Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Striving to Get in the Mood

OK, tomorrow is December. I can officially start feeling the Christmas love. In the B of A plaza directly outside my office they are having a tree lighting ceremony and a band is singing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of The Year". I'm not feeling really festive right now though because thoselittle annoying colds my kids had last week have turned into a sinus infection on me. Still I thought I'd make a list of things to remember to cherish this season, when all is nuts and the pressure to be perfect is sometimes overwhellming:
1. I'm doing the best I can. So what if it isn't all color co-ordinated and Martha Stewartish.
2. The kids are happy if I can just be there. It's worth it to sneak out from work to attend the school party. If that can't happen, baking cookies is enough.
3. A mess you enjoyed making (in the kitchen) is the fastest to clean up.
4. So I didn't work out today, that's what January is for
5. They are only little for such a short time, try and cherish it.
6. It's not a competition, with my sister or my friends.
7. In 4 weeks it will be over, enjoy it while you can.
Hopefully those reminders will help me keep it all in perspective. I'm going to stop in to Starbucks on my way home and get me a gingerbread latte in a RED CUP!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Do you "Dress" for Thanksgiving dinner?

Despite the fact that it seems to me much of the world has moved directly from Halloween to Christmas, Thanksgiving will be clebrated this week. I have always loved Thanksgiving. In some ways I prefer it to Christmas. It has great food, family and friends without the hysteria of high expectations and gift buying that sometimes seem to accompany Christmas. But what I am wondering is do you "Dress" of Thanksgiving dinner?

The reason I ask is that I have a bit of a quandry this year. If we were going to be at my parents the answer would be yes, of course. At my own house, same answer. Now I'm not talking super formal but a nice skirt and sweater, black patent mary janes and white tights for my daughter, cords, dress shirts and vests for the boys, same for hubby. Usually all the boys, including Hubby match.

This year we are going to one of my sister in law's homes. She lives in Carson City which is outside Reno, Nevada. It's about a 4 hour drive and we are leaving early (like really early) in the morning on Thanksgiving day to drive there. It's also really cold here now. It will be fun, there will be lots of people, great food and cousins for the kids to play with. My husbands family is NOT dressy. We made this same trip last year and I forced my kids and self to change before dinner. I think we were the only ones who did.

I get that the holiday is about more than how you look. But I like to look good, even while hanging out. I hate to make everyone get dressed nicely to drive all that way so early but don't want to see my kids looking like slobs at the Holiday table. So a dilema is at hand. I think I am going to wear skinny jeans, a merion turtleneck and boots which is more dressy than anyone else will be. That way, if I don't get to change it's ok. I will likely coral the kids and make them change though. Appearences are important. If that makes me superfical, so be it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Give Away at Shop with M!

In honor of reaching 100 followers Shop with M http://shopwithm.blogspot.com/ is having a lovely giveaway from J Crew and Kate Spade. My favorites! Hop over there to say congrats and have a chance at this lovely prize!

Shirred Wool Skirt

OK, so I am a year behind the times but I am loving the shirred wool skirt J crew did last winter. I missed them last year. They just weren't on my radar for whatever reason. I managed to score the gray one and the coral heather one over on the JCA. I have to admit they are really great. Now I did size up. I would normally take a medium in a skirt like this and it would be to short. Instead though, these are both larges. They sit lower, almost and then the length is perfect which is good because there is no hem to let you. I'm wearing the gray one today with textured black tight, flat black boot and a black turtleneck. I'm going to see the new Harry Potter movie with my sister after work so I wanted to be comfortable since I won't get home to change. Do you have these skirts? Do you love them?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Conferences and Report Cards

It's that time of year. Those of you who are teachers know the pain of conferences and report cards from your end. But I thought I'd tell it to you from mine. I have 3 kids in elementary school. The oldest is in 4th grade, I have one in 2nd and one in 1st. Yesterday afternoon I had all three conferences. This in itself was a scheduling miracle that I am not quite sure how it happened. The stars were all aligned on back to school night I guess.

First up was the first grader. Some background, he is 7 which makes him one of the older kids in the class. Actually, he is the twin brother of the 2nd grader. However, they have a late August birthday and he just wasn't ready when she clearly was. He is also on the autistic spectrum, although not diagnosible. He did a great deal of therapy between 18 months and 3 years and is totally mainstream with no services but there will always be some issues. Anyway, giving him that extra year was the best thing we could have done. He is excelling. His ready level is extremely high, he has no behavioral or social issues in class. I was so happy to hear how well he was doing. An absolute wonderful moment as a parent.

The came the second grader. She is a very good student but is one of those people who can does fine with the minimum of effort. She really needs to be pushed to excel. As the teacher put it , "I just don't think we have seen all that we can see of C" Her behavior is excellent and she is doing good work, just not excellent like she could. I was pleased to hear this and not really surprised. She really needs ot be motivated and we are going to work to figure out the best way to do this. She is very competitive.

Finally, the 4th grader. He is my super sweet, sensitive boy. He struggles with both dyslexia and dysgraphia. His teacher is aware of this and works well with him. He is also extremely good in class, respectful and well behaved. His report card and conference showed that he is also trying hard but the teacher feels he needs to push out of his comfort area. An example is that all his in class writing is about baseball. Now, that's his favorite sport and he knows alot about it but he needs to branch out and try something else. His reading has really improved but he is reluctant to try new, harder books. He reminds me alot of myself.

So all in all, a sucessful grading period. I am thankful, in this week before Thanksgiving, that my children go to a wonderful public school with teachers who care so much for their sucess.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Finally took the bait

Ok, I finally bit down and took the bait. I've been lusting after the J Crew pencil skirt in the yellowish color I think is called Bronze Ocher. I wanted it last year, didn't buy it. This year I have been looking at it on line, seeing all the cool Polyvore sets with it and generally considering it. I really wanted to see it in real life. I just wasn't sure about the color. I wasn't really sure it would work on me.

