Friday, August 30, 2013

Something to Look Forward to!

As sad as the end of summer is, there is one thing I love about the fall and that is the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. I don't think they are here quite yet, but counting the days! Hope everyone has a happy and safe Labor Day weekend. So long summer!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back to School!

It's finally time to go back to school! AGB in 7th grade, OPB in 4th and CMB in 5th. Ready or not, here we come!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happy Birthday! Double Digits!

Hard to believe the two little babies snuggled together in the moses basket are turning 10 today! CMB and OPB were born at about 8 am on August 27, 2003. Twins are rarely easy to carry and appendicitis at 20 week but me on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy but I held on until 39 weeks which is great for twins! They were still so small but not anymore!

OPB and CMB shared this moses basket until almost 6 weeks. Possibly the last time they willingly shared anything!

Here they are this summer with their little cousin E. They really don't look anything alike and she has 6 inches and almost 20 pounds on him. Additionally, she wil be starting 5th grade tomorrow while he starts 4th. He had some developmental delays and just wasn't ready to start K at 5 but she was. When you have twins it's easy to think of them as a single unit but sometimes seeing the separate child inside the unit is a better choice. Best decision I ever made, but the subjec tof another post I think. Anyway Happy Birthday to my twins!

Monday, August 26, 2013

There's an app for that?

I've been trying to get more organized and also to fully use my tech tools and I came upon this article at Sweet Lemon Magazine about some top apps for orgainzation. You can read the whole article here  but these are the ones they recomend:

 1.    AGOGO
This innovative app will forever change your morning commute or walks between classes. AGOGO combines your music and podcasts with regularly updated audio sound bites on everything from hard news to entertainment. Customize your experience by adding select segments to a playlist. You can also access your daily horoscope and personalized traffic report based on your route. Oh, and did I mention it’s pretty?
2.     Headspace
Want to know how Emma Watson stays zen? One app, one word: Headspace. The app’s tagline is “the world’s first gym membership for the mind.” It teaches you how to train your mind and stay mindful of yourself and the world around you. Headspace makes meditation much less intimidating with a step-by-step training program and cool features to help further motivate you. After the free trial, you have to pay a small monthly fee to get the full benefits, but it’s a small price to pay for inner peace.
3.     Flashcards
The Flashcards app is, well, just what it sounds like. Make your own set of cards or browse through an extensive directory of previously created cards on a variety of topics, from presidents to Portuguese. Now you can study for your midterm wherever you are or simply exercise your mind on-the-go!
4.     Mint
For many of us, saving money can be difficult. Having a good grasp on your financial situation is key, especially when you’re starting to live on your own, and Mint helps you do just that. You can record all of your purchases and see how much you spend on what at the end of each month. Mint also tracks all of your credit and debit cards, so your money’s all in one place. Here’s to no longer pinching pennies!
5.     LinkedIn
A LinkedIn account is more important than ever for college students, recent grads and working professionals. Networking is necessary in order to get your foot in the door at a new job or to learn about a new opportunity. The mobile app goes one step further by giving you all the information you need for success at your fingertips. Why wait?

Have you used any of these? Like others? Please share!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Checking out Ann Taylor for Fall

It's been a long time since I shopped much at Ann Taylor. Somehow it seemed matronly and old fashioned, to old you know? I was into J Crew and Anthropolgie. Time change though and I'm not wowed by the looks coming out of J Crew. There was nothing I wanted in their most recent roll out that I don't already have and cropped drawstring sweats aren't my thing. I am 43 and I want to look pulled together and smart, whether at work or the baseball, soccer, lacrosse field. Anyway, I was walking by Ann Taylor the other day and saw a great series of pictures with Kate Hudson. She looked amazing, womanly and pulled together, just glowing! Well that was enough to get me into the store. Below are some of my favorites. I didn't have alot of time but I will be going back with serrious interest. 

This camel skirt with navy dots is my favorite. Camel and navy are my main color story during the fall and this is fun. I like the lenght (are you listening J Crew?) and the fact it's not a pencil as this shapes fits me better.  
 I also like this tipped navy/camel blouse. More than that I like that the model is clean and pretty, not a disheveled stick. She looks like me, which tells me maybe this is a better place for me to shop.
I like this blouse too. It's the same pattern as the skirt. I wouldn't wear them together but tucked into navy pants, just like this.

