Why self care is so g@# da&* important

Thursday, April 19, 2018
So we're moms and we never sit down.  We are up the moment we hear feet shuffling, or before if you're me and desperately need those moments before everyone is awake to yourself on those mornings you can actually drag yourself out of bed to get them.  You make breakfast. You race them to school drop off.  You race yourself to pilates/soul cycle/the TRX class that you love that starts at 9 and you can barely get the last few square inches left in the class or any equipment because you've barely made it there. You race to shower, race to get dressed and try to look kind of stylish given major time constraints and no brain cells to put together an outfit.  You race to volunteer at Science lab even though you have a laundry list of things to do outside and inside the home but your son is going to be fuming at you if you blow it off AGAIN this month. You get recruited while your racing out of the school to volunteer at 6 other fundraisers. You race to fit your one errand in before racing back to pick up your son at preschool who is crying because he didn't think you were ever coming back.  You race home to get him a snack. You race through a quick play time with him because its time to pick up your other son. You race him home saying no we can't go to the science lab to hold the gekko because you're going to be late for your motor skills class across town. You race more snacks into him so he doesn't get low blood sugar and act out in the car ride to and from.  You race home and wonder how anyone can remember or think about whats for dinner or how to get dinner started at 4:45 when you haven't even thought about it and now the kids are beating each other up, looking for personal attention and releasing from the day.  You race to get dinner on the table and clean it up before bedtime if you're lucky because its the last thing you want to think about when the kids are in bed. You try to convince your husband to give them a bath because you totally flaked on it last night and their fingernails are dirty and their feet are black. Race to get them in to bed on time so you have YOUR time, race to get them their last sips of water so they don't get out of bed again, race to try to get at least one thing taken care of before the next day so you're not racing all over again.  When you finally sit down, you melt your brain to Real Housewives or the Bachelor or some other show where people get drunk and fight. 

THIS IS NOT SELF CARE. 

Why are we so tired and burnt out and stressed and resentful all the time?  We don't spend any time going within, and checking in with ourselves and taking a moment to ask what's coming up and making our teeth clentch.  We need to take more deep breaths before stressful times of day (like jetting out to fetch our children). We need to journal and let our thoughts out and vent to a friend or a professional or some solid form of positive support.  We need to listen less to time suckers and complainers who drain us and don't fill us up.  We need to sit and think and be at peace with our minds and BREATH.  If we don't, this cycle continues.  I am very guilty of it, and I find the more I let my time get dominated by trips to the dry cleaner/target/UPS, the more stress and anger shows up for me and then...I get sick.  Why? It is the only way for the universe and your body to say "SIT THE FUCK DOWN". Its sad but I always see the pattern.  I'll be going along, ignoring me, putting all my efforts into everyone else, and all of a sudden I wake up with a sore throat or a new cold.  Then I know its time to chill.  Why does it take this to force ourselves to take a break? 

I'm giving you this advice just as much as I'm giving it to myself. Log on to Headspace.  Buy a really pretty journal.  Walk your dog and listen to inspiring Ted Talks.  Spend an hour looking through Pinterest design ideas and creating your own boards with your dream house.  Do what you love and what lights you up, and I feel like the race will be over.  Or at least feel better.  I want to feel successful in ALL aspects of my life, not just the surviving-not-thriving momhood responsibilities. I know this sounded like a negative rant but I feel better now, saying it.  Thanks for listening. Now go plan an adult playdate.

The Big Leap

Thursday, April 12, 2018


I read a book called The Big Leap which was recommended to me from my therapist.  Its pretty impressive because I am the most noncommittal reader I know.  I start something, then fall asleep or would rather catch up on mindless Real Housewives crap or binge watch Stranger Things with my husband.  Where do people find time to read? Do you all plop yourselves on the couch midday, surrounded by laundry and toys and just cruise? I don't know how this works.  There is always a village at my house.  Play dates, nannies, visitors, kids.  The hours alone seem stuck between errands and household duties and the like.  I really only find the time to blog when I force myself to sit down, and no one is in my face or actually in my house or awake for that matter. 

