Friday, 28 June 2013

leaving on a jet plane again...

With our major house renovation happening next week I am packing up the kids and heading to my mom's in New Jersey for the summer.  This will be my first flight alone with the 2 kids (3.5 year and 15 month old) so I am trying to pack really efficiently.  I've got it down to one carry one bag for me and then I'll let my son back his own rolling backpack tomorrow.  I've got a couple new sticker books and a few toys he picked out last week to go in there.  It's amazing how much stuff I have managed to cram in my Prada baby bag (from Neiman Marcus) and it was such a great investment piece.

Here's a list of what I'm bringing on board tomorrow:
Snacks, snacks, and more snacks
Silicon bib
Dr. Browns bottle
Water bottle for my daughter who spills everything
Diaper pouch with 8 diapers, wipes, and disposable bags
First aid kit including Tylenol, ibuprofen, bandaids, Neosporin, and hand sanitizer
Bag full of my daughter's favorite toys (books, phones, bracelets, etc)
Mini iPad
Large muslin swaddle
Small muslin square
Glasses and sunglasses
Passports, birth certificates and marriage certificate because I didn't change my last name
Hand cream and lip gloss for me
Change of clothes for the kid2 (2 onesies, 2 sets of pjs, and 2 pairs of socks for my daughter + 1 set of pjs, 1 pair of socks and extra undies for my son)

I think I will throw a granola bar in there for me tomorrow because who know it I'll get to eat!

I like to lay out all of our clothes the night before so I'm not scrambling in the morning.  I love to dress in layers when I travel because the temperature is so inconsistent and in case something is spilled I can just take a layer off.  I'm going for a gray monochromatic look tomorrow with a pair of jeweled flats because I want to be comfortable and still look chic.  I am obsessed with my DKNY cozy that I got years ago and is probably the piece I wear most in my whole wardrobe.  It's a cardigan with a long draped panels in the front that you can wrap or tie in so many different ways.  I love simple tees from Soft Joie as they are seriously the softest tee you can find and come in really nice cuts.  Skinny jeans are my wardrobe staple and I love my pair from Zara that I got a couple of seasons ago with an elastic waist (just like leggings) and zips on the side.  My peep toe Miu Miu sandals that I purchased years ago add a bit of glitz to a very simple outfit.

Get the look here:

Wish me luck on the flight tomorrow and hope we all make it in one piece!

ps - I will try to post as much as I can while I'm away but I apologize beforehand if I'm being slow! xox

Monday, 24 June 2013

my kitchen inspiration

We started planning for our home renovation last fall and it's been a slow and frustrating process.  Nothing is easy with all these intricate laws in the UK and thankfully we appointed an architect to guide us through the process.  We needed to submit our plans not only to the town for approval but also need all of our neighbors (4 parties involved) to sign off as well and this has been the most difficult part of it all.  We're almost there with all the paper work and it's seriously cost a fortune already without breaking any ground.  Today is a very exciting day as we have finally appointed our builder and things will be moving along now!  Luckily I will be crashing at my mom's in NJ all summer when most of the demolition and structural elements will be happening.  I've got a toddler that is into everything and a 3 1/2 year old that's pretty convinced he's Bob the Builder so not ideal candidates to live on a building site.

The main reason we are doing the works is to extend our kitchen into the exterior space that currently isn't being used.  This has snowballed into having bathrooms and bedrooms redone because they basically have to tear out the back of our house to add in new steels to support the house.  It's a pretty common extension that is done in Southwest London where every inch of space you can get is so very valuable.  I really spend most of my day in the kitchen which is currently pretty cramped and can't wait for a new spacious room for cooking and entertaining.  I do feel like a line cook most days just taking order after order.  The scary part is that we probably still won't have a working kitchen when we return at the end of August.

I definitely want to go for more of a traditional look in the new kitchen as I am living in a Victorian house after all.  I have my heart set on having a white shaker style kitchen with hints of gray.  I think a classic white kitchen is such a timeless look and I want something that I won't regret or get sick of after a couple of years.  I think adding the gray makes it much more modern but still keeps with the traditional style.  I'm going back and forth with how much gray I actually want in the cabinets.  At this point I think I want to have just a gray kitchen island with the rest of the cabinets in white all topped with a white quartz countertop.  I'm sure I will change my mind 1000 times before I go and place the order.  

