Here are a few great ideas for your favorite mom!
New spiral notebooks.
Love the idea of personalized nail polish tags for your friends!
One of my favorite new quotes is the following…
And so because a rainy chilly weekend was not part of my plan… I reluctantly improvised. Here are a few things I read, watch, purchased and enjoyed you might be interested in too.
How to Murder Your Life. Memoir + Magazine Editor = Super Love. I cannot put this book down!
I had a a terrible time choosing between my book and this amazing Netflix show, The Fall. OMG!
I attended two of my favorite 10 year old’s basketball games. (One plus for Basketball over Hockey is the environment is warm!). I am very pleased to see that my $1,500 investment in the hoop plus installation is paying off. Not to mention, my own personal time spent outside playing with Jackson. Jackson brings an incredible about of energy and enthusiasm to the court. It is contagious and a quick “mommy moment”, when he scores and breaks out that million dollar smile we are both beaming with pride.
Side Note: The $1,500.00 doesn’t include the amount it is going to cost me to fix the dent in my bumper from backing into the new basketball pole. If anyone was making bets – it was 3 days, 3 days until I backed right into it! Good times.
For fun, here is a recent conversation between Jackson and me while leaving the doctor’s office. (Jackson hurt his toe and it is always a catch-22 with something like this… If you go to the doctor, it is fine. If you don’t it is broken.
Jackson: “I am playing point guard in my basketball games this weekend.”
Me: “Teriffic!” ( let the record reflect that I said this with a ton of enthusiasm)
Jackson: “For some reason, I feel like you don’t really know what that means.”
Me: “What?” (acting highly offended)
I did get called out for clapping for the other team a few times. I told Jackson that I think sometimes it is important to clap when the kids do well, regardless of the team. A good shot is a good shot.
I gained one GIANT point in “me vs my closet”. It was not a question of “sparking joy” but “Have you worn it recently/ever?” and “Do you plan to wear it again?”. I have also been weeding out items that have been replaced with an upgraded version too. I am not sure how long it takes most people to de-clutter but as you can tell it has taken me awhile. I am happy with my pace and progress. Maybe there should be a working girl, mom, entrepreneur version of the book where it gives you twelve months to complete the program. Anyway, I can share with you two interesting things.
Any chance you got the new NM Beauty Catalog? I did and fell in love with this perfume…
“A peony accord that is lightly opulent and ultra-feminine, its addiction intensified with Centifolia Rose Absolute and rose essence.”
And this one which is actually my favorite!
“Giorgio Armani’s Eau de Jade magnificently refines Eau de Cologne by Giorgio Armani with an infusion of the world’s finest bergamot: the Calabrian Bergamot, fresh and subtle. A masterpiece in lightness, this fragrance reflects the radiance of Mediterranean mornings.”
I could not decide between the two perfumes above. Can you guess which one I got? Yes, you know me so well. Both. Life is too short to have to make such a big decision over the weekend!
If you like perfume with a Rose undertone, this is to die for. I loved this one too…
And, I totally set myself up for failure in trying this dress on knowing that I would love it and have to have it. It needs to be hemmed but I swear if it didn’t need an alteration, I would have worn it home. I loved it that much! I am not even going to lie and say I needed it. I am going to say I wanted it and every birthday girl needs a party dress. Am I right?
I know I don’t need to justify my purchase, but I have always loved a nice new dress for my birthday. I am providing evidence from 40 years ago. Just in case.
Side Note: I loved that dress I am wearing. Shocking it is White, right? Oh, and look closely at the pink satin ribbon that tied around the waist. Fabulous! And I just noticed my cake is on a Silver platter! I cannot stop laughing. Priceless.
If you are local, Hampton Paper will be featured this coming weekend at Chick’s Picks by Hillary. I worked on packaging some of our best-selling products including our gift wrap, gift tags, framed prints and our new spiral notebooks. The Show is April 27-30 at Vanish in Leesburg, VA. More info here.
And finally, every rainy weekend needs some beautiful flowers, even if you have to buy them for yourself! I love, love, love the smell of Lilacs.
The Devil Wears Prada is one of my favorite movies. What makes it even better is that I have watched it probably 100 times with my son, Thomas. I can’t even begin to quantify the milage and laughs we have gotten from so many lines like the following…
“By all means move at a glacial pace, you know how that thrills me!”
” I am just one stomach flu away from my goal weight.”
“I rarely say this to people who are not me but you have got to calm down!”
“Why is nobody ready?”
We incorporate the lines into our daily lives like at the Caps play off game on Saturday I handed Thomas my clutch to hold for a second and said, “Yeah, it’s the Chanel.”
I realize everyone may not get our humor and banter but like I said, we think it is hilarious and per a previous blog on motherhood, these are my favorite moments, the ones that are just little inside jokes between us.
