Friday, April 29, 2011

{A Royal Wedding} Prince William & Princess Catherine

McQueen....perfect choice! The dress was regal, , demure, stunning...reminiscent of Princess Grace.

Wishing them many years of happiness! Congratulations Wills & Kate!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

{Penny for My Thoughts} Keeping Your Cool

A loved one and I were talking one day about how several individuals she holds near and dear to her heart have hurt her emotionally lately.  Actually, these people seem to hurt her consistently on a regular basis.  She was really upset of the fact she was harboring so much emotional anger.  Once she vented, she asked me: "How do you do it?  I know there are loved ones who hurt you consistently as well, yet, you seem to shake it off and keep a relationship with them as though nothing ever happened?  What is the secret?"  At the moment, I really didn't know how to answer her question.  Is there a subconscious secret to how I deal with them?  It is a question I wanted to answer for her.

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

- Mark Twain

The first question to ask is: Do I get angry?  Of course, I do.  Who doesn't when they are hurt by someone they love.  But the second question would be, How important is this person?  If the person is not a close family member and they have done me wrong more than once, I cut them out of my life all together. Plain and simple.  Like the saying goes, First time, shame on you. Second time, shame on me.  Life is way too short to deal with individuals who bring nothing but negativity and ill feelings into your life.  Why spend precious time being upset at someone who really does not realize and value the fact that friendship is a gift.  I pride myself in being a good friend.  I listen intently, do my best to cheer them up when they are down, and keep complaining to a bare minimum, since I know, there is nothing worse than being "that friend" who always seems to have an issue needing to be resolved.  A great friend help each other identify the good qualities in one another.
Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire.
It burns it all clean.
- Maya Angelou

But, there are people in our life who, because of familial ties, we can not do away with as easily. It's so sad to know these are the individuals who can do the most harm. Why?  Because, they know no matter how angry they have made you, there is no way they can ever lose you forever.  They have insurance....blood ties.  These are the relationships in which we have to learn effective ways of dealing with our anger.

Don't get the impression that you arouse my anger. You see, one can only be angry with those he respects.  
- Richard M. Nixon

This quote, my friends, is the key for me.  I am a huge quote enthusiast, (my reason for making my weekly Wednesday Words of Wisdom) and this Nixon quote hit me to the core.  The first time a loved one makes you angry it is blinding. Why? Because this is the one person, who, because of your blood relation, you'd think would never hurt you.  We expect our family members to be the ones to nurture us, make us feel better about ourselves, play for the home team. Then, as they subsequently hurt you, you realize the anger is there, but not quite as strong as the first couple of times.  Is it because we are getting used to the idea of this person hurting you? No, not at all.  It's because with each time they do, we lose that much more respect for them.  Even more so, we realize this person obviously cares very little about how they have made me feel, so why go through the exhaustion involved with being angry for them?  Anger is depleting to our positive energy. In the end we are the ones feeling empty and exhausted while the cause of our pain, is oblivious to it, or better yet, could care less about how their actions and/or words have made us feel.

Every time you get angry, you poison your own system.
- Alfred A. Montapert

When we think about the last time we were angry, we can see how Mr. Montapert words ring with extreme clarity.  Think about it....when we are angry, our blood pressure rises, our body tenses, our emotions run amok, sometimes we even suffer from bouts of depression. We wreck havoc on our system.  So why put ourselves through it?   After giving much thought to the question posed to me, I have identified what is it I do to avoid it. And it was quite simple too.
Take the power for them to anger/hurt you away from them. 
We know exactly what makes these certain relatives tick.  After all, they are very predictable.  Usually they follow a pattern.  For example, we may have a relative who enjoys seeing loved ones battle it out.  Nothing shocks the trouble maker more than seeing you are not feeding off of them.  They act as though they are the innocently bringing you information, but in reality they know this will "set you off".  So when they see you are nonchalant about it, Wow! We have rocked their world.  We are not being vindictive in doing this. We are simply avoiding being placed in a situation where anger can brew.  Another example is the relative who remembers events in your life quite differently than you do, and are adamant to prove  "You are wrong". Stop them in their tracks. "Let's agree to disagree" and move on to a lighter topic of conversation.   We know because they are family, we have to interact with them.  The best way to do this with those who can be hurtful, is to avoid the things they can do to cause that pain.  And then, let go of the past pains they have caused.  Resentment can be just as toxic as anger.
Remember, life is too short.  We should be spending the majority of our time with those who want to see us smile, not those who rather make us cry.

photo via Pinterest

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Devote yourself to an idea.
Go make it happen.
Struggle on it.
Overcome your fears.
Don't you forget:
this is your dream.
- Author Unknown

Photo via Pinterest

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring in NYC - In Front of The Plaza Hotel

Happy Spring!

My personal photos taken 4/21/11

Monday, April 25, 2011

{Movie Review} Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants is historical love story based on the bestselling book by Sara Gruen by the same name.  It stars a pair of Academy Award winning actors, Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds), Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line), and Robert Pattinson.

