Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Button down addendum...

College Prepster   (a blog I like a lot and encourage you to check out!) told me to check out the James Pearce button downs.  I have to say I'm loving this new spring design of theirs...
I don't love the price- $155.00
But... something tells me if it fits well I could be persuaded!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Button down for Spring!

J. crew's washed, button down cotton oxford is what I'm talking about...$59
And, LL Bean's seersucker, 3/4 length sleeve, button down is a fresh uptake on a classic necessity!  $34

Critical moms...are you one?

I ask this because I think I might be one. I don't want to be. 
I want to be positive and supportive. I also want to be a sounding board, not a judgement maker.

So, why can't I keep my mouth shut? When my son is so sweet to meet me uptown to help me and I notice how nice he looks and tell him... why can't I keep it at that?
No, I also have to add that when he gets home he should make sure that he folds the sweater he is wearing, instead of hanging as there are dents in the shoulders from the hanger.

When my daughter comes down in the morning all showered, blow dried, and fresh- I tell her how she is so lucky to look so good in the morning...
But do I have to also say that I wish she would wear some of the beautiful clothes she has in her closet instead of her sweats and hoodies?

When I was young, I had vowed to myself  that when I was a Mom I would never be critical about  my children's appearance...  I think I was good about it when they were young and I could control what they wore.  So I had a false sense of thinking I wasn't critical...

Now they are older and I HAVE to stop making comments about their choices regarding their attire. I am really going to try.

Do you control yourself regarding your children's appearance?
I NEED to know!

I'm back!

It was a loooong weekend.
And not very fun.
The  Big Apple Feis was not done well or very organized, at least for the vendors. As bad as it was for me, it was worse for the vendors from overseas.  
Well, it was worth a try and now I know... No NYC Feis's!

I promised I would end my Feis series with wigs. Here are excellent examples of the wigs that the girls wear. They match them to their own hair. The wigs run $65-$150.00

The wigs remind me of the New York Rockettes for some reason. I think it is because all the girls began to look alike to me after two days of bouncy wigs passing by!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Polo preferences-Metallic Big Pony Polo!

Usually, I prefer Brooks Brothers or Lacoste polos. Not because of the labels or that one has an alligator and the other a pig with a ribbon. I like them because of the fit.  The Brooks Brothers is a bit boxy, which is fine sometimes and the Lacoste is more fitted.

I wear polos all the time, love them. I wear them under sweaters, jackets and with skirts or shorts. I would say they are a daily part of my "uniform." I even wear them playing tennis.

So, it was with much surprise that I realize I am coveting the Ralph Lauren's Metallic Big Pony Polo! I love how it fits and that it is something fresh. I feel a bit "fancy" in it but still feel comfortable. The only thing I am not comfortable about is the price.... $125.00
Oh! And that the metallic pony is scratchy inside the shirt. I wonder if that would bother me?
The navy with the silver pony is calling my name....

Celtic Costumes

Very colorful, very pretty and VERY expensive!
Although dancers are judged on their performance, presentation is very important. When the girls dance as a group they wear their  dance school's costume- colors and emblems embellish the dress to differentiate it from other schools.

When they solo, they choose dresses that express their style and help them stand out from the crowd. This explains the elaborate embroidery and wild colors! Dresses can weigh several pounds.
As I said the dresses are very expensive. They are handmade with many different fabrics. Many girls will buy second hand from another dancer.
When a dancer outgrows a dress there are stores or web sites that will buy and resell or it can be sold at competitions or online.
Can you guess how much these beautiful dresses cost? Check in comments for the answer!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A stroke of Inspiration...

I had received this book for Christmas. I am a fan of nonfiction and was looking forward to reading it on vacation. Interestingly, today on my favorite French blog, Tralalere! she posted a link to a talk given by Dr. Taylor at a TED conference in California. It is an eighteen minute presentation. 
If you want inspiration, motivation, and you have a belief in the inner spirit-
Oh and eighteen minutes! Please click HERE.
If you do- come back and let's compare notes. As usual, I have tears in my eyes.

Feis Feet

 A Feis, (pronounced  fesh) is a festival of Irish dance, music and culture.  At a Feis, girls and boys, (mostly girls) participate in Irish dance competitions called Irish step dance.  Because of the highly popular show, Riverdance you are most likely familiar with this style of dancing.
If you have seen Irish step dancing then you know that there is nothing faster than the feet of an Irish step dancer.  They fly! From the waist up, nothing moves except the curls on the dancer's head.

This weekend I will be a vendor at a Feis in New York City. Girls,  and some boys, from all over the world will come to compete in the Big Apple. 
Tomorrow I will post about the elaborate Celtic costumes.

