Happy Wednesday, friends.
I do that. A lot. Good packaging is my weakness in life.
Anyhow, I wanted to actually test out the product before sharing it with you in detail here and now I have and now I am.
This lip balm is divine. It’s very similar in scent and texture to the Rosebud Salve one you carried as a cool girl in college.
But better. More luxe. It’s like the Rosebud Salve for the 30-something.
The balm is a little richer and goes on smoothly with no stickiness. The scent is pure roses – so if you don’t like that, just skip it – but light and lovely roses, not heady and perfume-y roses. And the packaging really is perfect. I had a hard time throwing out the box because it was so pretty but then the actual pot was so good that I got over it. It’s a little glass container with this gold top that is so easy to open and close (which I always found to be a bit of a pain with the Rosebud) and it will look darling on your bathroom counter, in your handbag, in your mom’s bathroom, in your best friend’s handbag…anywhere!
Finally, it’s made with a blend of delicious oils including jojoba, argan, coconut and more. And not a lot of yucky stuff, though I am not sure what “linalool” is, so don’t quote me on that.
And it’s available at Anthro. All over the place and online here.
Hope you (and your lips) enjoy!
This has been one of those days (one of those weeks, actually) that tests you.
That puts you through the ringer just to spit you out the other end.
Not only have I been insanely busy with important work obligations, but I have been sick as a dog, my son has decided to give up napping, my husband has been called across the country on a last-minute business trip and I can’t taste my coffee…or my wine.
Today I was exhausted and stressed and typically, I would handle that by curling up into a ball of bitchy and calling it a day.
But for some reason, somehow, I didn’t have that in me.
The traffic jam that was making me late for a client event was out of my hands. The sleepless night I had could only mean tonight will be sleep-full. The brief conversation I had with an acquaintance that left me feeling a little uncomfortable…that was her issue, not mine.
I had a surprisingly zen approach to a very un-zen like couple of days and I realized yet again that while what the universe was throwing my way may be in its control, how I choose to deal with it is in mine.
And I chose, for the most part, to take it in stride. To understand that some days (and nights) are tougher than others. That some projects aren’t always perfect. That some people are just not your type.
And that life goes on, regardless.
That whether or not I choose to curse at the traffic gods and panic over a missed deadline or simply look at it all with a little smile and a calm demeanor is entirely up to me.
I am turning 36 next week and I have spent a better part of those 36 years being anxious and stressed about the small, insignificant daily obstacles that – at the end of the day – have been nothing but little bumps in my road.
And now that I see them as nothing more (remember: big deal or little problem?), the road ahead looks much smoother.
*image above via here, no viable credit found
I spent most of the weekend sick and am now starting off the new week in the same way, with the next few days packed with meetings, work events and obligations.
Oh, and I can’t taste my coffee.
So happy Monday, indeed.
I thought I would give it a little sartorial swing to put me in a better mood – dreaming of pretty new trends is never a bad thing, right?
Here are some of my favorite bits of Spring style inspiration:
(above) Pleats are high on the trend forecast this season and I love these soft ones, paired with a simple shell and sandals.
Bold florals make a standard black top pop beautifully on Taylor Tomasi Hill.
I am really loving these swingy, drapey (that is a very technical fashion term) dresses.
Ha ha, no. I have no idea how to make my own anything. But maybe you do!
All white is also a big Spring trend and the mix of black accessories and distressed denim keep it from looking too prim and proper here.
Finally, I love the surprise of the low back on this look.
A subtle way to show some skin without sacrificing style.
You can follow all my Style & Beauty inspiration on Pinterest here.
Oh, and I am sharing my idea of a perfect Sunday (yesterday was not it, sadly — too many Kleenex boxes in the picture) over on The Short and The Sweet of It today.
Hope you will check it out!
We are sitting here on a late Saturday afternoon, waiting anxiously for the doorbell to ring.
All of us.
You see, Kai’s “big boy” bed is arriving today. It’s really just a conversion kit for the beloved crib that has seen us through seven years of long nights, sleep training, tranquil afternoon naps, happy mornings…with two amazing babies.
