June 29, 2010

Another Year Come and Gone...

Today is my birthday, but my big celebration was last weekend. On Sunday, my husband and I left the children with a babysitter and went to Wildfish, which is a fabulous restaurant. You must visit if you happen to find yourself in San Antonio. We started with their famous calamari (in an asian-inspired sauce) and for the main course I ordered salmon served with a pineapple salsa that was heavenly. And don’t even get me started on the stuffed potato. It was the size of a football! (No kidding. I should have taken a photo to share with you. Maybe next time.)

The night before, my boys gave me a Lilly Pulitzer gift card, which my husband encouraged me to spend right away. I’m sure you’ll be surprised by what I got, because it’s not an item I’ve mentioned before.

It’s the Iris Skort in Hotty Pink Full Sun, which is a great gift from my children since I can wear it with a cute T-shirt or tank during the day. (It also looks adorable with the sweater shown above, but let’s face it – sweater weather is a distant memory here in San Antonio.) Technically, this skort was intended for golfing, but as a mom I love skorts for everyday wear because they look like skirts, but have shorts underneath to give me a little discretion as I bend, reach and run after my kids. I have a number of Prussia Skorts from previous years that are among my go-to items.

In addition to the Lilly gift card, my husband gave me something else I’ve been wanting for a while – an Amazon Kindle. (He actually gave this to me a few weeks ago. He has a really tough time keeping a secret.) I am thrilled with the Kindle, as is my husband, because now when we travel I can tuck it into my handbag and not have to lug a stack of books with me. (Yes, I am one of THOSE PEOPLE. I always want to make sure I have all the reading material I could possibly want when I travel, so I take tons of books. And I usually end up stopping at the airport bookstore and buying something anyway. My husband finds these habits maddening!) The Kindle makes this drama unnecessary because I can keep all of my books right at my fingertips and I can order new books and newspapers at the moment I want them and they are delivered wirelessly to the device.

For those of you who are dying to know what’s on my Kindle, here you go:

The very first book I ordered was Social Climbers by the lovely Mrs. Beth Dunn. What a fun read! If you have not read it yet, I have one question for you: What are you waiting for? And if you have not yet checked out Beth Dunn's adorable blog, make sure you pay her a visit. One thing I know for sure is that this girl LOVES fashion and she has a to-die-for wardrobe to prove it.

Well that is all I have for you right now. My children are napping, so I think it is time for me to go curl up with my Kindle and enjoy the rest of my birthday!

June 26, 2010

Sale Alert: Sharing the Wealth

I think by now you  know how much I LOVE sales. I am always on the lookout for items of interest at extraordinarily low prices. So I was thrilled to discover the wealth of interesting boutiques that are being featured on sample sale site Rue La La this week.  (Yes, I mention Rue La La quite often, but that's because there is so much to swoon over on that site!)

Tomorrow (June 27): Raynaud Limoges
Do you adore fine china? I know I do, and Raynaud Limoges makes a lot of beautiful, drool-worthy patterns like Cristobal and Heloise. If you are in the market for some gorgeous new dinnerware, this boutique should merit a visit.

Cristobal by Raynaud

Heloise by Raynaud

Monday (June 28): Hunter Dixon
I first became aware of Hunter Dixon when the superbly feminine clothing line garnered a mention from Jessica at The Love List a few weeks ago. The gorgeous frocks immediately captured my attention, so of course I was thrilled to discover that some of their pieces will be offered at a discount.

White Swan Dress from Hunter Dixon

Struthers Dress from Hunter Dixon

Tuesday (June 29) Lilly Pulitzer for Garnet Hill
If you fancy the idea of brightening your abode with Lilly’s signature bedding and bath collections (which are designed in conjunction with Garnet Hill), you will want to hop over to Rue La La on Tuesday for a visit to the Garnet Hill boutique. This promises to be a very colorful event!

Lilly Pulitzer for Garnet Hill Treasure Chest Bedding

If you still need an invitation to join Rue La La, click here. Trust me when I tell you that the deals Rue La La offers are worth the moment it takes to fill out the membership information. And don’t forget: the sale always starts promptly at 11 a.m. EST!

June 24, 2010

Heat Wave

Summer has definitely arrived here in San Antonio and has brought temperatures that are already reaching the mid-90’s. The number one question from now until at least mid-October will be how to dress to beat the heat. Sloppy is never an option for me, so I thought I would share with you my favorite ways to look cute while staying cool.

First off, let’s talk fabric. In my opinion, cotton clothing is the way to go. Seersucker is definitely one of the best hot weather options, and it’s a great preppy look for women and men. According to my husband, this is definitely the coolest fabric choice for a man, and it comes in pants, shorts, shirts, suits – you name it.