Anyways, this book is really mind bowing and I can't let it leave my bedside table because I really don't want to forget the experience that's in it!  It talks about figuring out what your true, deep down ultimate talents are, your "Zone of Genius" as he calls it, and how to pursue them and not let them go.  Its actually up to you if you let them go, but the idea is to go deep enough that you can't deny what fuels you and enlivens you, and to run with it.  I am a known procrastinator.  Mostly if you ask my husband.  I always have notes all over my desk and piles and lists of stupid shit I really need to handle but don't.  I feel kind of bad about that, but the real problem is the to-do list for my soul.  For the last 4 years I've been avoiding myself because I feel like I haven't had the time to do anything for me.  I have a great social calendar and hell yeah I keep up with all my mani/pedi, eyelash and tan appointments, but I do a poor job of feeding my soul.  I think that's why I restarted my blog.  I feel like If I have a voice out there, and someone is hearing it, I'm held accountable to keep speaking.  I feel like there are a lot of creative talents in me, but not one that feels important enough to hone in on. 

Catering is way too time consuming and involves weekends and evenings. Nope.
Styling is too daunting and there are so many more fashion-forward people than me out there. Nope.
Music is my soul, but I have zero experience in the music industry and I don't want to just be an admin at a recording studio or record label.  I'm not organized enough anyway.  I can't keep my desk clean. Ever.

So what do you do with this? Do it all? Write about it and take pictures of it? Maybe.

I do know I enjoy making people laugh. I enjoy live music immensely.  I love making someone a hand crafted artisanal cocktail and seeing their face when I know I've nailed it.  I love cooking and taking care of people and having them in my home.  I love creating the most perfect ambiance with music, lighting, decor, food and drinks.  I love putting my favorite, most interesting people with all their different personalities in a room and seeing what happens.  I like the joy of a party from start to finish, being surrounded by great people, making them laugh and having them feel full and happy.  I don't know how that translates into what my path is but I suppose I'll keep doing it and documenting it until I do. While I'm on my journey, join me.  Maybe you'll figure out your zone of genius too. 

I'm on an organizational tear...

Thursday, February 15, 2018
Its February, and though I don't make New Years resolutions anymore, there's an innate need to start cleansing SOMETHING once the holidays end.  So I took the week off from drinking (and by the week I mean Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, let's not get insane) and I've been tearing apart cabinets, drawers, bookshelves and closets with an intention to clear out old shit and welcome in what I really want for 2018.  What is that? I want something for myself, outside of kids.  I want something that lights me up and fills me up and doesn't involve multiple trips to Target, the grocery store and UPS.  I feel like if I do some cleaning up of crap I don't want to look at anymore, I can relax and focus on me.  Not just because of the laws of Feng Shui but because it really feels cathartic!

I've even been diving into these books, which are really hard core. They basically say if you throw away all your bank statements from the last 10 years and toss the plant-based protein powder that you know you're never going to use, prepare to open your front door for wealth and abundance! Or a divorce, if that's for your highest good. 

I'm not in general an organized gal at all, in fact I'm a maj scatterbrain which is why all my organizing gets pretty out of whack easily.  I can't multitask, so I'm usually having conversations with my husband that I completely black out while I'm trying to unpack the whole family from a vacation.  And then I end up losing the $800 reMarkable electronic notebook he so thoughtfully gave me for Christmas. Insert bawling pathetic emoticon here.

So, when my friend Alex told me to follow The Home Edit on Instagram, I was like "why would I follow an organizational blog that is only going to stress me out about organizing?" I don't want to look at tightly rolled bath towels artfully descending in ombre rainbow fashion.  I don't want to see color coordinated snack bags quarantined in their perfect compartments in a pantry that seems to have endless space in it.  Don't they know a normal human's pantry is filled with half eaten bags of pirates booty and dum dums from ever pinata your kid has taken a whack at in the last 5 years?  Also the bursting envelope of "box top" collections that I never remember to turn in and have no where else to put. 

It turns out yes, I do.

It actually turned me ON to look at these things and inspires me to put every god damn thing I own in a bin with a label smacked on it.  I even stuck my dog in a clear bin with a P touch label that says "Hannah". Its quite addictive actually, and even though my stuff will never look like full blown Unicorn barf, I think what my loyal, fabulous organizer, Heidi Chianta did, is just stellar.

