Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tech done Chic

I have been drooling over Apple products for as long as I can remember! Now, with this new venture upon me, and a constant need for on the go organization and ability to showcase designs to clients, I am in need of a tablet. Could it be that I could possibly write this off as a business expense? Let's go one step further and talk about the iCloud. You mean I can sync all of my "potential" Apple devices together and share the same information among them? YES!!! Let's talk about the iPhone too! There is also an aspect of the iPhone that I am coveting and that is Instagram! I can start taking pictures of my favorite looks, rooms, and elements to share  them with clients and, above all, myself!
So here's how we can make a new phone a statement and pay homage to some of our favorite (at least my favorite) brands:
#1,2,3 can be found at Layla Grayce and are designed by Petunia Pickle Bottom, Johnathan Adler, and Lily Pulitzer respectively.
#4 & 5 are by one of my favorite ladies Tory Burch
#6 & 7 are from Kate Spade

Because a girl can never ever choose just one, just like you can't eat just one chip, I had to delve into the world of tablet cases as well! 
Here we have "our girls" Kate (1 & 4) and Tory (3) again talking to good 'ol Michael Kors (2). All of these can be found at Nordstrom in their Tech department. I am a HUGE fan of the "Equestrian Orange" Tory uses. First for the sentimental aspect coming from my competitive riding background, and the fabulous pop of color it brings to everything! Kate is always good with patterns, stripes and polka dots, and the great sayings like this "out of office". Clearly it's a travel case, but there's the innuendo that you've "checked out" just a bit! Of course Michael has given us a classic envelope clutch look in a tablet case. Do I need 4 tablets? No....But this girl will be dreaming of cases!

Enjoy your Chic Moment with your gadgets!


Friday, April 27, 2012

It's a Hat Day

Sometimes my Chic Moment of the day comes from just looking at my daughter. Dablet is now fast asleep (face down mind you, causing me a variety of stress and nerves), but earlier we had some great moments together! Normally people tell you to put little girls in bows, and we do enough of that. Plus, she has this crazy lopsided thing going on with her hair right now, so one sided bows don't really do the trick. Here are two looks we have come up with to remedy the situation. Personally I think she's pretty "stinkin' cute"!
This is Kyle's hat...she was going for some sort of "look", I'm not really sure, but she seemed to enjoy it!
We then went to Moe's today for lunch, and because our little girl is getting so good at "eating on the go" she grabbed her juice bottle and some puffs and ate lunch with us. Of course, she stuck her pinky finger out while drinking out of said juice bottle, but what diva wouldn't? This hat is her own!

While all moments can be greeted with a smile, for some people it's not quite as easy. You may have heard of this little 5 month old wonder before, but if not, please go read her blog and her story and learn a little more about what it means to live every moment of life to the fullest!

Until next time, or another hat....


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Passion in the details

I've been working on building social media connections for Dabble in Chic, and though the work I've been introduced to some fabulous brands, bloggers, and "women in charge". It makes a certain amount of sense that the design and planning world is saturated with amazing creative independent women who are living out their designing dreams through their (often times self-made) dream jobs!
Yesterday I talked about one way to satisfy the design ADD that plagues so many of us, and today I'd like to give you another that "tags along" with you! JEWELRY!!!! When Tiffany & Co. isn't in the budget, or maybe some David Yurman, it's nice to have some great stores to go to to give you some big bang for your buck!
Last year when I was pregnant I purchased a few simple pieces from Stella & Dot. I went simple because I had a massive bump, read watermelon, under my shirt and I didn't feel like carrying any extra weight. My center of gravity was already thrown off enough, you should have seen me trying to bowl at 32 weeks pregnant, I didn't want any excess sending me into early labor!
This summer, I'm all about some statement pieces! If you want to check out all of my Jewelry dreams check out the board on Pinterest. If you just can't stand it, check out these goodies from Bauble Bar and if you'd like $10 off your first purchase click the link on our Facebook page!

Enjoy these delightful inspirations! Grandy (Abby's name for my mom) is in town this weekend and is closing on a townhouse she bought in the area. I'm sure I'll be full of new decorating tips, cooking ideas, and family fun! If I don't come back before the weekend, enjoy your Friday Frolicking!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Designing ADD

Part of the reason I am enjoying this part of life as much as I am is that the freedom I have in my schedule allows me to satisfy my ADD nature when it comes to designing. I think this is part of the reason my house isn't finished pulling itself together yet. I say that like I expect the house to come to life like a Disney movie and whisk itself into shape and full decoration. A girl can dream right? It's either have magic take over, or turn into an episode of Hoarders. If I tried to satisfy my every design obsession I'd end up in a conundrum of overcrowded and broke.
Rather than travel down the dark road to overcrowded insanity, I think I have found a way to satisfy changing seasons, trends, and desires without totally breaking the bank. Pillows! I fell in love with the modern edgy style found at Zinc Door through its sister company Layla Grayce. Every mom who has a desire for design will appreciate the home, mom, and child related items brought by these companies.
Here are some of my favorites:

