Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rocking the White Suit?

As June turns to July it really feels like summer. We are having a rather strange one here in SF. Today it is warm and sunny, two days ago it was 55 and pouring rain. Our usual summer pattern of foggy mornings and evenings has not really arrived yer but I expect it shortly. I saw this white suit on the Banana Republic web site the other day. I thought it was really cool but am not quite sure whether it would work here. I just can't see wearing it to work. Maybe out at night? Or to a party? I know that in warmer weather climates it might be different. It seems kind of "miami vice" to me. Is it maybe just a East Coast/Southern thing?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me!

It's my birthday today. I don't have anything super exciting planned. It's a normal work day for me but the kids have been cooking up all sorts of art projects if the glue and glitter consumption of the past 2 days is any indication so I expect treasures when I get home. I'm 41 today, wow that's hard to believe. Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

To Tuck or Not to Tuck, That is the Question!

Do you tuck in your shirts? I've always been a tucker. Mostly because I have narrow shoulders and a small waist and larger hips. Yes, I am a pear. If I don't tuck then I feel I look sloppey and much larger than I am. I know that alot depends on the shape of the top and what kind of bottoms but I general I tuck. What about you?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Potatoe Salad

Nothing says summer barbaque or picnic like potatoe salad. And with the 4th coming up, the time just seems right for a post on this summer treat. Everyone is familiar with the traditional version that mom used to make but this one is a little different. I found it in Southern Living and it's really good. Even my kids like it which is saying something! Give it a whirl, let me know if you like it. And if you've got a version you like even better, please share!

Ingredients3 pounds baby red potatoes, cut in half

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. fresh ground pepper

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar, or balsamic vinegar may be substituted but will darken the color of the dressing

2 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 oz. crumbled blue cheese

6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled


Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat.

Place potatoes in a single layer in center of a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bring up foil sides over potatoes; double fold top and side edges to seal, making 1 large packet.

Grill potatoes, in foil packet, covered with grill lid, 15 minutes on each side.

Remove packet from grill. carefully open packet, using tongs, and let potatoes cool 5 minutes.

Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add potatoes, tossing gently to coat.

Stir in onion, blue cheese, and bacon.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Troop 32599 does Camporee

This past weekend, CMB's brownie troop, 32599, attended our spring camporee. The fun starts Friday night and goes till Sunday morning. It is held at a YMCA camp in Pescadero. Last year it was really hot and sunny, not so much this year. It was cold and damp. A good time was still had by all! CMB at the archery range. Our troop was not old enough to do this last year so everyone wanted to do it this year. It was harder than it looked but most of the girls eventually managed to at least hit the target.

On the zip line! This is everyone's favorite activity

Troop 32599 in all it's glory. We say 12 banana slugs on this nature hike. A camp record!

Canoe time! Just in case you did not know, if you put 3 girls into a canoe someone will have to go fetch them and that someone will likely fall in the lake.

CMB on the rock climbing tower. She love this activity and climbed all four sides numerous times. Even the advanced side

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Opps, forgot the picture

Sorry, I was in such a hurry to hit the publish button that I forgot to attach the picture of the blazer I was talking about. What do you think?

Do I need a white blazer?

Today is the first day of summer and it is quite surpisingly warm here in the SF Bay Area. Quite a nice change after the cool, wet spring we have had. With the warmer weather come thoughts of white jeans, dresses, tops and shorts. I love summer white. One white summery item I have never owned is a white blazer. Yet I have seen several recently like the one above from the Gap. I saw a nice one at Banana Republic too. In some way they seem sort of "Golden Girl" to me. Older women in a retirement community if you get my drift. Yet somehow they are calling to me. I tend to wear a seersucker balzer during the summer when I need a light weight blazer but I'm really thinking about this one. I can see it with dark trouser jeans and a bright colored top or with cute summery shorts and espedrilles. What do you think? Do you own a white blazer?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ode to the Shirtdress

