Friday, July 31, 2015

20 Cool Things You Need to Click On Today

So it's (basically, almost) August. How? To be honest, I'm almost kind of dreading the month. It's going to be packed for us--road trips, work trips, camp shuttling, back to school scrambling, our nanny going on vacation  It's going to be hectic. 

Plus there's always the inherent sadness of the (best!) season slowing showing itself out. School is starting, kids are growing, fall is coming (with winter close behind), friends are moving, time is marching on. Even before it's started, August always feels like it's slipping away like a countdown.

(Sorry, for being such an end-of-summer bummer right there. I just really don't want it to end!)

This weekend, we're going to a party for my daughter's new class and having lots of family time. Hopefully the grownups will get to go out to dinner one night, too! 

Whatever you're up to this summer weekend, I hope it's relaxing and lots of fun. Because THE END IS NEAR, PEOPLE. ;)

Here's a few fun links.

• These pink-and-gold wine glasses are beautiful.

• Has there ever been a music video as epic as the "Freedom '90" video? (Answer: NO.) Here's the behind-the-scenes story. #supermodels4ever

• Pretty gold shirt dress that can be easily dressed either up or down? Yes, please.

• When I attended the BlogHer conference a few weeks back, I heard James Oliver Jr read his powerful piece about not knowing what to tell his young son after the Eric Garner killing. He broke down in the middle of it--it was a very powerful, moving moment to be in that room. Here's a video of the reading. Grab a tissue.

• I made this tomato, mozzarella, and basil strata last weekend and it was SO good. (And completely easy!)

• Have you had a "medicure?" I want one! #pedicuregoals

• Ten annoying things about The Devil Wears Prada.

• This parody of Humans of New York called Felines of New York is just awesome.

• This ponytail/braid situation is so cool.

• Did you love Mrs. Grossman's stickers? I did. I was a sticker fiend. Well, they're back! And on sale at Zulily right now. Let the elementary school flashbacks commence.

• So sad: The emotional toll of not being able to afford diapers.

• This is kind of hilarious: A mom throws a personal-injury-lawyer themed birthday party for her son.

• What a great idea: This Dutch nursing home offers free housing to students.

• What if everything we know about addiction is wrong?

• These runaway beach umbrellas made me laugh.

• These castles cost less than New York City apartments.

And in case you missed it, this week I...

• Found the cutest personalized name labels. (Plus, they're on sale right now!)

• Gave my son a major haircut.

• Shared a sneak peek at our home redesign.

• Wondered why my five year old suddenly looks fifteen.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Best Personalized Name Labels For Kids

FYI: I retouched my phone number on these photos for obvious reasons. Sorry they look so wonky! I clearly need a PhotoShop tutorial bad.
This is scary, but it's time to start thinking about back-to-school prep. (And this year it's not just for my daughter. My son starts school in the fall, which is just CRAZY.)

I'm usually pretty last minute with this sort of thing, but I have gotten a head start on at least part of it: personalized name labels!

For those of you don't have kids in school yet, labels are a must because you have to put your kids' names on basically everything they take there. Cups, clothes, lunchboxes  backpacks--everything needs a name. Sure, you could just scribble them on there with a Sharpie, but labels are way quicker, easier, and of course, cuter.

This year, I went for Minted's customizable name labels and they are adorable. (I've used Minted before--most recently for our holiday cards and my daughter's Valentines--and the quality is always excellent.) There are tons of different sizes, lots of great designs for both boys and girls, they're waterproof and dishwasher-safe, and you can even get many of them personalized with a photo. 

I chose two different designs--and two different sizes--for each kid. For my daughter, I got these mermaid labels and this pencil design. For my son, we did large construction-vehicle labels and this cute lion. (BTW, all of these come in different color options, too.) I even had my phone number printed on some of the designs, which is a smart option I hadn't ever really seen anywhere else.

So, labels are done! Now it's time to actually do some back-to-school shopping so that I have some things to stick them on. ;)

Do you guys go the label route with your kids' stuff? Also, when do your kids go back to school? Mine don't go back until mid September, but I still can't believe it's so soon. SUMMER, DON'T LEAVE ME!

