my top five don’t-dos for twenty twelve

A colleague posted 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself on our Facebook page and I realized, I can check off one too many things on this list. If you haven’t read the list on Marc and Angel Hack Life, I recommend reading it before you start on your 2012 Resolutions list.

Here are five things I’m working on in 2012:

Straight from their list: “Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.”

If there’s one lesson I learned in 2011, it’s that I worried way too much about things that really won’t make a dent in my big picture. I lost sleep over clients (that are no longer on my roster), I stressed over the birth plan for my last son (when, in the end, I had zero control over half the details that I obsessed over), I worried about not baby-proofing enough, baby-proofing too much, about . . . well . . . about everything. And it was all a giant waste of precious time.

This one also hit a nerve for me on their list: “Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.” Can I get an amen? If I had a dollar for every email I rewrote, voicemail I re-recorded or long-winded explanation I offered, I’d be typing this from my yacht off the coast of somewhere very, very fancy.

Here’s one I learned reading a parenting book earlier this year: Stop putting the “full” in “plate.” Sometimes it’s OK to take the easy way out. I can’t even begin to list the dozens of times I poured myself into things I had no time for because I felt guilty about not having the super, ultra, best 2nd birthday ever with handmade photo albums and video slide shows and mac-n-cheese bars with perfect little menu cards and absolutely ridiculous details that really mattered to no one else but me. I learned that take-out pasta and balloons would have sufficed, and I could have spent all that time that I wasted on obsessing over details snuggling with my son or taking him to the park– he’d prefer either over perfectly-stuffed, on-theme party bags.

At any given point there will be a line of people ready to put you down. Don’t be the first one. So. Guilty.          My grandma used to say this and it rings in my head every time I hear myself knock myself down a peg.

Don’t let technology weigh you down. Your life is happening even if no one reads about it in your status update. I’m vowing to make technology take a back seat in my 2012. I’ve started leaving my phone in the car when I go out to eat, downstairs when I’m heading to bed and out of arm’s reach when I’m with my boys. 

It all comes down to one thing: At the end of the day, life’s way too short to get in the way of your own happiness.

 

music & mixes: holiday edition

MUSIC.

I’ll admit it– I’m one of those people that decorate for Christmas by Thanksgiving and blast holiday music in November. While all the sleigh bells jingling and silent nights make me and the kids giddy, it’s downright torture for my husband. His office also starts their Christmas countdown on Thanksgiving, and by Dec. 1 he wants to pack every Fa La La and push it off a ledge. I’ve been forced to get creative so I can get my music fix without my husband jumping out of the window.

Here are a few alternatives for those of you tortured by the same holiday music by the same artists, day in and day out.

Jack Johnson- Someday at Christmas

Vampire Weekend- Holiday

Weezer- O Holy Night

She & Him- Christmas Waltz

The Ravonettes- The Christmas Song

MIXES.

While I can overload on holiday music, one thing I couldn’t overdo if you paid me is eggnog. Here are a few holiday drink alternatives:

I. Love. Coffee. I’m especially in love with Coffee-mate’s new Natural Bliss line. If you haven’t checked out the ingredients in your creamer lately, you’ll be amazed when you do. Each word has about 14 syllables and none of it sounds edible. Natural Bliss coffee creamers are just milk, cream, sugar and natural flavors…with a side of delicious. It has no additives, preservatives or artificial ingredients and comes in three flavors: Caramel, Sweet Cream and Vanilla. My favorite are Vanilla and Sweet Cream. I’m one of the 3,000 bloggers that fell in love with it at BlogHer, now I can’t go back (with the exception of Pumpkin Spice. I look forward to having that in my coffee all year!)

You can use Natural Bliss Vanilla to add a twist to a White Russian and get your coffee flavor and cocktail fix all at the same time:
1 1/2 ounces vodka

3/4 ounce coffee flavored liqueur (Kalua or illy Espresso Liqueur)

3/4 ounce Coffee-mate Natural Bliss Vanilla

One of my favorite new holiday cocktails I found online this year is a little time intensive to prep, but once you have the syrup down you’re good.

Spiced Silver Bell:

1 1/2 oz Camarena Silver Tequila

1/2 oz Lime Juice

1/2 oz Cranberry Spice Syrup*

2 oz Ginger Beer

Lime Wheel for garnish

Cranberry Spice Syrup:1 1/2 cup Brown Sugar3/4 cup Water3/4 cup Water
4 Cinnamon Sticks
1 t Whole Allspice
1 t Whole Clove
1 T Orange Zest
1 cup Fresh Cranberries
Place all ingredients in saucepan over medium low heat. Stir continually until skins of cranberries begin to pop and they easily mash with back of spoon. Lightly mash cranberries, but not so much to create “sauce.” Remove from heat. Strain into heat proof container. Allow to cool. Refrigerate.