 
I love the use of clean white modern bins and black chalkboard labels. 
 

What I like about what she did here (listen up those of you with small spaces!) is she built a closet system from the container store on one side of the closet, and left the other side clear for a few hanging items. I added the shoe basket because it just looks tidier.  We don't usually have any long term guests here, so thats enough.  Plus I left a bin empty for guest's belongings.  The other large basket holds bedding for the pull out couch.

 
  

How rad are the ipad and hat hooks? Brilliant.  

Its all about bins and labels, people, bins and labels.  

The pictures below are my own work, thank you very much. I was sick of the piles of shoes in the laundry/mud room and nagging the kids to take all their shoes back to their rooms.  So I put large bins in the closet for their most-worn shoes and created a bottom basket for adult flip flops and sneakers which I'm using the most. I use the inside of the door for extraneous kids art (where the hell do you put it all? great ideas here) and I hung the star charts next to the door we depart out of every day so they can have a positive outlook on life when they start their day. 






Although I can't take full credit for this organization design job, purging is definitely the most time consuming part of the process. I do know a thing or two about labels and bins, and I'm still going to feel really good opening the cabinets every where I go. Did I say these girls' Insta-stories are hilarious?  They are nothing glamorous (although Clea's skin always looks flawless), just literally organization and day-to-day, minute-to-minute fodder about hiding from their family in their car and the next glass of champagne and I could watch them all day.

So I guess what I'm saying is 2018, The Home Edit, Spark - you inspire me.  I'm going to continue to clean everything up, get real and prepare to open the floodgates for miracles. 


Nutritious, Detoxifying ...Cocktails

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
So, you failed a juice cleanse and you have about 4 bottles left at $12/bottle.  Its kind of wasted calories to just guzzle them if you're going to eat too, so why not go from fail to FAB and get your mixology on? No need to grate ginger or squeeze lemons, its already in there. 

I mean if you're going to have a cocktail, why not juice while your doing it and detox while you re-tox?

So I was weirdly craving a Cosmo, which I used to pound with a vengence when I was 29, but that's not really the rage nowadays.  Its all about the updated white rye Sazerac and the Vesper, but not the Cosmo OR the apple martini anymore.

Anyways, I couldn't get the tart cranberry/lime/triple sec craving out of my head, so I set to work with the ingredients I had at hand.  No cranberry juice and no lime, but I did have lemon, a leftover beet liver cleanse beverage (how apropos!) and of course triple sec, Campari and vodka. 

Beet Cosmo

1.5 oz Vodka (I like Russian Standard & Beluga)
1 -1.5 oz triple sec (depending on how sweet you like it)
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz beet juice
Splash of Campari
lemon twist for garnish

Shake all ingredients in a martini shaker filled to the top with ice.  rub rim with lemon twist and drop in martini glass whilst pouring cocktail. 

Voile.


Spicy Skinny Ginger Lime Margarita

1.5 oz Tequila (I like Don Julio Blanco for mixing, Anejo for more booz-forward or neat
1oz to .5 oz Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec depending how sweet you like it
1/2 lime, squeezed
1/2 lemon squeezed
Few big splashes of Nektar Ginger Lime Skinny Lemonde or whatever similar taste profile juice you have laying around
lime wheels for garnish

Shake it all up in a martini shaker with ice.  Prepare to get skinnier with every sip.



Charcoal Beet 

Now this is a fascinating one.  I have Charcoal pills lying around because a friend recommended  I take them for digestion improvement, general gut health and the like.  When I saw the Black Betty cocktail featured on Liquor.com using them, I had to try it.  This one is adapted.  Note the lack of phone and pretty crimson dust on top.  I will perfect this one, and check in again at another time to let you know my progress ;) I did add Aronia berry concentrate, which we always have around.  Similar to Acai but more immune-strengthening.

1.5 oz Tequila 
1.5 oz beet juice
1/2 a lime, juiced
1/2 oz Orgeat Almond syrup
1/2 tsp activated charcoal, taken out of a capsule
(this like an immunity Superhero! Like elderberry syrup on crack, although that will work too or any berry syrup
1 tsp Agave (because the berry syrup is not sweet at all)
Egg white (optional)

Put all ingredients in the blender until nice and foamy, then add a large ice cube.  