**Update! Just realized that Minted is having a sale right now! You can get 15% off back to school stuff including the personalized labels. Use code SCHOOL15.

Disclosure: Minted provided me with complimentary labels for review consideration, but I was not compensated for this post.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Baby's First Buzz Cut

My son had his first haircut a few months back, but he's been majorly due for another one for awhile now. Partly because he's been looking really shaggy lately, but even more because he has developed this weird and annoying habit of pulling out his hair. He only does it every once in awhile, but he has learned that it gets a big reaction, so he loves to do it to get attention.

I decided to try and break him from the habit with a buzz cut. I was a bit nervous though. Would he be afraid of the clippers? Would he start to scream and we'd have to pull the plug halfway through the cut and he'd look like a weirdo? Or would we succeed and he'd walk out looking like a mini military recruit? Would he hate the haircut? Would I?

But this past weekend, we did it. And he was a champ. (Thanks Diego videos and promises of "yoll-e-pops" and "ba-yoons.") He was barely even aware of the clipping and still doesn't seem to notice that anything is different. 

But I've noticed. Whether you're a grownup going from lob to bob or a two year old getting newly shorn, haircuts are by nature transformative. And he looks so different to me now! Older. And like a little tough guy. But still so cute. I do love it.

There will be many haircuts over the years. Many transformations, I know. Some I'll love, some I'll hate. But no matter how many inches come off--whether he gets a Bieber, a Mohawk, or this ridiculously soft, peach-fuzzy buzz cut (that I just can't. stop. petting.)--he'll always be my baby. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sneak Peek: My Master Bedroom Redesign Plan

master bedroom inspiration

As I've mentioned before, I'm in the middle of a redesign of my home. It's going well, but I'm learning that it's a verrrry slooooow processsss. There's back and forth with ideas and feedback, there's interviewing painters and wallpaper guys and curtain makers, there's ordering--and waiting for--furniture. And then, of course, there's the somewhat unique fact that my (awesome!) interior designer lives, oh, 1,600 miles away!

But it's coming along. Slowly, but surely. And I'm loving where we're heading.

I get so many questions about the redesign, so now that we're really making some progress, I wanted to share a peek at the plan for one of the rooms: our master bedroom. I had asked a few weeks back about whether I should go with a medium gray or a charcoal gray on the walls. Almost everyone told me to go dark, which truth be told, was the way I was really leaning anyway.

So, I'm going to be taking the plunge and going with the darker color! The walls will be Farrow & Ball's Down Pipe (that's the shade in the paint can, above) and I'm really excited about it! I think it's the perfect shade to de-grandma and de-girl-ify both the pink rug and the floral fabric that we're using for our curtains and for another surprise touch in the room!. ;) (Side note: Believe me, I do know that fabric seems a little Laura Ashley, but I promise: We're using it in a way that's going to make it cool!)

The white Z Gallerie chests pictured above are going to be our bedside tables. We're still deciding on the actual lighting for the room, but the pictures I included above will give you an idea. We'll have some sort of vintage chandelier over the bed and then black lamps on either side of it. The pink and silver rug is by Madeline Weinrib, one of my longtime favorites.

And the art! Get this: A few months back, I wrote about my love of a Tali Lennox painting (shown above) and how heartbroken I had been to find out that it had sold. Well! Turns out the universe was looking out for me, because maybe a month after I had written that post, the gallery owner contacted me. The person who was supposed to buy the painting had never come through...and it was available!

I don't know if it was some crazy The Secret-type voodoo that brought it to me--or if it was just really, really meant to be mine. But I do know that it is now hanging on the wall of our bedroom. It's the first real, capital A "Art piece" we've ever bought--and I absolutely adore it.

So what do you guys think of the room? Do you like the direction we're heading? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Five Going On Fifteen

Tee shirt, skirt, boots. All by Justice. (not sponsored!)


I shared one of these photos on Instagram last night, but decided to blow it up into a blog post, because I mean...c'mon. These pictures! That pose! That video! 

