This week started out on the wrong foot.
My stress levels were sky high, I had tremendous pressure on me from various different channels, my optimism was missing in action and I was not feeling my finest, physically or emotionally.
And what a difference a few days makes.
Today is Friday.
I ended up accomplishing more in the week than I had anticipated.
I opened up a few new doors and windows and cracks that will hopefully bring a little fresh air and sunshine into the months ahead.
I took some real quality time to spend with my kids, instantly re-energizing my everything.
And the universe reminded me yet again that whatever it is that is dragging you down, stressing you out, giving you frown lines…it will pass.
A week can make a difference.
A day can make a difference.
Sometimes even an hour can make a difference.
You just need to remember that that difference will come.
Hopefully just in time for the weekend
PS – thank you guys for the Facebook love! Crossed the 600 mark!
*image above via here*
It has been a whirlwind week with a 48 hour trip to NYC, lots of deadlines and plenty of overdue cuddling with my kids on the agenda.
Need to take a creative break, so here are some of the things I have been loving on Pinterest lately.
(above) A little laugh for your Thursday. If only my AmEx thought it was funny.
My idea of the perfect backyard.
Love those windows and airy, open feel.
Almost makes me miss having long hair.
Though, let’s be honest…it never looked like this.
Celebrated my birthday there and it was great, highly recommend.
Pinned to my “Just Because” board.
Just because it’s stunning.
That’s why I love Pinterest.
A favorite new find from Towne and Reese*.
My most popular Pin lately.
I guess a lot of us dream of the long, beautiful hair up top but in reality, need a chop and a change.
Follow me here.
*Towne and Reese was kind enough to send me a Makenzi ring for my collection and I loved it. Hence the pin.*
I am off to New York again this morning for a few days of business meetings. New York twice in one month? I am a lucky gal. A tired gal. But a lucky one.
I hope you all had a lovely Mother’s Day – ours was simple and filled with love, as it should be.
Here are five things “Making My Monday” this week:
The flowers in the image above. I have been having a bit of trouble finding the beauty in the every day lately but this stunning image caught my eye and reminded me that it’s there…everywhere. And more importantly, it’s time to log off a little more and find it in real life versus just on Pinterest. Though I do love the things I find on Pinterest…
These new sandals from Madewell are making me very happy. I have long struggled with finding cute summer sandals that are relatively affordable, but the search is over. Now I just need to order them in every color.
Little D is going on her first field trip on Saturday. Yes, a Saturday. Her school doesn’t do field trips but we won this special outing with some friends in the school fundraising auction so she gets a trip downtown (on the train, no less!) with her two teachers and three favorite buddies for an afternoon of exploring. She is so darn excited, it’s contagious.
Remember a few weeks ago when I was so happy to reach 500 fans on Facebook? Well, now I am almost at 600! I know, quality versus quantity…but sometimes quantity is nice, too. Thanks for your support – feel free to “like” WhatWouldGwynethDo here, if you haven’t already.
This week marks the last in a string of stressful ones for me, work-wise. I am looking forward to wrapping it up, successfully, and going back to normal work mode for a few weeks before a big hotel opening I am handling in early June. There will be a mini celebration this weekend to toast how fortunate I am to be so busy at work — and to finding a little more balance in the months ahead.
*image above via here*
Here is a quick look at the weekend we spent in New York celebrating my birthday.
It was only one short week ago, but already feels like a lifetime has gone by.
(Above) We stayed in Soho and it was perfect. I love that part of town, I don’t care if it’s cliché.
My sister and I went for the most amazing facials at the Mario Badescu day spa.
It was easily one of the best facials I have ever had and since we are Romanian, we love to support.
Fun fact: the spa is on the main floor of an apartment building and found its home there back in the 1970s when Badescu himself lived upstairs and started slowly taking over apartments as treatment rooms as his practice grew.
Now they have 36 treatment rooms and on most days, they are all booked.
Then I treated myself to Barney’s.
Because, you know, when in New York…
The weather was so amazing that it almost made San Diego seem dismal.
We spent my birthday afternoon lounging in the sun in Sheep’s Meadow with a picnic lunch and some Ladurée macarons from a friend.
Sounds terrible, right?
Me and my man and a Barney’s bag in the park.
My idea of heaven.
Ok, maybe I did a little more shopping.
We spent a lot of time just walking around and looking up and feeling small and big at the same time.
We celebrated with some pretty darn good treats.
I stopped by some of my favorite shops for a little inspiration.
Ok, yes. And a little more shopping.
We slept in.
We ate some really, really good pizza.
We walked it off.
We took photos of taxis to send home to our taxi-obsessed kids.
We spent our last night in a bar on the Lower East Side until 2:30am with some great friends.
No pictures allowed.
And then we recuperated on our last morning with a quiet breakfast in Soho, taking in all the city had to offer for a few final hours.
And it offered up these guys.
Singing their hearts out on the corner as a growing crowd took pictures, videos, and poured dollar bills into their empty hat.
They didn’t know it, but they were the perfect end to a pretty perfect weekend.
I have really grown to love Mother’s Day.
