Monday, December 3, 2007

Whatever You Do, Buy Olympia

And you can Buy Olympia at buyolympia dot com.
Here are a few reasons you might want to.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bitten with the Urge the Shop!

Okay, so SJP's Bitten line might not be new.

But after seeing the cool dress on PR4 that they're going to carry, I'm more motivated than ever to check out Steve & Barry's.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Recover with mi SPA

Needing to recover from travel? Turkey? Family? Shopping? All of the above? Well treat yourself with mi SPA. You totally deserve it.
They have lovely soaps

Treats for your face

Bath and body greatness

And if for some reason, none of that works.
Dress yourself into a Zen-like state of mind.

Or just focus on what you love.

I hope your holiday was happy and your recovery is quick.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Your Every Whim

Have you seen some of my friend Adrienne's cool holiday card designs?

If not, you should really check them out at Your Every Whim.

If not, you should really check them out at Your Every Whim.

Kind of gets you in the spirit of things, huh?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wrap it Up!

I'm not one for traditional holiday wrapping paper,
so I'm loving the collection from Pop Ink.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Daring Book for Girls

A while ago I reviewed The Dangerous Book for Boys for Parent Bloggers Network and found it to be a good reminder that, when it comes to raising a son, I have a lot to learn and a ton of experiences ahead of me. The Daring Book for Girls reminded me that I have a lot I still need to experience for myself.

The book by Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz, covers pretty much every topic I could ever think of possibly needing or wanting to know more about. How's that for comprehensive? They even have a cool little video to give you a preview. But this gist is, each little chapter (there are about 107 of them) covers info and overviews on a variety of important topics like what you should pack for Africa, what you should carry in your toolbox, and what you should know about Joan of Arc. Also, there are many how-tos included like how to whistle with two fingers, read palms, play hearts, build a campfire, be a spy, invest in bonds. Seriously. Why did I waste time going to school? Reading through this book, I felt like I somehow missed a lot of good information in the late 70s, early 80s.

So that's why I'm thinking this book isn't just for little girls. Although, my nieces will all find a copy of this wrapped under the tree in a few weeks. I'm thinking, I'm giving this to my friends for birthday presents. Because you're never too old learn how to make your own paper (and quill pen). More importantly, you're never too old to be a daring girl!

Feeling daring? Leave a comment to enter a giveaway...we'll give one copy of The Daring Book for Girls away to one lucky winner, who will be chosen Midnight on Friday. Good luck!

Also, Kristin Chase, co-founder of PBN will be speaking to the authors, Andi and Miriam, on her radio show podcast tonight, along with Joanne from Punditmom and Bitsy from Check out the show at this link tonight, Wed. 11/14, at 9-9:30 EST. Hear from the authors themselves what they were thinking when they wrote their chapters on boys and making cootie catchers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tag, You're It.

Now that we're firmly in November, I'm feeling inspired to think about the Holidays. Especially since my family is celebrating Christmas in two weeks. Don't ask. So since I'm already starting to wrap presents, I was thrilled to find these little numbers from Elle's Studio. Won't they be great gift tags?
And these might be fun as coasters.
Hey, why not?

And why not have a giveaway. Leave a comment and you'll be registered to win your choice of fun item from Elle's Studio. Winner chosen at midnight Wed. Happy 43 days until Christmas!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Deceptively Delicious

You might have heard a little bit about this book. Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. There's been some buzz on the Internet, and on oh, Oprah. But that's what tends to happen when you create something lovely. And also when you know people. Probably. Jessica Seinfeld fits in both of these categories. The knowing and the doing. And she has done a great job at putting together a fun little recipe book with "simple secrets to get your kids eating good food."

She's a self-proclaimed non-professional chef. But she came up with some ideas that work and have been "relentlessly" tested on her own kids (and what's his name).

It's all about hiding vegetables in food.