Kyle would be the first to tell you that I have a minor obsession with throw pillows, as well as accent chairs. Anytime we are out wandering through furniture stores you can find me sitting in accent chairs and magnetizing myself to unique pieces of furniture. Maybe I'm on the quest to find the perfect accent for the empty space left in our bedroom now that Abby is upstairs. Then again, maybe I'm just satisfying my innate desire to dabble in everything that gives me a Chic Moment in my day, even if it's just in daydreaming!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Mother's Day Dreams

So every girl has the talent to leave hints. If you're about to be engaged, or have been talking about it, you leave hints for rings.Getting Married? You leave hints for the special touches. Living together? It's birthday gifts, anniversaries, and for me this year it's Mother's Day!
The art of leaving hints has become INCREDIBLY easy thanks to blogging and especially Pinterest! Here are a few of my favorite things, small and large! After all, there's nothing wrong with dreaming big!
If you didn't expect the first things to come from Lush, you need to read the blog more!
First up:
This Serenity Gift Box will run baby daddy (in my case Kyle) $37.95 and includes 5 stress reducing items.
If you've been a really good mom, or maybe have more than one kiddo running around the house, it might not hurt to leave a "hint" for this $89.95 wonder known as Tickled Pink with 10 fantastic items and a GREAT box!

Just as practical, I am going to give a hint to my favorite "house wine" of ours. Yup, it's less than $15 for a double bottle, and you can buy it at Target (or at least you can in NC), but it's a great blend of a Shiraz and a Cabernet...what mom doesn't need a glass of wine or cocktail every once in a while?
Of course, I had to include a piece of jewelry. Given that we are a family of three, this interlocking pendant necklace from Tiffany & Co. is a special sentiment to my first Mother's Day with my daughter. If (read WHEN) we have more children, most likely only one, this wouldn't make complete sense. I enjoy being able to pay special attention to Abby while she is still my only. Do you have only one (even if just for now?) Take a look at this here:

I love the rose gold! This comes in three sizes, and is in celebration of their 175th anniversary!
To dream even bigger (and I'll be honest, pretty unrealistically but I just had to!), I'm going to show you a favorite on my furniture wish list. Now that Abby is up in her own room, we have a large space next to my side of the bed, and I'd love to have a chaise to read in. Here's the Taylor Scott Chaise from Layla Grayce, and it can be found here it has several fabrics available for slipcovers
To all you moms out there, enjoy your day! That includes moms-to-be alike. Also, I would like to give a special nod to all of my friends and family on the quest to become first time parents, or add another to their brood. Motherhood is a miracle and a blessing that gives you an entirely new understanding of yourself and your capability to love!

Until Next Time

Monday Moments

This weekend was great, although full of some stressful parenting moments. We took Abby over to Southpoint to wander around and meet our Nanny and her man for dinner. I was slightly "distracted" when we were getting ready to leave, and I grabbed a bottle of juice and dinner for Abby, but no milk bottle. We have been supplementing with a little bit of formula in her bottles because my supply isn't keeping up as much as I'd like it to. However, in this pinch, Kyle ran out to Target and got some "ready to serve" formula and we gave it to Dablet at the restaurant. Well fast forward to about 10pm, we're home, she's sound asleep in bed, and Kyle is on his way out to watch an MMA fight...I was looking at this foreign formula substance (we only use powdered when we use it), and I about lost my mind. The expiration date was APRIL 1ST 2012....THREE WEEKS AGO!!
Mama bear came out, and Kyle went to Target on his way to watch the fight. We ended up with a refund, two free things of formula, and some free Target cash. The HR manager handled it well, addressing what we, as parents chastised ourselves with, "As parents you think to check the expiration date on everything, and sometimes you forget, but you shouldn't have to worry about it on things you buy here, especially baby products". He said he would "do everything he could to make it right if she got sick". She seems to be OK, stomach is a little "hard" and she's a bit more tired than normal. We're heading over to our pediatrician today for her 2nd Flu Booster, Yay shots! (not so much!), and I'll chat with them about it then. We all tucked up as a family and watched Puss in Boots last night, fantastic movie appealing to my inner child!
So that brings us to Monday!
I have been busting my bootie getting things ready for Dabble In Chic, The Brand. We're on twitter, Facebook, soon to be on Etsy, and I'm awaiting my 2nd Pinterest invite. I tried hooking my existing account up to my Dabble Facebook page, but no such luck....oh no, guess I'll have to do twice the pinning!

