Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Baby Memories

My new baby hasn't been born yet, but as we are eagerly awaiting her, we have been looking at big sisters' baby memories. This is baby number two at five weeks...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ispiration Board - Orchid

I am always inspired by flowers. This orchid from my living room is fabulous and has been in full bloom for a long time now. It lifts my spirit...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Yo baby! What's taking so long?

My due date came and went, and baby is still happily swimming in the uterus.. What old viwes tricks are out there to get the delivery going? I am starting to get a bit inpatient now, and so are the people around me...

More black and white style inspiration

As mentioned before, I am happy that black and white was so present at the spring 2011 shows. I will definitely adopt this trend. Here is some more black and white style inspiration.
Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta
Carolina Herrera
Richard Nicoll
Jason Wu
Michael Kors

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Little fashionistas

Looking back to summer 2010: My adorable little fashionistas in their summer 2010 style.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Eames Rocker

The Eames Rocker finally shipped from Design Within Reach. I guess the Aqua Sky color is so popular that it took more than three months to receive the chair. It is intended for the little girls' room and my 2-year old just loves it. Loves it so much that she does not like to let her big sister sit in "her" chair! 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Watch out Martha Stewart

It is the season of yummy East Coast peaches and nectarines. My supermarket is full of New Jersey peaches, and of course we have been enjoying them. The other day I baked my first upside-down-peach-cake ever with fresh peaches, and it came out delicious. 
Recipe for this cake is available at allrecipes. Very easy to make!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Entrance - current look

The story of the entrance continues.. The plans for the entrance area changed many many times during the renovation period and then even after we had moved in. Here is the current final look... I say current because I am still looking for lighting, a rug, some baskets to collect little stuff as keys, change, alarm remotes; and I have not decided whether to hang the mirror or let it lean on the wall. We also need a chair or a bench to sit on...

As you'll notice, the entrance piece is not the Linea dresser that I had ordered from Crate and Barrell, but a piece that I found in HomeGoods, for a fraction of the price. Similar style though.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Style Inspiration - A rose by any other name

My Rose
Jason Wu
Jason Wu
Michael Kors
Marc Jacobs

Monday, September 20, 2010

Black and White Done Right

I am not a pastel color fan. Or a print fan. I like simple, minimalist and classic clothes with perfect tailoring, mostly in black, white, gray, blue, camel. However, it is not easy to do black and can look very boring and matronly if done wrong. Which is why I fell in love with Rachel Comey when I saw her black and white outfits for spring 2011.

Inspiration Board - Roses

My husband very rarely brings flowers home. So when he did bring home roses the other day, I was very happily surprised. I love roses, but never buy them myself because of their usually very short lifespan. These roses, however, have lived in a vase for about 10 days now.. They are the longest lasting cut roses I've ever had. I guess the air in the new house is perfect for them. Anyhow, I have been admiring them day in and day out. I just love the vivid hot pink color and the innocent white.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I looooove my new Bottega Veneta bag! I can't wait to get all dolled up with it - but meanwhile, here are some pics with my pregnancy houseclothes; not very inspiring, but isn't it funny how a bag can elevate anything?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Retail Sales Jump

A headline from this week's news was "US Retail Sales Jump Eases Double Dip Concerns". Oh boy... I feel like I have singlehandedly turned the economy around with my recent wild shopping spree. It all started at the Banana Republic, then came Bottega Veneta, Gucci (shoes on sale) and finally yesterday a quick run into Daffy's which turned into a treasure bonanza.. The consolation for my budget and closet space is that I am so ready to pop this baby out that it is bound to happen any day now. And I know from previous experience that I will not be gallivanting around stores with a new born baby in tow..instead I will be hibernating home, not exposing the baby to the nasty germs of the world, staring at the beautiful little human creature, checking its every move and making sure that it's breathing, wondering the amazement that the thing came out of me, loving, loving and loving it, and then later on feeling like a cow that's only needed for milk...

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Quick Fall Shopping Update

A Quick update: My new baby (no, not THAT baby, but the Bottega baby) came home on Saturday.. I picked Roma - and will do a post when I have a chance! I also did some serious damage in the shoe department - not the motorcycle boots but something totally unplanned. I guess an old dog just cannot learn new habits. NOW I really have to cool it with shopping for a while. You'll understand why when you see my loot... Pictures to come when time allows.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

So many designers, so little time

Saying this may age me, but I remember a time when there really wasn't that many designers to follow. There were the big houses that everyone knew, and a couple of rogue designers that had their own totally different esthetic. But within the past decade a lot has changed. Really even only within the past few years. This change has taken place specifically in New York, where the fashion scene has been much changed and invigorated by a great number of new designers that represent fresh talent. Alexander Wang, Philip Lim, Prabal Gurung, have become superstars, and there are more new designers coming to the scene all the time, including Jason Wu, Vena Cava, Ohne Titel, Sophie Theallet, Richard Chai, Project Runway winner Christian Siriano, etc.. With the New York fashion week going on right now, it is hard to keep track of all the designers that I want to check out and follow. Here are a couple of favorite picks.
Richard Chai - Lovely and very wearable - and of course Finland's "own" Suvi Koponen looks absolutely amazing!
Christian Siriano - talk about wearability - I could put this on any day!

