August 4, 2017

Summer Stresses

We're 7 weeks in, and I can see the light (school) at the end of the tunnel (summer). For working parents like us, summer is just an extension of the everyday, filled with heat, humidity, complaints, and pressure to fill the days with fun. Summer camp is a necessity, not a luxury for us, as we both juggle deadlines, meetings, clients, and a 6 month old on a daily basis and rarely do any of these tasks run on the 9-5 clock I so often hear fellow working parents lament.

But its not all bad of course. The baby is a slice of heaven on a silver platter I get to enjoy daily. No, he doesn't sleep through the night, in fact he wakes to eat at least 3 times between 9pm and 7am, so I haven't slept more than a 3 hour stretch at a time since December. (Take pity on me when you see my under-eye circles and wonder if I've ever heard of concealor- I have 3 coats on already). But he is pure joy so Ill take it.

And then of course the 6 year old just gave me a week in which I swore I'd send him to reform school as soon as he turned 8, and then wondered if they take children as young as 6. The kind of week where you sit at night, and your insides feel like old wallpaper peeling in on itself when the glue has long worn away. But immediately after the low point he gave me a high point as if he felt my inner most despair. He woke up on the right side of the bed, and flipped the switch from antagonistic villain to compliant cherub (though 'compliant' may be an overshot, you get the picture). And just like that hes back to his joyful, spirited self. Helping pick up leftover food from Panera for the soup kitchen, happily cleaning the basement with a smile. Perhaps these weeks are plucked from above and delivered to remind us what challenging is, in case were have grown complacent, jaded or even worse, discontented.

July 11, 2017

Beauty Routine: Evenings with kiddos Edition

Since I became a mom a little over 6 years ago, evenings take on an entirely different meaning for me than they once did. long gone are the days of leisurely drinking wine while watching as many shows as I want (I now binge watch on my iPad while the baby sleeps on top of me, and chug wine with one hand while feeding him with the other). Nighttime beauty and sleep are the same way, they need to be fast, efficient, and not too expensive.

I NEVER sleep in my makeup. It doesn't matter if I spent 2 hours unsuccessfully trying to coax my littlest baby into his crib at night, I will not skip face washing. Right now I'm using BeautyCounter's balm ($80), and then Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Micro Cleanse ($30). I tone with a variety of toners depending on the night (Clinique, Estee Lauder, Biologique Recherche) and use eye cream (love this one).

I spend less time on my mattress now than ever. Having a new baby reminds one never to take sleep for granted. So when I actually am in my bed, I need to be comfortable. The Leesa trial is great- 100 nights- so if you chose wrong, no worries. The baby likes it too, since he basically only sleeps on top of me, in our bed. (Maybe Leesa should try crib mattresses and we can trick him into thinking hes still in our bed.)

June 30, 2017

Insta Round-Up

As we prepare to celebrate our 2nd July 4th holiday weekend in our new home, I'm reminded of how just a year ago, I didn't know a single person here. Tomorrow, we will be hosting 30 people in our yard for food, drinks and fun. Happy Summer!

June 1, 2017

New Finds

So these days I am not in full make up most of the time, but I still want to be presentable when on video chat with my office, running lunch errands, and at school pick up. So light, effortless (I hate that term but actual find myself using it now), and natural are key.

Never a big Estee Lauder fan, I hadn't picked up a new product from this brand in years. But their revamped ad campaigns and offerings caught my eye and I tried 2 new items.

The Perfectionist duo concealer ($34) is a huge hit. My horrible dark circles are helped tremendously, and the wear is hydrating unlike some others I've tried after reading rave reviews, and hated (Smashbox BB concealer, Makeup Forever HD concealer).

The Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick ($34) is my next new favorite. One step to get it on, blend and be done. I cant do separate sponges, brushes and applicators (no skill, no time) so this is a great item for me. It isn't matte finish, but its not greasy or sticky so my oily skin likes it.

Memorial Day weekend meant our club opened for the season, and afternoons will soon be spent at the pool. I am still a hat person in the sun (despite my short hair and the fact they probably don't look good on me), but I also douse myself in sunblock. Beauty Counter's face-stick ($18) is my favorite- and I like being able to use one products for all 4 family members (including baby). Select my friend Sarah Hawkins from the consultant list when purchasing!

I recall trying a similar formula and not being a huge fan, but the new Dior Addict lacquer ($35) is a huge hit for me. It stays on longer than my other favorite YSL oil in stick, but has the same gel like texture that is a must for me (I detest the matte lipstick trend and hope to see it fade sometime soon). Try it in LA Pink or Underground.