Here's the background: Our teenage niece (who is awesome and who my daughter is obsessed with)  is staying with us for a few weeks while she takes some summer classes. And while I was at BlogHer all day this past Saturday, she took my daughter shopping. At Justice. My daughter had never been to tween-and-pretween mecca Justice, and being that she was there with her much-adored cousin and daddy's credit card, let's just say, she was in sparkle/girly/shopping heaven. Case in point: Those are bedazzled cowboy boots.

She is now in love with this outfit and wore it all weekend long. (And then asked to wear it to camp today. I drew the line there.) The video was shot by my niece (who is also the narrator) when they came home to model their purchases for Dad.  These photos were shot yesterday, when we went to run an errand. She looked so adorable that I stopped to snap a few photos. Those sassy poses are all her though.

What do you guys think? Do I have a future fashion blogger on my hands or what? 

(P.S.: Also, she is FIVE years old, but looks ten here, right? HELP!)

Friday, July 17, 2015

11 Cool Things You Need to Click On Today

As you can see above, I'm packing a fresh new order of blog business cards (and a fresh new card holder! #obsessed), which can only mean one thing: For the next two days, I'm going to be at BlogHer, a massive digital conference here in New York City. I went last year when it was in San Jose, and was not sure if I was going to attend this year since I just went to this conference in April. But it's right in my backyard! So, how could I say no?

Are any of you guys attending BlogHer this year? Definitely let me know! Or if you see me, please stop me and say hi. Nothing makes me happier!

Whatever you're up to this weekend, here's a few fun links to check out before it starts. Enjoy!

• This pretty dress is the perfect combo of sweet and subversive. And it's 30 percent off with the code GO SHOPPING!

•  This sponge sounds amazing. You run your brushes over it and it supposedly cleans the makeup off in just a few swipes. Must try!

• How iPhones ruined summer camp.

• This article made me think (and made me feel guilty. I often work from a local coffeeshop for several hours, nursing a single latte. I never thought of myself as a "camper," but I can now see that on those days, I totally am. Maybe I need to start considering a co-working space? I get nothing done at home...

• A beautiful Leaving New York essay (also now known as a LNYE) by my former coworker, Ramona. Especially loved this line: "In New York there are at any one time, 6,000 people who are better than you at the only thing you're good at." So true.

• Honey sriracha chicken salad? Yes, please.

• The app that blocks everything Kardashian-related from your browser.

• Back when hospitals couldn't save preemie babies, a sideshow attraction stepped in to do just that. Fascinating!

• These triple layer pina coladas look and sound amazing.

And in case you missed it, this week I...

• Threw a "vintage Paris" party.

• Gushed about the utter awesomeness of Amazon Prime.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Here's Why Amazon Prime Is Awesome

**Okay, let me start out by letting you know that this post is actually not sponsored. It totally sounds sponsored and like an ad, I know. But it's not! I'm just crazy in love with Amazon Prime. Here's why.

You've probably heard the rumblings about Amazon Prime Day. So what is it? It's a major sale happening today only with deals exclusively for Amazon Prime members. Amazon has promised that the sales are going to be even better than Black Friday. Okay, YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION, AMAZON.

(Note: If you're not already a Prime member, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial membership today and still take advantage of the deals.)

If you don't know what Amazon Prime is, IT'S AWESOME. You pay $99 a year, which sounds like a lot, I know, but it definitely works out to be worth it. For that price, you get unlimited free two-day shipping. And if you find something on Amazon that you absolutely must have faster than that, you can usually get it next day for only $3.99. Some things are even available same day (!).

There are lots of other perks, too, like Kindle First (you get to choose from one of four new Kindle books free every month), free streaming video and music, and other things I haven't even looked into, because honestly, I mostly just love Prime for the shipping perks because we order from Amazon embarrassingly often. Always multiple times a week, sometimes multiple times a day.

To prove my point, pictured above are just a few of the things we've ordered in the last few weeks alone including superslim velvet hangers, a cute mermaid sleeping bag, the world's most adorable dinosaur bike helmet, and the softest-ever, under $10 donut sweatpants that I wish came in my size, too.

Tell me: Are you as Prime-obsessed as I am?