Then last night the J Crew gods smiled on me. I had to go to the mall to buy 3 copies of the book Mr. Popper's Penguin's for my son's 4th grade class. The teacher asked people to donate a couple of copies each so that each kid in the class could have one to read. The book store is very close to J Crew. So I poped in.

I told myself I wanted to see the newTartan shirt but who was I kidding. By the way, I didn't like the tartan shirt. I thought the colors were a little muted and it didn't fit well in the shoulders. But then, like a ray of sun shine there it was, the bonze ocher pencil skirt, in my size! Needless to say I grabbed it. It's a great color I never would have considered. I ended up trying it with the new navy striped tee that says Rev`e on it in sequins and a black pine forever cardigan. Again, not a combo I would have considered but loved. Needless to say, those three things came home with me!

Just as another note about the other items in the store. I wasn't really impressed. The other skirts were too short, the colors were sort of blah and I wasn't really inspired. I also wanted to see the new reindeer tee since I missed last years but it didn't thrill me as much as my other purchases did.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I was doing my usual lunch time blog perusal when I came upon some shots from the Talbots pring preview on The Wardrobe Review. I love everything about this. From the elegant model who looks clean and classic to the longer but still tailored skirt. When I contrast it with the pictures I have seen of the J Crew spring role out, well I can tell you where my dollars are going to go.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Long Overdue Halloween Post

OK, I admit it. I'm way over due in posting my pictures of Halloween fun. In my defense it was an insanely busy weekend and it took me a while to get all the pictures downloaded. First up we have a picture of the three kids heading out to trick or treat. A Police Officer, a Colorado Rockies Baseball player and a Cheeleader. For only being out about an hour or so, a great deal of loot was collected. It's still being hoarded and guarded.

This second picture was taken during the day on Halloween. it is opening meet for the Los Altos Hounds. This is my daughter on the little pony, me on the big black horse and my mom on the red mare. It was a gorgeous day and alot of fun. C has been riding out with us on her pony since she was 3. She turned 7 in August. This is her second year off the leadline. With the exception of the fact the pony hates to cross water she does great.
Finally, this is a picture of hubby and I at a grownups only party Saturday night. We have a friend who always threw the best halloween parties, band and everything. Then a few years ago she moved away and we were so sad. Then this year she moved back. Yeah, wild halloween party again. It was quite an event. A good time was had by all.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just Wrong in So Many Ways

OK, I swear this is not whinning. This is sheer amazement at something that is so bad I feel the need to call it to you attention lest it tragically fall into your shopping cart and find it's way into your home. J Crew calls this the Super 120 Tulip Mini Skirt. Their description is:

"Swaths of our famed four-season Super 120s merino wool drape divinely from a fine Japanese grosgrain elastic band, creating this modern desk-to-dinner skirt that's at once sweet, sexy and sophisticated. Sits at waist. Fully lined. 17 1/2" long. Import. Dry clean. Catalog/jcrew.com only."

Ok, translation time. First off instead of "swathes" read "hip highlighting". Second, I don't know about you but there is nothing desk appropriate about 17 inches at my office. I don't want my office look to be sweet or sexy. This certainly isn't sophisticated. Add to that the no makeup, messy hair poor posture and wack-a-doodle footwear choices and this is an epic fail. Topped off by the fact that is cost $138. J Crew, I am truely speechless at how bad this is. Now, let me call your attention to the picture below

This is older J Crew, 2007 I think. Anouck is my favorite all time J Crew model. I used to want to buy everything she tried on and I endlessly tried to copy her lipstick shades. Anyway, these girls look happy, clean and really quite darling. I would buy the skirts they are wearing for $138. And they aren't "swathed" in anything. I know I am of the group that perfers the "old" Jcrew to the current one but really, can you blame me?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Personal Triumph!

I've noticed that alot of my blog posts sometimes seem to be whinny when I read them later. You know, yesterday I whinned about red cups. Lots of days I whine about my life. I've decided my New Years Resolution (hey I Strbucks can have red cups in November I can make my resolutions then too!) is to be more positive. I want to celebrate life, not whine about it. SO without further ado, TA DAH! I figured out how to link my polyvore sets on the blog. SO now you can see the things I make on polyvore should you be so interested! I'm not very tech savy so this is a big step for me! Have a great day!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Red Cups Are Here!

Now that Halloween is in our past and those nasty molding jack-o-lanterns have gone out with last weeks trash I see yet another sign that the Holidays are upon us, Red Cups! You know the ones I mean, the Starbucks Red Cup. A sight that practically requires a ginerbread latte or pepermint mocha to be sipped while visions of sugarplums dance in your head! I have only one trouble with this. It's not Thanksgiving yet. I'm still feeling the pumpkin spice love. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas. I am the first person to get my tree and decorate my house. I just require that it be actually in December. I also love Thanksgiving. It gives me that fun, family holiday feeling without all the pressure (or expense) of gifts. I'm loking forward to my first red cup, you can be sure. But you can also be sure that it will be on December 1. Does that make me a candidate for Scrooge?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Now that's work appropriate

I was over at the mothership the other day and there were some wonderful images of really what I consider "old school" J Crew. The style and look that were the Paris and Scotland cataloges we all love so well. I was looking at other images from "Paris" and found this wonderful page from their suit collection and was amazed. It actually looked like something I would wear to work. No droopy, frayed, borrowed from the boys stuff. This is how I like to look at work. Clean and pulled together. The models also actually look like they have seen a sqaure meal in the last 24 hours. I actually own this suit and it still looks as good today as when I bought it. Please J Crew, can I have another?