It’s such a stress-free holiday for us (one of the few) where I just get spoiled with love and simple sentiments and truly heartfelt gifts.
It’s a day filled with gratitude and joy and warmth.
It’s a day where I give myself a big old pat on the back for having a part in creating these two amazing little people who make me proud and happy like nothing else.
It’s a day when I make the time to truly appreciate my own mother and all that she has sacrificed and given up for me and my family.
It’s a day when Little D always puts into words how she really sees me through her young mind and eyes.
This year it was:
Really good cook
A good mom
And that makes the day just perfect.
Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours.
So here’s the thing – most of your husbands, boyfriends, partners are probably not logging onto WhatWouldGwynethDo on the daily (though they should obviously get on that) so doing a Mother’s Day gift guide for you or for me probably doesn’t make sense.
So here is one for your mom instead – you know, the one you will be buying for…most likely at the last minute, and most likely at your nearest department store:
(clockwise from top left)
A mani for mom – how can you go wrong? Spoil her with these luxe Tom Ford nail lacquers and include a gift certificate to a local nail salon for an afternoon of pampering in style.
I have bought a lot of gifts for my mom through the years and this glass teapot remains one of her favorites. It’s simple, chic and warms the soul. Fill it with the “Mother’s Little Helper” blend from David’s Tea.
Something for the home is always appropriate and I love this sea urchin serving platter from MADHOUSE Collection. Pick it up this weekend at select Bloomingdale’s or Neiman Marcus stores.
Every mom loves Ina. Her newest book “Foolproof” is a kitchen essential you can track down in a flash. Pair it with a nice cookbook stand for a delicious surprise.
Help mommy get organized with this cute cosmetic case from Tory Burch. Who doesn’t need another flamingo in their life?
If your mom does not already own a Longchamp tote, then your work here is done. Every woman’s closet needs to be home to one and with so many colors and sizes to choose from, your gift-giving options are endless. Just like your love for mom.
Neutral is nice but it’s time to swap out some of your favorite stand bys and introduce some “new neutrals” into your wardrobe this summer. Wear them just like you would your staples – with confidence and style – and inject an instant dose of fun into your daily look:
(Clockwise from top left)
Peek-a-boo! This Madewell dress unveils just a hint of skin to keep it sophisticated. Throw it on to run errands or do pick-up on a hot day and keep it casual and cool.
A little black dress is in every closet across America but I am loving a leather option like this J Brand leather mini dress for a new take on everyone’s favorite neutral.
A pink lip is pretty but make a bright fuschia your new neutral instead. I am loving this Yves Saint Laurent version. Don’t save it for date night!
A colorful shoe like these Jenni Kayne D’orsay flats. The key is not to keep them on hold until they match your look from head to toe – throw them on with anything, wear them in, and treat like them your favorite tan sandal.
We all love our chunky gold watches but try a white one like this NIXON chronograph for summer instead. It’s still a classic look but with a crisp new twist.
I cannot believe how much use I have gotten out of my Helmut Lang white blazer. At first I was concerned it was a little too “Miami Vice” for day-to-day use, but once I started treating it like a standard old navy one, it worked well with everything.
I am loving these bright, fun Butter London pastel polishes for Spring – don’t be afraid to wear them to a meeting or a school function. Treat them like your go-to pale pink.
Drop the black tote and opt for a little leopard like this Clare Vivier clutch for your daily handbag instead.
Rethink your daily shades and try on something with some flair this season instead like these Forever 21 wayfarers.
Wow, what a difference a day makes. Yesterday at this time, we were strolling through Soho and Nolita, taking in our last few hours of New York City with the sun shining bright, the contagious energy surrounding us, and the best pizza ever in our happy tummies. Much more to come on our weekend in the city, but for now here are a few things I am looking forward to this week now that I am settled back in in SoCal:
This was the first birthday celebration I had without my kids and it was a little bittersweet. I spoke with them that day and they sang me happy birthday on the phone, but I think we are going to have a small family dinner tonight with a little cupcake or something so I can blow out one more candle with their help to celebrate 35.
The Met Ball is tonight. It’s the Oscars of the fashion world and I love seeing all the looks online, especially coming from New York where I was so inspired by the street style and general fashion sense of the women there. I love that there is truly no “New York look.” Everyone has their own style and they all seem to carry it well, whether it’s preppy, polished or punk.
Madewell is coming to San Diego! I have loved this brand forever; it’s effortless, easy fashion for busy women who want a little cool with their pretty. They are opening their first boutique at Fashion Valley tomorrow and I will be there to help them celebrate tomorrow evening. I picked up this great little dress for the occasion.
Mother’s Day tea at Little D’s school on Thursday. I love that Mother’s Day always falls right after my birthday — it’s so fun to have an excuse for a few special celebrations in a row. For the actual day, we will probably keep it mellow with a small family brunch somewhere, maybe some flowers, and lots of love.
I am headed back to NYC next Monday for meetings with another client so I am looking forward to a weekend filled with a lot of nothing to help me recharge my batteries a little.
Happy Monday, friends ~
PS – the kids did NOT wake up with pink eye after all! So much for mother’s intuition.