The crib that seemed so big in the beginning, swallowing our tiny swaddled little ones whole. When Little D first came home from the hospital, that crib was safely positioned right in our room, despite its size, where I could watch her breathe and feel her energy at all times. Years later, it’s on an entirely different floor from us, but we know it is still keeping our son safe and happy. The crib that has seen so many accidents, nursed so many viruses, lulled many a cranky afternoon into a deep sleep.
But now, to him, it’s a whole new bed. His big boy bed. His first step into real independence within our home. His latest step in catching up to his big sister. His everything.
For me, it’s a sad transition. This is likely the last crib these walls will see. The last baby we will rock to sleep every night, the last baby we will sleep train, the last baby who will call us from behind his bars in the early morning, waiting anxiously for us to come and rescue him and set him free on the world he was dreaming of so fondly. The last “safe” place where we can keep our baby protected and coddled and (semi) controlled, under our watchful eye.
The last of the baby anything.
But for him, it’s the first of so much.
And with that, this quiet Saturday afternoon is about to turn into a very exciting Saturday night.
For all of us.
Here’s the simple secret to painless bathing suit shopping: find a fit that really works for your body.
Don’t worry about the size on the label or the style you thought you wanted or how it looks on the model. Try, try and try again until you find something that works on your body.
I figured out last year that a one-piece bandeau (particularly those from J. Crew) work really well on me. They are flattering and fit well and I love the strapless look and lack of tan lines but also appreciate having the optional straps that I can pull on when I need added support for chasing my littles around the deep-end.
I also found out – shockingly! – that as much as I loved the safety of a solid black suit, I could pull off some pretty patterns and prints just as well and they were way more fun for frolicking in the sun.
I love brands that offer hassle-free swim suit returns online (again, see J. Crew’s free shipping and free returns on all swim) so you can try them out in the privacy of your own home, but department store dressing rooms can be great for their variety and professional counsel as well so don’t be afraid to go in there with a pile of options and wade through them all.
Wherever you choose to shop for swim, take your time, test out the waters in different styles and sizes, and find the one that not only fits and flatters, but makes you feel your best.
Here are my favorite swim suits for the 2o14 season:
(above, from left)
J. Crew geometric tiki bandeau – this is the suit I just bought myself for the new season. It’s my classic fit with a trendy tiki pattern that I love.
Splendid Malibu stripe one-piece – a fun twist on the sailor stripe with a cute pop of yellow and a fun cut-out detail on the back.
J. Crew tropical floral bandeau – bright and sunny but sadly sold out for now, so keep an eye out for a restock!
Tory Burch Margherita one-piece – a more subtle play on the pattern trend in a pretty navy paisley.
Vitamin A Natalie striped maillot – bold stripes that are anything but basic.
Mara Hoffman lattice back one-piece – looks simple and straight-forward in the front but with a stylish and sexy back detail (tan lines, beware!) that is anything but.
I think I have been a fan of The Glow since its very first post three years ago.
The site was started by two New York-based women – one an editor at InStyle and the other a photographer, both with a great innate sense of style – before they even made the foray into motherhood. It was their way of showing the world (and their nervous selves) that today’s modern woman can embrace motherhood and career and personal style and balance and wellness…and do it beautifully. Kelly Stuart is the talent behind the lens and she captures their subjects with such an ethereal, organic sensibility that makes motherhood look peaceful and empowering and inspiring. Even though it’s often not.
Stuart and her partner, Violet Gaynor, have just released The Glow: An Inspiring Guide to Stylish Motherhood, a new coffee table book version of the much-loved blog, filled with many of the subjects already featured online and an assortment of all-new ones (I wish there were a few more new ones, to be honest). The book is divided into sections devoted to birth, home design, nursery design, beauty, and more, and each accompanies Stuart’s lovely photography with words of wisdom, quotes and tips from their subjects.
The book brings everything you love about the blog to life beautifully with pretty details, including a scrapbook style recipe section, and detail shots that draw you right in. I think my favorite image is one of Tracy Anderson nursing her baby girl in a stunning yellow dress.