Lafayette women's lacrosse vs. Sacred heart

Well, Lafayette almost did it! 
Unfortunately the score was in favor of Sacred Heart, 12-9.  Michaela scored 4 goals and had one assist and that is a positive. I couldn't be there, but I heard it was actually warm out. 
Maybe as the weather changes, so will the luck of this Lacrosse team!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Toilet Paper Entrepreneur

I was asked to submit a recommendation to budding entrepreneurs by Michael Michalowicz of the blog,  The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
He is also an author of a book  by the same name.

Today he has a post that includes my tip and 162 other tips! It really is interesting and inspiring to hear every one's advice. Lots of good ideas!
My tip is #34 :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sparky again...

I was on kk's blog tonight and she had a lovely ode to her dog who has since passed on. It made me think about Sparky. I love this picture of him. He was liver spotted and had one blue eye and one greenish eye and this image really captures how cool it looked. (click on the picture so that you can really see him)
To new readers,  he also was three-legged.

As I told kk it was a very bad day when we had to put him down. He was almost fourteen, which is a good age for a Dalmatian. He was very sick for the last six months of his life. But, every time we would think this is it, make an appointment to end his misery... he would have the best day!  Wagging, barking, playing, and eating...when days before he was at death's door!

We would cancel the appointment and say- Not today.
But, one morning we knew it was it. He was in pain and it wasn't fair. So my husband brought him to our vet, that was hard. Almost as hard? Telling the kids when they came home from school that day and calling the college kids and telling them.
It was a bad day.

Preppy Tennis Player!

Hmmm... What makes a preppy tennis player?
I don't think equipment does it or how well you play the game. I think it's all about style and in some cases where you play. 

Regarding style, there is nothing like a preppy tennis racquet cover
to signal that preppy style.
Lacoste says it all and isn't limited to the courts.
This adorable, ruffled, tennis skirt from the new Nike line is sure to be at most clubs this summer. Not sure if it is too young for the over forty crowd though, will have to wait and see...
As for where you play...
To me it isn't the showy, ostentatious clubs that say preppy.  It is the old, traditional, low key all about tennis type of place I love.

Have you ever been to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island?
Please see the beautiful old buildings with the grass courts pictured above.
That's what I'm talking about.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday night Serenade!

I can't believe it is Sunday night... Where did the weekend go?
When I was young I hated Sunday night. There was a lot of negative associations.
It was bath night. 
It meant that school was the next day.
It meant I better be done with all homework.
There weren't good shows on TV.
My parents would make us go to bed earlier so that we would be "ready" for school on Monday.
These days?
I love Sunday night!
It means there is school tomorrow.
There are great shows on TV- BIG LOVE!
We go to bed earlier.
I get all organized for the week.
Sometimes I take a bath.
And, did I mention that there is school tomorrow?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yoga or a hike?

Today is one of those rare, strange Saturdays that we do not have a lot of running around to do...
And, I am almost paralyzed by the possibilities.
Seriously, I need structure. Without it I am capable of hanging around in sweats all day drifting from the morning paper, to my computer, to the phone, to my computer- you get the picture!
Because it is a bright, beautiful, sunny day I will not allow that to happen.

 So my husband came down stairs a few minutes ago and asked if I want to go to yoga...
Not really. I am too lazy to go look for my yoga clothes, my hair isn't washed, ( too close of quarters in yoga not to have clean hair!)  I have a million excuses and he leaves for class. I think he is disappointed and I feel guilty...

So, when he comes back I think I will surprise him and say, "let's go on a hike!" And, I will say it with TONS of enthusiasm, because going on a hike is one of his favorite activities. This way I will be out in the sunshine, not wasting the day away indoors. He will be happy. We both will benefit.

And, I won't have to wash my hair.

Friday, March 20, 2009

when there are April showers...

L.L. Bean does it right! Long enough to cover your butt. Great price. Great colors.
The only problem?
Which color to choose!

People over at L.L. Bean- I'm a fan!

Spring luncheon

My neighbor had the most lovely springtime luncheon today! She invited all the ladies in the neighborhood of all different ages. It was so nice as I tend to socialize with my immediate neighbors or those whom have children the same age.

It was a good way to segue into Spring. We are all very friendly with one another, but sometimes it consists of a wave and a smile as a neighbor drives by. The luncheon was a good reminder that I am so lucky to have a lot of delightful women living close by!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Let's talk about donations...

OHN  has a post encouraging organ donations and the discussion of this among family members so that they are certain what your desire is regarding donation of organs should you die.
 I wholeheartedly agree, passionately so, that  it is the right thing to do.

Here is something I can't get past though. And... I'm not sure that I am not selfish or immature regarding this type donation. Let me know what you think after reading this.

