businesses were flooded.... proof that even a "small" storm can cause extensive damage.

What amazed me afterwards were the gorgeous blue skies that welcomed a new day after the storm.  Not a cloud in sight! After this visit by Irene, I can safely say I give it to all the folks who live in the southern states, who deal with hurricanes, most more forceful than the one that visited us, all the time. It takes a lot of work to prepare for what may come when you are in the path of a storm.  Hopefully, we don't have to deal with one again for a very long time, if at all!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

About to Weather the Storm....

We have prepared since Tuesday....
praying Hurricane Irene loses intensity or goes off to sea....
Ready to ride this storm out...
plenty of reading material and movies to watch ....
Hoping the electricity doesn't go out, we don't experience any damage, 
& this passes quickly.

Stay Safe Everyone!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Been MIA.....

Would be wonderful to say that I was whisked away on a European vacation for the past (almost) month.....

but the reality is....having two thespians in the household is hard work! Both of them performed in a local production of BIG the Musical.  As opening night drew near, the rehearsal schedules became more frequent. They had a blast and did an amazing job.  Here are a couple of pics of them doing what they love to do best....

Lil Man

Lil Diva

Couple the show with making sure they had an enjoyable summer of water parks and amusement parks, hanging out with friends and days at the movies.  There is one thing Mom can say she is.... TIRED! But even still, with the start of the new school year quickly approaching us, I can honestly say I wish I had them on vacation just two weeks more.  They may get at each other when they are together, but being able to spend quality time with them is what I enjoy best.

Can't wait to hear how everyone's summer has been!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.
-Elenor Roosevelt

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person.
 - Audrey Hepburn 

photo via tumblr

Monday, July 25, 2011

RIP Amy Winehouse 9/14/83 - 7/23/11

Such an incredible talent, gone too soon. I remember watching news reports of her battles with drugs throughout the years.... and I would pray that she would find the strength to overcome her addictions.  I was so looking forward to a major comeback.  That voice....a gift to us all!

Like so many extremely talented young stars gone too soon, Amy will never be forgotten.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

{Penny For My Thoughts} Lazy Days of Summer.....

*Woke up this morning & took a look at the weather forecast..... another scorcher!
*But I'm not complaining..... having suffered from Cabin Fever from Dec 26th till about the First Day of Spring.
*I rather deal with the heat than shoveling snow.....
*When Lil Diva and Lil Man roused, I asked them "What would you like to do today?"
*I silently wished whatever they decided, it would be somewhere indoors and air-conditioned.....
*While selecting books to read they said "Mom, let's just stay in today."
*I will happily oblige!
*They just finished their lunch, and are lounging in the family room, about to watch Season 2 of GLEE episodes...

The epitome of a lazy summer day!

photo via The Simply Luxurious Life

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines. 
Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.

-Mark Twain

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

After a failed attempt to see the exhibit several weeks ago.... Lil Diva and I (we invited her best friend to come with us this time) geared up early Wednesday morning to make the trip back into the city.  We quickly made our way from the Port Authority to the uptown bus that would drop us off exactly one block away from the MET.  We made our donation and quickly walked up the grand staircase up to the second floor and were directed to the cue with all the other visitors waiting for their chance to make their way into the exhibit.  All the while we were all bubbling with excitement. 

We were told the wait would be 20 minutes, but it was really one hour.  But I can tell you, Lil Diva, her best friend, and I all said it was definitely worth the wait.  The pieces were breathtaking! The MET did a wonderful job creating the ambiance of beauty meets macabre with the backgrounds, music, and lighting.

McQueen was a man determined to make his mark in the fashion industry.  His bold cuts and angles are not meant to be worn by the timid....they were meant to be worn by women with a definitive confidence. The pieces are meant to be admired and fawned over.  He was obsessed with showing beauty even in what the masses perceived as grotesque.  His mind conceived fashionable masterpieces with items once thought to be impossible to wear.

With less than three weeks left till the exhibit closes, I consider myself one of the lucky ones that was able to revel in the sheer beauty of his most prized pieces up close.  If you happen to be in the NYC are between now and August 7th, do make it a point to visit the MET.  You will be glad you did!

"I want to be the purveyor of a certain silhouette or a way of cutting, so that when I'm dead and gone, people will know that the twenty-first century was started by Alexander McQueen. "
- Alexander McQueen

Saturday, July 9, 2011

{If Money Were No Object...} Burberry Prorsum

These Burberry Handbags would make their way into my Fall wardrobe....

photos via Luxury Insider

Friday, July 8, 2011

{Fashion Friday} Mini Fashionista In the Making

 Last Saturday, on our drive back home, we decided to take a little detour to the Palisades Parkway Plaza....a premier shopping/dining mall in Nyack, New York.  It has been some time since we've stopped here.  And it's no wonder, a "small detour" took us about 4 hours!  This given, we didn't get to go to all the shops we would've wanted to go to!