Above are some gorgeous kitchens for you to all drool over.  Of course my version will be totally budget friendly coming from Ikea but I've got big plans to make it super glamorous without having to spend much! 

Image Details
Top Row (left to right):

Bottom Row (left to right):

Friday, 21 June 2013

friday fashion obsession - goyard

I am so relieved that this week is finally over!  I've been alone with the kids since last Sunday and cannot wait for hubby to come home tomorrow afternoon.  It's seriously been a rough week and the kids just never seem to run out of energy.  On top of it all we forgot to renew the parking permit and I ended up getting 3 parking tickets which was fun.  And there is the never ending drama with trying to get an agreement signed with our neighbor's surveyor so we can start our building works.  I'm definitely having some margaritas this weekend!

On the positive side it has actually been nice and warm out with lots of sunshine which meant lots of park action and picnics.  The kids love playing outside and I love it too because it means less of a mess to clean up at home.  This brings me to this week's Friday Fashion Obsession, my Goyard St. Louis Tote.  I purchased my St. Louis tote at Barneys years ago when I was pregnant with my son.  I was having really bad back pains and was looking for something lightweight and durable enough to use when my son was born.  This tote has seriously been a workhorse and so worth the investment!  It has made many trips to the park, sandpit, airplanes, and beaches and is still in amazing condition.

The tote is made of a coated canvas which makes the bag super durable and waterproof.  I love that I don't have to baby the bag and can just drag it with me everywhere I go.  The canvas is then printed with their unique 3D geometric print that is actually textured due to the special technique Goyard uses.  The St. Louis tote comes in a rainbow of colors and there is something for every season and every mood.  The best part is the personalization that is available from monograming to having custom stripes and designs.  You can really make your bag one of a kind.  I chose a bold and vibrant orange with navy and light blue stripes and monogram.  Most people have the design down the center of the bag and I wanted it a little different and had it done to the right.

It's a must have bag for any fashionista mommy!

Images (from the left to right):
My orange St. Louis tote which is usually filled with kids' stuff as you can see

Gwyneth Paltrow's navy tote - She makes it look so effortlessly chic dressed down in jeans with Converse

Kourtney Kardashian wearing her yellow tote - Proving it's a must have for us busy moms.

Kate Moss with her black St. Louis - If it's cool enough for Kate than it's definitely something we all need!

Gwyneth Paltrow's light blue St. Louis Tote - GOOP goddess and mommy in action again with her tote.

PS -  It's only available at Goyard boutiques worldwide and Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman in the States which pretty much guarantees that not too many people will be wearing the same bag as you.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

pasito a pasito fit for royalty

The one thing that is great about having baby #2 is that I had most of the baby gear I needed already.  The first time around you end up buying everything because there is so much on the market and you have no idea what you actually need.  The only thing we really had to get this around was a double buggy (Mountain Buggy Duet) which I'm happy to say we only needed a year and was able to sell it pretty quickly.  I borrowed a Maxi Cosi CabrioFix from a friend which was great because babies do grow out of it pretty quickly.  This meant that I got to splurge on an amazing carseat cover from Pasito a Pasito!

There are several reasons that I love the Pasito a Pasito carseat covers:
1.  They are simply beautiful and make a very charmless utilitarian item so sweet.
2.  They fit the Maxi Cosi infant carseats perfectly so you don't have to worry about the fabric being too tight or loose.
3.  It's actually a very practical piece that can easily be washed and protects the carseat fabric itself.
4.  The zip on sleeping bag is so practical and a real necessity in London.

With all the royal baby fever surrounding us the Pasito a Pasito line is perfect for all of our very own little princes and princesses!

Above are some of my favorite pieces from their collection:
Top Row:

Bottom Row:

our father's day pottery masterpiece

I hope all the daddies out there had an amazing Father's Day this past Sunday.  It it now safe to post what my kids made for daddy this year!  They painted a very special cereal bowl for him at the Pottery Cafe on Fulham Road.  It's our go to stop to make one of a kind gifts for family members.  We have made pottery with baby footprints, created birthday presents for the grandparents and paint special Christmas ornaments there once a year.  There is a little bit of planning involved since it takes a week to collect the pieces so do make sure you plan ahead.  