On another note, Mother's Day is coming soon! Last year I was pregnant with Dablet and Kyle and I exchanged cards for Mother's/Father's day. I cannot explain how excited I am to be able to celebrate Mother's Day with my little girl this year! We are an incredible blessed family, and I appreciate the day to honor the special relationship I have with her. (I'm also starting to think about how she will celebrate with her daddy this year on his day!).
I am working on some of my "wish list" items, so I'll be posting those later! Need to get the lil bean ready for her trip to the doctor, and find a way to get some lunch in there somewhere! I'm secretly excited for the day we can eat full meals in pill form, not for taste of course, but convenience. I will NEVER give up the joy of a fantastic dinner (or any meal) but it'd be nice to have something I could just toss back on the go!

Until Next time (later today!)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Birthday Thoughts

No, I'm not planning a party for me, my birthday isn't until October. I've been thinking about ideas for Abby's first birthday. Yup, it's early I know because she doesn't turn one until September. In fact, Kyle's birthday is the next one in the household and it's in August, but I don't think he really wants this type of party! I have been pinning a lot lately, at least over the last two days, and I've found some pretty great things! Check out the Dabble in Pinterest here for ideas for your home, self, spirit, little ones, and of course food!!
Here are some of my favorite details from the past couple of days. For a favor, what's better than bubbles!
For instructions on how to make these favors, visit this blog!
These cupcakes are so delicate and vintage. Maybe not "just right" for Abby's first...but maybe for my next big birthday!

No celebration is complete without photos! I'm sure my favorite photographers would agree, and I thought this tile of shots was too cute! I especially loved the lettering separation rather than trying to lay out three letters all in one shot!

Just a little inspiration for now! Dablet and I are going to Southpoint later today with Kyle, Courtney (our fantabulous nanny) and her man for dinner and some Loft "browsing". You can't blame me, they're having a 40% off sale and Courtney wants to take advantage of the combined 40%+15% discount when she opens a new card! Girl after my own heart!

Until Next time!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Getting Ready for BHI-Part 2

Bald Head Island Family Adventure 2012 is just 5 weeks away!!! What better way to get back into the "planning" project than some inspiration. I'm getting ready to brave the bikini scene post baby, but I thought I'd start with a Ferry Outfit. After all, that's the first "step" to getting to the island. (It's actually the packing and car ride...but that's stressing me out right now and not as much fun as this!
The Gingham Earrings are from Tory Burch, the Amanda Sandals are from Tory as well. I'll admit I have an obsession with Tory sandals, and bags, and jewelry, and clothes....but it's all just a dream right now! For the top and shorts I pulled inspiration from J. Crew. The Raindrop lace top is a fun chic way to pull of a "standard tee"and the 3" Chino Shorts come in 12 colors and at least 2 other lengths. I love colorful and patterned shorts this season! It's a great way to give a bit of pop to an outfit, and with colors like these, your legs will look even more tan!
I cannot wait to feel the ocean air blowing through my hair and see the look on Abby's face when she has her first boat ride! There is nothing I don't love about BHI, and I am looking forward to expanding our tradition of going to include our growing family!
Next to come for the BHI prep posts will be Abby's wardrobe, fun essential items for a beach vacation with an eight month old, and maybe a signature drink or two!

Until next time


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Step One...

It used to be that "Step One" was admitting the problem, but now step one is referring to the next step. Facebook.
This "day in age", the step businesses take, or any product, service, person, or book takes is to become "Facebook Official". While I am still working on the book Perfecting the life of a Working Mom: Lack of Perfection Kick Ass Shoes (or something like that), it is time to bring the latest endeavor to Facebook. Dabble in Chic now has a Facebook page. This is for the blog, yes, but it's so much more than that. This is my new business, and it's so much more than a blog. Printing Chic is the branch that relates directly to the industry I just came out of. While the website and Etsy store are under construction, they will soon offer custom designs for anything paper related, as well as ready to go designs that you can make your own changes to.
Since I got into the world of paper, I have become slightly obsessed with just how much detail you can give to any event with the paper products you associate with it. The theme of a wedding starts with the invitations! And I truly love the connection I can build with brides when we talk about how to literally "put their vision on paper"
Here is an invitation we did a while ago (I have changed the names):

The beauty of this is that you can print it on any color paper, changing the purple background, print on any texture, or (my favorite) print on a champagne metallic stock giving the leaves just a bit of shimmery movement. Here's a sneak peek at the RSVP postcard to a set in the works now. Of course, I'm not going to show the full invite yet, but it's AMAZING!!

The couple's initials can be "carved" into the tree on both the invitation and the RSVP cards, and as always all fonts can be changed! Check us out on Facebook to see it!