I don’t think I will really look to this book for advice or product recommendations or must-haves (that stuff is always fun, but it’s not the forte here) but I definitely appreciate it for its unique, inspired point of view on motherhood today. It shows the act of parenting in a new light that leaves you feeling renewed and appreciative. It introduces you to women – many of them admittedly living rather extraordinary lives – who are balancing career and children and personal interests with style and grace. But what I really love is that at the same time it also makes them seem a little less extraordinary through the intimate details they share of their own experiences that, at the end of the day, are universal to us all.
So while my little life may not have Stuart’s signature style imprint on it at all times, seeing motherhood through her and Gaynor’s eyes certainly gives it a much-needed new…dare I say it, glow.
The Glow: An Inspiring Guide to Stylish Motherhood is available today.
*image above via The Glow
We spent Spring Break at home but all this talk of travel has given me the itch to book a few weekend getaways sooner than later. So here is a new local’s guide (you can see the others here) to beautiful Santa Barbara from one of my favorite blogger friends, Sara from Bonzo, Chooch, Mushy and Me:
I was born and raised in Santa Barbara and consider myself so lucky for it – and I feel even luckier that my babies get to grow up here, too. It’s a pretty special place if you don’t mind me saying so. Some call it the American Riviera – beautiful white plaster buildings with red tiled roofs nestled in the hills with the Santa Ynez Mountains behind them and the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands in front – but I’m happy to call it home. I appreciate Santa Barbara’s beauty every day – that I can say for sure – but the one downside to being from here is that I’ll never know what it would be like to see this special place for the first time. I can only imagine it would be pretty spectacular to arrive here and get to take it all in – it’d be a major feast for the eyes. Then getting to explore, shop, eat and wander would only seal the deal. So, whether you should find yourself visiting Santa Barbara for the first time (lucky duck!) or are returning to this lovely place again, here are some of my favorite spots that I hope you’ll check out when you do:
Where to get a facial – Four Seasons – the Tata Harper facials, in particular. I’ll be honest, this one’s on my wish list but if the Four Seasons’ oceanfront location doesn’t blow you away, I’m pretty sure 50 minutes of being pampered with Tata Harper products will do the trick. If you’re looking for something a little more low key with a local vibe, Skin Dance is the spot. It’s tucked away off the beaten path in downtown Santa Barbara and the owner, Andra, is amazing.
Where to get a massage – Bacara Spa – beautiful hotel, amazing waterfront location, incredible spa treatment menu. Yes please. Or Alchemy Arts Center, a wellness and healing center, spa and cafe. I could move in.
Where to shop for your man – James Perse opened recently in Montecito and it’s the perfect spot for cool basics. Warbler Records and Goods stocks new and used vinyl. Rad spot. Guitar Bar – whether or not he plays guitar, this place is worth checking out. And he’ll want to hang out a while, guaranteed.
Where to shop for your home – Upstairs at Pierre Lafond is my favorite home store of all time. I’ve loved it since I was a kid and it just keeps getting better. Botanik – luxury garden and home shop. It’s to die for. Raoul has textiles that will blow your mind, beautiful furniture, art and decor. Such a cool spot – even if it’s just for daydreaming.
Where to shop for your kids – Toy Crazy is a cute little shop filled to the brim with toys that encourage imaginative play. Our go-to spot for birthday presents. Chicken Little: this family-owned shop is a Santa Barbara landmark. It’s been around for years and is wall-to-wall (literally) anything and everything you need for babies and kids: clothes, gear, toys, you name it. Amelia Jane may quite possibly be the sweetest shop for babies and kids ever.
Where to shop for yourself – Diani clothing and shoes. Isabel Marant, Rag and Bone, Mother – you get the drift. So good. Lola: this little spot is right off State Street (the main downtown drag) and is always a reliable place to find pretty, easy, casual, chic pieces that don’t cost a fortune. It could be easily missed if you didn’t know about it but is totally worth stopping into.
Where to get a sweet treat – Rori’s Artisanal Creamery: there’s a location in Montecito and another (just opened!) in the Santa Barbara Public Market so you’re never far from a scoop of artisan, organic ice cream.