Now bringing a 3 1/2 year old boy and a 14 month toddler along is quite stressful so I went with some friends for an extra hand.  Boys being boys have a maximum attention span of about 5 minutes when it comes to crafts so we are usually in and out of there like a military operation.  Plus the toddler loves throwing things on the floor and eating the paint so we need to get the job done quickly.  One adult collects the pottery while another picks out all the paint colors.  Then one of us helps with the stamps (believe me there is a lot of negotiating) and the other one starts writing out text on the pieces.  

What I love about the Pottery Cafe are the great selection of stamps and lots of seasonal stamps which really make the pieces so special.  The stamps include assorted animals, dinosaurs, London, baby, celebration, shapes and so much more.  As you can see my son is an absolute London Transport fanatic and the bowl is adorned with all of his favorite things (buses, taxis, trains, and Underground logo).  And of course the piece de resistance the "SD" for super dad stamp!

We filled the bowl with Cheerios on Sunday morning and daddy is sure to use his special bowl every morning.

735 Fulham Road
more London locations on website

Sunday, 16 June 2013

friday fashion obsession - denim jackets

Of course this week's Friday Fashion Obsession is late again as it's been another crazy week in our house.  I think the more mobile my little girl gets the more exhausted I have become.  She finally started walking and I seriously need 2 pairs of hands to catch both of my kids!  

So it's not quite summer in London yet and the weather is back to being insanely bipolar.  One minute you think you need your waterproof down jacket and the next it's flip flop weather.  My go to fashion piece year after year for spring/summer (probably back to my childhood in the 80s) is the denim jacket.  It's such a versatile piece to layer on top of almost anything and great for cool days, a breezy summer evening or in an air conditioned room.  Not only is it super practical but looks so stylish with leggings, denim jeans, or a lovely summer dress.  Throw a sweater underneath for when the weather starts to cool again in the autumn and still look tres chic.

Above are some of my favorite looks:
Light Denim Jacket over Black Trousers - From fashion blogger Thankfifi the look is so simple but so very chic.  Layer a denim jacket over your favorite tee and a chunky scarf for an effortless look.

Denim Jacket over Shorts - Not quite sure where this image originated from on Pinterest but I love the fresh summer look of the denim jacket paired with short shorts and a great pair of heels.

Miranda Kerr wearing Denim Jacket - Ok I'm so jealous of the stunning Miranda Kerr but this is definitely a look that all of us mama's can easily pull off.  Skinny red jeans, a stripe tee and cropped jacket are pieces we all probably have sitting around in our closet.  

My picks for denim jackets:
The Jean Jacket by Madewell - A classic cropped jacket that will never go out of style.  The best part is that it's on sale for $84.50!

Rag and Bone/Jean Jean Jacket with Leather Sleeves - A rocker chic take on the classic jacket with very cool leather sleeves.  It's on sale at Shopbop and a great investment piece.

The best thing about a fab denim jacket is that it works for everyone in the family!

For the boys:
Jacket over Checked Shorts from Ikks Collection - I'm sure our boys will be running around in shorts all summer and this is great to throw on top.  Looks so much more stylish than a hoodie.

Denim Jacket with Pockets from Zara - Can't go wrong with this classic jacket that's not too light or dark.

For the girls:
Denim Jacket from Zara - I love this lighter color for little girls and have this version with stud details that is unfortunately sold out now for my little one.  Such a cool piece to have for the season.

Honor Warren in Little Jacket with Tutu - How sweet is little Honor in the denim jacket paired with a frilly pink tutu?  It really gives that tutu an edge!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

living the cabana life

I've always been pretty picky about swimwear for my kids.  I guess since sun is such a novelty to them  I'm convinced they will burn the second they sit out by the pool/beach.  My son always has a rash guard on not only to protect his skin but also makes the sunscreen battle so much quicker.  I find boys swimwear so much more practical than what's out there for girls.  The board shorts pretty much cover up most of their legs and I just buy a couple of solid rash guards the beginning of each season.  I'm finding it trickier to find swimwear for girls that will offer protection from the sun.  There are loads of adorable bikinis and little swim suits out there but most don't really offer much coverage for their skin.  