Richard Chai - what a beautiful silhouette this outfit has!

Of course I still love my Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors, but these fresh designers bring a lot of interest and youthfulness to the fashion week.

Friday, September 10, 2010

New York Fashion Week

I love following the New York Fashion Week. For years I used to work right next to Bryant Park where the shows were held in giant tents, and I would stroll around during my lunch hour enjoying the atmosphere and a glimpse of a model or a guest arriving here and there. This is the first time the fashion week is being held at the Lincoln Center, which in my opinion is just as fitting a place for fashion as Bryant Park, and anyway, I no longer work near to the park, so I have to enjoy the week just by following the shows in the news and online. The week kicked off yesterday with the Vena Cava show, here are a couple of my faves. Love the blue and gray combination, and what an easy summer hairstyle!

More Fall Wants - Bottega Veneta

I have been drooling after a brown leather woven Bottega bag for a while now. The desire has come to a point that I'm on a first name basis with Georgia from the Bottega boutique, and chat with her a couple of times a month on the phone.. Poor Georgia, she did not make a commission out of me yet because so far I have been able to resist the urge - after all, I have been under strict no-shopping rule for a while. But now I am really giving in. To justify, I did not get a birthday present, and my husband usually also gets me a little something for the birth of the new baby, so if you roll those two things into one, it probably spells Bottega! And technically, if it is a gift from the hubby, I am not even breaking my no-shopping rule. But it is so hard to choose which one I want! Sometimes, after wanting something a long time it just gets impossible to decide... Here are the contenders:

Large Veneta

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Inspiration Board

I've never been good with actual inspiration boards, I tried to have one once or twice, but it wasn't really working for me, I clipped out two things and then forgot all about it. This time, I will try use this blog as my inspiration board, and add items as I come across them. The rules are simple: I can add anything that inspires me! The first thing on the board is a painting by Pierre Bonnard. I have been thinking about him lately as I gaze out of the windows of my new house to my lovely green garden. I love Bonnard's window paintings, the way the window frames the scene and the vivid colors he uses. However, for my inspiration board I choose another painting by Bonnard that I just love because of the tranquility of the moment and again the beautiful vivid but at the same time very calm and soothing colors.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Motorcycle Boots

I have been looking for the perfect motorcycle boots (they are on my have to have list for the fall) and these by Gucci come close. However, I really don't want to pay almost a grand for these boots so the search continues.

What I want, What I need, What I have to have for fall...

Aaahhh, fall fashion! It's love, love and love! Even those fall seasons that feature trends that a fashion lover doesn't really care for, it's still love, after all, love conquers everything. You can always find something, a sweater, a coat, a boot... But this fall, there is just everything to love. I adore the current ladylike and minimalist fashion - and having that for the fall season is just the cherry on top. However, fall is the most dangerous time budget wise...a fashion lover can easily get carried away with excessive shopping...especially after being pregnant for 9 months and having had like two things to wear. So such a person should prepare herself for the temptation, have a very good plan, and stick to it, if they don't want to blow their budget to smithereens and cause strife in their relationship, and suffer from shopping hangover until next June.

I really have not been shopping for myself for a (very) long time. But my new foodmarket is in a stripmall (a very nice one!!) that has a Banana Republic, Scoop and a couple of other nice stores and pricey boutiques. I had controlled myself for weeks, but finally gave in and went to Banana..and came out with a bag full of stuff. The only explanation is that they had an amazing sale and I was starving. But that experience really reminded me what a recovering shopaholic I am and how important it is to have a plan, and be disciplined. Another dangerous aspect about my new living situation is that I am quite near the Americana mall at Manhasset - a luxury shopping paradise if there ever was one. Over there I really need to keep my wits with me..

So I decided to very carefully create a list of items that I am allowed to buy this fall. There will be wants, needs and have to haves. And all categories will be edited down to the bare necessities that I just cannot live without. I have never tried this approach before, as I have always been the kind of shopper that just browses without a plan or mission, just for the fun of shopping and the thrill of the hunt. But if I am to allow myself to start shopping again, I need a new normal and this is worth a try.

In the wants category I could list pretty much any item from the Tommy Hilfiger "Meet the Hilfigers" ad campaign, however, two items stand out as "uber" wants: the tall duckboots and the asymmetrical schoolgirl wool skirt.

I have to admit that I have never been a big TH fan, but his 2010 fall collection just hits the right note. It is such luxurious preppyness that I am totally taken.

