October 20, 2010

Bake for the Cure

One of my favorite foodie bloggers, Jessica at Kitchen Belleicious, is participating in Bake for the Cure to help raise awareness of breast cancer. The participating blogger with the most comments on her Bake for the Cure posts wins a gift card to a kitchen store, which is a great reward for a hard working blogger! Please support her efforts by stopping by Kitchen Belleicious and commenting on her six Bake for the Cure posts!

Jessica's Pink Ribbon Cookies

Photo courtesy of Kitchen Belleicious


What’s in it for you? In addition to supporting a wonderful cause, each comment you leave on a Bake for the Cure post enters you in a giveaway contest. One lucky commenter will win a Bake for the Cure prize pack, which includes some wonderful baking ingredients and pink kitchen goodies! Please stop by and support Jessica today!


A Splish Splashing Good Time

I promised that today’s post would feature more details about our trip to the Texas coast.

One day when were looking for a diversion for the kids, we ventured off the island and across the bridge from Port Aransas to Corpus Christi, which is home to The Texas State Aquarium (as well as a lot more shopping and restaurants than you will find in Port Aransas). The aquarium, which features rescued and rehabilitated birds in addition to the sea life, provided hours of fun for our family.

Corpus Christi

The View from the Dolphin Pool

There’s definitely a little something for everyone. Our toddler was in awe of the adorable dolphin show. My favorite was the underground concave tank that allows you to feel as though the fish (and sharks!) are swimming around you. And my husband was thrilled to touch a stingray. (There is a stingray petting area where the animals’ rays have been clipped.)

A Dolphin in Action

The Bird Rehabilitation Area


We were definitely glad we made the visit.

October 19, 2010

A Trip to the Texas Shore

It’s time I admit the truth. In the year and a half that we’ve lived in Texas, we really haven’t explored much beyond our own backyard. As you know, we found out we were expecting the twins shortly after we arrived here. Between bedrest, the babies’ stay in the NICU, and getting adjusted to parenting three children instead of just one, we haven’t had it in us to do a lot of travelling. Last week we decided to change that and, on the recommendation of a few friends, we headed for the Texas coast. Port Aransas to be exact.

In our previous East Coast existence, we vacationed in places like Cape May, New Jersey; Sea Island, Georgia; and Bermuda. Port Aransas, Texas, felt a little quieter and more secluded than any of those vacation spots. It’s quite a small town, and provided a nice respite from our daily lives.

The Port Aransas Beach

Relaxing on Our Balcony

One of our priorities on this trip was to locate some wonderful restaurants.  (Isn't great food always a priority?) Towards the end of the trip, we discovered two that definitely rate a mention.

My favorite dining experience in Port Aransas was Roosevelt’s at the Tarpon Inn.

The inn is a historic site that previously served as a civil war barracks prior to being converted into The Tarpon Inn in 1886. Its 24 rooms are decorated with antiques and are known for their lack of telephones and TV. I’m told that it’s truly a place to relax and leave your cares behind.

Roosevelt’s is The Tarpon Inn’s small fine dining establishment.

The Chefs in Action at Roosevelt's

Anticipating A Great Meal

Pan Seared Snapper with Shrimp and Ricotta Ravioli

After much debate, I settled on the Pan Seared Snapper with Shrimp and Ricotta Ravioli, and I could not have been happier. The flavor combinations were absolutely divine. My husband and I also thoroughly enjoyed our appetizer of crabcakes, which were reminiscent of some of the best crabcakes we ever had in Maryland. In addition to being the best meal I enjoyed on this trip, this was easily the best meal I’ve had in Texas.

The next night we dined next door to the Tarpon Inn at Lisa Bella’s Bistro, which I would also recommend.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more details of our trip!

October 10, 2010

The Lure of The Classic Trench

By now you know that “classic” is one of my favorite buzzwords when it comes to fashion. I adore pieces that are timeless and well-made, that will serve me for years, and that move easily from one activity to the next without missing a beat. One of my favorite classic wardrobe items is the trench coat.

