Sunday, August 29, 2010

All Laced Up

Now that the dinner party is over, (I highly recommend the recipes I used...they were all delicious!) I can start to think about other things.
Things like fall and school and winter boots.
And cabbages and kings.

I am adoring the lace up boots of the upcoming season.
While I fondly gaze at all the "combat" style boots and sigh with the memories of how many years I spent trudging around in nothing but Doc Martens, I realize that that particular style is not completely suitable to my current wardrobe.
But these lovelies.....
My oh my, I could make these work into my wardrobe in a flash!


Very Volatile Warrior (courtesy of Pipelime)


AK Anne Klein (courtesy of Piperlime)

And the one I think I am most likely to actually purchase:


Nine West Buren (courtesy of Piperlime)


What do you think of the lace-up trend?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Entertaining ~ It's A Good Thing

Come fall my husband and I begin to entertain like no one's business.
Dinner parties, our annual Halloween Party, Thanksgiving, my children's birthdays, the list goes on and on.
And you know what?
I love every single second of it.

Towards the end of the school year, we befriended the parents of one of my daughter's friends.
Turns out, they are big foodies and wine lovers just like us.
In June they invited us over for an amazing meal...they even drove to the nearest Wegman's which is almost 40 minutes away just to get the best ingredients possible as our local food stores are a little lackluster.
Now that's what I call "the hostess with the mostest!"

All summer we have tried to get together and have them over here, but our schedules just could not align.
We finally made plans to have them this Saturday night since I was to have the weekend off.
Some last minute schedule changes at work now have me working until 3:30 with their ETA at 6:30...time to panic???

Not yet...despite an almost mini meltdown yesterday afternoon, I am planned and executing according to schedule!
Well...so far anyway!!!

What's on the menu?
Well, since you asked...

fruit and cheese platter
parmesan thyme crackers
artisanal bread with dipping oil
vinho verde wine

braised beef brisket
roasted red onions with balsamic and honey
potato puree (i am subbing yukon gold potatoes as there are children eating as well)
assorted red wines

devil's food cake with homemade vanilla buttercream icing

Last night I let the hubs take our daughter to soccer practice so I could get a few things done.
A floral arrangement with flowers from the grocery store. I used my utensil holder that normally resides on my kitchen counter as a vase! The rustic casualness was perfect against the table linens and dinnerware.


The children will eat in the kitchen at our island. Who wants to listen to "grown up" conversation anyway?
I used rattan chargers, plates from Target in a gorgeous golden mustard color, napkins I ordered from Pottery Barn (the monogram was not done in the right shade of blue, but it actually picks up the blues in this tablecloth I scored at Homegoods!)with Pottery Barn napkin rings and "everyday" flatware that I actually use only for entertaining.





I am working late tonight, so I got out of bed and got the cake in the oven first thing this morning.


I am not Superwoman so I used a boxed cake mix!
Crackers will be made before I go to work today.
Hubs will be in charge of the brisket tomorrow.
I have two hours to get the potatoes on, onions roasting and fruit and cheese platter assembled.
Since my husband is quite an accomplished cook himself, between the two of us we will bang it out in no time flat.

That is as long as everything goes according to plan....
Gulp.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Summer In Review ~ My Favorite Ensembles



Now that the air is starting to change and thoughts of sweaters and boots are forefront in my mind I thought it was high time to revisit the summer and my favorite outfits.

I was pretty good about sticking to my plan of no shopping all of July and August.
I bought some things with the extra discount at work, and cracked when I found a pair of suede Coach heels a few weeks ago (for under $40!).
But other than that, I have been really well behaved!

All in all, I wore quite a few things that have been hanging there unused and formerly unnoticed.
It reminded me why I bought these items in the first place.
And that in the hustle and bustle of life, sometimes it is good to just stop and appreciate what we have instead of waiting and focusing on what's next.
I mean that in more ways than one.

A few weeks ago I was wishing and praying that summer would never end.
Now the thought of putting on my bathing suit and lugging the cooler and beach bag and chair down to the beach no longer appeals to me.
I am all "burger-ed" out and am longing to eat stew, chili, risotto's and meats braised for hours filling my home with the delightful smell of fall's arrival.

This summer has been fabulous.
I spent more time at the beach this year than I have in the past few years actually living on the beach for a full week!
We visited so many places around NJ and spent time with old friends and new friends and relatives we don't see often.

Fancy vacations are always nice, but sometimes just staying home is just as good.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

As She Takes On Half The World...