Luckily Cabana Life has designed an amazing range of swimwear which are 50+ UV protection and stylish at the same time.  What I love especially for little girls are the SPF rash guard sets that come with a pair of bikini bottoms and a very cute rash guard top to match.  It's also practical for diaper/nappy changes because you don't have to peel off the whole swim suit!  For the older girls (7+ years) it does come with a bikini top in the set.  The boys sets include a very cool rash guard and pair of board shorts in a matching design.  I love the mix and match prints/patterns in the vibrant summer colors that are sure to make your kids stand out from the crowd.  The best part is you know your kids are safe and that's one less thing you have to worry about.  It's no wonder Cabana Life has such a huge celebrity following and loved by Oprah!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

sparkle in tutu du monde

I must admit that I am still getting used to having a little girl and the territory that comes with all things girly.  For the past 3 1/2 years I have been chasing around a little boy who loves rolling in muddly puddles (thanks to Peppa) and I know way more about trains than any human being ever needs to know.  Milla being so little is only obsessed with whatever her brother plays with and so far has shown no interest in anything girly.  She loves toting his Spideyman everywhere and I'm sure she's really enjoys watching the show he puts on in protest she's touching Spidey.  I'm hoping this will all change as she gets older because honestly I am sick of trains!

I think the best part of having a little girl (and my favorite thing to do growing up) is playing dress up.  I remember playing in my mom's closet trying on jewels and shoes and it is safe to say that you will still catch me red handed in there "shopping".  I remember fondly ballet classes from my childhood and of course the all the frilly costumes I got to wear for recitals.  

I absolutely adore the Australian company Tutu du Monde for making the most beautiful tutus and accessories that every little ballerina needs.  They pride themselves on creating wearable and practical tutus for little girls to play in their world of make believe.  I love that all of the collections have a vintage feel to them and only get better with wear.  One of the things I fear most about little girl's clothing is the tacky bright pinks and endless amounts of loud sequins.  You definitely don't have to worry about being caught will an obnoxious ballerina fairy princess in one of their pieces.  All of the details are so elegantly done and you really feel like you are living in Tutu Du Monde's dream world of pixie dust and fairies.  Now if it were only acceptable for us grown up to wear one of these tutus around a la Carrie Bradshaw!

Availabe in the UK at:

lattes and juice is a new contributor!

I'm very excited to announce that I am a new monthly contributor for The Little Style File.  TLSF is one of my go to sites for the latest of kids' fashion and style created by chic Chicago moms Betsy and Kristin.  Hop on over and check out my latest post!

Monday, 10 June 2013

a tour of milla's nursery

One of the first things I got really excited about when I found out I was having a little girl was designing a nursery for her.  I was surrounded by little boy's cars, trains, and dinosaurs all day long and it was so nice to get to do something feminine finally!  My husband proposed to me on top of the Eiffel Tower so Paris always has a very special place in my heart.  I really wanted to have a Parisian feel in the nursery and the Paris map print from Famille Summerbelle was my inspiration.

I knew I wanted a neutral color palette because all the baby equipment, toys and books are quite colorful and I didn't want the room to compete with all the colors that would eventually fill the room.  Previously the room was used as a guest room and luckily I decided to paint the room a warm gray when we first moved in.  I really love this wall color and was more than happy to keep it in the nursery.

The gray Stokke Sleepi crib was a hand me down from my son and the cooler gray of the crib layers in really well with the wall color.  The taupe carpet was inherited from when we purchased the house and was a bit too brown for my taste.  Instead of replacing the carpet I layered a gorgeous rug from West Elm (rolled up nicely in my suitcase from a trip to America) which also adds a nice pattern to the room.  The white Petrie armchair from Crate and Barrel moved with us over the pond 7 years ago and is still in great condition.  I love the clean modern lines of this chair and has worked in so many different rooms for us.  I love that it adds a touch of sophistication among all of the more delicate children's furniture.  The dresser from the Little White Company is also a hand me down from my son and would work well in any nursery.