Carrots in Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins. Butternut squash in Mac and Cheese. Mushrooms and Zucchini in Burgers. Spinach in Brownies. You get the gist.

The thing is, I've tried some of these, and they're great! And I'm not just loving them for the Hurricane, I'm digging that I'm tricking myself. Anyway I can get more food in my food and not notice is alright by me.


Then check it out.

Parent Bloggers Network sent me a copy. It's wonderfully art directed with a total retro feel. A great addition to the collection. But this one, I'm actually using. If only to consume more veggies myself.

Besides not being able to read the title without the Lucky Charms theme song running through my head, I love this book. It's so freaking cute. Love the concept, the illustrations, the whole package. So all that said...

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Want to check it out? Leave a comment. I'll give one away. You have until Monday night at midnight to comment and we'll draw a lucky winner whoohoo. And as always, I seriously hope you win.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Hat Mateys

Just in case you are looking for a cute pirate's hat...and I was...Gymboree has these bad boys 2T-5T for $6.99. Grab and eye patch and you're good to go.

Monday, October 22, 2007

PRIZEY: One Stop, Lots of Giveaways

You gotta check out this site. PRIZEY. One place that lists a ton of giveaways going on online. Swell right? Plus, they feature some of my very favorites...Cool Mom Picks, Parent Bloggers Network, Design Mom, and um Sk*rt (because we love giveaways on sk*rt).

So really. How can you not completely love them?

Plus, in the spirit of free cable, somehow they've magically given me some weird power to post giveaways. Like I know. But it you know of any you'd like for me to post or share, then let me know. You know? It's the way things go. On PRIZEY. Check it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My Son's New Favorite Video: Phonics 4 Babies

My son has just discovered Sesame Street.

This makes me incredible happy, since three decades ago it was the show that made me fall in love with New York (a place I'm loving in person as I type this), and learning, and yes, puppets. In fact, I'm fairly positive it's the place that introduced me to legendary ventriloquist, puppeteer and children's television show host, Shari Lewis. And just as things move in a full-circle motion, it just so happens that now The Hurricane is now madly in love with Shari's daughter Mallory and her puppet pals. That's right. His new favorite video is Phonics 4 Babies, a video with puppets, and phonics, and lots of alphabet singing. It was developed in association with prominent clinical advisors from UCLA, speech pathologists and child educators. And it really reminds me of the shows I watched on PBS back in the day. Before Elmo. And before Micheal Stipe. Back when Sesame Street was just a block, not a blockbusting cool fest of too many characters and rock stars to even know where to start.

I received the video from Parent Bloggers. And The Hurricane will be eternally grateful. And I'm just thrilled with the retro-ness of it all. It's nice to see that somethings don't change. Like sassy sock puppets. It seems they still completely rock a two-year-old's world.

Check out Phonics 4 Babies. My kid loves it. (Even more than he loves Elmo...) (And that's a lot.)

Friday, September 21, 2007

RYKÄ: Athletic Shoes For Women

"If your shoes don't work out, neither will you." That was one of the first things I read on the RYKÄ website. And I get that. I really do. To be fair and honest, I believe women also have a number of other obstacles to exercise..."schedule" being my current ginormous issue. But, I have to say, a great pair of shoes can make anything more fun. Especially working out. I don't know exactly why this is, but it is. Plus, when it comes to exercise, I'll do anything for that extra bit of motivation.Of course getting a new pair of shoes in the mail from RYKÄ via the Parent Bloggers Network did provide a little kick in the pants. I mean, when you get new shoes, you HAVE to wear them right? It's the law. And the MC2 Walk shoes I received were so cushy and white (and dare I say bouncy) that I really did have a sudden urge to run up and down my street. Because they fit. They felt good and I felt good in them. Almost athletic. And for me that is really saying a lot. Because some women are extremely talented in the athletic department, but this woman is not. Plus, I never find athletic shoes that I really love. And I'm not alone there.