*image above was the view from our room at the Soho Grand all weekend. I know, it was terrible…
We are headed to New York this morning to celebrate my 35th birthday this weekend.
It’s been a rough few weeks with a variety of health issues, stresses and disappointments.
And now, on the eve of our long-awaited trip, I am fairly certain not one but both of my kids are likely going to wake up with pink eye, leaving my poor mom to deal with last-minute check ups, antibiotics and sick days.
I am not feeling my best, physically or emotionally, if I am being honest.
Part of me doesn’t feel like I can celebrate anything right at this very moment.
But I know we will.
I know we will walk New York’s streets and breathe in its energy.
I know we will taste its flavors and soak up its sounds.
I know we will marvel in the city, in our friends’ company, in each other.
I know we will disconnect from work and responsibilities and real life. And feel more connected than we have in a while.
I know we will run around the city for three days, always wanting to do one more thing, always running out of time.
And I know we will stumble home on Sunday, our hearts ready to hold our little ones again, but our minds full of fun memories to carry with us in the days ahead…
Especially those days when we’re not feeling our best.
Have a great weekend!
*image above via Vogue and Coffee*
I “met” Meredith Levy’s work before I met her. Her chic, simple and a little sassy line of stationery and products for the home, Minnie & Emma, had me at hello. The line is bright and vibrant without being overly sweet and became an instant favorite thanks to cards like these. When I found out she was also a working mom of two, I knew I had to dial her up. Levy, based in New York, has worked with some of the most visible names in the fashion and beauty world, creating highly-recognizable logos, invitations and branding materials for companies including Abercrombie + Fitch, Chanel and Chopard. But the biggest names in her life are Harry, 5 and Emma, 2. Here is how she does it:
What time does your day start and how?
My day starts early, around 6 am. I still (even with small kids at home) relish that quiet time in the early morning, checking emails, catching up on news and favorite sites while having a cup (or three!) of coffee. It allows me to plan the day and clear my head before the house gets moving.
What time does your day end and how?
Late. Around 11, 11:30. I love that time after dinner with the kids, before they go to sleep. Mentally, it sort of helps end my day, too. They relax, play, have baths. Now that my youngest is 2, my kids are now on somewhat of a similar schedule which has made it a little easier for me. They eat at the same time, have a bath together. Something is so sweet about that for me. Once they are finally asleep, I have a nice amount of time to finish work, catch up with my husband, do some online shopping. I have a hard time shutting it down. There is so much I want to do in one day.
Do you work from home or in an office? What is the set up like?
I am lucky to have enough space to have a home office/studio where the entire Minnie and Emma team can work. It is wonderful for me because I do not have to spend the time commuting to an office and if the kids really need me for something, I can easily be there. On the flip side, they can sense when I am here, even if they are with a babysitter, so that can get a bit challenging. We’ve been fortunate to be rather busy lately, so we are working well into the night, when they are asleep…
Do you see/speak to your kids throughout your work day? If yes, how/when?
For me, it is very important to be the one who brings/picks up my son to/from school everyday. I know how lucky I am that I have that ability to work and be able to do that. It was imperative that when setting up this business, it allowed me that flexibility. My mom was there when I came home from school and I vividly remember her being there, talking about my day. That has always been important for me.
What is the best thing about being a working mom? Hardest thing?
I love that I have something that fulfills me, mentally and creatively. Of course there are days when I am stretched so thin, but every mother, working or not, feels that way at some point. It comes with the title. I never thought I would love being a mom as much as I do, so I love that I can do both. The hardest thing? I have never, ever been this tired in my entire life. I find the lack of sleep impossible.
Be honest, what is one thing you envy about stay at home moms?
I am trying this new thing, where I am not comparing my life to others. That said, I think being a mom is probably the hardest thing you can do. With amazing rewards, of course. The decisions you make as a parent are not easy. You want to make sure you are giving your kids exactly what is important to you, while teaching them to be valuable members of society. So, aside from perhaps wearing gym clothes all day… I would say nothing
Answer the question “I don’t know how you do it?” in ten words or less.
I laugh A LOT. A supportive husband. White wine.
And clearly Meredith has some serious style, so here are her must-haves of the moment for she and he and she:
Clockwise from top left:
Dodo Jewelry. I love the mix of gold and their wax cords and that you have the ability to make your bracelets completely your own.
For me, a big chic tote is essential. It can take me from a meeting to the playground. Goyard just released a new grey color that is perfect.
Crewcuts for swim. They have made the rash guard incredibly chic.
Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 60 – we are true beach bums and this works for us perfectly.
Fresh Seaberry Body Cream is a total game-changer. I was just introduced to this cream by the lovely team at Fresh and I am obsessed. It is helping my winter skin get ready for summer.
Emi-Jay hair ties. I always keep a 5 pack in my bag- they are perfect for me and my daughter.
I am in LOVE with Givenchy’s Hydra Sparkling Magic Lip & Cheek Balm. I recently found it. It gives your lips a slight tint with a perfect, non sticky gloss.
I am always looking for my phone at the bottom of my tote so I love that I can easily spot it with one of our Minnie & Emma phone cases. I have become addicted to changing it often. Right now I am using a light grey version of our large letter case.