Monday, December 31, 2012

fringe + fur

Fun, fresh winter looks.

Cases in point...

...may even be considered NYE-worthy.

Any exciting plans, readers?

~images via 9to5Chic~

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Friday Five

Sufjan Stevens holiday music.
 Best background music for working/blogging/cleaning
whilst a baby sleeps.

The ultimate preppy look.
Pretty sure I need a pair this spring.
I'm especially digging these:

Now, who wants to take me out on Lake Michigan in their sail boat?
Call me come May.

Every Month is Oktoberfest
by OPI
The perfect navy-dark purple/red for winter.

I need an old black globe.
Pretty badly, said my bookshelf.

10 Compliments Your Kids Need to Hear
Must remember these!
Doing something at a high standard is ALWAYS worth noting.

And a few more links, just for you...

I want to get this book for Christmas next year.

"1st Birthday Party" inspiration begins now.

Who knew you could make so many things out of crescent rolls.

Ha! So true.

Happy Weekend, loves!

~images via sperry's, opi, & pinterest x 2~

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Le tired.

That's right, kiddo.
Crack mama with that whip!
No rest for the wicked, as my grandmother used to say.

While I'm secretly feeling like I need a vacation to recover from my "vacation",
I really did have a wonderful holiday.
Relaxing isn't a descriptor that immediately comes to mind,
but I am VERY grateful to have such a large, wonderful cohort
of family and friends to call my own!

We are back to the grind.
Yesterday felt like a Monday, but  thank you sweet Jesus  alas, it was Wednesday!
Albeit belated, here's a little D.I.Y. holiday gift idea for day care providers.
(We have 7 teachers to date. SEVEN!) 
This sweetie pie and I crafted them tonight...

You need:
Treat bags
"Extra" gum
Hershey kisses (or other festive holiday chocolates)
$5 gift card
Ribbon / Gift tags

Assemble and label as follows:

Thanks for taking "EXTRA" good care of me!
Love, Baby

...cheeky, eh?
In all seriousness,
who couldn't use gum + a gift certificate to a local grocery chain?
(Target or Starbucks could easily be swapped out.)
And what lady doesn't love a little chocolate?!
While it's not the $75 a piece that "Baby Talk" magazine suggests as an appropriate holiday gift for a daycare teacher, it is  cute and useful.  And after all, it's the thought that counts!

~image via pinterest / photos by b~

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays!

From a + b 
to you and yours.

May your day be merry and bright!

~images via pinterest~

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve!

Today's checklist:

* Turn on Pandora's "Sufjan Stevens Holiday" station.

* Wear a cozy sweater + pajamas all day.

* Drink lots of Tom & Jerry's and/or mint hot chocolate.
(Preferably in front of a fire/candlelight on a furry throw such as this.)

Travel safe.

And last, but certainly not least...

Merry Christmas Eve, my lovelies!
I hope you're spending this magical evening with the ones you love!


~images via pinterest~

Sunday, December 23, 2012

GIft guide ~ The Lovely Ladies

Keeping along the "better late than never theme",
here are some last minute gift ideas for the leading ladies in your life.
(Hey, there are  still 2 whole shopping days to go!)

For the woman who talks with her hands.
Essie nail polish + Fun Bangle
(Bauble Bar knock-offs via Target!)

For the bejeweled beauty.
Renegade Cluster bracelet
The perfect balance of glitz and edge, in silver and/or gold.
(Also available as a necklace!)
$59 via stella & dot

For the lush (who also bikes).
LOVE this leather "wine-on-the-go" accessory!
$45 via restoration hardware

For the them's who like to cook.
"Foolproof" by the Barefoot Contessa.
Always classy, always simple, always delicious.
$20 via

For your friend / sister-in-law preggo with baby # 2.
"...delightfully candid, outlandishly funny...Newman charts the year she anticipated the birth of her second child while also coping with the realities of raising a toddler..."
Yes and yes.
$10 via