The story is based during the Depression and centers around Cornell veterinary student, Jacob Jankowski (played by Robert Pattinson), a young man on the verge of receiving his degree and license and poised to work alongside his father when his world falls apart.  He discovers after losing his parents in an automobile accident, that his parents wagered their whole life savings and home in order for him to go to college.  Penniless, and with nothing and no one to go home to, he decides to leave everything behind.  Jacob ends up hopping a train to a destination unknown. He soon discovers, the train he jumped on is a traveling circus train.

Jacob is introduced to to the ringmaster/head trainer of the circus, August Rosenbluth (played by Christoph Waltz), who, upon learning he is a trained vet, hires him to look after the animals.   Jacob also discovers August is also married to the star attraction, Marlena Rosenbluth (played by Reese Witherspoon), who he has become enchanted with.  He becomes painfully aware of August's ruthlessness and lack for civility to anyone and anything around him after witnessing how he treats those at the bottom of the totem pole and the beautiful gentle elephant he has acquired in one of his stops.

Francis Lawrence did an amazing job directing this movie.  Not only is the movie frontlined by two Academy Award Winning actors, but a slew of other exceptional winners have their hand on weaving and creating this magical story behind the scenes as well.  Having read this book three years ago, I was a bit afraid of being disappointed with the movie.  It is very difficult to write a 2 hour screenplay from a novel with such precise and vivid detailing.  As the audience, we know many scenes will be cut.  But, Richard LaGravanese, did a superb job of maintaining all the key elements which made this book touch the hearts of millions.

Water for Elephants transports the audience straight back to the 1930's.  The imagery, costumes, and sets, are all authentic to this era.  There is only one word to describe it.... breathtaking.

I can not rave more about the casting on this film.  Christoph convinces the audience to hate August as the villan of the story.  We can feel the pain and anguish Marlena is feeling when trying to decide what life she would like to live.  And Robert literally convinces you of the innocence and naivete, Jacob; a young man who is seeing the world beyond his home with wide eyed wonder for the very first time.

With all the magical elements and imagery, this is definitely a movie to watch on the big screen and one you would walk away feeling like you spent 2 hours experiencing a time of great simplicity long gone.

Friday, April 22, 2011

{TGIF} Happy Easter Weekend

Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter weekend!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

“The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.”

- Robert Kiyosaki 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ABC's About Me!

Age: Enjoying My 30's

Bed Size: Queen

Chore you hate: Washing Dishes

Dogs: An Adorable Spoiled Shih Tzu named London

Essential start of your day: Coffee!

Favourite Color: Red

Gold or silver: Both

Height: 5' 4"

Instruments I play (or have played): Piano, Violin, Cello
Job Title: My main career title has first and foremost been MOM. 
Kids: Two awesome kids: Lil Diva, 12; Lil Man, 8

Live: On the Jersey Shore

Mom's Name: Iris
Nickname: Mom
Overnight hospital stays: Twice - when I had my two kids.  Knock on wood!

Pet Peeve: Being late, Ignorance, Liars (couldn't pick just one)

Quote from a movie: "You're supposed to be the leading lady in your own life, for gods sakes" - The Holiday.
Right or left handed: Right.

Siblings: One younger brother, and 3 younger sisters.

Time you wake up: I am an early bird every day - around 6ish
Underwear: Of course!

Vegetables you dislike: beets
What makes you run late: I am always early or on time. If I'm late it's because of the other people that I am with .

X-rays you've had done: Teeth ,chest, head

Yummy food you make: Red Velvet Cupcakes, Oreo Cheesecake Truffles

Zoo animal: Elephants & Giraffes

Ok now, it's your turn if you so decide to take this challenge!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

{Weekend Highlights}

What an amazing weekend!  It's Sunday evening and I can barely keep my eyes open.  I suppose that has a lot to do with the whirlwind of a weekend I had the very fortunate opportunity of having.

What did I do, you might ask?

* Watched local H.S. production of RENT. 
(casting was spot on, and the kids were uber talented!)
* Enjoyed a 2 hour Saturday afternoon nap.
* Cozy dinner with Lil Diva at a popular sushi bar.
* Saw a spectacular performance of ANNIE.
* Had a harrowing car drive home in torrential downpours, with thunder & lightning.
(not a happy thing, but it did afford me with the opportunity to practice curbing
my anxiety of driving in the elements...which brings me that much closer to 
conquering that fear.)
* After a stormy Saturday night, waking up to an abundance of sunshine!
* Amazing Palm Sunday mass at church.
* Spending the entire day experiencing the thrills of Six Flags Great Adventures
with Mr. Man, Lil Diva, & Lil Man, perfect family time!

Hope everyone had a spectacular weekend! Wishing you an amazing and productive week ahead.

Photo via Pinterest

Thursday, April 14, 2011

{DIY} To See the Senorita, With Flowers in Her Hair

Lil Diva is a bit of a fashionista.