Until next time


The beauty of a nap

I feel like I should be jumping up and down singing and dancing because of the amazing revelation that has been made in our house over the past couple days. Abby has learned the beauty of a nap!!! Most people, parents and non-parents alike, expect their kids to sleep during the day. When we first interviewed our fantastic nanny Courtney, Abby was almost 3 months old and Courtney said, "she still sleeps most of the day, right?" Nope....not our child.
Since Abby was two months old she has been sleeping through the night. I know, shoot me now. Even our pediatrician tells us not to say that out loud when we are in his office because I'll have mothers putting out a hit on me. She started six hour chunks at 6 weeks old, and by 2 months she would go down around 9:30-10pm and sleep until 7:30/8, wake up to nurse, and then sleep again until 10ish. After that, she was awake. We might get a cat nap for 20-30 minutes, but nothing you could really "do anything" with. Did I complain? NO WAY! We were told that she would figure out her nap schedule eventually, and given that we needed to function efficiently during the day, I did not mind the sleep at night!
About 2/2.5 months ago she started going to sleep by 8pm (except for the special nights we go and watch Kyle play softball and she gets to "stay up late"), and she will wake up between 7 and 730, entertain herself in her crib for about 30 minutes, and then demand attention. Then it happened....we made friends with the morning nap about 6 weeks ago. All of a sudden one day she had her second bottle around 10am and went to sleep....and slept for an hour and a half. That nap has stuck ever since (with a few rogue mornings). It is absolutely amazing how much you can get done in an hour or two. I LOVE my daughter and I love hanging out with her, but the clothes need to be washed, dishes done, emails returned, business built, and sometimes this mama needs to sit down for ten minutes without being drooled on.
Two days ago Abby made another friend called "Afternoon nap". It was a discovery by accident, and again paired with a bottle. Around 2:30pm she had her afternoon bottle and looked very sleepy. Given that she had only slept for about 45 minutes that morning I thought, "hmmm, maybe I'll try laying her down". Sure enough, 20 minutes later she was out cold and slept for almost 2 hours! Not only is that impressive, but every time you lay her down now for a nap or for the night she does not cry. She plays with bun-b (her bunny "blanket" from Pottery barn) and goes to sleep. You can get your own bun-b here from Pottery Barn Kids (it's the Thumbie...Abby's is an older model and has knots on the edges, but this is pretty close!)

I think it's absolutely perfect that as soon as my life stops being so "scheduled" my daughter decides to adapt to a nap schedule that allows me to have some "me time". The only thing we need to work on now is how to avoid the predictable mid-morning-nap stinky diaper. I'm convinced that she's sleep longer if she wasn't sleeping in stunk...I mean, wouldn't you?  Every day I spend with her I admire stay at home moms so much more. There is nothing "easy" about that job. It takes a lot of work, dedication, patience, and flexibility. With me still working and playing more of an "at home mom" role, I rely heavily on my support system of Kyle, Courtney, Mimi, Grandy, Fairy Godmommy Lindsey, and all of those who send me encouragement via text, Facebook, and email. Of course, I still aspire to someday take a nap of my own during the day, and to "think happy nap thoughts" here are a few of my favorite nap products!
Eucalyptus Spearmint Pillow Mist from Bath and Body Works for anti-stress or my other favorite pillow mist:

Lavender Chamomile Pillow Mist and right now Bath and Body Works is having a buy two get one free mix and match sale!
Also, check out Dream Essence for a full line of masks, body pillows, and aroma therapy sachets as well!

Until next time, happy napping!!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Outdoor Cooking

With the weather getting nicer by the minute, I am getting VERY excited for outdoor cooking. For me this means a grill on the deck and some fun drinks made inside. With Kyle in culinary school my daydreaming went to how the outdoor cooking experience could be made glamorous. Sure, there will be splattered bar-b-que sauce and dishes to clean up after. It's not like things like that disappear when you have a luxurious space to cook in. Just like people who have amazingly designed nurseries still have to change stinky diapers...sometimes even exploded ones on their silk crib sheets. **shaking head**
What kind of inspiration would I be if I didn't share some of my findings with you?
All stainless steel kitchen, configuration can range from $3,000 to $30,000 (yikes!) found at The Outdoor Kitchen
This next one is SO me! I love the bamboo wood accents, and it's less built-in more placed in the environment you already have. This makes it more feasible for those of us living with pesky HOAs!

There are few things in life that can make a fabulous outdoor kitchen even better, but the views are one of them. Personally, I am an ocean girl. However, there are some situations when mountains can take my breath away just as much. This is one of them!

This photo was found in a blog post talking about things to consider when planning an outdoor cooking space and what your real needs are. Clearly the family that has this kitchen had the space and the views to get everything in kitchen sink included!
I LOVE the hardwood floors and the lattice above the grills especially!

Dablet is awake from her nap, and while I will not be pursuing any of the above projects anytime soon (we haven't won the lottery YET!), I am very much looking forward to outdoor cooking!