I found really cute tissue paper pom poms at Indian Summer on Fulham Road and they have such a nice vintage feel to them.  And the best part is that my daughter loves staring at them.  My very talented friend Heidi made the personalized mouse print for me when Milla was born.  Her website of amazing prints is launching soon so I will be sure to keep you posted.  The other 2 water color paintings were done by yours truly which I recently sold at my son's Christmas fair at school.  (Please message me if you are interested as I would love to take orders!)  The Eiffel Tower wall sticker I picked up at The Cross in Holland Park and works perfectly with my Parisian themed room.

I really love this space and I think the room can easily grow with my daughter.  I didn't want the room too childish and I think I can easily swap in more grown up furniture as she outgrows the nursery pieces.  Unfortunately the nursery is getting torn down and rebuilt in a couple of weeks to make room for the larger kitchen downstairs.  I'm definitely going to keep her room close to what it is now and maybe add in a feature wallpaper.  

Definitely no boys allowed in here!

8.  Fara Lamp and Fenn Pinched Pleat Silk Shade from Laura Ashley

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Pom D'Api this week's Friday Fashion Obsession

Summer has finally arrived in London and it is so amazing to see the sunshine again!  We can go to the park everyday to let the kids run around like animals and have been having lots of picnics after school.  The kids have been super happy being able to play outside and honestly the longer we are out the less of a mess there is at home.  Since it is cold and rainy 99% of the time I hold out buying any summer clothing for the children for as long as I can.  I've really been struggling to dress the kids in the morning so I'm running around town picking up bits and pieces for everyone.

It is very tempting to just throw Crocs on the kids because they are both obsessed with them and so inexpensive.  But they are not good for little feet to walk in for long periods of time and I'm searching for something with more support.  Pom D'Api make the most gorgeous sandals for children and of course they are amazing quality as well.  I've decided on the neon yellow ones for my little girl and I seriously would wear them myself!

Here are my picks from this season's collection:
Tily Sandals Shocking Pink from The Little Fashion Gallery - Love the hot pink!  I like that the backs are closed on the sandals which is great for little ones just learning to walk.

Fluo Yello Yapo Sandals from Alex and Alexa - These just arrived in the mail and I am so in love with them.  The leather straps are a cool distressed finish and the sole is very flexible.  Unfortunately I've ordered the wrong size so hope the new ones arrive quickly.

Yapo Back Cross Gris from Sarenza - These gray sandals with the little black stars are just so chic!

Yapo Papy Navy Blue Sandals from Melijoe - It is really tricky to find stylish sandals for boys!  The selection is pretty limited and some of the designs are just so unattractive.  I love this pair because they are a classic design and will work dressed up or down.

Yapo Velcro Sandal from Igloo Kids - I had this pair for my son last year in gray.  It's a simple but elegant design that looks great on and are very comfy as well.  

Yapo Papy Vert Sandals - A bold color in their classic design makes it just a bit more fun.  Unfortunately the green is sold out buy Smallable have a great pair in blue.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

oreo birthday cake

I was searching for the perfect birthday cake for my husband's birthday that would taste amazing without breaking the budget.  I've been craving a very American cake like one of those big classic cakes you find in the cake fridge at a dinner in New Jersey.  Guess I was feeling a little bit homesick! My hubby's favorite cookie of all time is the Oreo so I decided to bake him an Oreo cake.  

I'm all about short cuts so here is my recipe for a semi-homemade birthday cake that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

(makes about 12 servings)
2x 9" Springform pans greased and lined (will need to do this twice)
60 Oreo Cookies (about 3 rolls of packaged Oreos)

2 boxes of Devil's Food Cake Mix (why bake a cake from scratch when the boxed version is so moist and yummy?)

Vanilla Frosting Recipe From Hidden Ponies:
1 cup unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
6 cups confectioner's sugar (icing sugar)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk

1.  Grease and line 2 springform pans.  It's extra work to line the pans with wax/parchment paper but it makes it so much easier for remove from the pan and the lining helps you to easily layer the cakes.

2.  Mix one box of the devil's food cake mix as per the instructions and pour into the 2 lined pans evenly.  Bake according to the box directions.  Let the cake cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.  