A woman named Sheri Poe created RYKÄ twenty years ago because she was sick of athletic shoes that didn't fit. And who can blame her? Most of us would do the same, only we don't. Otherwise, we'd all be starting bra, bathing suit and jeans companies, wouldn't we? So okay, Ms. Poe is a super overachiever. And we get to benefit from her shoe discomfort. Because, her creations, well, they fit. And although the company is now owned by American Sporting Goods Corp., it seems they are still motivated to make excellent athletic wear. And they're committed exclusively to women. You gotta love that.

According to their Web site, "all RYKÄ shoes are made on a woman's last (the mold or shape of a woman's foot), and are designed and developed taking into account a women's unique fit needs - narrower in the heel and wider in the forefoot." (Plus, they have a shoe finder, which is kind of like a Cosmo quiz. And who can resist a quiz? Especially when it deals with shoes.) But even better, the site swears that RYKÄ is committed "to helping women enhance their lives through fitness." And really, how can you not be motivated by something committed to helping you enhance your life? They're like the Oprah of athletic shoes.

And this is what I currently need. An Oprah. Of athletics.

As I've mentioned, Karen and I are training for the Houston Marathon. To walk it. That's right, to purposefully walk it. Because, as I've said before, if I run it, I'll still be walking it. So we're being deliberate about the walking from the start. However, even still, we are forced to train. Because that's what responsible adults do when they lose their minds and walk 42.195 kilometers (or 26.2 miles). I believe she is doing better than I am, but I think it's fair to say we both have a long road ahead of us. Figuratively and literally.

And on that 26 mile trek, I'll be wearing RYKÄ.

They're that comfortable.

And don't worry, I'll keep you posted on how that all works out. Between now and January, I'll be spending a lot of time with these shoes.

But even more exciting and relevant to your life, between now and almost All Hallows Eve, Ryka is giving away 50 pairs a day. That's right. 50. 50 shoes and 50 shirts. They're also giving an equal number to a fantastic charity. So I say you should visit the site and register to win shoes of your own. I will be. I'm feeling like I might need a back up pair. Or two. At least.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Little Black Book of Style

Yes, it’s true, I wore three outfits in one afternoon.

1. A cool little sleeveless bathing-suit-cover-up-looking thing (that is all the rage, I swear) over dark jeans with my super cool new Superhero necklace and super pumps. With my hair pulled back in two knotted up and tucked under pigtail bun things. Very artsy. Very cool. Very much how I wanted to feel at the preschool mom’s coffee gathering. So when anyone wonders why I haven’t done my assigned scrapbook pages (from last year), it’s because I’m artsy and can’t be confined by deadlines. Not because I’m the suit working mom who thinks she’s too busy (and who doesn’t love her children enough) to do the scrapbook pages. See? Working mom image crisis averted with one simple outfit.

2. Suit.

3. Jeans and tee to have dinner at family friendly restaurant. Because suits and kids’ menus don’t mix. Ask anyone.

Even as all the costume changes were happening (just call me Cher), I felt ridiculous. And then, I thought. What would Nina do in the situation? Lucky for me I now have the answer to this (and many other) question(s) in The Little Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia, the latest Parent Bloggers Network goodie I received in the mail.

“This book will change your life. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic. Maybe it won’t change your life. But it will change your closet, which will in turn change your attitude, which can in fact change your life. So maybe it’s not a bit dramatic. You be the judge.”
- Nina Garcia

The little black book (which is literally a smallish black book) is itself as stylish as anything else on my bookshelf. So much so, I think it’s starting its own clique that the Jane Greens, Sophie Kinsellas and Candace Bushnells would all gladly give up their dust jackets to get in (while the Sylvia Plaths and Virginia Woolfs are scowling in the corner, Anne Lamott is just annoyed it doesn’t have a chapter on Northern California, and Ayn Rand thinks I’m an idiot.)