The belt scene above, you tube video here, is my favorite. So, when I was packing for our trip to Kiawah, I noticed these two Calypso shirts in my closet and I started cracking up. I ran into Thomas’ room and said, “Which should I bring? They are so different.” Truth be told, I am still laughing…
On Sunday, I had the opportunity to chat with my neighbor who happens to be my favorite ten-year-old girl. I am always delighted to chat with another fashionista and what could be more important that a serious conversation about what to wear for picture day?
My neighbor is in fourth grade and shared details about the dress she was planning on wearing and without skipping I beat, I shared what I wore for my 4th grade picture.
A few things to note about this photo:
And, how about you? Can you easily remember what you wore for your 4th grade school picture?
P.S. My sister totally made fun of me for this “look” and when I had an outfit like this one that I loved, I wrote it weekly, usually on the same day each week. She teased me about that too. Please keep this in mind as I am going to write another blog soon that may mention a few things that I did growing up that were, well, not so nice.
You know I love a good memoir and let me be the first to tell you, Hourglass by Dani Shapiro doesn’t disappoint! I find myself forever curious about someone else’s journey and I love when I read something that makes me understand myself better. I find another perspective offers comfort when it is something I can relate to, and even when it is not directly applicable to me, I find it increases my ability to be more compassionate.
I don’t want to share too much in case you plan to read this book but I will mentioned that there are so many thought provoking ideas for consideration and a few beautifully written sentences that I read over and over because they deserved that level of attention. (You know the kind that stay with you long after you finish the book.)
This was one of my favorite passages:
“How do you suppose time works? A slippery succession of long hours adding up to ever-shorter days and years that disappear like falling dominoes? Near the end of her life, Grace Paley once remarked that the decades between fifty and eighty feel not like minutes, but seconds.”
I also loved her introduction of several thought provoking quotes and poems including,”Could Have” by Polish Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska. She said she typically gives the poem to her students and asks them to write about what could have happened.
It could have happened.
It had to happen.
It happened earlier. Later.
Nearer. Farther off.
It happened, but not to you.You were saved because you were the first.
You were saved because you were the last.
Alone. With others.
On the right. The left.
Because it was raining. Because of the shade.
Because the day was sunny.
You were in luck — there was a forest.
You were in luck — there were no trees.
You were in luck — a rake, a hook, a beam, a brake,
A jamb, a turn, a quarter-inch, an instant . . .
So you’re here? Still dizzy from
another dodge, close shave, reprieve?
One hole in the net and you slipped through?
I couldn’t be more shocked or
how your heart pounds inside me.
Thought provoking, right?
While I love a luxurious vacation as much as the next girl, I am also just as happy sitting in my backyard by the pool reading a good book from sun up to sun down. Although I do miss the drink service and occasionally feel sorry for myself that I have to walk all the way back to my house to get a glass of water!
If you are a fan of thrillers like Gone Girl then add these three page turners to your summer reading list. They should come with a warning label though, like don’t start reading unless you have the entire day to read the book cover to cover. All are available on Amazon.
P.S. If you are someone like me who likes to read the book prior to seeing the movie, The Girl Before is scheduled to be a movie directed by Ron Howard.
I have just realized that Elouise is to The Plaza as Kristin is to The Sanctuary Hotel. Yes, I am planning to live at the Sanctuary Hotel. If you have been to this hotel, you understand my desire to reside here full time. If you haven’t been, add this to you must visit hotels.
The photos I took as well as the ones on their web site don’t do this place justice as they cannot properly capture the elegance and tranquility.
I am going to keep this blog short because I have a lot on my “to do” list today.
So, what makes it amazing? Here are a few details that are not lost on me. They are signs of a good hotel.
This hotel in particular has a beautiful lobby decorated in my favorite colors, sage green and yellow. It is spacious and bright. Everything is near by so it is a short walk from the room to the pool to the ocean to the spa. To me, a nice hotel is when you feel like the staff is always one step ahead of you and your every need is anticipated.
I am glad I waited to get a swim suit (or four) as the boutique here had a great selection and it is much better to shop for a suit when you are not in a rush. I also love when there is someone assisting you to provide a second opinion. The Tory Burch and Milly suits are timeless and classic and the Helen Jon is fresh and fun.
Chess, golf, waterslides, ocean, bikes, basketball, paintball, chess, wifi to watch Dude Perfect, pools, chess (are you getting the point that I am raising the next Bobby Fisher?)
Here is what is important to a 13 year old :
wifi in which no password is required and a there is no device limit per room
I am having a great time and as per usual, I think I am being super funny but I am not sure if others agree…
Here is a typical text exchange between Thomas and me
Thomas: Where are you?
Me: At the adult pool
Thomas: I couldn’t find you
Me: Because I am so skinny
Thomas: Oh stop!