Until Next Time


Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Moments

Today was another Monday just like any other except for one thing. I didn't have a schedule. If you know me, you'd know that I'm not the type of person to just let my day "unfold" in front of me. I have been adjusting to life without a schedule, and to working from home. Life seems to be full of transitions lately, and my life without a time clock is one of the largest. I used to think that growing up meant a life of schedules, time clocks, accountability, bills, and all of those "things" that we all expect to come with "adulthood". I suppose if there is anything I should know about life it's that it is anything but expected.
Nothing about my life "plan" expected me to start my own company, with three fabulous partners, right out of college. Even more so, nothing said that 18 months later we would be selling the same company for all of the "right" business reasons...just not so much the successful kind. The humbling effects of this kind of experience cannot be put into words. Owning your own company means you can set your own schedule, and by that I mean you get to choose your ridiculously demanding schedule. Over the past several weeks I have been told that I am handling this "transition" with confidence and grace, and I blame video games. Yup, I mean that. I think I was watching Shark Tank when I heard "entrepreneurs today are from the era of video games. When something doesn't go as planned, they hit the reset button". It's very true if you ask me. If I sat here and complained about a situation, it won't fix it. If I cried about how things ended up, it wouldn't be fair the all of the time I spend learning, growing, and enjoying what I helped to build. I don't think anything ever goes EXACTLY to plan, and the best thing you can do from the way things end up "off-schedule" is to learn from them. Maybe by the end of it all we will figure out a better system that doesn't veer too far off of where we're trying to go.
I think a great example of this comes from how we choose to say good-bye. I'm not really talking about how we end a meeting, but how we end our lives. My aunt recently published a book called "I Could Never Say Goodbye", and it is the story of the death of my grandparents. Sometimes things sneak up on you, and sometimes you get to plan them out. Neither situation should mean you have any less grace or dignity, or should be anything less than celebrated. I know that might sound pretty somber, or even dark, but how can you appreciate everything you have experienced in life if you do not celebrate the end?
That can go for even a phase of life, like this one for me. It might be the end of one chapter, but it is an even bigger beginning for the next. If there is one thing true about the chapters of life it's that they continue to get better as you write them!

Until Next Time

Saturday, April 14, 2012

7 months later...

It used to be every day, then every week, now more so every month that goes by I have this moment that is half "AWWWW" and half sheer terror. Our little "Dablet" is 7 months old today, well more specifically was this morning. We didn't do anything special, but she did try out a new hairdo for a moment

So the "cindy-lo-who" look on top of her head needs some work, and might not be the best ever I'll admit, but it was pretty cute!
We did have to make a little purchase in honor of the occasion and for our trip to Massachusetts this summer. Abby needed her first Red Sox hat, and it just about fits.

There is another purchase we might need to make from Cafe Press (great place to find fantastically witty humorous onesies). Although, with my family in New York (including Abby's Fairy Godmommy), I might have to explain myself just a bit. Here it is anyway:

I would also like to mention a special "goody store" I have found over the past few months for some fun things for Abby. Bella Fleur Boutique offers fantastic headbands, garters, and other accessories for girls of all ages (even us adults). Natalie hand makes everything out of Texas, and you can also find her on Facebook. She always posts special offers, discounts, and has Facebook exclusive Friday Specials. My most recent purchase from her I bought this for $11.95:

 (This is not Abby, but a photo from Bella Fleur's Etsy site, yet another beautiful little girl!)

Also, since I was not only her 2,000th sale, but also a Facebook fan, I received 3 shabby chic headbands
for FREE!

It's time for a movie night with Kyle since Abby has already been down for a while!
Until next time!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Lucky 13

So, I started writing a very fun post about fun accessories for little girls and how addicting the shopping can be when there are so many options. That process started early afternoon, and I am going to shelve it for a while to address the "ominous qualities" of today. Most people have probably noticed that today is Friday the 13th. Thirteen has always been my lucky number, jersey number in high school, and Friday the 13th holds a special place in my heart.
Three years ago my boyfriend at the time (now my husband, so don't think I'm talking about some other guy!), took me out on a date. It was the night before Valentine's day which is not one of my most favorite days, and he had to work at a restaurant Valentine's night anyway. So alas, we joined the masses of people celebrating nothing in particular and headed off to the movies. What was on the docket? "He's Just not That into You", perfect date night movie right? To start our pre-movie super duper fun we went to Cici's Pizza for dinner first. Yes, we're talking $5.99 per person pizza, salad, and dessert. Again, super duper date night!
For some reason I wasn't in the best of moods, the movie was funny, the pizza was surprisingly good, and I was with a fabulous guy for the evening. We had been in the process of building a house in the area and Kyle asked me if I would go take a look at the progress with him. We arrived at the lot and there was no progress...needless to say, my night didn't get much better. I wanted to stay in the car, he asked me (several times) to get out. We walked around the lot and he started talking about all of the amazing memories we would create here, "on this dirt". My mood started to lift a little. Then, Kyle looked at me and said, "Let's start now". Me, (being me), said, "what are you talking about?" As I turned to look at him, I realized he was down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I am pretty sure the next words out of my mouth were, "are you serious?"
Of course, I said "YES"  and my night was remarkably better. That started my 15 month whirlwind of wedding planning and graduating college. I graduated on May 14th and was married May 22nd. We moved into our new house and spend the first night June 22nd....No, it was not the same house he proposed to me at. That builder had some "issues" and we found a fabulous house in Durham, NC.
So 13 has always been a lucky number for me, and I always get slightly giddy when Friday the 13th comes around.
This year, this April....April 12th was one of those days where bad things came in threes. First, I took my favorite cat "Teaser" to the vet because one of his main canine teeth (big top one) had just fallen out on the dining room floor. Vet tells me he needs to have jaw surgery and might have a bone disease.