More importantly, and back to the most popular book on the shelf, it promises to help build your style confidence and awake the fashion editor in you. Nina is a fashion editor after all. So she should know.

And she apparently does.

Because what follows is the smartest, sleekest, and most inspiring look at unique looks and creative expression that I’ve seen.

"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she’s beautiful."
-Sophia Loren

The first chapter is “Be Your Own Muse” which essentially made me want to channel Holly Golightly and dress with heart, soul and creative energy. I’m sure it has a different effect for everyone. Since each muse is different. And all.

The next bit talks about fashion rules. "The Basics." Some are fairly predictable. (Invest in essential staples, etc.) But some are not.

Because her ‘staples’ are fantastic and might even include a Hermes Birkin, and really, how can you argue with that crackpotastic logic? I for one can not. But despite that little distraction which sent me searching online for the best discount designer handbag websites (email me, I’ll forward them to you), the first and the overall theme to me was learn how to edit. She then goes into specifics about how to do this. I can not express how much I love this concept. As someone who lives in a house built in 1928 with a closet that is approximately 1928 millimeters wide, I completely appreciate and connect with the idea of editing. What’s more, her process is brilliant. I can’t wait to put it in action.

She then moves into “Inspirations” and gives you a number of film, music and art suggestions to get you going. Then follows that up with a Lot of “What to Wear When” ideas. And finishes off with “Insider Tricks and Tips.”

And what’s great is, it’s all packaged in a great outfit.

"One should either be a work of art or wear a work of art."
- Oscar Wilde

Love the illustrations. Love the typographic treatments. This little book of style is a little work of art. Even my art director colleagues were raving.

So, if you haven’t figured it out yet, my advice is, you should invest in yourself by investing in this little book. It will lift your spirits to consume it. For yourself. For your best friend. For your other best friend. In fact, this is my staple gift I’m giving for every fantastically wonderful friend’s birthday party I’m attending over the next year or so. Seriously.

My favorite part. The book is full of smart, relevant, quirky quotes and quips from everyone you could imagine. They’re all true stand-outs, graphically and topically. And in the end, they all come back to being yourself, no matter what they say (Sting). Nina Garcia knows this, and she wears it with style.

Plus she’s obviously brilliant.

“You can never have enough high heels. You just can’t.”
- Nina Garcia

Did I mention how much I love this book?

GIVEAWAY ALERT!!! Because I love you, I'm giving one copy of this to an extremely lucky winner. Just leave a comment here between now and Sunday night at midnight CST and you're registered. And as always, I really hope you win.


And while you're in the mode, check out sk*rt's Up-and-Coming Eliza magazine giveaway. Because voting is the new black.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Win a Subscription to Eliza Magazine from Sk*rt

There is a new up-and-coming fashion magazine out there. It’s called Eliza.

Beautifully shot. Beautifully printed. An excellent addition to your collection. And since it is such an up-and-coming periodical, we thought a free, year-long subscription to Eliza would be a great way to draw your attention to the sk*rt Up-and-Coming section. The section where stylemakers, divas and mavens decide what is worthy of the sk*rt Popular section.

Think you can spot a good link when you see one? Then you (yes you!) can be a sk*rt stylemaker, a sk*rt diva, a sk*rt maven too. All you have to do is go to the Up-and-Coming section and scroll through the pages, all the while keeping watch for the best of the best links. Then click “love-it” and show that your opinion counts.To enter your name for the free subscription to Eliza, just share your point-of-view with fellow sk*rt users by voting for at least 10 items in the Up-and-Coming section by this Saturday, September 22nd. Then send us an email to: and let us know you entered. Be sure to include your sk*rt username so we know it’s you. We’ll announce the winner next week.Happy voting you trendmakers. And if you can’t wait to see if you won, get your own subscription to Eliza here.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Cool Mom Picks Has a New Outfit.