My son went to an ivy league school. In his school newspaper and on bulletin boards all over campus were advertisements for sperm donations. (egg donations as well) 
 Infertility clinics really wanted these "academically gifted" genetics and they were willing to pay top dollar. My son, kidding, said that he was considering this as it would be an easy way to make money and that he could help people too.

I was aghast! Although he was joking he was shocked at my reaction.  I told him that all that sperm could be a whole bunch of babies of which he was the father and a whole bunch of babies that would be my grandchildren. No matter what they would be our family and we would never know them. I know it sounds irrational. But I really couldn't get past it.

Also, who is to say that down the road his children or nieces and nephews wouldn't end up, unknowingly, with all those babies!  Also, I think I feel it is manipulative coming to a college and advertising to a vulnerable age group that are not mature enough to make an ethical decision.

I want to reiterate that I don't feel like I am right about this intellectually.  I feel as though I am self centered. I do believe in adoption and fostering and sperm donation. I guess the whole going to a specific group for their sperm and paying more money for that sperm weirds me out and I can't help that I would have a hard time knowing I had grandchildren that I would never know.

Ok, let me have it!

Beginner skiers and helmets...

It is awful news that Natasha Richardson is in critical condition due to a skiing accident. Especially since the accident occurred on a beginner slope, during a lesson. Because I am a ski instructor who teaches many beginners I hate to hear this news.

She wasn't wearing a helmet...

Many beginners don't. It doesn't appear necessary as most beginners are on a bunny hill with barely an incline. You would think that is the least dangerous area of the resort.

But that is wrong.

A helmet is not just for experts or dare devils. Or to protect you from trees or collisions. A helmet is very necessary on a beginner slope because that is where  the most mistakes regarding safety are made. Beginner snowboarders tend to forget to attach their leash and many a time an errant board comes hurtling down the hill, a VERY dangerous situation...especially if it were to hit a head. Beginners tend to be out of control and many have poles when they shouldn't, they become moving weapons as they speed done the hill unable to stop.

My thoughts and prayers are with Natasha Richardson and her family. I also pray that it become mandatory to wear helmets on any ski slope. A helmet may not have saved her from this injury...but we will never know.

Natasha Richardson has passed on, let's keep her family in our prayers during this difficult time. God bless her and them.

What happened last night?

A good time, that's what!
We headed over to our favorite bar for Corned beef and cabbage, green beer,  and Irish music.
Good times with good friends.
The food was amazing.
And there was popcorn while we waited.
Music too.
Kevin with my good friend, Doona Dolan Mulanaphy- How's that for Irish?
We all had different variations of green. Marc, Kathy, and Jan only have a wee bit of Irish in them but played along!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick's day!

And this...
...is how Kevin went to school today.

Every year since Kevin was small he has gone all out for St. Patrick's day.  I think it started when he was young and we went to a St. Patrick's day parade in New Orleans. The more you dress up or wear green the more beads you are thrown.  I don't think he is still looking for beads, but I do think he loves the fun of the "theme!"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dream a little dream for me....

Monday dreams. 
Yes, I fantasize. Not about other men.
 It depends. Sometimes I dream about how I would FINALLY do my kitchen or I fantasize about winning the US open...
Today, I am dreaming about summer and our favorite place, Long Beach Island.

Ironic that the image above illustrates this post and is one of our favorite places on the Island.

We love LBI because we have so many traditions and memories there. We like it because the beaches are great and there is plenty to do there, true.
Mostly we love it because we see family and friends in a relaxed atmosphere without the pressure of work and home responsibilities.

So, now you know where I am today, Fantasy island.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Seven things I love tag!

I have been tagged by Europafox to name seven things I love and then tag seven bloggers to do the same.
So here are my seven "things" 

I love when my husband and five children are all under one roof, doesn't happen enough these days.

 I love playing a sport rather than exercising. If I'm running? Someone better be chasing me!       

 I love helping people or connecting people with what they need. It could be a new dentist or a job opportunity...it doesn't matter. It is so satisfying helping someone find a solution to a problem.

I love my business. Most of the time. I really enjoy going into the city on buying trips, to the Gift show, or different showrooms- looking for the right items to sell. I love getting to know my customers and then looking for items that I know they would love. I appreciate making money to take pressure off my husband during these "two in college" years.

 I love that my parents and my four sisters are so close and that we all make an effort to remain so.  Geography is our biggest obstacle.

 I love seeing instances when my children achieve- in sports, academics, socially, work, love ...all of it. Not for bragging rights, but because I feel as though my husband and I have done our job.

I love that my husband and I are still married so many years... it's not always easy. 
We all know that. I really love my husband and love knowing that he thinks our marriage is as important as I do- even during rough patches. ( funny how the rough patches coincide with the years we had more than one teenager!)