If you’re trying to watch your waistline, you can try this Hot Toddy with a Twist courtesy of Shape Mag. Takes 5 minutes to prep and is just over 200 calories.

24 oz water
2 T cloves
2   cinnamon sticks
3   star anise
1 T crushed allspice
1   nutmeg, whole
3⁄4 oz agave
1 oz honey water (combine equal parts honey and water)
1⁄2 oz lemon juice
6 oz Johnny Walker Black Label

Bring water to a simmer on the stove.  Add cloves, cinnamon and star anise. Crush allspice and nutmeg and add to water.  Add Agave and lemon and let simmer for approximately 10 minutes. After it’s simmered add honey and stir to taste. Pour into a glass and add 2 oz. Johnny Walker Black Label.  

If all goes well this December, I’ll have many nights surrounded by family, great holiday music and even better holiday cocktails!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

style snapshots: home

Redecorating my home is a year-round process. If I spent half the time actually implementing the redecorating that I do scouting out products and ideas — I’d be done by now. Who am I kidding? It’ll never end. Half of the fun is obsessing looking.

I’ve officially moved on to rugs.  The problem? The best ones are obscenely pricey.

Take this ridiculously awesome Soho shag rug from ModernRugs.com. I want to run my hands through it (like this guy is).

Soho Rug, Primo Shag in Gray at www.modernrugs.com $1499 - $8159

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one also speaks to me . . . to the tune of $2000+

This Gandia Blasco rug is gorgeous! Also on www.modernrugs.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actually, I’ll take that whole room.

I know what you’re thinking: I need color in my life. How about this one?

Gandia Blasco Modern Half Moon Rug Ivory Rug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the texture in this Ligne Pure Create rug . . .

www.modernrugs.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband just walked in and I actually hit the browser so he wouldn’t see I was still online obsessing over rugs.

I may need help.

halloween: less skull, more style.

I have to admit . . . outside of the whole dressing up thing, I’m not one to get into Halloween. Spider webs and skulls really aren’t my thing. But now that I have two boys and my three year old is obsessing over which costume he wants to wear (BTW- it’s a toss up between Buzz Lightyear and “Darth Later” . . . AKA Darth Vader), I feel obligated to start decorating the house and getting into the spirit of things.

In my hunt to find cool, modern decor that I wouldn’t cringe over every time I saw my porch or mantle, I hit the internet. Here are my favorite Halloween things:

So . . . I'd pretty much like to steal this entire dining room, and plunk it into my house for Halloween. Z Gallerie absolutely nailed this. I love the white, pewter, steel and charcoal accents. You can shop here: http://www.zgallerie.com/c-26-tabletop-and-entertaining.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you can't buy every magnificent piece in Z Gallerie, you could always add a pop of festival color to your table. I found these here http://tinyurl.com/3u9bvw3 on Etsy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Berkeley tealight holders, also from Z Gallerie, are fun (and on sale . . . as low as $5 here http://www.zgallerie.com/p-8996-barkeley-tealight-single.aspx!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because holiday pillows should never take themselves too seriously (also an Etsy find). By it here: http://tinyurl.com/3s4z8o2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This garage decorating idea is brilliant! Especially if you have a white garage door (because, as you can see, I'm pretty much obsessed with bold black and white statements). I found this here: http://www.diyideas.com/images/halloween-decor_lg3.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If we must have pumpkins in and around our homes, I vote for white . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

oc blogger bash: aka gigglefest 2011

We laughed until we nearly peed our collective ’5 babies later’ bladders….

on the edge of glory

#operationglory BlogHer 2011

yummie tummie. it’s like tummie time… for grown-ups.

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with my tummy. Reality check: It’s mostly hate. I loved it when it carried my two (BIG), healthy, (BIG) baby boys. Did I mention BIG?

I hated it when it didn’t magically bounce back after each delivery (Via c-section. As if the whole big baby thing wasn’t enough to wreak havoc).

Now, five months after my last (BIG) bundle of joy, I’m finally getting used to not hearing things like “Oh my GOD. Your belly is HUGE!” “Are you having twins!?” “That’s just ONE baby in there!?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But–like most moms within a few months of having a baby–what I fear most is one day hearing “When are you due?”

You see, most people don’t tell you that after you leave the hospital with your brand-new baby…you still look pregnant. And if you’re like me, fortunate enough to be blessed with big, healthy babies (have I mentioned my 5 month old wears 18-24-month clothes?) but cursed by weak stomach muscles from repeat c-sections…you know that the dreaded pouch is along for the long-haul. I Zumba, I walk, I’ve lost 40 lbs…but my tummie has fallen, and it can’t get up.