May 26, 2017

Thoughts on a Friday

I all but gave up the modified Whole30 diet these last few weeks, as birthday cake, cocktails, and then leftover birthday cake took over.

Being an adult is full of interesting choices, and unexpected feelings. Like being excited for a new roof and new driveway, to the point you actually instruct you husband not to buy you a birthday gift (and actually mean it).

As the school year winds down, despite being much more settled than we were last year at this time when we hadn't even moved yet, I find the familiar crippling anxiety creeping in at night, an unwelcome guest trying to rattle my calm mind with fear about the summer transition for Tucker, and starting another 'new thing' after such a successful year of Kindergarten.

My now 4 month old baby has spent a total of 8 hours in his crib since he was born. Ans these 8 hours were over the span of several weeks. And we are OK with that. Baby cuddles don't last very long after all.

May 15, 2017

This is 6

My first baby, who made me a mom 6 years ago today, celebrates his birthday with all the love and enthusiasm we could imagine in his heart. The best gift I received on his behalf this year was when a fellow mom to a classmate of Tucker's, who happens to have autism, emailed me to say that her son has been touched and helped immensely by Tucker this year. Hearing your young child is internalizing the lessons of love and acceptance you teach at home is pretty much the best news there is. So happy birthday sweet Tucker, when you're not making me want to rip the hairs from head, you're warming my spirit with your laugh and the way you love everyone.

May 11, 2017

Insta-Round Up

Bloody Mary's are always a good choice

Striped Cold Shoulder (Loft), Tortoise Flats (J.Crew), Summer Water (Winc Wine Club)

Me and my Mom, 1982- how much does this look like me and Wells???

Family of 4 at Tucker's 6th bday party (Peplum top-J.Crew)

Boys in Vineyard Vines

My Whole30 sweet potato. avocado and egg bowl

Cannot believe this angel is 4 months old!

May 9, 2017

The Great Jean Dilemma

Ok, so being 3 months post-baby aside, I am finding the greatest challenge of my personal style life to be finding a new pair of jeans. I'm the same size as I've always been (generally a 27 in jeans, I'll go for a 28 if they are really skinny or narrow) but nothing I'm trying fits exactly as I want. The waist is too tight or too large, the legs equally at these ends of the spectrum, and don't get me started on the rise. High-waited jeans seem like a girdle, and low rise are no mom's friend. I have purchased and returned no less than 8 pairs of jeans these past few weeks, from my favorite denim go-to's (J.Crew, Loft, J.Brand). I'm growing desperate for a new pair. Nothing too 'lived-in', nor with pre-made rips (my 5 year old likes to tell me 'Mommy! You have a hole in your pants!' each and every time I wear my distressed boyfriend jeans from J.Crew). Something comfortable, straight, medium rise, medium wash, with a flattering fit. Is this asking too much? If I don't lose hope when I'm done with the post, I may make one last effort.

Loft classic modern skinny, $69

J.Brand high-rise skinny, $198

J.Brand mid-rise dark skinny, $198

J.Crew classic toothpick- but I'm finding these too low rise lately, $125

May 4, 2017

The (Almost) Whole30

After having my second baby in January via C-Section (unlike my first pain med free (not by choice) natural birth), I've had an extremely easy recovery thanks to my excellent doctor (fellow Hamilton grad like my hubby), and a few simple dietary adjustments. But despite workouts, healthy eating, and tons of water, there are still about 3-4 pounds that I cant seem to shake. I've done the juice diet thing, and it just makes me angry and sad. So rather than starve and sweat over it, I've put the family on a whole foods eating challenge that I've seen fellow bloggers really liking, named aptly the 'Whole 30'. Generally, its a diet of fresh vegetables, meats, and fish, no dairy, alcohol, sugar or legumes. No calorie counting, measuring, or logging. But since I mostly live life in moderation, I cant quite commit to a entire 30 days of this clean eating kick, nor exclude all forbidden foods from the list. So we have coined it the 'partial 30', and so far its pretty awesome. Here are some great recipes for those of you who, like me, enjoy actual food. The key is also planning in advance as not to be left staring at the empty fridge shelves, ready to cry or binge on your son's stale Oreo's.