However, in reality, the 5 inch high heels of the TH duckboots may be a bit much for a fall when I am just mainly going to be seen pushing a new born baby in the Bugaboo. So maybe this want will not make it into the have to have list.. The skirt on the other hand, is under serious consideration. It is a bit short, but the twist on this schoolgirl skirt really appeals to me, and I believe that this look would have staying power for years to come and be easy to combine with classic turtleneck sweaters, opaque tights and lovely fall boots.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pregnancy Issues - part 2

Given that I am now closer to 40, I am adding one worrisome item to the post partum recovery list. That is the recovery of the skin and muscles of my belly and hips. During this pregnancy I've noticed that my skin is not as elastic as used to be, and I am getting stretchmarks for the first time (oh, the sacrifices we make for our babies..). The stretchmarks scare me and make me afraid that I will have that cangaroo pooch that many women can never get rid of.

I am not a huge exercise fan, and I am definitely NOT one of those women who continue with an exercise program until their due date (to be honest, the minute I learned that I was pregnant I picked up the phone and put the gym membership on hold with a big smile on my face). And of course I've never had a washboard stomach to begin with.

So I was quite excited when I heard about a couple of new products that help pull the stomach in after giving birth. Supposedly these products support your muscles and skin in the post partum recovery and are a "must have" for anyone. I figured, it won't hurt to try.

Wink - they actually manage to make this post partum shape wear look sexy!
The best product on the market seems to be the Wink shape wear. However, they are only available online and since I am very leery about ordering stuff online that is supposed to fit just right, I looked for other options.

Belly Bandit - They make a Couture version!

I went to my local Pea in the Pod store and the lady there recommended the Belly Bandit stomach compression belt. It is supposed to reduce uterine swelling and water retention. Yes, I said, I definitely need all that help, and was sold after seeing the cute packaging. The price was a bit steep I thought for a product that actually is very simple, but the word "couture" suckered me in, and I handed over the $50.

Especially for Mom from Babies'r'Us. Decidedly unsexy!
Today, however, we went to Babies'r'Us to get some baby supplies, and I found this Especially for Mom postpartum support. At $24.99 I figured this would probably do the same job that the couture Belly Bandit does. This support belt is decidedly unsexy and there is no cute packaging..but the price is halved too. So this is what I'll be wearing for the first few weeks after giving birth. I will let you know whether it works. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will!

Pregnancy Issues - part 1

As my due date approaches, I am thinking more and more about my body's recovery after giving birth. With my first child almost eight years ago, I bounced back quickly and did nothing special to get into shape after the pregnancy. With my second child, five years later, I went through a mild baby blues period, and then had to diet drastically to lose the baby weight.

This time around, I am expecting the baby blues again (those pesky hormones get more and more difficult as you get older!) and difficulty in the weight loss department (the metabolism is definitely not what it used to be). I now know, however, how to deal with these things. I can improve my mood by getting out of the house every day and getting some exercise in the fresh air, using St. John's wort herbal products, and just giving myself time and space. And I do know how to eat to lose weight.. I use a modified South Beach diet, and cut out all sugar including fruit for a little while,  swear off refined carbs, juices, sodas, coffee, and make sure I get lots of lean protein, fiber, eat small portions often, drink tons of lemon water, many cups of green tea a day, and get enough sleep. The sleep part is the hardest with a new baby - none of my babies so far have been good sleepers, but let's hope this one will be the exception.

Friday, September 3, 2010

So what's up Earl?

I have been playing with my brand new Acer aspire one netbook tonight and waiting for Hurricane Earl to arrive.. So far I am happy with the netbook, it is a really cute little machine in my daughter's favorite color purple - and will be so handy for checking emails and FB on the fly, and for many other things such as googling something for the schoolkid in the family room and checking recipes in the kitchen. My beloved mac is in our upstairs office, and it is not always convenient to run up and down the stairs when you want to check something online. Our lives these days are so connected to internet that this netbook makes life a bit easier.

And as far as Earl is concerned, I guess it was all just hype.. Long Island was supposed to be hit hard - but as of now there is hardly a rain drop or a gust of wind to be seen. Let's hope that Earl will bypass us and won't cause any trouble!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Livingroom - Before and After

The living room has also gone through quite a transformation. When we bought the house, the walls were wood paneling and the living room looked like a huge sauna. We took out the wood paneling, installed new walls and windows, added a couple of pieces of new furniture and the bamboo floor - and here we go.. Extreme makeover results! See for yourselves:

Last walkaround before closing. The living room looked very long and narrow - and reminded me of a sauna.. What are we getting ourselves into?
But we did see the potential!
Wood paneling removed..
The ceiling was replastered.
New walls were installed.      

New Windows and a new Bamboo Floor!
Lots of empty spacel
The living room now looks huge and no longer resembles a sauna!