Or can it?

Enter Yummie Tummie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My friend Christina (who I’ve known since both of us were in our 20s and our Tummies had not a care in the world besides which bikini it should wear, or what we were feeding it next), told me about Yummie Tummie’s “Say Wow Not Ow Yummie Tummie Style Session” at BlogHer.

Yummie Tummie has tanks, camis, shapewear . .  super sexy underthings . . . everything a new mom with two kids could dream of gifting the tummie that sacrificed so much to give her two beautiful babies!

Here’s just a quick peek at what they offer:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to learn more, visit the Yummie Tummie Facebook page, the Yummie Tummie site or follow them on Yummie Tummie Twitter!

my future mod life

I used to dream of ultra-modern living spaces—- clean lines, bright whites, bold angles. I thought I’d grow up to live in a home that was immaculate (because someone else would clean it), with everything in its ultra-minimal and uber-stylish place. The couches would be too cool to sit on, the bathrooms would be like works of art and the bedroom would be my perfect escape.

Fast forward to two kids later, a housekeeper that visits only when one of us actually remembers to call and schedule her, and furniture selected by the following criteria: Will it hurt if one of our boys jumps off of it, runs into it or throws something from it? Is it stain resistant? Can we store toys in it without it looking like a toy box?

Until I can have the grown-up place I’ve always dreamed of, there’s this. Get ready to drool . . .

I found these amazing spaces on www.contemporist.com

Anyone else hearing angels singing? (credit: Horcasitas Apartment Remodel by DEN Architecture)

House Szelpal by Felber Architects

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charcoal, white, typography . . . love. http://www.contemporist.com/2011/03/24/house-szelpal-by-felber-architects/hs_240311_21/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The art on the wall says, "See? Real people live here. They're just way hipper than you." I would have no idea how to pull that off . . . (House Szelpal by Felber Architects)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't mind me. I'll just be over here wishing I lived in your home . . . (credit: The Good Residence by Crone Partners)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

nine (in our) lives

I should start this by saying that I’m not into numerology. I don’t look to the stars for answers or follow astrology past an occasional horoscope.

That being said, for some reason, we’ve been drawn to the number nine. Or vice versa.

Major events in our lives have revolved around nines. They pop up even when we’re least expecting it and they were there before we were even paying attention.

We didn’t realize it until we looked back, but we fell for each other on the 19th.

Writing this post, I decided to look back to the day that my husband proposed to me: the 9th. 2/07 (also a nine).

We were married on 9/9.

The house we lived in when we got married? The address was 333 (3+3+3=9).

The following year, our son was born on 9/19.

The next house we moved into, the address was 919.

That’s when we starting noticing all the nines in our life.

When I was pregnant with my second son and agonized over whether I should have a second C-Section or try again for a natural birth, the first date available was 2/9. Of course, I thought maybe that meant something and scheduled it on that date, just in case he didn’t come sooner.

Turns out, my son was born on 2/5. But guess what time he was delivered?

Wait for it . . . 9:09!

We were FLOORED when they announced the time of birth. When we shared our shock with the doctor and explained how nine has been a lucky number for us, the anesthesiologist grabbed a pen, wrote something on her hand and leaned over to show me what she’d scribbled: 2-5-11 (2+5+1+1 =9).  She followed numerology and wanted to show me that we had another nine birthday after all.

Writing this made me wonder about my birthday.  Guess what? 5/2/75 (5+2+7+5) = 19

My husband’s birthday? 2/13/76 (2+1+3+7+6) = 19


I decided to look up what this all could mean and, frankly, it’s way too confusing. I think you’ll find back-up for whatever it is you want to read into it, to validate whatever you thought it could mean. Nine means different things if it’s a “life path,” if it’s biblical, if it’s your positive or negative personality traits.

I’ll just settle on “lucky number.”

I did learn that astrologically, the number 11 is ruled by Uranus. That alone was worth the time spent on the numerology pages!

 

 

 

 

latest obsession

I think I just found a sweet spot where my love of all things clean and modern marries perfectly with my husband’s graphic design sensibilities.

AND they’re a nod to hip hop.

Seriously. It doesn’t get much better.

Check out these amazing prints by Paper Jam Press. You ever have one of those moments where you stumble across something so simple, but so perfect, and you wonder why you never think of things like that first? I’m right there…

courtesy paperjampress.com

 

 

 

 

 

these are so going in my office!

 

Animated Social Media Icons Powered by Acurax Wordpress Development Company