Vineyard Vines Men's Seersucker Club Shorts

As far as style options for women, easy fitting skirts and dresses are a must. (They are so much cooler than short shorts that bunch up between your legs when you sit, and they look nicer, too.)

I personally love the shirtdress look and am considering ordering one of the adorable Eliot shirtdresses from Lilly Pulitzer. (Fit tip: Although I haven’t personally tried one yet, I’ve heard that the Eliot shirtdresses are cut generously in the waist and hips. However, ladies who are large-busted are still advised to order their normal size. If you own one of these adorable dresses, feel free to chime in and tell us what you think of the fit.)

Lilly Pulitzer Eliot Shirtdress in Aquamarine Fresh Catch Toile

I also recently acquired a Shopper Skirt from Lilly’s 2006 Spring Line because a friend told me they were extremely lightweight and cool. She was right on target and it looks adorable with tank tops for day to day wear. I love it so much I am going to hunt for this style in some more prints. (If you need tips on where to find Lilly Pulitzer items from previous seasons, leave me a comment and I will be happy to address that in another post.)

One of the things I love about Lilly’s cotton dresses and skirts (aside from the adorable prints, of course) is that they are machine washable, which is key when you have small children or when you are wearing them daily in a hot (read: sweat-inducing) environment like San Antonio.

And of course, no summer look would be complete without a pair of cute sandals. Lilly Pulitzer Mckims are always a lovely choice, as are the ubiquitous Jack Rogers Navajo Sandals which are available in an endless array of color combinations.

What are your favorite tips for dressing to beat the heat?

June 21, 2010

Exercising Restraint

I have been in major clean-out mode lately. Looking at my closet, I realize there are things I own but never wear (mostly because they are not flattering to me or I’ve had them for so long that they don’t suit my current lifestyle). They are just taking up space in my closet and in my life. By the same token, I feel that there are some things I need to make my wardrobe more complete. (I HATE shopping for specific events at the last minute, because I always feel that I end up settling for something less than ideal. I would much rather reach for the perfect ensemble that’s already residing in my wardrobe.)

A few days ago I made a trip to a local consignment store with some items that are beautiful, but no longer have a place in my life. I may have been there to drop off, but that did not stop my eye from wandering over to the racks. This particular store gets a lot of fabulous designer clothes, and lo and behold, I spotted IT: a gorgeous Trina Turk Baltra Coachella dress in my size at an amazing price.

Trina Turk Baltra Coachella Dress

I’m sure you can imagine how quickly that dress was in my hands and on the way to the dressing room. The experience in the dressing room was disappointing, to say the least. This dress, which had been gorgeous in the fashion magazines and was gorgeous on the hanger, was the wrong proportion for my body. I wish I could say that I immediately realized it was wrong, took it off, and went on with my day. But no, there I stood in the dressing room, trying to convince myself that it would look better if I was just a touch thinner or if I was wearing some strappy high heeled sandals. Finally I came to my senses and realized that this would be another item that would sit in my closet unworn, and frankly I don’t want to part with my money in order to have a beautiful dress that’s only admired in the depths of my closet. I want everything I own to be worn and loved and make me look my best.

The Trina Turk dress was not the only item I had to walk away from that day. There were also three lovely Lilly Pulitzer cashmere sweaters in varying shades of sherbert priced at a mere $18 each, but unfortunately there were all a size too small for me (even at my thinnest), so they had to be left behind. Lest you think I was completely well behaved, let me assure you that I did not come home empty handed. There is a gorgeous, flattering Tory Burch top ( which was acquired for a song) now residing in my closet. This item will definitely see the light of day.

Why is it so difficult to admit when an article of clothing is all wrong? Am I the only one with this problem?

June 18, 2010

Friday Favorites: Lilly Pulitzer Prints

I know that many of you LOVE Lilly Pulitzer as much as I do, so today I thought it might be fun to share a few of my favorite Lilly prints with you. Many of my favorites are from several years ago.

Croc Monsieur (2005, I think)

Via Blue Croissant  (Another 2005)

Multi Colorful World (which is also referred to as Multi-Mediterranean). I'm not sure if this is from 2005 or 2006. This is a very special print because it wasn't widely distributed. I only own a Bermuda Bag cover in this print, but hope to someday find a dress.

Fillies for Lillies (2006). I don't actually own anything in this print. I really regret not buying the Sienna dress in this print when I had the chance.

Wave Blue Speck (2006)

Lemon Sorbet Yellow Paradise (2006)

Here is a photo of me wearing my Lemon Sorbet Yellow Paradise Sienna Dress on my honeymoon in Bermuda in August 2006. (Yes, my hair was blonde back then. Now you know another one of my secrets!)

This is such a beautiful, classic dress style.  (And I have one in the Wave Blue Speck print, too.)  I plan on wearing this for years to come, assuming I can fit into it again after I lose these last ten pounds of baby weight!