 Fantastic...there went just about $1,000 of our tax refund. Speaking of tax refunds that brings us to number 2; our return was rejected. Why? I had typed Abby's SS# wrong so it delayed our return direct deposit by 2 days. Needless to say, that kind of hurt paying for the cat's surgery. Number three you ask? I was leaving Kyle's softball game (where I learned of the refund situation) and started hearing this "thump thump" noise when I moved. Sure enough I had picked up a bolt...a nice BIG ~3" long .75" diameter bolt screw side up into my tire. The car is 6 weeks old...20" tires....I practically started crying.
I knew that all of this would "come to face" today, and given my history I had luck on my side. How did it all turn out? Teaser had his surgery, 8 teeth removed, and a lot of other "things" done I won't get into. Sure it cost $990, but I don't have pets for any reason less than another member of the family. I have had this cat since he was 2 weeks old, I bottle fed him, and he is a total mama's boy. It was well worth it to have him healthy and pain free. Next, we had brought the car to the dealer expecting to shell out somewhere around $350 for a new tire...and they were able to FIX the hole for $20!!!!
Once again Friday the 13th is my "lucky day"!!
Until Next Time....and the next 13th!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Getting ready for BHI - Part 1

"Have baby, will travel" is getting ready for the summer edition! This year we have two "big" vacations planned that will somehow work their way into the schedule of softball games and culinary classes. The first will be back to Bald Head Island for the fourth year! This is the same spot the Kyle and I had our wedding almost two years time flys! The second will be to Wellfleet, MA, on Cape Cod. This is the same town I used to vacation with my family when I was growing up; over 14 summers straight! Given that BHI comes first, it will be Abby's first trip to the beach and it will be a family affair!
This picture is one I took two years ago on Bald Head. This is by far one of my favorite places in the entire world! You have the fantastic beach and ocean scenery (as well as some great shells!), and then if you go into the island you have an entirely wooded area that makes you feel like you're in the middle of a rain forest. They have everything you'd need: grocery store, spa, and a surprisingly high number of fun shops! The food is incredible (no matter where you eat), and our favorite place to "dig in" is Eb and Flo's for the steamed crab legs!!!!
Of course, if we're planning a beach trip for our little girl I started looking at some beach fashion. Here are some of my favorites...maybe I can have a mini splurge with some of our tax refund....
All of the above are from Polo. I really love the little kid boat shoes...and have been eying a "grown up" pair for myself as well. The "mommy version" are Sperry's and can be found at Nordstrom
I love the rose gold color, and the mesh sides!
Going to the beach, or even thinking about going to the beach, makes me instantly relax. Whenever I pack I inevitably over pack because what if the weather changes, or I miraculously decide not to lounge around the entire time we're there? Maybe I'll get all of my outfit decisions out of the way through the blog so I only over pack for Abby this year!
Hope you enjoyed the little girl much more to come!
Until Next Time

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

And we're walking...