For any other bookworm on your list.
Be sure to include a gift certificate to a movie theater with an invitation for a girls' night with Jay Gatsby come this spring.
$41.99 via skreened

For the lady who lunches.
Via Tory Burch in the Neiman Marcus for Target line!
Lunch bag and/or thermos.
$19.99-24.99 (soon to be on sale!) - via Target.
{HERE} and {HERE}


For a hostess with the mostest.
Hometown puzzle
A jigsaw puzzle map centered on the address of their new house!!
Note:  I LOVE this and am purchasing one the second we buy a new home.
$49.95 via comfort house

And finally, a couple of cute and practical items EVERY lady can use...

Fleece-lined leggings
$18 via anthropologie

Multitude hair ties
(They also make headbands!)
~$12 via anthropologie

Cozy, fur-lined slippers.
I worse these suckers OUT last year.
Love them so much!
$22.99 via Target

Compact Umbrellas
A purse's necessity.
$20-30 via Vera Bradley

J. Crew trouser socks.
A working woman's essential.
$12.50 + via J. Crew.

Perfect for your bestie.
Or any other living, breathing female on Earth.


I personally would be thrilled to find any of these gifts under my Christmas tree.
But in case that isn't enough Santa-like inspiration,
be sure to check out last year's gift guides!
{HERE} and {HERE}

Merry Christmas shopping!

~images via, restoration, stella & dot, x 2, skreened, target, comfort house, anthropologie x 2, target, and veuve~

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Friday Five

As promised, a day late.
But better late than never!

Annoying + Annoying = Oddly catchy.
I'll admit, I'm kinda digging this rendition of Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree...

Re-usable coffee sleeves
So green - and so chic! - at the same time.

Twinkly lights.
Why must they only exist around the holidays?
I love the glow and vibe they give off.
Here's a good example of how to make them stretch a few months longer!

Navy nails + Arm party
Yes, I still am grooving on both fads.
(We might as throw mens' style womens' watches in there as well.)

An Ode to Rituals
I'm thinking I need to check out the rest of this book ASAP.
Because this essay on the importance of family rituals is spot on.

Such notions are so me! 

And a few more links, just for fun...

A new, quick and easy twist on the messy bun.

173 manufactures that will mail you coupons.
(God bless a good deal!)

25 cool science projects you can do at home.

Accupressure points!  Heal thyself.
(I admit to using the sinus headache one A LOT.)

A gorgeous wedding photo.

And one classy engagement photo.
(Leave it to OP to do it right.)

Ugly Christmas Sweater done right.


Happy {Holiday} Weekend!

~images via pinterest x 3 &

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Five preview

Croup + late nights at work + last minute holiday prep
has left this mama waaaaaaaaay behind on the blogosphere.
And I haven't even made one single Christmas cookie yet.

Who am I and what's become of my former self?!?!?!


...because I will have a "day-late" Friday Five for you tomorrow morning.
And the rest of my holiday gift guide
+ some holiday music inspiration to follow this weekend.
Read: when I am nustled up by a fire with a hot toddy in hand!


Until then, work for one more day... least I can still laugh at the atrocity of my life organization.

Happy {Holiday} Weekend!

~images via pinterest~

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide ~ Stocking Stuffers

How adorable are these ideas?!
Perfect not only for your immediate family,
but also for little gifts to give for Secret Santa, co-workers, and all the nieces and nephews in your large extended Italian family. 

DIY Mani's/Pedi's...what little lady wouldn't go for this?

Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows
(for Peppermint Hot Cocoa!)
Recipe {HERE}


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Love & prayers to Connecticut

I am simply appalled at yesterday's tragic events.
All of the recent mass shootings are despicable, 
but such a deadly attack at an elementary school is particularly heinous.
I don't care how mentally estranged you are,
shooting hundreds of rounds at  little 5 year olds 
is a disgusting, heartless, cowardly, unforgivable thing to do.
No parent sends their child to school, especially young children,
with the thought that such an unthinkable nightmare could ever occur.