Lil Diva was in shopping heaven!  Armed with $50 her Uncle Med gave her, plus an additional $20 she had saved up from allowances, she went to town.  I am delighted to say she has learned well.  She has an eye for what is "in", what is beautiful, and what is "on sale".  She paid full price for only two items (the "I just have to have this purse!" and the black tattered tank top.)  Below is her loot:

Tweens seem to have taken to the eighties style of off the shoulder t-shirts.  She purchased two... the hot pink with the music notes forming a heart, and the Panda (which is adorable).  She tried it on with the black tank top...not intending to purchase it, but when she realized it had a tattered look to it, she checked her resources and decided she just had to have it.
Here is a better look at her accessories:
Lil Diva has a wide array of bracelets, necklaces, rings, and hair accessories.  She has an eye for delicate and/or intricate pieces.  While most girls her age go for an arm full of bangles or colorful rubber bracelets, she goes for unique pieces that will not be quickly tossed aside.  As for the above purse.... she instantly fell for the Chanel-like quilting pattern, chain strap, and the delicate flower.  She can't wait to use it!

I myself walked away with a nautical striped tee with floral pin from Espirit, and 2 henley tees to add to my summer wardrobe.  It was so much fun watching her make her selections and walk away with a huge smile and her bag in tow.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

"There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they're necessary to reach the places we've chosen to go."

- Richard Bach

photo via Dustjacket Attic 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

{Weekend Highlights} Long Holiday Weekend

What a wonderful weekend!

* Overnight road trip to Norwalk, CT to visit with lifelong friends.
* Took a detour on the way back home Saturday to the Palisades Parkway Mall where Lil Diva & I found some serious deals. (More on that later in the week).

* Attended my friend's BBQ Sunday evening.... was great to catch up & relax.

* Took in the rays & enjoyed time by the shore Sunday with a day at the beach.

* Watched the spectacular fireworks displays from the comforts of our bedroom windows. With Mr. Man having to work today, we decided to pass on heading back to the beach.

This morning, Lil Diva and I met up with one of her good friends and went to the movies.  They wanted to see Monte Carlo with Selena Gomez.  The movie was really cute.  Perfect for the tween set.  I loved the film locations(Paris & Monte Carlo).  It was a great way to still relax after the long busy weekend.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

(P.S. The cutie none other than Lil Diva striking a pose at the beach, LOL.)

Monday, July 4, 2011

{Happy Birthday, America}

 235 years young!
 Wishing Everyone....
 A Healthy & Happy....
Independence Day!!!

All photos via Weheartit

Friday, July 1, 2011

{TGIF} Start of the Holiday Weekend!

Our holiday weekend starts now.... Wishing everyone a fun filled Independence Day weekend!

photo via Pinterest

Thursday, June 30, 2011

{What's Playing.....} Beyonce - 4

Bought this album on Tuesday....Love it.  These are two tracks I am enjoying very much.

The Best Thing I Never Had (each of us can relate to this song at one point in our life...)

I Was Here (I literally got chills listening to this song!  I think this is the goal of most people who aim high, who strive to make a mark in this world.....Beautiful!)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.

- Barbara de Angelis

photo via Brown Eyed Belle

Monday, June 27, 2011

{What a Bargain} Sonia Kashuk

It never fails.

I go into Target (or Tar-Jay as we lovingly call it), with the intentions of having tunnel vision and just picking up the two things I required from them.  The zebra printed sheet set for Lil Diva's bed, and Lil Man's Pediasure (long story short...he has the worst appetite, and he has been prescribed to drink two servings of it per day in order to insure he has all the necessary nutrients).   

So far so good.... I have made it past the dollar spot...past the jewelry section, and almost made it past cosmetics when I see a woman walking past me with a friend, holding in her hands the cute teal colored box walking past me.  My savvy bargain hunter vision has also spotted the red and white sale tag on the corner of her box.  All this takes place in mere nano-seconds really.  So instead of turning left towards the section where the Pediasure is located at, I veer right, straight towards cosmetics. One adorable box is on the shelf....with the sale sticker affixed to it.

I had seen this brush set reviewed and recommended in several magazines throughout the Spring.  Even a few of the make up blogs I follow mentioned it back in March.  Seems the thoughts were unanimous, these brushes were great for the price.  The set almost made it home with me a couple of times between April and May, but I always seemed to put it back when I saw something else I could spend my $24.99 on.

Lucky thing I did!  This bargain shopper got this set with 7 amazing brushes and a cute storage clutch which was the last one sitting on the shelf for an amazing 50% off the regular price!  For those that frequent the Sonia Kashuk section of Target, you know this an awesome deal.  They very rarely markdown these items, if ever.

$12.49! Now that's a bargain! Seems fate had a hand and knew I just had to have it!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

{Movie Review} X-Men: First Class

This summer, movie goers will be given a slew of superhero movies to choose from and enjoy.  One of the first ones to hit the big screen is X-Men First Class.

X-Men First Class is the prequel to the successful X-Men Trilogy movie franchise.  The movie mainly takes place in 1962 during the heart of the Cuban missile crisis.  A young Charles Xavier, played by James McAvoy (later known as Professor X) starts up a school for humans with supernatural abilities.