Well, we're not actually walking, but Kyle and I went to Babies R Us today and bought a walker for Abby. She is standing up more and more every day, not so much on her own but with a little balancing help. Earlier tonight we were all sitting up in her bedroom playing and reading books, and I looked at our little girl and had a flash back to when she couldn't even hold her own head up that well. Now we have a sitting child who is trying SO hard to move herself places seeking independence. I'm not sure if I should relish it or be slightly fearful that we may in fact be dealing with a mini independent me.
Somehow when I started this post it made sense to me to talk about my darling daughter's new independence and doing our taxes, and yet now I cannot for the life of me find the connection. Every time I have ever filed my taxes, since I was filing for myself, I find it a personal challenge to find every LEGAL way to get money back from the IRS. One of my cousins works for the IRS and for some reason that has always frightened me. I have heard so many stories of people "cheating" the IRS, or some other governmental institution and it all continues to scare me. How is the temporary "reward" worth the massive amount of chance you are taking.
Obviously that mentality isn't something you are born with. If you are going to try and work the system, or respect it, that decision came from somewhere. Here's my attempt at a "connection" between taxes and my daughter. Children are full of exploratory instincts. Everything goes in their mouth, they drop things in succession learning how their actions affect outcomes. If you try and stifle the child climbing on the couch because you think they might fall, they might NEVER really learn that they can fall. OK, so that might be a bit of a reach because you'd hope that they'd listen to their parents about right and wrong. My family was always of the idea to lead my example and learn for yourself. Sure, I made mistakes but I really learned what end results were worth, and that the end doesn't always justify the means.
Sure, Abby will bump into things and have her face slimed my several dogs, but she is going to learn the meaning of freedom in travel. Ah Ha! See?!?! I think several of my English professors would be proud (and maybe judge me for the somewhat shaky connection), but I managed a connection!
No matter how independent Abby may become, I will always be her mom. There will always be something I can teach her. There will always be an experience I've had that she hasn't, and probably the other way around as well. At the end of it all, we will be walking together. We will be each other's support system. We will be a family, and we will be together until the end and beyond.
That may not be so Chic, but that's my mommy moment for the day!
Until Next Time


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Outdoor touches

The weather is getting nicer by the second, and that inspires more time outdoors. A lot of the time people do spring cleaning trying to purge the inside of their homes, but what about the outside? Don't we all need a little "pick me up" in the spaces we will be spending most of our time? I'm not suggesting a total re-decorating, unless of course that's in your budget (not in mine!), but maybe a few fun touches that can make a space POP!
Do you have a nest chair? This is a great way to bring that chair outside and have an outdoor cushion use. In my house I am the only one who uses this chair because Kyle is afraid he'll fall out of it. I can't wait to get Abby in it because she can't get out yet! You an find this one and others at Pier 1
If you're planning on doing outdoor entertaining such as some grilling and beers, or even some signature cocktails one of these beverage tubs would be a perfect addition
To me the best part of spring are the candles I get to break out. It's also the best part of the fall/holiday season I might be a bit bias. The Lemon Lavender candles from Yankee Candle are one of my favorites. It's a fresh clean floral scent that can also work in a kitchen because of the crispness of the lemon.

Do you need a great drink recipe to fill that bucket? These are Virgin Pomegranate and Cranberry Bellinis and can be made "adult friendly" by adding some champagne!
Enjoy your outdoor living and your little Chic Moments!

Until Next Time


Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Moments

I think that every weekend we all play this little game of "ready or not here I come" with Monday. Last night Abby had a rough night and didn't go to sleep until about 3 hours later than her normal bedtime. As a parent of an incredibly fantastic child, I realized just how lucky we are. When you have a newborn you very quickly adjust to life with irregular sleep patterns, and then once you have a more regular nighttime sleep pattern it is incredible just how quickly I am used to that again.
As you may know from previous posts my husband, Kyle, is going to culinary school. Because of this I have been fantasising over all of the kitchen gadgets and fun recipes and thought it would only be appropriate to share some of the finds with you. This is, of course, much more fun of a kitchen concentration than looking into my kitchen that desperately needs to be cleaned. That project can wait until later!
Best investment:
Kitchen Aid stand mixer - this little beauty is from a special line for the Susan G. Koman foundation, and it is a fabulous addition to any kitchen. There are attachments to grind meat, make pasta dough, juice veggies and fruits, and so much more!
This next one speaks to a personal love of mine...GARLIC! The Garlic Rocker crushes garlic without becoming impossible to clean after.

If you have kids, you should at least know how to make cupcakes from the boxed brands. Occasionally I find myself glued to Cupcake Wars...and if you didn't know I am a secret cupcake-a-holic indulging in the excuse of having a child to order them! I'm pretty sure everyone has heard of silicone baking cups, but here are some fun footed buddies!

If you have kids, and bake cupcakes, or know anything about shifting sleep schedules then you probably would appreciate the next product as well! Kyle and I went to Rome for about a week last year around this time. We went with family, four other women, and I was almost 20 weeks pregnant. He is one BRAVE man let's just say that. Needless to say, there is an incredible amount of decadent food and amazing wine to be enjoyed in Rome. I ate plenty of the food, but could not partake in the wine. While Kyle and I had dabbled in red wines before our trip, he came home with a love for it and pairing it with food. Here's a little something that comes highly recommended for all of us who can't take the hours to let something properly decant from Wine Weaver
I've never personally tried the above product, but it came recommended on a blog I've read a few times written by a sommelier, so he must have a pretty good base of judgement! We use one of the kinds you can "plug into" the top of the bottle...great stocking stuffer from last Christmas, but this looks pretty cool!

It's probably time to move onto the kitchen because Abby finally went down for a nap about 30 minutes ago and I think I started trying to write this entry about 2 hours ago. Oh well! I hope you all have enjoyed my Monday moment, and the Culinary Chic segment!
Until Next Time


Saturday, April 7, 2012

This is how blogging is done!