If you would like to know a little more about me, head on over to Pemberley Style.  Ms. Pemberley has been kind enough to feature me as her Friday Friend today.  She is a wonderfully stylish lady with exquisite taste (and a beautiful house and fabulous tips on entertaining), so even if you've had your fill of me today, you should check out her gorgeous blog and her retail store, Pemberley Collections. It is full of luxurious and irresistible home accessories.

Before you go, be sure and tell me your favorite Lilly prints!

June 17, 2010

Retro Glam

I apologize for being so absent from blogging this week. One of my twins, Little Mr. G, has been sick. He’s battling a nose and throat infection, and was put on antibiotics on Monday. It’s always difficult to see your children sick, but it’s particularly tough this time because he’s only 5 months old. Fortunately, he is feeling a lot better today so I found a moment to flip through the June/July issue of Harper’s Bazaar while all three children were napping. Have you seen these stunning photos of Katherine Heigl? This is the ultimate in retro chic.

Photographs by Alexi Lubomirski

I am particularly lusting over the Prada dress in this last photo. I feel like I NEED it, but at $3,565, it’s just a wee bit out of my price range, so I guess I will have to adore it from afar. (Actually, I love everything about that last photo – the gorgeous dress, the adorable pumps, that terrace, the wrought-iron patio furniture with the striking cushions, and the vase of lovely hydrangeas... Just heavenly.)

If you would like to see more photos from this shoot and read the accompanying article, visit the Harper's Bazaar website.  And speaking of Harper’s Bazaar, Amazon is currently offering a 1-year subscription for just $8 or a 2-year subscription for $15. I LOVE magazines, and I have a tough time restraining myself at the newsstand, so I jumped at the chance to save some hard-earned dollars on a must-read. I thought some of you might appreciate the tip, as well.

What about you? What magazines do you love? And do you love these 1950’s style fashions as much as I do?

June 15, 2010

Jewel Toned

Lately I find myself obsessing over this beautiful Kenneth Jay Lane cabochon cuff. I was too late to the KJL sale on Rue La La last weekend to nab one.  Bluefly is also sold out.  I am doing my best to resist paying full price, but this beauty has my number.  I can just imagine this with my most often-worn Lilly skirt (which happens to be in shades of turquoise) or with an all white ensemble, possibly accented with a lovely turquoise leather bag and sandals...  The list goes on and on.

Tell me. What accessory are you dying to add to your wardrobe right now?

June 12, 2010

Sugar Rush

Here's the thing: I have a little sweet tooth.  (O.K., if we're really being honest "little" should be replaced by "massive".)  I think I may have mentioned this before.  And since my birthday is coming up in a few short weeks, I'm toying with the idea of asking Hubby to order me a fabulous cake.

Here are a few of the lovely confections I've been eyeing:

Strawberry Layer Cake from Very Vera

Bailey's Irish Cream Layer Cake from Very Vera

Lemon Blossom Cake from Black Hound New York

Don't these look delicious?  If you were going to order a special dessert, what would you get?

June 11, 2010

Relaxing in Paradise

Doesn’t this look dreamy? It is the Lake Austin Spa Resort. (Yes, folks, it is right here in Texas!) It was voted the #1 destination spa in the 2010 Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Poll. Oh, how I would love to be there right now!

Bookings between JUNE 27 and SEPTEMBER 23, 2010 will be available at a discounted rate on Rue La La later this month. (If you need an invitation to join Rue La La, click here.)

June 10, 2010

Am I the Only One?

Okay, I LOVE gorgeous, high-end footwear as much as anyone.  Take this lovely shoe for example:

However, I do not actually own any Christian Louboutin's - yet - because I can't justify the price knowing how quickly they will get scuffed up - and well, just basically really, really worn (inside and out).  I keep reading posts on other blogs about people wearing their VERY FAVORITE pair of super high-end shoes over and over for years on end and how they still look great. What am I missing? I can't be the only clutz around who somehow bangs up her shoes, can I?

Am I the only one who is rough on shoes?

The Flavor of Summer

Photo Copyright © 2010, Tara Saunders

One of the great pleasures of summer for me is fresh Pico de Gallo. In previous years, I have bought it by the tub at the grocery store. This summer, our Earthbox is overflowing with Serrano peppers (which I previously mentioned here), so I decided to make my own. I used a recipe from my newest cookbook, Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast, which is from the Kitchens of Martha Stewart Living. (Honestly, what would a girl do without a little Martha in her life?)

It is so yummy! I will be making this all summer long, as well as other Martha-approved delights, because this cookbook is fabulous. (Are you getting the feeling that I love getting new cookbooks? Anything that mentions fresh ingredients and fast preparation definitely catches my attention! If you missed my previous post about cookbooks for summer, catch up here.)

