Wednesday, May 11, 2011


For your Wednesday: A sweet new song by an artist I love, with an adorable video to match. Watch. It will make you smile. Oh, and Christina Perri looks prettier than ever, don't you think? (Love her tattoos.)

Here's hoping Hump Day will go down quickly and smoothly and slide us into the weekend soon... Cheers to that?


P.S. The lyric video is pretty fantastic, too. That's how I first heard this song two months ago. Really makes you listen to the words.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Brunch

My momma, holding (and wearing!) her Mother's Day gifts

All you moms, grandmas, moms-to-be and, well, anyone who has ever loved like only a mother can, I hope you had a wonderful day!

To celebrate Mother's Day, my family went to brunch at The Cheesecake Factory. The restaurant was a bit hectic and there was a few mishaps with food not coming out correctly, but the server was great in fixing everything and he even comped a couple items on the bill. And the food, once corrected, was pretty darn tasty! (Though it put me in a food coma for the rest of the afternoon!)

Instead of going with my typical Sunday brunch order of Eggs Benedict, I decided to try something new: Baja Chicken Hash. Imagine poached eggs drizzled in hollandaise sauce sat atop two crispy tortillas and a hash of chicken chorizo, potatoes, poblano chiles, corn, peppers and onions (hold the cheese!). I would describe it as almost a Mexican-style Eggs Benny, so I guess I didn't go too far outside of my comfort zone :)

After we ordered our breakfasts, I presented our mom with her gift. Now that she has opened it, I can finally blog about it!

Last weekend, I scoured Etsy looking for a Mother's Day gift. I literally searched through all of my favorite shops but I couldn't find that just-right thing. I found one necklace that I was thisclose to purchasing but then decided to spend a little more time searching. After a few minutes, I stumbled upon a new-to-me, New York-based jewelry shop called Delezhen. I instantly fell in love with the beautiful jewels and delicate designs. Everything is very feminine and perfect for spring. After much hemming and hawing over three different pieces, I decided to go with this colorful, faceted jewel necklace with freshwater pearl accents.

I thought it looked pretty and special but could also easily be dressed up or down. I also thought it kind of looked like a Mother's Day necklace in a non-obvious way, with the three stones representing me, my younger brother Patrick and my older brother Jeremy.

(As a side note, Masha is a fantastic seller! I was worried the necklace wouldn't get to me in time since I ordered it Monday morning, but she sent me a message letting me know she would put it in the mail that very day. I actually got a shipping confirmation before I got that message! And my package arrived Wednesday. Couldn't have asked for better customer service. Plus, the necklace was even prettier and more dainty in person.)

Since my mom wasn't wearing any jewelry, I had her put her new necklace on right away. It went perfect with her turquoise sweater! You can see it in the top photo, but here's a close up:

We also got her an oats-and-honey scented candle in a nice white, lidded pot (like this one), which will look perfect in our recently redecorated blue-and-white living room. My brother picked out the fragrance. We both thought it smelled like breakfast-- how appropriate!

Speaking of Patrick, here he is! It's not often I get him to smile in a photo for me! (He's been dieting and exercising and he's lost a lot of weight-- 40 lbs! You can really see the difference when you look at this old photo.)

And here's my dad too, giving me one of his goofy faces.

Haha, nice dad! And here's me. Cheers! (I think I still look a little sleepy, but that mimosa perked me right up!)

What did you do to celebrate Mother's Day? I'd love to hear!


Friday, May 6, 2011

In the mail: Made by Hank

This is on its way to me.

Isn’t beautiful?

I’ve coveted a Made by Hank pouch for quite some time now. But they always sell out so fast!

So when Etsy suggested this beauty to me on Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t resist. I fell in love with the happy, avocado-and-sea glass color combo (it reminds me of the color scheme in my college dorm room!) and snapped it up immediately.

Although it was an impulse buy, I know it will definitely be put to good use. I am becoming increasingly annoyed with the fact that I can never find my lip balm or glosses in the bottom of my abyss of a purse. I’m always fishing around, hopelessly searching for my Burt’s Bees tube, while driving-- one hand on the wheel, one hand in my bag. Not very safe and this spring-perfect pouch will solve that problem stat.

Anyone else made an impulse buy lately? Don't leave me hanging!

P.S. I am totally in love with the Philadelphia-based shop's roomier purses too. I am literally drooling over this navy and white ikat print crossbody bag as I type. Gorgeous!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Life stories, preserved

StoryCorps has made me laugh and cry once again*. This is such a sweet and funny story about the life of a strong-willed lady with no regrets. I literally laughed out loud while watching the animated short last night and a minute later I had tears in my eyes. I love StoryCorps for its mission to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs the chance to record, share and preserve the story of their lives. What a gift for the families who participate and a gift to all of us who have the opportunity to listen. It may be their story, but it is all of our history. Beautiful.

You can check out StoryCorps' YouTube channel here and learn more about the Brooklyn-based nonprofit here.

*I fell in love with StoryCorps for the first time after watching "Danny and Annie." If you watch it, have a tissue handy. You'll need it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Frolicking birthday fun

Warning! Excessive but cute picture post to follow! :)

Yesterday was my baby girl's birthday. Yep, Hazel turned 3 years old. I can't believe how time flies! I still remember the day we got her, all two-and-a-half pounds. She was just a pocket-sized pooch back then. She's not much bigger now and she still acts like a puppy at times-- with her baby face, easily excitable temperament and similarities to the Energizer Bunny-- but as my friends joked, now she can drink!

Since her birthday fell on a Monday, I didn't have much time to spoil her. (Not that she is deprived by any means!) But luckily, she had a super fun weekend. On Saturday, she had a playdate with Abbey, the furry child of my married friends Ryan and Steph.

Though Abbey tends to be a bit skittish and is even known to bark at unknown dogs, the two pups hit it off right away. And Hazel looks like Abbey's little sister, don't you think? So adorable.

At first they hung around Steph and Ryan's apartment, mostly sniffing each other out. After they were thoroughly acquainted, we leashed up and went for a walk to the park. Now, Steph told me that Abbey has this funny habit that she always does on walks, especially to the park. She sniffs around and once she finds the perfect spot, she paws at the ground. Before you know it, she is rolled over on her back, shimmying and shaking around. It is so odd but so hilarious but Hazel never does this.

Well, when Abbey first began to take part in her favorite park pastime, Hazel just looked on in confused amazement. But next thing I know, she's joining in! Now, I know that Abbey may engage in this behavior for more sinister reasons (such as she smells another dog's scent and wants it on her) but since Hazel had never done it before and was clearly just following Abbey's influence, I let her roll in the grass to her heart's content. (Luckily, Hazel doesn't get grass stains!)

And I, being the proud mama that I am, took far too many pictures of the strange cuteness that ensued...

I think she looks like she's giggling in the last one...

Having so much fun, she didn't realize she was on a little hill!

Eventually, she decided to take a break and let the wind blow through her hair...

After a long walk around the park, we humans and our canine companions made our way back home. Despite the exercise, Hazel and Abbey kept playing together for another hour and a half, chasing each other around the living room and pretend fighting. Hazel also stole Abbey's stash of toys, bringing them out one by one. The little thief! Before we said goodbye, we made sure to put them all back. But Hazel still left with a new best friend.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek at Hazel and Abbey's playdate! Hazel may be another year older, but I think she'll always be young at heart-- and keep me feeling that way, too!