I love a shirtdress, especially in the summer. There is no other way to look as effortlessly polished on a warm summer day than the right shirtdress. And what makes the right shirtdress you ask? It should be a crisp fabric with some body to it. Not clinging in otherwords. I usually lose the fabic belt they tend to come with and wear a leather belt. It must be long enough too! This is especially important in dressing for work. Either right at the knee or maybe just an inch over. Anything more is likely to much leg. Worn with a cute flat or wedge this is the perfect summer outfit. And totally effortless! Just throw it on and go. I'm in love with this J Crew dress. It's right in so many ways. However, the major fail is length. It's way to short. I tried, I really did but there was no way to make it work so back it went. I hate the shoes too. I like a cute shoe. These don't seem to go with the fun summer vibe I get from my shirt dress. What do you think?Do you wear shirtdresses? Love them? Hate them?

Friday, June 17, 2011

How Weird are These?

OK, I get that rainy weather requires water proof shoes. I admit that I don't live in the North East or Mid Atlantic or even the South where summer thunder squalls occur. Still I just don't get these shoes. J Crew calls them rainy day flats and they are on sale for something like $50. But they have open toes? And side cut outs? Plus they are that plastic jelly like stuff that reminds me of th "jellys" I wore in the 5th grade. I just don't get it. If it's raining and wet enough to need water proof shoes, isn't it to wet for open toes? I mean what is the point?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Last Day of School

Yesterday was the last day of school. According to my kids, summer has now officially started. I always take the first day and the last day of school off. That way I can attend class parties, hug and thank the teachers one more time and then we all go get ice cream. This year we are ending on a high note because our principle announced that despite the budget mess here in California we are losing no staff and no programs. Yeah for us! Above you see AGB (now a 5th grader), OPB (now in 2nd) and CMB (now in 3rd) When did they get so big? Ths time next year I will be posting pictures from AGB's 5th grade graduation! As Scarlett O'Hara would say "I can't think about that now, I'll think about it tomorrow!"

I love summer time. I love that it stays light outside longer and the kids run around outside with their friends. I love sleepovers and camping and road trips. My only sad face is that when you are a full time working parent summer sometimes feels like a trap. I am actually paying someone to have fun with my kids while I sit inside at my desk all day. Sometimes that feels like a huge bummer. Starting next week the kids will go to camp in the afternoon and the sitter will come in the morning. I'm planning to schedule a few days to play hookey and have some fun though, you can count on that.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Field Trip

Field trips as I recall them are few and far between in public school these days. AGB's 4th grade class to a real old fashion all day long field trip to Sacramento last week. He took my older digital camera along and took some fun shots. The one above is of him and his 3 best buddies with the sate bear. It was a great day. They left on a real school bus at 7 am and returned at 5:30. Wow were they tired. Along the way they visited the Capital building, Sutters Fort and Old Town Sacramento. It was a real big boy day. I did not go as a chaperon because I had a big meeting. He took about $10 of his own money and was able to buy what he liked. He got a wooden yo yo and some salt water taffy. He didn't lose my camera. All and all. A sucessful day. My baby is growing up.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Wedges

I mostly wear flats but during the summer I love a wedge. They don't hurt my feet the way more traditional pumps do and somehow they say summer, even when I am at the office. I just won these great Banana Republic wedges on ebay and can't wait to wear them.

Friday, June 10, 2011

End of the Season

Well our little league season has come to a close. The Aces were defeated by the SMLLN team the Indians in our City tournament and we are out. The boys were really sad to be done because this has been a great season and a really fun team. Super nice boys all around. We do have potentially one more game. We were supposed to play in the championship of our divisions intra-league tournament last weekend but it was rained out. We are still working on whether we can get that rescheduled. And just because little league is over does not mean baseball is over. You may recall that AGB made a tournament team. The San Mateo Reds go forth to do battle this weekend in Pacifica. So batter up!