3.  Repeat steps 1 and 2 to bake another 2 layers of cake.  I did this a day in advance and just wrapped the cake in plastic wrap overnight.  You must make sure the cakes are completely cooled before you wrap them.  You will only need 3 layers of cake so will have an extra layer you can freeze for another time. 

4.  For the frosting, cream the butter and 4 cups of icing sugar with an electric mixer starting out at a slow speed and then moving to a higher speed.  Add in the vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of milk.  Slowly add in the remaining 2 cups of icing sugar and beat until smooth.  If the mixture is too thick add in the remaining tablespoon of mix until it's nice and smooth but not too thick.

5.  In a large Ziploc bag crush 2 packets (about 40 Oreos) with a rolling pin.  Take about 1/4 of the vanilla frosting and mix it with about 1/2 cup of the crushed Oreos.  Set the rest of the crumbs aside.

6.  Cut 4 strips of wax paper and line the edges of the cake plate/board you are using.  This is to protect the plate from getting dirty while you are frosting.  I'm not the neatest person so this is a really great trick.  Take a large bread knife and trim off the tops of all the cakes so they are nice and flat.  Place the first layer of cake upside down on top of the wax paper so it's centered on the plate and remove the lining (see image above).  

7.  Frost the bottom layer with the Oreo icing and make sure you spread to the edges.  Next put another layer of cake on top with the bottom side up and remove the lining.  Add a layer of plain vanilla icing and again spread it to the edges.  Add the final cake layer on top with the bottom side up.  Start frosting the sides and the top of the cake making sure to cover everything with a large pastry knife.  I didn't bother to dirty ice the cake as the cake crumbs in the frosting looks great with the crushed Oreos. You really don't have to be neat about this because it will all be covered.

8.  Now to decorate the cake use the remaining crushed Oreos cover the sides of the cake.  Press firmly to make sure the crumbs stick to the sides.  You can always crush more cookies if you run out.  Put some of the remaining icing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.  Evenly pipe rosettes around the top edge of the cake.  The final step is to stick the Oreos upright in the center of each rosette and remove the strips of paper.  

The results are mouth watering and I'm sure the whole entire cake will disappear in a flash!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

father's day 2013 gift guide

This year has been whizzing by so quickly and I can't believe it's father's day already next Sunday.  My hubby is getting the ultimate relaxation this year because he is abandoning us and heading on a trans-atlantic flight in business class!  What I would do for 8 hours alone on an airplane.  I would start in duty free shopping at the airport and aboard the flight actually get to read a magazine, watch a movie or just sleep in peace.  Oh well...

Here are my picks for all the daddies this year who deserve their special day next Sunday:

Top Row:
The Mr. Porter Paperback: The Manual for a Stylish Life from Barneys - Mad Man is an obsession in our house and this is is like the modern day Don Draper style handbook!

Vilebrequin Octopus and Oyster Moorea Swim Trunk from Barneys - All dads need a new pair of swim trunks for the summer.  You might as well look amazing running after the wild ones on the beach.  I love the whimsical bright coral octopus against the pale blue.

Thom Browne Large Round Aviator 55 from Barneys - From the ultimate menswear designer these shades are so very stylish.

Barneys New York Mother of Pearl Star Cufflinks - I love these sterling silver cufflinks that add a cool touch to a crisp shirt.

Middle Row:
Ralph Lauren Neon Polo - A man can never have enough Polo shirts and these bold colors are great for summer.

Ollo Clip iPhone 3-in-1 Lens - Take amazing photos on your iPhone without having to drag the SLR around.  Macro, fisheye, and Wide-Angle all on this tiny little lens that slides right onto your iPhone.  Great for techies!

Men's Backup Battery for iPhone from J.Crew - I have this extra battery for myself and is ever so handy.  The kids drain the battery on my phone pretty quickly playing their apps and this gives you an extra boost when you're out and about.  The breton blue stripe is so chic.

Bottom Row:
Harry Truman's Shave Set from J.Crew - Men actually spend a lot of time grooming and this shaving set is the very best.  The best part is that it's totally budget friendly at just USD $15!