A beautiful trench makes me feel instantly pulled together, even if I’m only wearing a t-shirt and jeans underneath. It’s perfect not only for a rainy day, but also when there’s a slight chill in the air or a gust of wind. And it’s a travel essential, adapting my wardrobe to varying climates and warming me in the often frigid airplane environment.

Years ago, I bought a gorgeous, perfectly fitted, mid-length burgundy trench coat from Banana Republic. I got lucky and happened upon it at a steep discount. It was the steal of the decade and I happily wore it for nearly that long, until one day it developed an unsightly hole in the arm. (I suspect I snagged it on something while traveling.) Although I own other raincoats, including a lovely black, a-line number from Anne Klein 2 and a hot pink Lilly Pulitzer trench purchased from Hopsy for springtime wear, I have continued to mourn the loss of my beloved burgundy trench.

You can imagine how excited I was last week when I encountered this beautiful, dark red version from Michael by Michael Kors, which is now hanging in my closet. With its button-out lining and removable hood, it does my old faithful one better.

Michael by Michael Kors Trench

Of course, there are many fabulous trenches available this season in varying price ranges. Other favorites include:

Banana Republic Classic Trench

Kate Spade Bisous Bow Trench

Burberry London Mid-Length Trench

What about you?  Are you a fan of the trench coat?

October 7, 2010

Paperspring: A Review

I was recently contacted by the lovely folks at Paperspring. They wanted to know if I would be interested in receiving a free sample of their product and writing a review for you. What is a paper-loving girl to do? Of course I agreed!

They emailed me a gift card code and then I was off to their website to select a product and place my order. Paperspring offers a complete range of personalized stationery, from birth announcements to holiday cards, party invitations, thank you notes, notecards and notepads. The ordering process was incredibly simple, and I was able to see my personalization on screen. The hardest part was deciding which of the gorgeous designs to choose. And the bonus? They offer free shipping. Yes, you read that right! Anyone who knows me knows how much I HATE the high cost of shipping, so I was thrilled to discover that Paperspring ships for free.

Less than a week after I placed my order, I had my fabulous personalized notecards in hand. I think they turned out beautifully, don’t you?

Lovingly Packaged

Final Product: Personalized Chrysanthemum Thank You Notes from Paperspring

I am absolutely thrilled. Thank you, Paperspring!

October 3, 2010

Party Time

Last night I attended a friend’s Silpada party. Great food and wine, friends, and an opportunity to order some fun jewelry…. What more could a girl ask for? I decided to debut my Lilly Pulitzer Adalie dress. I kept the rest of my outfit simple so it wouldn’t interfere with any baubles I wanted to try.

In the end, I bought this bronze coin pearl necklace. I think it will be a fun accent to my fall and winter wardrobe.

What about you? What’s been on your agenda this weekend?

September 29, 2010

The Perfect Fit

For the last few days, in between taking my children to various appointments, I have been doing the most dreaded type of clothing shopping.  That's right, I've been looking for some new jeans.  (O.K., maybe this is the second most dreaded type of shopping.  Bathing suits might rank higher.  Maybe.)

I don't know about you, but I find jean shopping to be incredibly difficult.  I always end up feeling like I must have the oddest body shape on earth because so many pairs just do not fit.  At all.  Not even close.  So when I finally find a pair that not only fits, but is also flattering, I get a little excited.

Such was my experience with the Lucky Brand Sweet 'N Low jeans.  After trying pairs from Seven, Rock & Republic, and some other Lucky's, I had my hallelujah moment with the Sweet 'N Low cut.  They are listed as mid-rise, bootleg, and easy fit.  The mid-rise is plenty low on me.  Now, I know that some of you are wondering why I am buying bootleg jeans when the skinny cut is all the rage.  Let me say that I don't think the skinny cut is for everyone and while I tried a few pairs, I have not found any that I like on myself.  A slight bootleg is my comfort zone for now, although I reserve the right to change my mind later!

What about you?  What jeans are your favorites right now?  Do you favor the skinny leg, the bootcut, or something else?

September 26, 2010

The End of an Era

After five fun years, the Lilly Pulitzer store in San Antonio closed its doors for the final time yesterday.  I think you all know how much I adore Lilly and can imagine how sad I feel. I will truly miss this store and its wonderful staff, who were always so friendly and so willing to help locate an item they didn’t have in store.   What a tremendous loss for our community.