Aces pride! Our team banner on the dugout. Always helps to have the kids names and number so you know who is who under those batting helmets.

Consoling themselves with team snack after the loss.

AGB at the plate

The PCL Aces one and all. Thanks for a great season!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Casual Office Attire

I hate the very idea of business casual. To me it's almost an oxymoron. But everyone else loves it and here on the West Caost (San Francisco) it's pretty much the norm. It always seems so much harder to me then business attire. Wear a suit, bang you are ready. Our office just announced that we are officially business casual. Now what? How does one balance a professional work environment with relaxed attire? What is appropriate? And what is forbidden?

Sadly, as I mentioned before, the dress code is going the way of the dodo. This is especially true on the West Coast. Employers want to believe that the people they've hired are capable enough to decide for themselves. However, much like a frontier town without a sheriff, offices who keep to a vague business casual dress code are ripe for sin and lawlessness.

Here's what I have decided are some good ground rules for business casual. But whether my advice is appropriate for your work place is something that you will need to figure out for yourself. So here are some basic ground rules:

The following items are completely inappropriate for a work environment: exposed undergarments (bra straps, whale tail, etc.), flip-flops, dirty clothing, spaghetti straps, halter tops, shorts, miniskirts and any garment bearing the phrase "Juicy" or a similarly suggestive or childish statement. These are the basics, and I don't think any of these directives should be a challenge for a person who cares about her career trajectory.

If your outfit can double as beach/golf/club/gym/gardening attire, then you need to rethink wearing it to work. In the summer, it is not uncommon to see some folks who would look more at home on a treadmill or in a nightclub than hanging by the proverbial water cooler. So if you look in the mirror in the morning and think, "I could wear this outfit to (fill in location other than work)," take a moment to consider whether it is right for the office.

Unfortunatly, many offices don't provide their staff with any guidance and so individual tastes reign. If you're a supervisor or employer, do yourself a favor and at least enlighten your staff about the items you consider forbidden. It's the least that you can do.

Should you work in an office without a stated dress code beyond the totally unhelpful, business casual, don't be afraid to ask. If you feel like you can't, the best place to look is at the person whose job you want most. What does she wear? What does your boss wear? If you feel like you're dressing more casually than they are, upgrade. It's always better to dress for the job you want than the job you have.

Know Your Place. Should your employer or supervisor tell you that an item of clothing is inappropriate for work, it is. It doesn't matter what you think. If he/she says that it's not right for the office, it's not. Very simply, this is their company/office and they have the right to decide how it should be presented. So if they ask you to change or not to wear something again, do as they ask and be gracious about it. Say, "I'm sorry, I didn't realize that this was out of bounds. Thank you for telling me." Then move on. The only thing more unprofessional than being dressed wrong for work is arguing with your boss about what you're wearing. So unless the item in question is worn for religious or medical reasons, retire it without argument.

Dress for Success, Yours. Part of the reason why I think so many workplaces are off the reservation when it comes to dress codes is that when you feel so-so about your job, it shows in your wardrobe. So if you have a lackluster attitude toward the company you work for or the work that you do, you will be less likely to really take pride in your work attire. This is why you need to start dressing for you.

I've always thought that looking better or dressing better can boost your attitude, which will help you feel better about yourself and your job. Fake it til you make it. Because one day, you will have a job you enjoy or work for a company that you respect and you don't want to be unprepared in the wardrobe department.

The bottom line is that what to wear to your office greatly depends on the office and the job description. However, if you set a goal to dress for the job you want and not the job you have, you'll go far. It's when you get too comfortable that you will run into problems. So good luck!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

On the Road Again!