The film begins in German occupied Poland, centering on a young boy, Erik Lensherr (adult character played by Michael Fassbender) being wrenched apart from his parents being led into a concentration camp.  The anger he feels at being separated from his parents lead to him demonstrating his ability to bend and control metal with his mind.  The Germans are fascinated by his abilities.  Dr. Schmidt wants him to demonstrate his abilities again.  Unfortunately, the young Erik can not.  Sensing it may be driven by anger, he brings in his mother and threatens to kill her on the count of 3 if he does not move a coin.  When he can't, Schmidt shoots her which then causes Erik to move the coin and bend all the metal in the room.  Schmidt is fascinated.  Meanwhile, in Westchester County, New York a young Charles Xavier comes face to face with a young homeless girl stealing food from his kitchen one evening.  Raven (the adult character played by Jennifer Lawrence), quickly and erroneously takes on the form of his dead mother.  He assures her there is nothing to be afraid of and she will never need to steal food again.  He invites her to stay with his family.

The movie then moves forward to 1962.  An adult Erik Lensherr is seeking revenge against Dr. Schmidt for killing his mother right in front of him and Charles Xavier is in England, with his now, foster sister, Raven, by his side, presenting his thesis on mutation at Oxford University.  Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, CIA agent Moira McTaggert witnesses first hand the abilities of mutated humans exhibiting supernatural abilities.  This leads her to seeking out Charles Xavier's help in capturing Sebastian Shaw and the other mutants who are controlling the decisions of world officials that can lead to a third World War.  This leads Charles to meeting and befriending Erik. 

The movie details how Erik becomes Magneto, leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants, and what leads Charles Xavier/Professor X to becoming confined to a wheelchair and his fierce passion for seeking out and assisting others with supernatural abilities.

This movie received mixed reviews by critics and movie goers.  I personally enjoyed it. But I am a major superhero movie fan. I can safely say if you are not a fan of the X-Men Trilogy, are not a fan of comic books, or not much of an action film fan, this would not be a movie for you.  The movie goes into details on what started the XMen training school and how Charles and Erik's friendship developed and subsequently falls apart.  There is a lot of action involved between the mutants on the side of good and those on the side of evil.  It would definitely be a worthwhile movie to catch at a matinee viewing if you are on the fence. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Embracing the Unexpected

Lil Diva and I had our day all planned out.  In fact, we had this day planned since the beginning of May.  We would wait till school ends and enjoy a Mom/Daughter day in NYC.  The pièce de résistance ..... the Savage Beauty: Alexander McQueen exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It was all she talked about for weeks. 

The date was selected...Monday, June 20th, 2011.  Outfits were carefully chosen, purses stocked.  My father in law dropped us off in front of the museum steps and we quickly walked up to the door, eagerly anticipating the beautiful frocks we were about to see.  A tug of the door and ...locked! What? Maybe they want you to walk in through a specific door.  We tried the next one. Same thing.  I approached the security guard and he calmly stated "The museum is closed on Mondays". Oh no!  How could I have possibly not realized that?  The excitement of school being over and finally getting to see this exhibit, I didn't even think to check, or remembered for that matter, we can not make plans to visit the MET on a Mondays!

Lil Diva was crestfallen. I could see her eyes watering.  I felt terrible.  I know how much this meant for her.  She adores fashion and this day meant so much. " I really wanted to see this Mom.  I'm so sad. What are we going to do?"  My mind was racing to think of something just as exciting to do with our day. Of course being disappointed myself, I couldn't think of anything at the moment. So I called Mr. Man and he searched the internet, and found the perfect solution. 

One thing I may have not mentioned yet on my blog is how I came up with Lil Diva's nickname.  No, she does not make outlandish demands or prances around acting as though she is entitled to everything.  Quite the contrary.  She is a very well mannered, bright, mature young lady.  To the point she sometimes can't relate as well to her peers, most of which act like typical 12 year olds. Her alias comes from her fierce aspiration to become an actress.  Her determination has no bounds, so Lil Diva seemed perfect.

Mr. Man saved the day by recommending we go to NBC studio tour.  This peaked Lil Diva's interest.  Especially since the tour went into background information on how cameras worked, how they "trick" the audience into thinking there are more people in the studio audience than is actually there.  The careers that have taken off from being involved in Saturday Night Live, how long it takes to tape a season and so much more.  When the tour was over she said with a huge smile on her face,  "This was great!"  (When we met up with Mr. Man later that afternoon, she thanked him for the wonderful new plans he recommended).

The rest of the day consisted of a picnic lunch in Rockefeller Plaza, frozen hot chocolates from Serendipity, and explored FAO Schwartz.  We will be returning to NYC in a couple of weeks on a Wednesday instead, to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit.  But this past Monday's unexpected turn of events proved that we never know what new things we can discover when plans change suddenly.  It afforded Lil Diva with a valuable lesson....embrace the unexpected.

photo via WeheartIt

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
- Author Unknown 

photo via Tumblr