Guns extend the reach of violence, and,
with our national silence on senseless gun laws, so do we.
Guns make it easier for a killer.
They make it impossibly hard for parents who arrive, dazed and pleading,
at the firehouse in Connecticut where the surviving schoolchildren were taken,
and don’t find the one they were looking for there.

 - The New Yorker

Why does any civilian need a gun?
If no one had access to guns,
then one certainly wouldn't need to be packing heat in their purse to protect themselves from the hypothetical gun man on their neighborhood streets, right?
And last time I checked, hunters don't use glocks to shoot at deer and turkeys.
(Deer and turkey meat they could simply purchase at their local grocer, mind you.  But that's another rant for another day.)
But I suppose a gunless world is a Utopian world.
Unrealistic, perhaps.

But I think stricter gun control, namely a psychological evaluation,
 is a MUST on gun applications.
Just think of all the paperwork and screening people must go through
to get a pet, adopt a child, apply for a job, etc.
And in the state of IL, all you need is a driver's licence and money to get a gun.
That simply baffles me beyond belief.

On our local news this morning, they interviewed a representative from the NRA
who stated that more stringent gun control isn't the answer (of course)
and that some of this tragedy could have been prevented
if the teachers  had been armed,
insinuating that these childrens' deaths are the school's fault.

My jaw is still on the floor.

Sure, schools can enforce more stringent security measures - 
Locked doors, security codes, doormen.
But this particular serial killer breached the school's imposed security measures.

And my mother, a teacher, certainly didn't earn her masters degree to be an armed deputy.
Her profession, by definition, is "one who's occupation is to instruct."
Teachers serve to provide the future generation an education in a nurturing environment.
Not to go Rambo on some psycho's ass.

The people of the Newton community are regular civilians, just like you and me.
We go to our jobs - teachers, nurses, business men/women - to provide a service to others.
Let's leave protection by fire arms to the professionals.

And I understand that there are rights we are born with as Americans
and it is the government's responsibility to protect such rights.
Freedom of speech, voting, and even arguably, the right to own a firearm.
But in that case, why aren't two men or two women allowed to get married?
Why are my reproductive rights or people's access to health care at jeopardy?
If American citizens are born with the right to own a gun
(as the NRA will eagerly point out),
then people are certainly born with the right to get married to whom they choose
and make decisions about their own body, no? 
I think it's sad that the government gets to choose which rights they will protect.
They choose to protect a mother (of a mentally ill young man)'s right to own an assault rifle
(that she doesn't really need, in my opinion)
but not the right for two people who love each other to get married?

My hearts go out to the families
who lost the little lights of their lives yesterday,
to all the parents, grandparents, and siblings who's Christmases will forever be marred,
to a shaken small community,
to the survivors who will never understand "why", who's innocence was ripped away,
and mostly to all the new little angels in Heaven,
who's lives were taken far too early and senselessly,
may you rest in peace.

That's my political rant for the day.
And now I'm off to hug my little bean even tighter 
and thank God that we are safe and sound.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Friday Five

By mid-to-end of the week, my time for blogging really takes a crap.
I fell asleep on the couch Wednesday night, preventing a Thursday blog.
(But don't worry, I'll be back with more gift giving inspiration next week.
Ladies and hostesses-with-the-mostest's...I'm lookin' at you!)
Then, I didn't get home from work until nearly 7 pm last night,
putting The Friday Five's life at risk.
(Long story, but I've already drowned it in old fashioned's repressed the bad memory.)
But TGIF!  And with that, here's this week's five things!

Who doesn't love a reeeeeeee-mix! 
I must check out the rest of this album STAT.
Remember my holiday music inspiration last year? 
This is totally on the same page.

This year's Merry Mix-mas also on deck for next week.
Pending no more mini life catastrophes.

Herringbone hardwood floors.
OMG.  I seriously die.
How gorgeous is this floor?!