Lilly Pulitzer at The Shops at La Cantera

A few of the amazing staff members on the final day

(Notice how sadly empty the store is in the background.)

Kim and me

Of course, I couldn't leave without one last purchase!  I brought home the Jonah Dress in Don’t Be Koi, the Janet Dress in Off the Hook, the Lexie Crew in Lilly’s Pink (to pair with some of my skirts) and an Original Tote in Flowey Wowey.

My final haul from the Lilly store at La Cantera

As sad as the day was, I came away with one exciting surprise - a sneak peek at Lilly's upcoming Resort Collection.  All I can tell you is that it is SO FABULOUS that I may just have to make a trip to Austin.  (Don't forget, I have three children under the age of four.  I do not routinely schlep to Austin, but for this new collection, I WILL.)  You will see some of your favorite styles from recent seasons returning in to-die-for prints, along with some gorgeous new styles, and a lot of pieces that will be perfect for that long-awaited vacation.  And of course the names of the new prints are so cute, so tongue-in-cheek, so Lilly...

September 23, 2010

Coat Check

A coat is often our most visible article of clothing throughout the winter months. Shouldn’t it be a showstopper?

I'm enamored of this Asymetrical Ruffle Coat from Tulle, which retails for a mere $98. This fabulous shade of blue could jazz up the most dreary winter day.

PSA: Similac Formula Recall

I'd like to take a moment away from my usual style commentary for a public service announcement.  If you are a parent who happens to feed your infant Similac formula, you should be aware that certain Similac products have been recalled because they may contain beetle parts or larvae.  (Yes, I know.  Ew!  And to think the FDA doesn't consider this to be a big deal... Don't get me started.)  To find out more about the recall, visit www.similac.com/recall

I will warn you that their site is running incredibly slow.  Apparently they did not prepare for the amount of traffic that an announcement of this nature generates.  (Of course, this is a company that didn't manage to keep beetles out of its infant products in the first place, so should we be surprised?)

September 21, 2010

For the Love of the Cardigan

Have I ever told you how much I adore a classic cardigan? Outside of the perfect white shirt, and quintessential little black dress, a wonderful cardigan may just be the most versatile and timeless item in a woman’s wardrobe. Imagine it thrown over a tee and worn with a fabulous pair of jeans and boots, or paired with a gorgeous pencil skirt and pumps. What about topping that wonderful sleeveless dress on a chilly afternoon, or just tied around your shoulders for an extra pop of color?

Now that we're heading into fall, my cardigan obsession is in full swing. I have been snapping up the discounted colors of J.Crew’s Jackie Cardigan like my life depends on it. ( I realize that a three-quarter sleeve cotton cardigan may not constitute winter attire for many of you, but it’s quite a nice option here in San Antonio. And as a mom of three small children, washable wardrobe solutions are key.)

Here’s is a small sampling of the cardigans I've recently added to my collection. The top four are the Jackie by J.Crew in Bright Seaside, Fresh Melon, Soft Seashell and Hyacinth. The bottom is the Heritage Cardigan from Lands' End Canvas in Cherry.

More lovely choices:

Anthropologie Love Letter Sweater by Laureate Lane

Kate Spade Beeline Billie Cardigan

Anthropologie Pick a Bunch Cardi by Tabitha

Trina Turk Sylvia Cardigan

For more sublime cardigan inspiration, be sure to check out the wardrobe of Glee’s Emma Pillsbury.

The new season of Glee starts tonight on FOX at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. Central). Additional details about her wardrobe can be found at the popular fan site, What Would Emma Pillsbury Wear, which celebrates Emma’s every cardigan-clad move.

September 20, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Although the temperature here is still hovering around 84 degrees, I’m in the mood for fall.

What better way to acknowledge my longing for a change of season than to indulge in one of my favorite autumn flavors: pumpkin. I adore anything made with pumpkin and spice. (Anything, that is, but the old standby, pumpkin pie. Strange, I know.)

A recent trip to World Market yielded some fabulous pumpkin flavored goodies.

