Archives for the month of: January, 2011

I was never really a lingerie cliche when it came to women-wearing-cotton after getting married/having kids because I never really got into the lacy thing to begin with. There was no sexy-to-shlumpy transition as it is the one category for me where comfort always trumps style. And I will admit that I’ve hit rock bottom in American Apparel for day and Jon’s old baseball tees for night, but what can I say. Shit happens. My one sexy exception-and this is a look I still rock-is choosing a super stylish bra when a) wearing a sheer blouse or b) the bra strap is “accidentally” showing. So I guess you can say, when it’s exposed, it’s worthy. Now that’s a look I can get behind. Below, a new find from an old friend.

I started volunteering for CoachArt this year. Yesterday I logged in a morning decorating picture frames and canvas totes with chronically sick kids at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, an institution in which my family is very involved. Even though all my kids were hooked up to IVs, they were upbeat and ready to create (which speaks to the collective “I could never volunteer there,” thinking it would be depressing.) I made a connection with a girl named Psalms, who really touched me and is someone I can’t wait to see again. It’s always inspiring to watch kids create because they’re so focused and emotionally involved. But it’s truly amazing to see sick children get lost in an art project. This post is an ode to kid’s unbreakable spirits, both inside and outside the art room. Below, Art to go, a worthwhile kit to toss in your bag.

Ask a parent friend what he or she loves about having kids and I bet you one of the things will be, Being able to throw yourself back into childhood (hopefully, your own but if not, a new one.) Granted, it kind of comes with the territory because you’re surrounded by childhood all the time. Just think: holidays are super fun again. Icing cupcakes become a creative release. Taking a walk around the block turns into a nature hike. But mostly, I find that building the anticipation toward something (and in my house, we build anticipation toward everything by default) is the most fulfilling because it forces you to appreciate everything in a new way. And I’m talking about a planned ski trip to Deer Valley to watching Little Mermaid for the first time to ice cream with sprinkles saved for desert. Here, a YSL coloring book, a find that blurs the line between kid fun and grown-up fun. And please don’t ask my why I was surfing Amazon France.

As I fiddled around in my diaper bag while waiting “patiently” at the pediatrician for a half hour with my ear-infected 15 month old this morning, it occurred to me just how key those bag contents can be. It’s somehow at the most dire times that I find myself armed with close to nothing. And by that I mean: stripey straws, three pair of toddler sunglasses, days of the week undies (in a diaper bag no doubt, what?) one random block and, wait for it…a Tide pen. All in all, it bought me about eight minutes (with twenty seven to spare.) Of equal importance however, is the bag itself. While I’m still inlove with my Anya Hindmarch “Be a Bag” tote, I feel that this Olympia Le-Tan style would do right by me. No Skip Hop here!

I think this is happening. I’ve been toying with the idea ever since I gave birth to Gemma and have been feeling in a constant state of “nasty” (even while on a modified macro-biotic diet, which says a lot.) I think kids will just nastify you in a way you can’t escape. Working out becomes a luxury. You eat random extra bites that you don’t necessarily want, constantly. You’re not getting a full eight hours. You have a love affair with food you haven’t had since you were three (mine is with goldfish.) And oh yes, alcohol usually plays a starring role…Juice fast me! My friend Abby turned me on to Pressed Juicery in Brentwood which I guess is the place right now (eye roll)  but it really does look fabulous. I told myself I would grow a pair this year and just go for it. Bottoms up!

I never understand women who say they don’t want their daughter to play with dolls. To me, those are the same people who say they don’t want their son to play with dolls because it’s implying that the child is a certain way if he/she plays with a certain toy (like,  your daughter will be a tom-boy if you keep dolls out of her reach or your son will be girly of you let him play with them.) I think the idea of gender specific toys is really hampering and kind of a waste of energy. I am personally going through a kid robot obsession, historically a boy’s toy….So what does that say about me?

I’d been meaning to get Gemma an electronic toothbrush and yesterday, I found one that comes with 100 stickers (including letters) to use to decorate (or shall I say, to personalize.) Let’s just say, The joys of CVS. But…..it was kind of genius because it got her pumped up for brushing, come nighttime. If I could, I’d monogram/customize/personalize every single thing in sight. It adds value to “things” when there is a personal inscription or even just a felt tag with initials. That’s why Aurora Lopez Mejia‘s collection of engravable jewelry is the dream of all dreams. They have that raw, natural look but are also modern and wearable. And you know that anything this special will be treasured by future generations.

 

There’s so much chatter (or should I say speaking up) about how children don’t have enough time to play and “be bored” these days. The documentary Race to Nowhere talks about the dangers of over-scheduling and academic pressure and just today The New York Times published an article about the benefits of creating “a messy home” (meaning, letting your kids play freely, without restrictions.) As I wait to hear from pre-schools, all I can do is hope that the one we choose will provide an endless space to explore and create. Then again, my friend Liz didn’t enter the school system until kindergarten and she is a Brown grad, a published novelist, entrepreneur, and one of the most creative people I know. So as an adult, you could say she makes a case for home schooling! I believe that you need to trust yourself as a parent to know that time spent with your kids is about quality and focused energy…That said, I also feel that you can’t beat yourself up about it when you need to perch them in front of Elmo. We’re only human. Here, some great looking blocks from Play Shapes that are sure to kick-start any imagination.

One of my new year’s resolutions (aside from “to cook more!”) is to cut back on the frivolous shopping and focus on smart, well-thought out purchases. That said, as I was traipsing down Melrose Place during holiday mark-downs (there are so many good ones in the hood now: Vanessa Bruno, Ten Over Six, Pratesi and my beloved Marni,) I wandered over to an over-sized vintage Steiff giraffe that I thought would be perfect for Gem’s new room. And by the way, I shuffled past some good daisy printed tops and cashmere Isle sweaters to get to this thing (I was in Marc Jacobs, for heaven’s sake.) Aside from the fact that it was it $750, it made me reflect on all of the impulsive buys I’ve made for my kids (and before them, for myself.) My mom has told me many times that my favorite toy was an empty Dannon yogurt container. It proves a million beautiful points about creative play of which I remind myself whenever we are on a play date and I start to feel like we have an under-toyed home. And so I walked on by (well to be honest, it was back over to the stacked sweaters.) But the giraffe still lives on Melrose Place.

I’m hoping everyone had a wonderful new year and overall holiday season! I, for one, am happy to resume to our regularly scheduled program. I get thrown when Jon is home more than usual and our go-to Thai place isn’t even open. I am what you call a creature of habit, I guess. In response to last year’s continuous gluttony of gifts, this year we tried to do fewer but that are thoughtful or special. l  I’d like to thank Babyccino, one of my favorite kids blogs, for introducing me to Severina dolls, a charming, quirky and super fashionable collection out of Spain (I wanted the one in a sequined hand-sewn jacket but sadly, it had sold.) However ours came in a nubby chocolate vest, Stella McCartney-ish cropped pants, and our hairstyle du jour, Princess Leya buns. It’s sure to inspire more than one winter outfit selection in our house.

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