She loves accessorizing, whether it be blingy rings, charm bracelets, necklaces, earrings, name it, she has it.  Her latest fascination has been with flower pins.

I know I may be partial, seeing that she is my daughter and all, but she has been stopped many of times to be complimented on her hair.  So it's no wonder she loves adding pretty accessories to it.  When she first got into the floral kick, we would purchase pins at Claire's. I would balk when I saw the price tags on these very simply made pins.  She purchased a couple and one day I decided to take a closer look at one.  I thought, Wow, this is super easy to make.  I bought the necessary supplies and made one. Super simple.  I even had my girl scout troop make their own for a project.  Yesterday, Lil Diva was looking at her wardrobe and realized she could use certain colors. So what did we do? Stopped at our local craft store and found some pretty flowers, of course.

Supplies needed:

Your choice floral stems
felt (any color, I use a dark brown or black to match her hair)
box of single prong hair clips
glue gun
glue sticks

- First thing first... plug in your glue gun, insert the glue stick.  You want the glue nice and hot for maximum adhesiveness.
 - Take your flowers and  pull the flowers off their stem.  That's right pull, one gentle tug and they are out.

- If there is still a bit of stem left on your flower, cut it with the scissors so the back of the flower is pretty much flat.

- Next, cut two strips of the felt. one about 1/2 an inch wide, and another strip about 3/4 inch.  Depending on the flower, you will cut the 3/4 inch strip large enough to cover the inner circle of the back of the flower.  Adhere it to the flower.  I do this in order to give the flower a flush area to adhere the pin to.

- Adhere a strip of glue to the outside prong of the hair clip. For this I suggest you hold the pin in the open position and quickly place the flower onto it.  No worries on how long you have to keep it open since hot glue dries rather quickly. Once it is dry you can put a strip onto the 1/2 inch strip, open the pin again and glue it onto the underside of the open clip and the felt.  This will help secure the flower in place.

The finished product:

And the third one:

I hope this has inspired some of you to make your own floral hair pins to add to your Spring and Summer accessories.

P.S. Did I mention that it only took me 15 minutes total to make these 3 beauties?

Have fun!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

 “This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.
- Susan Polis
*Quote courtesy of my lovely sister in law. 
photo via pinterest

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

{It's the LittleThings that Make Me Happy}

New tranquil bedding.... beautiful to dress the bed by day; so warm and inviting at night!

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.

Have a great week!

Friday, April 8, 2011

{Mission: Accomplished} The Search for the Perfect Wedges

With Easter quickly approaching, and Lil Man's First Holy Communion fast on it's heels, I was on a mission to find a pair of wedges that would compliment both dresses I already purchased.

Easter Dress
NY & Co.
First Communion Dress

After several weeks of searching, I found this pair.

Candies Dania

Originally priced at $59.99, they were on sale for $34.99.  I also had a $10 off certificate which brought my grand total to $24.99.

photos via NY & Co, Anthropologie, & Kohls

Thursday, April 7, 2011

{If Money Were No Object} Window Shopping

Window shopping via Laura U Magazine that is.....

Shannon, the amazing author of The Simply Luxurious Life blog, tweeted about this months issue of Laura U magazine going live this morning.  So I brewed my coffee, made my toast, and proceeded to make myself nice and comfortable in front of my computer.  I was greeted with page after page of incredible eye candy!

If money were no object (and if my home was a tad bit larger), these are some items I would definitely purchase.

For my home....

Antwerp Chair- Anthropologie

Angola Mountain Zebra Ottoman - Hollis & Knight
(wouldn't this piece be amazing for a dressing room?)

Christopher Guy Chaise Lounge 
(*sigh* To own this piece....I would be in heaven)

 Destination Boxes- Z Gallerie

To accessorize.....

Murfee Cashmere Scarves - Lilly Pullitzer

And simply for me....

Alice by Temperley Camille cropped leather jacket

Christian Louboutin Nude Mary Janes

 (1) , (2) , (3) , (4) (5) , (6), (7)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Embrace your uniqueness.  Time is much too short to be living someone else's life.

photo via pinterest

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011

{It's the LittleThings that Make Me Happy}

When Mr. Man comes home with Crumbs Cupcakes for his girls..... 
M&M's cupcake for the Lil Diva and their new Red Licorice cupcake for me!

Friday, April 1, 2011


It's a pretty damp day today, but that didn't stop me from getting dressed and enjoying the day.

Today I.....

* Went out for a sushi lunch with my friend and her baby girl.
* Bought a pretty coral dress to wear for Easter that fit beautifully. (Did I mention I got it for 50% off?)
* Did a little Spring cleaning of the kitchen and living room.

Looking forward to.....

* My girl scout meeting this evening....with scheduling conflicts and cancellations, I haven't seen my girls in almost a month!  I am sure they will have tons to talk about.
* Dedicating a few hours to watching the second half of Season 1 of GLEE with the Lil Diva.
* Playing hostess to my good friend J, and meeting the new woman in his life. He's talked a lot about her and I already like her! It'll be great to finally meet her in person.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!