21 October 2008

Some ideas... finally

So here's something cool from someone else (really like word of mouth recommendations) - sort of a DIY craft and networking site (for lack of some much better descriptors). Holiday season coming up, so.... go check it out yourself -

And - aside from all the wasteful paper issues (don't get me started - I do resent having to recycle PILES of paper each week), I do like discovering new catalogs (new to me anyway). I'm currently perusing Serena and Lily for bed linens beyond my baby girl nursery. They have some sweet, beautiful (unusual color combos, which I like), simple linens - perfect for little girls and boys. They also help coordinate paint colors and design elements with the linens, which is nice......

Happy with all of my recent purchases from.... well..... this week, I would have to say it's Chasing Fireflies (catalog and web site - Google it for correct url - it is very close to a "strange" one). I just got some fab fairy wings for my one year old's first birthday (it was a costume party :) - plus I've been happy with all of my recent clothing purchases - PLUS, they did a personalized birthday crown in way under the allotted time with no extra charge! Cute stuff there - some expensive, some kitschy, some really fun - definitely stuff you don't see - A. In usually one place, and B. In most retail stores.....

My old stand-by this week would have to be Olive Juice - clothing site / catalog for kids. Great customer service - great retro clothing for kids - quality, cute - can't say enough good stuff about them. Recently, a sale item I ordered was temporarily out of stock. Once back in stock, they emailed me to ask if I wanted the other color -then sent it, charged the card I had given them (with permission but without bugging me) and gave me the sale price. Quite different from the absolutely horrible experience I had with the very high end baby / kids boutique, Petit Tresor, in LA. I even dealt with one of the owners (if you do visit their site, she's the bigger one sporting the "up-do" hairstyle that my grandmother would have worn - though it does work with the tent-like dress she's wearing in the photo - just lovely :). Anyway, I'll save the story for next time, but I will say this now - if you're that high end - your customer service should be impeccable at all levels. Maybe she was distracted by the cease and desist order that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes slapped her with around the same time..... Anyway...... more on that later ;).

I think I'll close with, first, my less than stellar parenting tip of the day: Crying baby who won't nap? And... energetic preschool boys who won't calm down to let her nap? Don't be afraid to use Noggin (they really do learn from the shows - my two year old now counts and knows colors after watching - and I got nothing from him in that respect when I tried to teach him myself by reading and coloring, etc. Not saying to stop such interaction with your kids - just saying don't feel bad about Noggin - or PBS Sprout - or a nice movie now and then). And.... a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies is a good bribe... and... despite being less than nutritiously sound..... does create a nice ambiance, happy preschoolers and a nice childhood memory.

See ya -

14 October 2008


So I started this thing with the best intentions and... have not had the time to add anything. Really - I have great ideas and great recommendations but have lately been, for lack of a much better word, preoccupied.

Normally, I would be fretting that I did manage to dress today, but.... ended up in a pair of yoga pants, my 12 year old's "so last year" school shoes from... well... literally, last year (hey - they're still in style enough for the front yard, right?), a Death Cab for Cutie t-shirt and my in bad need of a haircut (or something) hair pulled up with a nifty beaded ponytail holder. See - I would normally start with the "necessities inventory" (I'm going to need milk - organic whole for the baby - LOTS of 2% for the growing boys and my 12 year old hot chocolate-lover and... we're down to egg salad for lunch again, so... will need kid-friendly chicken nuggets - maybe some mac and cheese - me and baby still only veggie-eaters in house, so... noted that produce supply way down, etc. etc.) - then I would freak out (OMG - can't leave the house looking like this - where's my lipstick - Chanel - and it still does nothing to improve the look) - but today...... I'm, like I said, preoccupied.

My baby is going to be a year old in a few weeks. We're doing the party early - this weekend - lots of sparkly, girlie, fab cupcakes - easy "autumn lunch" menu - kids invited to wear costumes (birthday girl will be a fairy) - should be fun. Normally, I would be all over that with worry, though (what plates should I serve with - the invitation was really cool but did I get it out on time - ????). I would also be fretting and mourning certain "1st year allowances" on my end - like it's no longer OK to wear nursing pads everyday under my jogging bra (I get a little weepy when there's no more nursing babies)- it's no longer OK to still be a little chubby (um....)- the bedtime routine used to include a bath, infant lavender lotion, a heated bottle or plans to nurse - dinner used to be the pureed squash I made earlier with some steamed chicken - ALL of this noted in her baby book - the routine so comfortable.... But... I'm OK letting a lot of this go today. Odd for me.

I have been absent lately - from this blog - from my own social world - from my kids' day to day. My mind has been elsewhere. I've lost a lot of wonderful people lately. In fact, the past two years have been rough in that respect - and the past few months have been just awful for this little group of my cherished college friends with whom I often talk, visit - whatever. We're all hurting - some of us more than others - trying make sense of cancer, trying to say good-bye to people who leave this world suddenly and too young - and trying to understand why so many people, some close to us, are so mean, bully-ish or so willing to exclude others. The latter is no way to live. So - yes, the past few weeks have been hard, but I am making a conscious effort to live a little better - a little more graciously - all out of respect for those who are now gone - but.... I am also going to be harder on those people, still here, who choose to make my life or my kids' lives more difficult. For those people, I have NO time.

OK - so back on track. I have all sorts to share when it comes to house painters, preschool, looking for dinosaur masks online (you would think there would be a lot, wouldn't you?), party planning, forwarding my 12 year old daughter the Juicy Couture, Athleta, Nordstrom, etc. sale emails while I only have time to peruse recipe sites - oh - the list goes on.