Upcycled Christmas craft
Don't let those wrapping paper scraps go to waste!
Here's an ADORABLE holiday craft to do with the kiddos.

Christmas in Paris
While that literally sounds tres fab,
I'm actually referring to the discontinued Yankee Candle scent.
It's no stranger to this blog.
But it deserves another shout out.
Piney deliciousness.
If you are lucky enough to find it at an outlet and/or HomeGoods, buy them out.
Then, sell them all to me.
(Or my MIL.  Yes, I believe she's succumb to the crack a.k.a. Christmas in Paris.)

75 things to do with your kids.
What a great list!
(Balloon tennis is the best!)

And a few more links, just because I care...

This camping fantasy makes me long for a fall re-do.

A no-equipment, ultimate arms and abs workout.

10 commonly misunderstood words.
(Get learned, people.)

This poem in The New Yorker about "alpha parents" cracked. me. up.
(Despite being guilty of quite a few myself!)

A pictorial of Wills and Kate.  "Hi, can we hang out?"

I'm beginning to think this might be true.
(I know I appear to be headed down this path.)

LOL. Ew.
(And on that note, I am out.)

Have a great one, guys!

~images via pinterest x 2, unknown,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide ~ The Manly Man

Oh, what to get the man/men in your life.
(Because I can guarantee they didn't provide you with a list.)
Bonus:  If you're lucky like me,
your main man also has a birthday in close proximity to Christmas,
making it extra hard to come up with good ideas come December.

But don't you worry ladies, I got you covered.
From your significant other to your dad to your brother 
(and any other testosterone-ladden friend in between.)

Ready? Go...

For the whiskey drinker.
Whistle Pig Rye
10-year old, 100% Vermont Rye.
He'll want to drink this straight up.
$65 {HERE}

For the gin & tonic drinker.
Southern Artisan Spirits Cardinal Gin
$30 {HERE}

For the groomer.
Kiehl's Facial Fuel
(If my huzz's rave review isn't enough,
GQ tells me even Justin Timblerake is a fan.)
$8-30 {HERE}

For your bearded man.
Jack Black Beard Lube
$16 {HERE}

For Mr. Fix-It.
"The Art of Fixing Things"
$11 {HERE}

For brothers-in-laws (and just about anyone else who lives for the weekend.)
" The NY Times 36 Hours:  150 Weekend in the USA and Canada"
$50 {HERE}

For the mixologist.
Bittercute bitters.
$52 for a variety pack {HERE}

And a set of Tovolo ice spheres.
Melts slowly and evenly, so your drinks don't get watered down.
(Plus, they just look cool.)
$12 for a pair {HERE}

For the jetsetter.
Way better than any hotel toiletries.
$30 {HERE}

And a fun "scratch map" to record all his travels...
$17 {HERE}

For the sports fanatic.
Baseball bat bottle openers!
$85-125 {HERE}

For the outdoors man.
Warm, wooly hiking socks.
So popular, they sell out quick!
$19.95 {HERE}

For the comedian.
$22.95 {HERE}

For the bad ass brotha.
Sons of Anarchy, Seasons 1-4 Box Set
$44.99 {HERE}

For the army buff (or wannabe army buff).
Herschel Supply Novel Duffle Bag
$80 {HERE}

For the music lover / techy geek
Sonos Play 3
Supposedly one of the best sounding,
most streamlined wireless music systems on the market.
$299 {HERE}

For the thrill seeker.
He read 749 creep tales at the British Museum Library before selecting the 14 that comprise this anthology.
(And who doesn't love Roald Dahl?!)
$12 {HERE}

For the dad who thinks he's James Bond.
(Or maybe that's just mine??)
$19 {HERE}

Well, that's all I've got for you now, my lovelies.
(Hey, a girl can't give away all her secrets!)

But if that isn't enough for you, check out last year's Gift Guide for Men.
Happy shopping!

~images via links above~