Today I am enjoying some Pumpkin Spice Coffee. With a little milk, sugar, and an extra dash of cinnamon, it is absolute heaven. (If I had some whip cream, I would add a little on top.  Hey, as long as I'm indulging, I might as well, right?)

This Pumpkin Ale also intrigues me. It's next on my list of things to try.

And last, but not least, some Pumpkin Bark. Chocolate and pumpkin? Sounds like a winning combination to me!

Do you enjoy pumpkin? If so, what are your favorite products?

September 17, 2010

Sale Alert: 75% Off Lilly Pulitzer Spring and Summer

If you're like me, you may have over-indulged in spring and summer's gorgeous Lilly Pulitzer prints, but now at the end of the season find yourself still wishing for a few items you neglected to purchase.  Well, I have just the remedy for that.  The Pink Bee, a Lilly Pulitzer Via Shop in Greenville, SC, has marked down their spring and summer Lilly to a whopping 75% off!  (Yes, you read that correctly.)  Their website doesn't reflect their entire stock, so if there's an item (or two or three) that you're interested in, give them a call. (The phone number is 864-271-4332.)

I spoke with Barbara when I called and she couldn't have been sweeter (even when I got distracted and forgot to include part of my order the first time).   I can't wait to receive my Merianne top and the swim trunks I ordered for my oldest son - both in the Fresh Catch Toile, naturally.

Wishing you a very Lilly day!

September 15, 2010

A Vintage Find

My love affair with vintage style is no secret. You may recall a post earlier this summer in which I mentioned that I was considering adding some vintage looks to my own wardrobe. Soon after that, I came across a fabulous first piece at my favorite upscale resale shop. It's a vintage Lilly Pulitzer skort, which I believe is from the 70’s (though I’m not absolutely certain).

Believe it or not, the proprietors of the shop said they almost didn’t accept it because they weren’t sure any of their clientele would be interested in “something so old.” (I KNOW. What were they thinking?) Two days after it arrived, I walked in to browse their selection of Lilly and asked if they ever get any vintage pieces. Thank goodness I did, because it did not have a size tag and they put it in with the mediums, where I may not have seen it.

Here it is in all its glory:

I paired it with a simple white tee and a necklace from Talbots.

A close-up of the print. Can you see the hidden “Lilly” signature?

The vintage Lilly Pulitzer label.

September 11, 2010

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

O.K., so it’s not actually raining at the moment, but we've had several days of torrential downpours this week. After ruining my favorite flats wading through the puddles, getting children in and out of the car during preschool drop-off, it’s become clear that I need to invest in more appropriate wet weather footwear.

One obvious choice is the ubiquitous Hunter Rain Boot that would make any preppy girl swoon.

Hunter Original Rain Boot

But there are a wealth of other cute options as well.

Tretorn Langta

Tretorn Kelly

Sperry Topsider Pelican

Kamik Heidi

Bean’s Wellies by L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean Coastal Rain Skimmers

Sperry Top Sider Mallard Skimmer

Now, if I can only decide…

September 10, 2010

Cloche Call

It seems that amazing hats are appearing everywhere I look. Try as I may, I can’t help falling for the vintage-inspired cloche, which is reminiscent of 1920s flapper attire.

Cover photo from the Talbots Fall 2010 Look Book,
 featuring their Felt Cloche

Eric Javits Cloche, Available at Saks Fifth Avenue

Nine West Cloche, Available at Macy’s

Picture any of these with a cardigan, a pencil skirt and a skinny belt. Or how about a thin turtleneck sweater, some skinny jeans, fabulous pumps and a layered necklace? You’ll be the talk of the town.

September 8, 2010

Beautifully Aged

I am more than a little taken with the weathered, farmhouse style dining tables that are all the rage at the moment. Last week when I was at World Market, I was surprised by the loveliness of their new Provence Dining Collection. (This photo from their website does not do this justice.)

Provence Dining Collection from World Market

In person, it reminded me a lot of Restoration Hardware’s divine reclaimed wood dining room furniture.

Farmhouse Collection from Restoration Hardware

Avignon Salvaged Dining Table from Restoration Hardware

Do you like this look?


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