Now I tag, (when you have a chance or have writer's block) seven bloggers:

Tami-Miller family Blog: seems like she has some good stuff going on!

Ina J. Offret- I know animals/dogs will be on her list :)

Ronda- Stella's Mom- She will have a dog item as well!

Only Half Nuts- She likes reasons to write AND dogs will be on her list too!

Pink Martini- this will be a way to get to know her better :)

Frau-West family Adventures: She is my sis!

The Preppy Princess- I have a feeling something fashionable will be on her list...

Have fun and anyone not listed?
 Feel free to jump in as it does help to write these type things down. Helps me to prioritize!

Here's one!

I can't take credit for this one. My friend Susan sent it to me. Ina finds the best!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lafayette women's lacrosse vs. Navy...

was last week... and they got their butts kicked. 
One of the moms sent this pic of my girl since we were unable to get down to Annapolis for the game.

Today they played Lehigh. 
They lost again. It can only get better.
How's that for positive?
 Oh, and Michaela scored a goal.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Random acts of kindness

I have a favorite French website, Tralalere! that posted a  video story of a random act of kindness today. Within a minute I had tears streaming down my face... I was surprised at my reaction and have been trying to analyze it for the last hour. 

I am wondering if it was the emotion  of the storyteller that affected me, the story, maybe it's me! Here is the link:
Please view it and let me know what you think. Is it me, him, or the story?

A bit disappointing...

In May we were set to go on a Mediterranean cruise. My husband had won the trip through work and we were very excited. However, it was just announced that due to the poor economy, it would be inappropriate to have a trip of this kind. Wow. That sucks.

I get it, I really do. It still is a bit disappointing.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Opalescent Pink Pearls...

Opalescent pink pearls are so pretty! 
 I think they look good on anyone, of any age.  They compliment every complexion. They can be worn to a prom or to a grocery store, with jeans or a ball gown.  They are more interesting than white or creme pearls.
Do you own a pair?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tennis Time!

In a few short weeks the nets are up at our tennis club. We play on a hard tru surface. It's soft and good on the joints, much more forgiving than a platform tennis surface. Because I play both sports outside I won't have that indoor to outdoor transition. As much as I love paddle, I am starting to get excited for tennis to begin.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Kitchen Tour Tag!

Joyce of the blog,  A Perfect Beginning, tagged me for a kitchen tour with a list of questions...over a week ago! Finally I have gotten to it.  

Be aware that this is the true before pictures of my future kitchen. Oh yes, when Mr. Economy stops scaring my poor husband we will finally begin construction on our new one. Our plans have been finalized, contractors nailed down... now just a waiting game until Mr. Economy is stable. So, on with the tour!

1.What color is your kitchen?  My kitchen is warm, honey colored cabinets with beige floors, tiles, and counter tops.
2.Describe your kitchen. My kitchen is a bit outdated and worn, but a favorite gathering place for family and friends.

3. Describe your dream kitchen. More efficient use of space, larger island more centralized, high ceilings, more light, better appliances, WHITE.

4.Favorite activity in the kitchen. Cooking, socializing, family togetherness.
5. Name one thing your kitchen is missing. An eating area large enough for the entire family. There is an island or the dining room. The sun room was used by the previous owners as a breakfast room. We chose to use it as another family room.

6. Do you cook or bake? I cook every day, seldom bake. My children bake a lot though.

7.What don't you like and what would you change? We are changing everything! Really. There are certain elements I will keep: two large sinks, gas stove, six burners.
8. What do you love about your kitchen? I LOVE the sun room off the kitchen, it is beautiful year round. Unfortunately it takes tremendous maintenance and up keep. One hail storm broke the seal on four of the windows causing them to fog up, they needed to be replaced at $300 each. This can happen once a year. So, that room will be where our new kitchen will be!

9.Worst kitchen activity? Cleaning the floor. Hate it.
10.Tea or Coffee? Both.
11.Chocolate or Vanilla? Both.
12. Do you like to prepare food or eat it? Both, but really enjoy preparing with my candle burning, wine in glass, children at the counter doing homework, and ( when they were alive) my dogs and cat hanging out watching!
13. Do you prefer to serve meals in the kitchen or dining room? I would like to serve in the kitchen and plan on it, but I do have to say- it is very civilized eating in our dining room. I am not surrounded by pots and pans and potential kitchen clean-up. Nor am I up and down getting things. Once we are in the dining room we sit and eat. We sit down together for dinner most every night. This is very important to my husband and I.

Well I hope you enjoyed the tour. I tag anyone that wants to let us take a peek into your kitchen/life!