Note my version is not foamy because we didn't have egg whites, but I recommend it for the extra punch of protein.  We are talking healthy cocktails, here.


And that concludes your cleanse for the week, or weekend rather.  Go forward feeling confident you are doing your body a favor.  You're welcome.


Weekend getaway wardrobe

Monday, February 5, 2018

Since I'm on the Cabo/weekend streak, and can't seem to let it go, I thought I'd document options to throw in your bag for short trips.  Just double up on the items for longer stays.  

Here's what I brought last weekend;


For an easy sun filled weekend, cover ups are key. I love my Maaji black crocheted because I can exchange it with a number of belts like a metal chain mail one from none other than Forever 21.  The white sweater one by Tommy Bahama adds a bit more coverage.  You feel comfortable walking around a restaurant in it.  I usually bring fancier sundresses for evening, like this Camilla ornate number (borrowed from a friend!) and these other go-to's; a ropey-waisted romper from Free People and a short swingy navy blue dress by Indah that I wear with a bralette.  Jean shorts and slightly fancier silk cargoes are great with a swingy, wide armhole top to show off your suit underneath or a one piece suit worn as a top.


Sorry for this blurry pic I know it sucks.  But my obsession with these Nalha ankle strap memory foam (yup, memory foam) sandals grows daily. 

Wedges are always Island-appropriate.  Just watch yourself walking home form dinner on those cobblestone or steep roads after a few tequilas ;)

  As you can see, one pieces are the new bikini for me.  They flatten and cover your tummy if you're not feeling ready to dive into swimsuit season, most are cut high which flattering to the thigh and you can wear them with shorts or a skirt as an additional outfit option! Kenneth Cole swim offers some nice options at a reasonable price. 

1. Vitamin A Bikini
2. White one piece from Zara
3. Billabong 
4. Acacia - pricey but I had to have it!

If you don't have a getaway planned, start planning. Its fun to look forward to and get excited about and day dream even if its far off in the future. Happy Travel planning...


Glorious Cabo

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Why is getting away for the weekend just so rejuvenating? It feels really extravagant, even though its only a 2 and a half hour flight away, but something about leaving the country briefly feels exciting.  Even if or especially if you're not doing anything exciting. Although I find someone cooking 4 out of 6 meals for me pretty dang exciting.  Erotic almost.  Or maybe that's just the cleanup part that makes me weak in the knees.  

Silas and I used to really relish our one nighters in San Fransisco at the end of his business trips where we just had no other option but to pack it all in to a 24 hour window.  The shopping, walking the city, cocktail hour, culinary tours and nookie all had to fit in that window.  This is extremely exciting for me because I can't plan too much, I just have to go and fly by the seat of my pants which is challenging for a Type A planner. So weekends and one night getaways are my jam.  You're not away from the kids for so long that they hate you or you're stressed out or sad, you can usually find a sitter or a favor from friends and family, you come home feeling refreshed, excited...naughty almost.  


 
 Quite a greeting - fajita lunch accompanied by fresh salsas and guacamole.  The vegetables in Mexico are so vibrant they *sparkle*

 Hamachi tiradito with passion fruit leche de tigre, 

crispy calamari, yuzu alioli, cucumber, turnip, cherry tomatoat Sur Beach House at The Bahia
 




 Braids so you can skip a hair wash of course...

 Our house Chef Oscar's incredible presentation with a salad rolled in a paper thin cucumber slice, roasted and grilled local fish and veggies and sauces from scratch - heaven.

 

What trip isn't complete without a dancing fashion show, really.


 I mean the details...:)

 A morning sendoff of a beautifully served breakfast burrito, homemade pruple potato hash and a smear of super spicy harissa.

Have I convinced you? You don't need a personal chef.  Just an appetite for spontaneity, some friends or your hubs/wife/lover and very small carry on.  

Bon Voyage... 

 


Elin Kling is so stylish I can't stand it

Friday, November 11, 2011