Sometimes I do too much.
And in my attempts to do and be everything, things naturally get lost by the wayside.
For instance, I said something to my husband about not spending enough time together a few weeks back.
You know when you just have those "off" weeks...those weeks when you feel like two separate people just co-habitating side by side?
When life gets in the way and those times strike, it makes me long for the moments when you can look at your partner after almost ten years and still get butterflies in your tummy.
The times when you are just moving through life in perfect sync with each other.
Dare I say like soul mates?

When I told my husband we were having one of those "off" weeks he commented that I spend time here in bloggyworld during some of those moments I could be spending with him.
Reality check!

The photo taking, the uploading, the editing (in my case just means flipping them right side up) the reading and commenting on my favorite blogs all takes a lot of time.
And since I work full time outside of the home, I don't have tons of it.

While I have enjoyed this summer immensely and done so many fun things, I realized this weekend how much I have missed some of the most important people in my life.
And how I love spending time with them.

Like meeting my two month old niece Sophie Grace for the very first time

Spending some long overdue time with my brother and his fiancee who we normally do everything with. We have only seen them three times since Christmas.
Being out in public with my son in a setting where he is not embarassed to be seen with his mother.
And getting a good laugh out of how goofy my husband is!

Watching my niece Vera Elizabeth (somewhat)enjoy her very first birthday party.

This little girl has brought so much joy and love in my life, sometimes she makes my heart feel like it will explode!

Being with my mom again after 8 long months of not seeing her.
Never in my (almost)37 years have I not seen my mom for that long!

And of course, spending some time with my hubby!

Oh, and for formalities sake:
sheath dress: ny&co
stripe scarf and gold belt: jcrew
sunglases: adrienne vittadini

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer Staples

This summer I have relied on...no, I have existed on a few recipes in particular.
For almost 2 years now, I have tried to eliminate as many processed foods from my families diet as possible.
We are certainly not perfect, and being a mother of two, I refuse to deny my children eveything and anything that might strike their fancy.
That being said, I prefer to bake snacks for them rather than buy, cook at home rather than eat out etc. etc.
Since I am such a control freak, it only makes sense that I enjoy controlling all the ingredients that we eat.

One of my standby recipes this summer has been this Panzanella Salad.
I have made it almost each week for the past month, which is nothing considering I have also baked 4 of these pies in a month as well.

If you are like me, and spend as much money at the farmer's market a week as you do at the grocery store, then you understand why I can't help myself but make these delicious dishes again and again.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Peeping Tom"

This morning we discovered we have a problem.

Apparently we have a "Peeping Tom".


Or just a squirrel that enjoys watching my husband play "Call of Duty".
After about 10 minutes of staring at him, he staring at us, and me snapping some pictures of him, he grew tired of us and ran off.

Clearly we are not all that exciting.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Never Really Gave Up On Breaking Out Of This Two Star Town...






Life is good.
Tiring, but good.
I had an important visit at work yesterday, and it all just went to prove that I work for and with some truly great people.

This is the fatigue jacket I bought during my "relapse".
It is as light as a feather, and imagine my surprise as I began cuffing the sleeves this morning to see that they have tabs and it can actually be worn as a shirt too!
I love multi-functional!
You already know how cold I always am in a/c, so wearing a grey and white striped l/s from JCrew underneath was essential.
And not just because the stripes looked so darn good under it.
Multifunctional yet again!

Everything at work is about denim,denim,denim so I have been dutifully wearing it every day to help boost sales, and come on ladies, you know that to be shopping for jeans and see the staff wearing it gives you a much better idea of how it is going to fit.
Unless of course, you are shaped just like a mannequin.

fatigue jacket & belt: express
stripe tee: jcrew
stella barely boot jeans: express
shoes: nine west
ring: charlotte russe
earrings: target

Monday, August 9, 2010

Slipping Away...








The dawns have begun to arrive later, and the days are already coming to a close a wee bit earlier.
That distinct smell of summer beginning to slip away...
As the flowers fade and shift of seasons slowly creeps upon us, I will hold onto my little bit of summer inside...so when I step inside through the threshold and close the door behind me, I will still be engulfed in the carefree beauty it brings.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Showered And Blue-Blazered






I am such a contradiction in terms.
You already know about the wild child rocker soul that hides within, but my leanings towards all things classic and traditional are usually what is on the surface.

Friday's outfit may just be the blend of the two.

Torn up baggy jeans with a structured plaid jacket and kitten heeled mules?
A ruffled satin tank underneath?

Perhaps it is these types of combinations that are what truly defines my style.

blazer: jones new york (old,old,old!found it while shopping my closet of course!)
ruffle tank: jcrew
destoyed boyfriend jeans: express
camel mules: bandolino (older still!)
purse: vintage dooney bourke (thrifted! what a find!)

ring: limited