Where to get fresh juice – Juice Ranch: this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it spot is my favorite favorite. Cold-pressed, organic, local, amazing.
Where to get a cheap eat – Brasil Arts Cafe: this new place is rad. The smoothies with homemade nut milks are our favorites. Los Arroyos is our favorite Mexican restaurant. Their downtown location is small, order at the counter, and their Montecito spot is a sit down restaurant – with a full bar and amazing margaritas! La Super-Rica: this place is an institution in Santa Barbara. Lines-around-the-block famous.
Where to wine and dine – Arigato is the best sushi. No reservations – be prepared to wait or go early! Ca’Dario is the best Italian. Order the brown butter sage raviolis as a starter so everyone can try a bite. Hungry Cat = best seafood and San Ysidro Ranch is quintessential, beautiful Santa Barbara.
Where to take the kids – The Santa Barbara Zoo. I’m admittedly biased but our zoo just might be the cutest one in the world. The giraffes have a million dollar ocean view. The Santa Barbara Natural History Museum: one of our favorite places to go is the museum’s backyard which is creekside. There’s a clearing under giant live oak trees where the kids can play in the running creek water and just be in nature. It’s a magical spot, trust me.
The whole things sounds pretty magical to me, wouldn’t you agree?? Thanks for sharing all your Santa Barbara secrets, Sara!
*image above via here
Life has slowed down a bit around here lately. Or should I say, I have slowed it down.
Not in terms of workload or responsibilities or to-do lists, necessarily. But the way I look at those things. And the world around them.
I have been consciously trying to take it easy. Slow down my breathing, listen to the birds outside my window, stare at the sky once in a while. I have been reading more, staring at a screen a little less. Taking my time with mundane tasks, lounging a little longer, feeling a little more. Spending time really talking to friends instead of just liking their photos and status updates. Letting my kids stop to examine every thing in the grocery store and not hurrying them through it. Cutting back on places to be and things to-do and letting my family do the same.
Stopping at yellow lights instead of rushing through them.
It occurred to me that it wasn’t always life rushing me through my days, it was me rushing me through my days.
I am embracing the idea of wasting time once in a while doing absolutely nothing of value. Sometimes it means laying in bed a little while longer or going to bed a little earlier. Sometimes it means taking the long way home from pick up to let my kids decompress a bit more after a busy day. Sometimes it means stepping away from my screen in the middle of the work day to eat a cookie in the sun. Sometimes it means skipping a scheduled meeting or workout and opting to just hang out and do nothing instead. Arriving somewhere early just to waste time waiting. Writing page after page of words that seem to say nothing.
Stopping at yellow lights.
At Coachella this weekend?! Nah, me neither. I much prefer to stay home and listen to the Frozen soundtrack over and over…so if you’re in the same boat as me and living the festival life vicariously through your Instagram all weekend, here are some other links to check out while you’re online:
A powerful post about the one thing parents should be worrying about…and often don’t.
How to make Montreal-style bagels via Bleubird. I am a native Montrealer and I can assure you that no one makes a better bagel. No one. Making them at home seems a little wrong to me, but if you want to try it, here’s how. I think I will just save my cravings for my trips back home – Fairmont and St. Viateur are the places to go if you’re ever in the area.
How to save the battery on your iPhone from dying so quickly. This one is a find from my husband who was getting annoyed with my constant complaining about my phone’s battery life.
Some of the most incredible images you will ever see. The one with the small child looking into the police man’s shield got me right in the heart. Amazing photos.
And finally, 10 Reasons You Have to Quit Your Job in 2014. This is a big one, lots to absorb here, lots to agree with and lots to make you think. I quit my job in 2008 and have managed to keep a healthy, thriving consultancy business going ever since. Can I say I never ever look back? No. Do I have moments where I wish I had stayed in the “system” and kept gliding up that corporate ladder alongside my colleagues? Yes. Do I have days where I want to quit on myself and just go back to working for someone else? Yep. But was it all worth it? Absolutely.
*image above via Pinterest, no viable credit found