Have you been to Cool Mom Picks lately? If not, you should totally go check out their new look. It was designed by Laurie Smithwick from Leap Design and Upside Up and sk*rt. And it's as fab as the selections the cool moms pick. Check it out.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Make Your Own Model

Think Weird Science. Only without the creepy teenage boys. So, on second thought, maybe you should just think online paper dolls that you can create and dress with the latest from H&M. Because that's more what it's like. Check it out under the Dressing Room link.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rain Rain Go Away

It's officially Hurricane Season around here. (And I'm not talking about the beverage.) And there's no better way to celebrate Hurricane Season that with a snappy red umbrella.

Unless it's with a snappy pink and white umbrella.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I'm sure somewhere you have a book you'd like to give away. On the other hand, I bet there's some book out there you'd like to receive. And where there's a yen, there's a yang. And now there's an online book swap called Bookmooch. And I found it on sk*rt.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Friday, September 7, 2007

Pumpkin is the New Handcream.

Pumpkin Desert Essence Hand Repair Cream is made with Organic Pumpkin Seed Oil, with high levels of vitamin A, C, E and K, plus zinc, helps to combat daily environmental stress on the hands. In the immortal words of Jessica Simpson...I don't know what it is, but I want it. Plus, it's only $3.99.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hang-Ups, Hook-Ups, and Holding Out

If I remember correctly, I had more hang-ups than hook-ups or holding out when I was growing up. But then, I "grew up" in the 1980s. When people wore lots of neon and spiral perms. So that might explain a lot. But you know who didn't explain a lot. My mom. (Sorry mom, but you didn't. Love you.)

How much would I love to have had this book then?

I'm not sure why I agreed to review Girlology: Hang-Ups, Hook-Ups and Holding Out when Parent Bloggers Network asked, because from the mom's perspective I may never need it. See, I have a little boy. And he's not even two.

But I was interested in it as a former girl. A current and future best-aunt-ever to girls. A person who is, if I'm honest, a bit intimidated by "the talk" when (or if) it all comes us. Because (once again, sorry mom) it was never really modeled to me how you handle these types of questions.

What Types Of Questions?
We sort-of had the 'don't ask, don't tell' philosophy when I grew up watching Thriller and wearing jellies. But, this book radically breaks the 'don't ask' law and is organized into questions. Things like:
  • My doctor says I'm a good weight, so why do I still feel fat?
  • How can I make my parents like my boyfriend?
  • When should I see a gynecologist instead of a pediatrician?
  • Am I the only girl who isn't having sex?
  • What are date rape drugs?
And so on. There are approximately 200 questions that the book asks and then answers in smart, no-nonsense, non-parent-sounding sound bites, even though they're written by really smart girl doctors, Melisa Holmes, MD, an ob-gyn and mother of 3 girls, and Patricia Hutchison, MD, a pediatrician and mother of 2 girls. I love it. They offer "the quickie answer" and then "the full scoop" on everything from sex, to drugs to body changes. They don't leave anything out and they seriously know just how to put things. Up front. Honest. Smart.

So Why Ask? Why the Book? Why Bother?
Looking through, I really remember (and realize) how many questions I had growing up (that, sadly, I had answered by watching Madonna videos). The point of this book is to get the answers from M.D.s not MTV.

I guess the book also made me realize how fast kids grow up these days. That said, I'm going to go ahead and say this book is a must-have for pre-teens. I'd actually like to say it's a must for teenagers...if I'm honest, I'd really like to say it's for college students...but I'm thinking that would be way too late. So I'd want to have this book on hand when my nieces start reading US Magazine. Which, I think happens around the age of ten these days right? Maybe we can push it to 12.

It just seems kids are exposed to things earlier than ever, so you might as well give them the correct information up front. But be warned (and yes, sisters-in-law, I will get your permission and approval before gifting it into your households), there are very specific questions in there about sex. So don't freak. Because honestly, that's the whole point of the book. To start conversations. Open communication. Offer information. Because it seems to me, the more real, honest, and specific you can be, the better. After all, if they don't get it here, they'll get some version of it somewhere. The girl doctors seem to agree. And I have to believe, like me, they initially got most of their vital information from Judy Blume. And they know there's a better way.