It's finally almost summer! The kids are out of school next Wednesday and it's time to start thinking about summer travel fun. In our family that means Road Trip! Even with the cost of gas, traveling with three kids is cheaper in the car. And then getting there is half the fun! We always have one epic trip per summer, usually up to Ashland Oregon where we go camping with Hubby's family which equals cousins. Now that the kids are old enough to appreciate side trips we tend to puncate a long car trip with side jaunts. Last year we hit the Jelly Belly Factory and the Shasta Dam on the way up to Oregon. This year we are also thinking about a trip down the coast to Santa Barbara. Maybe stopping at Hearst Castle on the way. We always take plenty of snacks and a soccer ball. Why a soccer ball you may ask? Many of the main road in California have large rest stops every couple hundred miles. We stop of a bathroom break and a quick run around game and people are much more settled in the car. How about you? Any favorite trips? Any great advice?

On the Road Again!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Do you have a favorite?

I try really hard not to have a favorite among my kids. I love them all equally, I really do. Still, secretly, I have to admit that I am partial to AGB, my oldest. Maybe it's because he was my first born? I stayed at home with him and we spent those wonderful days playing and nights nursing in the rocker that are so special to a new mom. CMB and OPB are twins, they were born when AGB was 2 and it was a crazy time. Hubby was out of work so there was stress and both the twins were colicy. I never had the sweet intimacy of cuddling and nursing them, mainly because the other one was screaming. Not as bad as it sounds when I read it here but it was not an easy time. I don't really think that is it anyway. AGB is the most like me as well. He is very sensitive and a total people pleaser. He tries so hard and is so polite and affectionate. I can't help it. At the same time, he's easily crushed and I find myself trying to make things smoother for him. CMB just moves through life like a bulldozer, sure she is the center of all attention and OPB is just his own little character. He has some behaviors that are on the autistic spectrum although he is not diagnosible (trust me here). Again, that's not to say I don't love my other two. I totally do. But something about this little man just gives me a little extra smile. Is there one of your kids you have a secret little leaning towards?

Friday, June 3, 2011

One Piece Suits, not so frumpy after all?

I've always been a bikini girl. But over at Match Book Magazine blog The Daily Spark, they were featuing these three great suits and celebrating the comeback of the refreshingly chic one-piece in recent years. All three are from Anthropologie and are to die for! Not even the fact that it is only 60 degrees outside, very cloudy and we are expecting 2 inches of rain tonight and tomorrow can get me down. I might just have to dive in! Do you own a one-piece? Which on of these do you like better? I adore the aqua one as well as the retro shape of the black polka dots, but then I love stripes! How to chose?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Life You Have Versus The Life You Wish You Had

One of the hardest things for me, style wise, is shopping for the life I actually have not the life i wish I had. I find myself crusing ebay, wandering the mall and shopping online and finding things I love but have no actual place to wear. I want them because they symbolize the way I wish things were not the way they are. Case in point below. This Banana Republic suit is the way my life is. I am a lawyer and and I work full time for a major bank in downtown San Francisco. Ok, sometimes I have a cardigan on instead of a full suit and sometimes its a skirt of dress but I don't work from home (I wish) nor am I in a creative field. So fun, funky dresses or tunics and shinny jeans are out. Dress pants, pencil skirts, blazers, cardigans, silk shells and nice shoes are in.
The Lilly dress is how I wish my life was. First, I live in Northern California, it doesn't get warm here in the summer. Ever heard the Mark Twain quote, "The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco"? Well it is totally true. And even when it is warm and sunny during the day it is cold, foggy and freezing at night. Also, I have three elementary school aged kids. On the weekends I am wearing jeans (not even nice ones) while helping coach the baseball team or biking with them, going to girl scouts, ballet, you get the picture. Not to complain but cute summer frocks are thin on the ground. Yet I adore Lilly dress and am constantly drawn to them as if by the simple fact they hang in my closet I will be transported to the life of a stay at home mom living in Viriginia or Maryland. (which is what I wish I was).

The above is not to indicate that I am not happy in my life. I am. I do find though, that a small splash or realism helps keep my closet and budget on track. What do you think? Does anyone out there suffer from the same problem?