Here is a text exchange between my friend Beth and me
Beth: Hi Kristin! Are you watching the boys play three on three basketball or are you at the Sanctuary Bar?
Me: Is that a trick question?
Me: I’ll meet you at the bar
I think I am the happiest person east of the Mississippi today! While I am a big fan of planning a trip months in advance I think there is also something exciting about planning a trip last minute and realizing your trip is only a few days away.
When it comes to packing, you know I start with my books. Yes, they are the most valuable thing in my luggage next to my swim suit. This year I am shopping my closet. (There are plenty of items in there with tags. Just ask my friend, Kimberly. Please note if she mentions a Blue dress I did take the tags of and wear it). However, you may be in market for a few new items to pick up before you leave for the beach, so here are a few things I love for you!
First, let’s start with glowing skin. You know I love my Drunk Elephant but I am a product junkie and Sunday Riley has been on my list of products to try. I purchased it last weekend and I won’t lie to you, it delivers radiant glowing skin overnight. Sephora had a kit with everything but the CEO lotion. I don’t see it online. Maybe it is only in the stores or they are temporarily sold out.
I also love a new lipstick for travel and I had wanted to try the new Dior Addict Lacquer Stick. Love that it goes on glossy!
As far as clothes, here is what my packing list looks like:
Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching and I take advantage of every opportunity to remind my children of everything I went through to have them. I do this to ensure I get a good gift. My children are not “eye rollers” per se, instead they look at me with a solid stare as to be saying, “Oh no! Not this story again.”
As the years have passed I have found I have become more detailed in my story to ensure they really get a sense of my sacrifice. Things like 12 hours of labor now get the added detail of the fact that Thomas had to suctioned out (fun) and for Jackson, I am always sure to add that I had him plus a kidney stone. (BTW, a Kidney Stone is WAY more painful than labor but that’s just between us ladies. If a man asks, I am sure to say that labor is more painful.) And seriously who has both at the same time? Ugghhh.
While I can appreciate the big public moments as much as the next girl, I must admit my favorite moments are really the more private. The ones that catch me by surprise and keep me thinking how did I get so lucky and how it is possible I have these beautiful children?
With Thomas, it is after school when he comes to find me to give me a run down of his day or the way he will come in my room and invite me to watch something on Netflix with him.
With Jackson, he wants to ensure I will be at his hockey or basketball game. That feeling of being wanted and needed is so precious. At 9:30 when I am exhausted after a long day, it is Jackson inquiring if I will play chess with him. I protest and then remind myself that there will be a day soon where I will long for the opportunity. (BTW on this one, what Jackson is really asking is can I beat you at chess, yet again?) I tell him yes and that I cannot say no to that beautiful face. Jackson’s face literally lights up with delight while he contemplates his current and next moving. It lights up even more when he sees “check mate” in the next few moves.
Jackson looked online to find a chess tutor and his constant thirst for knowledge and improvement in everything he does leaves me in awe.
It all these examples, it is simply the joy in spending time with them as it brings sheer happiness and I realize these moments are fleeting.
As my boys have gotten older, I have noticed that whatever age they are, I absolutely love it and think it can’t get better but is does. As they grow, they become even more interesting, more intelligent and articulate and move amazing and I find myself drawn to their enthusiasm.
As I look back on when they were babies, it seemed so overwhelming and stressful. Now, I can look back and laugh.
Here are a few things I wish I had known…
It has come to my attention that Jenna Lyons is stepping down as Creative Director at JCrew. The timing seems perfect as just last week I was talking to a friend of mine, Hillary, and I don’t know how it came up in conversation, but I was saying JCrew needs me to turn things around.
I like JCrew just as much as the next girl, but in my humble opinion the last 10 years has been more “misses” than “hits”. Here are my thoughts on what works, what doesn’t, and what they need to do to turn things around.
Here is what is not working…
Here is what I think they do pretty well…
Here is what I think women want…
We want recommendations on how to incorporate new pieces with existing pieces. I get JCrew wants to sell more items but if you showcase to your buyers how to incorporate a new piece with something from last year or take a few new pieces and show more options to create different looks, it is a win. I also think you can sell JCrew and showcase more non-JCrew items to provide alternative looks. For example, there isn’t anything stylish or unique in wearing JCrew head to toe – shirt, pants, jacket, shoes, bag, scarf, jewelry etc. for two reasons. One, you look like the mannequin in the window and the chances of you running into someone with the same outfit is very likely. What women want, is for their style to look authentic and personal. Women want to look like they put together a beautiful outfit with minimal effort. The easiest way to do this is to have a few statement pieces and mix with JCrew basics.
So, based on our conversation, will you recommend me for the position?
P.S. I realize it is much easier to criticize something that has already been done/made and it is much more difficult to create something from scratch so my intention in the blog was not to be overly critical but to provide honest feedback as well as a few recommendations for improvement.