Giveaway Time.
Want a better way? Want to win a copy? Leave a comment. I'll give away one copy next Monday.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Bilingual Edge

Parent Bloggers Network asked me if I'd be interested in reviewing a Harper Collins book called The Bilingual Edge written by Georgetown University linguistics professors Kendall King, PhD, and Alison Mackey, PhD. And I said sure. Because, as you may know, we're already in the throws of teaching the Hurricane both Spanish and English. And, of course, he's more interested in learning mime.

So I was especially intrigued when I read their three major myths about second language learning:
1. Only bilingual parents can raise bilingual children
2. Television, DVDs and ‘edutainment’ like bilingual talking toys are great ways for all children to learn second languages.
3. Exposing a child to two languages means that child will be a late talker.
More specifically, I was interested in number 3. Because so far, I've heard and experienced everything to the contrary.

But these are Ph.D.s talking. Linguistically brilliant Ph.D.s (with good teeth). So okay, although it's true that I have had vast experience in child rearing over the last 22 months, I'm thinking these two might know a little more than I do about this topic. Maybe.

So, I read it.

And the book is smart.

First off, they convince you (as if you needed convincing, really) that learning more than one language at an early age is a good thing. Children benefit from academic, social, cultural and intellectual advantages that come with learning an additional language. This is probably not a big shock to anyone on the planet, but they do bring the argument home. If you're already convinced of this, move on to chapter three, where they talk about selecting the right language (or languages) for your child.

The chapter layout is something that I definitely like about this book.

The book is not a Jane Austen read, and the authors know it. It's a reference book of sorts. So the chapters are designed and organized by question. For instance, “When Should a Child Learn a Second Language?” is also known as Chapter 4. And “How Can I Best Promote Language Learning at Home?” is chapter 6. You get the gist. You can quickly look through to find what you need. So, it's perfect for those reading with specific questions. Or for those that read ahead to finish the ending of the final Harry Potter book before they even get home from the bookstore.

So in that line of thinking, I skipped ahead to Chapter 10: "What do I need to know about language delay, so-called expert advice, special needs, and my child's apparent lack of progress?"

The book came through again. It didn't tell me what I wanted to hear (see myth #3). It made my realize again what a gift bilingualism is.... and how it's a bit of work but completely worth the effort. It also made me take a deep breath and stop comparing my son to what others were (and are) saying at his same age.

My son completely understands both Spanish and English. He's not confused. The book points to decades of carefully conducted research studies point to the fact that young children distinguish early on between their two languages. Plus, it's obvious. He knows who is speaking what and when and why, and even more importantly, he now knows what is being said. He completely gets both languages. He'll speak them when he's ready.

Our children are growing up in a world that has outgrown its boundaries.

In fact, sometimes it actually seems our greatest barriers involve the 6,000 languages spoken today, if only because they block our communication.

Perhaps because there's a greater focus in the U.S. on learning languages at such an early age, this next generation will have a real shot at shrinking the world even more. And I say, the less barriers to understanding, the better.

Bottom Line: The Bilingual Edge presents learning two (or more) languages to be relatively simple and completely attainable. There are specific steps, tips and practices anyone can implement to help give their kids the benefit of bilingualism. And, more importantly to me, it was a good reminder to "chill out" a bit while you're moving in that direction.

Giveaway Time. That's right. Leave a comment here, and you'll be entered to win your own copy of The Bilingual Edge. The winner will be announced on Thursday. And as always, I really hope you win.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mind Candy Clothing

What Would Hermione Wear?

Mind Candy Clothing."Because math is sexy.
Reading is the new black.
And there's nothing hotter than nuclear science."

Found on Cool Mom Picks.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007