Now I know some of you may be laughing that I used a recipe for Pico de Gallo – just like I was looking for a recipe for pesto – but unfortunately I am not one of those people who can guess on amounts and have a dish turn out well. So I’m always glad to have a little help from my friends (and a few fabulous cookbooks).

What are your favorite dishes for summer?

June 8, 2010

Sale Alert: Under the Palm Tree

I thought all of you Lilly lovers would want to know that Under the Palm Tree, A Lilly Pulitzer Via Shop, has announced a four day "Mini-Warehouse" sale that started this afternoon.  Select spring items are 40% to 60% off, and orders placed today (Tuesday) or tomorrow (Wednesday) get free shipping!  There are some fantastic deals to be had.

Personally, I couldn't resist the Roslyn Skirt in the Giddy Up print.

I can't wait until it arrives!  Happy shopping!

Bringing Nell Hill's Style Home

For years I have been a fan of Mary Carol Garrity, who is the founder of renowned home furnishings store Nell Hill’s, a syndicated columnist, and the author of a multitude of books on interior design and entertaining, including  Nell Hill's Style at Home and Nell Hill's Feather Your Nest. She has a knack for arranging home accessories and designing tablescapes that I absolutely love. I’ve often dreamt of traveling to Atchison, Kansas for a visit to the Nell Hill’s flagship store, but alas I have not gotten there yet.

You can imagine how excited I was to discover that some of the company’s beautiful (and well-priced) home accents are now available online.

I’m particularly enamored of:

Set of Six 5“ x 7” Fern Prints ($74.00)

Medium Apothecary Jars, Set of Three ($41.00)

Wooden Bird Trays, Set of Two ($59.50)

Verdi Urn Table Lamp ($88.00)

In addition, Ms. Garrity has a fantastic new blog where she shares some of her design tips. The fun is only just beginning!

June 7, 2010

I Love Your Blog Award

I must say I am very honored to have received this wonderful award from Fried Pink Tomato. She is a sweet southern girl who is very excited to be expecting her first baby. If you haven’t read her blog before, be sure to check it out!

The rules for this award are to list ten things you love and pass the award on to ten other blogs (that you LOVE!).

Ten things I love:

1) My wonderful husband (who also happens to be a fabulous dad)

2) Seeing my children smile

3) Spending time with family and friends

4) Shopping

5) Travel

6) The beach

7) Seafood (particularly shrimp and crab)

8) Lilly Pulitzer dresses

9) Peonies

10) Great Books

I’m passing this lovely award on to:

1) Living in Lilly

2) Sailboats and Seersucker

3) Tale of a GRITS

4) Privilege

5) The Pink Washingtoniette

6) Petunia in Paradise

7) Pemberley Style

8) Anne Lake

9) Horse, Hound, & Home

10) The Blushing Hostess

Congratulations, everyone!  I really enjoy your blogs!

June 5, 2010

Fabulous, No?

I adore fun shoes.  Footwear in a beautiful color or with exquisite detailing can easily elevate a basic outfit from "just okay" to total "wow" status.  And these Lizard Embossed Revas with their gorgeous metallic accents are calling my name.  Imagine these with a simple khaki shirtdress.  Or perhaps a pair of white pants, a white tee, and a bright cardigan thrown over your shoulders. Comfortable? Yes.  Boring?  Never!

My husband, on the other hand, thinks this shoe is ugly.  (Ms. Burch, I offer my sincerest apologies.)

What do you think?  Yea or nay?

June 4, 2010

Sweet Bliss

I am enjoying one of those blissful days at home with my children that I always dream of (you know, in those not-so-blissful moments when I’m rushing to make preschool drop-off and then zipping off to run errands with the smaller set). Everyone has been fed and the babies are napping while my two-and-a-half-year-old plays happily beside me. In fact, he is engrossed in an activity that has become all the rage in this house as of late — the Melissa and Doug Vehicles in a Box Jigsaw Puzzle Set.

In no time at all my son has become adept at piecing them, and he can now assemble all four wooden puzzles on his own. And he’s more than a little obsessed. This set has been such a hit and is such a fabulous learning toy that I am planning to order one or two more. Perhaps the farm animals and the sea life sets this time?

(The Melissa and Doug jigsaw puzzle sets are available from Amazon.)

June 2, 2010

Market Tote Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who participated in my Lilly Pulitzer Market Tote Giveaway.

The winner is:

Congratulations Sweet Southern Prep! Please email me your contact information and I will mail this out to you!

And for everyone else – I hope you have a very Lilly day!

June 1, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

How cute are these buttercup cakelets? These darling confections would be absolutely perfect for a bridal shower, a garden party, or even a little girl’s birthday. Or maybe… just because. (Made in the USA by NordicWare, the Buttercup Cakelet Pan is available from Williams-Sonoma.)


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