From Somewhere Lately, I tried a modified version of their sweet potato, avocado egg bowl and absolutely love it for lunch or dinner:

  • diced sweet potato 
  • olive oil (1-2 tsp)
  • paprika
  • crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 diced avocado
  • 1 egg

Coat diced sweet potato in olive oil, paprika and red pepper flakes, then cook til soft on stove top. Remove, cook the egg to your liking in the same pan. Then add potato, egg, and diced avocado to a bowl. Yum!

From my own experimenting, this simple squash noodle dish is a great lunch:

  • butternut squash 'noodles' (I buy these pre-sliced from whole foods)
  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • red pepper flakes
Boil the squash noodles for no more than 2 minutes, or bake at 400 for 8 minutes. Then dress with olive oil, garlic powder and red pepper flakes to taste. Can also be enjoyed cold or room temperature as leftovers! 

May 1, 2017

Spring Wish List

When you hit 30 and realize your 20-something closet doesn't quite hit the mark anymore, a re-haul is in necessary. Then, when you have your second baby, move to a new state, work primarily from home, and frequent the gym at midday, a complete wardrobe makeover is in order. A wardrobe shift of this magnitude is a process for me, not a single event. I still have client meetings, days in my NYC office, and event at my son's schools to attend. So its a tall, versatile order for my closet to fill. Here are some picks I am eyeing for the Spring season.

Spring Wish List

April 28, 2017

Thoughts on a Friday

My older son is turning 6 in a few weeks, and while people tell me how fast it goes, I'm not sure it feels speedy but it still feels rather incredible that we have managed to feed, clothe, care for, and keep alive another human for 6 years.

Having a second child has filled my soul with so much joy that I cant begin to memorialize it in words. The only rub of sadness comes when I think of my dad, and how he will never meet Wells. This realization feels like a ragged edge of an opened soup can in my chest.

I bought and assembled a 5 piece patio set this week, consisting of an entire outdoor sofa, side chairs, and table. It brought me immense satisfaction, but cost me a manicure and crippling back pain eased only with an extra glass of wine.

Baby Wells slept in his crib for 5 out of 10 of his sleeping hours, 3 nights in a row, and it feels like a victory. But then last night I missed his small head resting on my arm, and decided that not every baby really needs to sleep in a crib all the time.

The only way I could motivate myself to use the gym this past week was with a new Lululemon jacket. We all have our weaknesses.

April 20, 2017

Stay-Cation, Connecticut

When school is out in April and us working parents must shuffle like mad to arrange some quality time with our kiddos, among the usual daily grind of deadlines and meetings, a real 'vacation' is just not in the cards. But this first spring break in our new town affords a great chance to explore and visit many of the places on our to-do list.

to eat: 

Sayulita is not to be missed. We used to live in Manhattan, a stone's throw from some iconic Mexican cuisine (Rosa Mexicana, Dos Caminos, Gonzales y Gonzales), so we have become spoiled. But this place lives up to its big city competitors, and the margaritas are too good to have just one.

to visit (with kids): 

The Connecticut Science Center is the perfect place to bring everyone (even baby Wells) for the afternoon. In downtown Hartford, this glass structure with see-through elevator is even good for sight seeing with view of the Connecticut River. They even have a rooftop garden with dinosaurs.

Not seasonal for spring break, but the numerous apple orchards in our town are amazing. When we lived on Long Island apple picking involved a 2 hour car ride out east, with traffic, lines, hoards of people, and no where to park. In Connecticut by contrast, there are so many orchards to choose from its rare to wait more than 5 minutes for a tractor ride and the views are spectacular. My favorites are probably Belltown and Rose's Berry farm.

to visit (without kids):

Old Saybrook has not only history but also a beautiful marina and hotel, Saybrook Point, where my mother docks her boat for several months of the summer. In April, the hotel is quiet and perfect for a quick overnight getaway. Since when my mother is here on the boat she doesn't have a car, she will be using Turo for a short term car rental. They are reasonably priced, and have tons of cars to choose from.

April 18, 2017


Life is great here lately, baby Wells has brought immeasurable joy to the family, and the sleepless nights riddled with anxiety over having another baby are a distant memory. The days are busy, and our plans for daycare were scrapped in favor of a hiring a nanny so we can still spend many hours of the day in close proximity to our nugget. Big brother loves his new baby brother more than I really thought was possible.

Wells at 11 weeks (left), Tucker at 11 weeks (right)

Cocktails at Sayulita

Moist important feature in the house lately

Typical Saturday morning
Tucker's new desk (overstock) and chair (pottery barn kids)
family of 4!
Happy Easter! Boys outfits: Janie and Jack, Mommy's romper: Loft

 Brunching with new friends

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