I would like to give a BIG congratulations to one of my favorite blogs Fifi Cheek! This blog is written by Lindsey who was the event planner at the Bald Head Island club when Kyle and I were married there almost two years ago. Since meeting her over a year before that I have (sometimes not so secretly) coveted her style, and now that of her little girl Tilley-Gray who was born about two months after Abby.
Fifi Cheek has over 70,000 page views each month, and has its first official sponsor. Lindsey gives Chic Moments and Chic Mommy Moments from an amazing perspective. Not only that, but she has genuine care for all of her followers.
Three CHEERS to Fifi Cheek on all the blogging success! Keep bringing us those Chic Moments!

Feeding you soul...and your stomach too

Something you should know about me is that I am an amateur foodie. I have all of the passion for fine food and wine, and the creativity to pull together tasty meals, but I lack any formal kind of training. As I mentioned in the previous post, Kyle is going back to school to get a culinary degree. From now on, I will be living vicariously through him and taking full advantage of all of the training he will bring home. I'm not exactly the type of "chef" to follow a cookbook (unless I'm baking), yet I have about 40 of them in my kitchen. I'm more the type that opens the fridge and thinks "what can I make with the random things in here". Personally, I think I would do fantastically on "Chopped".
We are turning weekends in our house into cooking classes. Kyle has the syllabus and I have the "experience". I have to say, I wish my syllabi in college looked like his...I drool when I look at what he is going to make and it's only the first class. All of the students were told to get a "mentor chef" and he asked me if I would be one of his. Major "Awww" moment for me, but maybe he was doing it in part to preserve the balance of our marriage because he knows that I'm (not so secretly) jealous of him taking all of these cooking classes. This weekend it's sauces, next weekend will be soups, and the weekend after that will be everything eggs. We're going to practice what he has coming up, and let's just say I cannot wait for the baking class.
There has to be a Chic Moment for every mom when it comes to the kitchen. Maybe you're not the best cook, that's ok. Maybe you have set a thing or two on fire when it didn't call for it, that's ok too, as long as there were no small children injured in the making of your meal. My new blog related task is to think of a name for these themed weekends related to chic cooking. I love to cook, and I think that it should be accessible to everyone. There is something very satisfying about being able to put a snack, dinner, or any meal on the table for the people you love that you loved making. It's even better when you can make it look effortless!
I'll have a recipe tomorrow for you to drool over, but until then....


Friday, April 6, 2012

Constant Reinvention

Last weekend one of my friends from high school came to visit and meet Abby for the first time. Steph is the perfect "wild child" aunt for Abby! I was SO excited to see her and just hang out for the weekend and let whatever shenanigans we always end up getting into just fall into place. We of course took a trip to the outlets and spiced up our house with a fantastic sale at Yankee Candle. I took a little bit out of my "emergency" fund for candles. Emergency?'s the little things that make you feel better when sometimes you feel like everything is falling apart.
In between the running around moments Steph was able to witness a big change moment for our family. Abby attempted to crawl. Ok, she lifted up her arm from the crawling position and immediately toppled over, but it was a start and incredible cute! More importantly, Kyle went back to school. I have been hinting for a while that there were big changes coming, going on, circling around, and I have been virtually ripping away at the pages to find the best way to talk about it all. We have made the decision to sell the brand that we have built as a custom printing company, and that's about all I can get into with that side of things at the moment. Kyle and "the guys" are working on potentially buying a restaurant and with that Kyle is going to get a culinary degree. I admire his ambition and drive to yet again take on the task of mastering a truly specialized field, and I know that he will be beyond successful in whatever he chooses to do.
Of course, that means more $$ out of our pockets to pay for school. Having Steph here reminded me of how easy we had it in high school. We were essentially care free and finding our footing, ourselves, and dreaming of where we were going to go in life. I would like to think that I still have that dreamer in me, and for better or worse I am constantly reinventing myself. Luckily enough, Kyle is in the same boat with me and we can go through the constant changing together supporting each other. However, it's very different now that we have Abby.
Parenting "forces" you to have a sense of security for your family unit and your child(ren). It creates a sense of selflessness in you that says "no matter what is going on in life and how much I have to sacrifice, my child(ren) will be taken care of". I am blessed enough to have incredibly supportive family, but every day I strive to take care of my own on my own. Maybe I finally know how my parents feel when they tell me they want to make sure I am taken care of, but as a parent I want to be able to provide for my family as my own parent. I guess the days of carefree living are over, but to all the parents, supportive families, and everyone else out there do NOT read that to mean that the days of DREAMING are over.
This blog was started with the idea that we all need a moment every day to make ourselves feel absolutely fabulous, even if it's only in a dream!

Until Next Time