Aegon Championships at the Queen's Club - We are lucky enough to live just a short walk to the Queen's Club here in London.  Once a year the top pros come and play at this very intimate venue where you literally feel like you are on the court.  My husband is a tennis fanatic so this would be perfect for him.  I'm sure the dads would love tickets to any sports event close by to where you live!

Monday, 3 June 2013

my guest post over at mrs. brown's books

And hop on over to Mrs. Brown's Books for my guest post and find out what book is a favorite in this house...

guest post by mrs. brown's books

What a treat to have a guest post from my buddy and the children's book expert Mrs. Brown's Books this Monday!

This is my first guest post on the blog scene and I’m flattered that my good friend at Lattes & Juice has given me this opportunity. She’s cornered the market on baby and mom style but what I like best is her down to earth attitude to motherhood and her willingness to share her trials and tribulations on her blog.  She also hosts amazing play dates and holiday parties!

Before I had my son E, I had already amassed a sizeable collection of vintage children’s books. It’s a real treat to be able to share them with him and even better when he loves them as much as I do. The House on East 88th Street is one book in particular that we love to read together.

Originally published in 1962, The House on East 88th Street is the first in a series about a loveable crocodile named Lyle. His story begins when an unsuspecting family moves into their brownstone in New York City and discovers a crocodile living in their bathtub! Luckily, Lyle is a friendly, loveable sort whose only requirement is a diet of Turkish caviar.  

The Primm family make fast friends with Lyle and he soon settles into life on East 88th Street. All goes swimmingly until Lyle makes the daily paper after being photographed performing in a street parade.  His owner, a certain Hector P. Valenti, sees the photo of Lyle and decides to return and claim his multi talented crocodile. Prospects begin to look very bleak indeed for Lyle and the Primms as he says goodbye to the house on East 88th Street.  After a short return to the stage, however, it becomes clear that Lyle no longer wishes to perform professionally and Hector P. Valenti returns him to the welcoming arms of the Primms.

This is a tale of the impossible and it captures E’s imagination. The illustrations are playful and distinct in Bernard Waber’s trademark 4 colour style. I especially like how Lyle’s vibrant green colouring stands out against the largely black and white illustrations. E and I often talk about Lyle before bath time and what would happen if we went upstairs to find him in our bathtub! 

The author/illustrator Bernard Waber sadly passed away this year. He left behind a treasure trove of creations including several books about Lyle:

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
Lyle and the Birthday Party
Lovable Lyle
Lyle Finds His Mother
Funny, Funny Lyle

Hop on over to read more reviews on Mrs. Brown's Books.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

friday fashion obsession = statement necklaces

I'm sure by now you all know that I am a total J.Crew fanatic!  You can find the most stylish pieces that are made for everyday wear at great prices all under one roof for the whole family.  What I really love about J.Crew is their amazing use of color found each season that makes the pieces so much fun to wear.  Since they reinvented their jewelry collection a couple of year ago I have been completely hooked.  Their pieces are all so bold and exactly that extra kick needed to jazz up any outfit.

My favorite pieces from the jewelry collection are definitely the big statement necklaces.  They can really dress up a basic tee over jeans (my uniform) and makes you an instant fashionista.  I purchased the rose colored necklace a couple of seasons ago and have gotten so much wear out of it.  It can easily go from summer to winter and the neutral color matches almost anything.  I think that the price points of the necklaces are fab as well with most pieces ranging from USD $70-$160 so you will easily find something to fit into your budget.

There are some really gorgeous necklaces this season and these are my picks:

Top Row:
Crystal Compilation Necklace - The gold hardware mixed with the clear crystals makes this piece super chic and so timeless.  Great piece to have for all those summer weddings.

Neon Stone Necklace - Totally on trend this season with the citron stones.  It's a classic style done in such a fresh and modern way.

Color Collage Statement Necklace - This is exactly what I love about J.Crew with the fun and vibrant use of color.  Such a pretty color combination especially with the bold black stones.

Bottom Row:
Crystal Feather Necklace in Mauve Blush - This piece has such a glamorous vintage feel.  They pale blush color palette is such a great neutral that will work with so many outfits.

Crystal and Neon Chevron Necklace - I can't get enough bright yellow this season!  This piece definitely has a vintage modern feel too and is just so cool.