What do you think? Do you shop Ann Taylor?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Going to the Chapel

It's hard to believe it's been 18 years but today is my anniversary!  It hasn't always been easy, marriage isn't, but its always been worth it!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

They're Here!

After a long summer of practice and excitement our new firends from Toyanaka, Japan have arrived. If you follow me you might recall that my oldest, AGB, made a citywide all star team that particpates in a baseball exchange of 12 year olds with our sister city in Japan. We are hosting this year and two of the boys from Japan are styaing with us which really makes it even more exciting!

This is AGB in the middle with the two players who are staying with us, Toi and Yusuke. At this point they had just met and already they are having fun! 
 This picture is all the boys from both teams at the welcom lunch. The organizer said he had never seen the two teams bond as fast as this group did. Baseball and boys seem to be a universal language!
This is AGB, Yusuke and Toi in uniform and headed off to the first game! The boys from Japan managed to defeat the home team 6-4 in 6 innings. It was a close game and really well played. There are 4 more games to come!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Getting Ready!

Here they are, the San Mateo Sister City Team. This is our final team photo, the boys from Toyanaka arrive Tuesday and we are super excited. Two of the players will be staying with us and AGB is so excited. We are cleaning and organizing this weekend so that everything will be perfect! Over the nextr week we will play 5 baseball games and have an assortment of BBQ's and sightseeing trips. It's a great experience and we are really looking forward to it! As it is the 50th anniversary of the exchange, the team voted to go retro with the uniforms, the are replicas of the ones worn by the very first San Mateo team in the exchange!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Next in Line for an Upgrade

So I recently upgraded my work out clothes and now I'm thinking about my sleepwear. I admit it has been a long while since I actually invested in pajamas. I confess that I've been married a long time (18 years in 2 weeks) and after 3 kids seductive night wear isn't what I'm thinking about. I'm thinking about cute, new comfy sleeping atire like the nightshirt above. Any sugestions?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Issa and Banana Republic

Banana Republic just launched a new collection in collaboration with the designer Issa. I don't know about you but Issa first came to my attention witht the great blue dress The Duchess of Cambridge wore when her engagement to Prince William was announced. This style is also vert flattering on my body type. I have a smaller waist and this really emphasizes it. I haven't checked it out yet but below are some of my favorites.

This blue dress is the closest one to the dress worn by Kate Middleton. It also comes in a pretty burgundy shade which I might like better for fall. It looks a little short to me but I think I would have to try it on. This is probably my favoritre. 
I do like this abstract print dress as well though. Again, it might be to short, hard to tell. 

I also really like this top. It comes in a couple other colors as well. It has the same great shape but in a top. This could be a win for me!

Have you seen the new collection? If so do share!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Workout Wear

I recently decided that it was time to upgrade my workout wear. I'm recently decided that the 15 pounds that have slowly crept on since I went back to work full time about 5 years ago have got to go so I re-dedicated myself to working out. However, I realized that I had 2 grungy pairs of cut off sweats, 3 saggy and tired exercise bras and a bunch of oversized tee shirts with logos from baseball tournaments! Not at all stylish or inspiring. I didn't want to spend a fortune so I hit up Old Navy and was pleased with what I found. 

 This gray zip up is reasonably well made and I like the little hand warmer things. They come in usefull and make the garment seem more upscale than it is.
 This loose tank has enough support that I don't need a separate bra which I like. I'm not super busty though (34b) so you may find you do if your girls are more bodacious. It hides the muffin top that still lurks and yet drapes nicely.
I also bought a few pairs of these compression capris. I really like them and they seem well made. Do you have any exercise favorites? I'm glad I decided that exercise can be stylish too!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Getting Excited!

In the City of San Mateo, where I live, we have a sister city in Japan called Toyanaka. Every 2 years we do a baseball exchange with players there for 12 year olds. All 12 year old baseball players who live in San Mateo can try out and they pick a team of 20. Some years they come here, some years we go there. This year is the 50th anniverary of the exchange and my son, AGB, is on the team. The players from Japan are coming here and they arrive in less than 2 weeks. The boys took this picture last night to send to the team in Japan. Two of the players are staying with us and we are getting super excited to meet them and have this neat experience! AGB is the player holding the sign right above the letter "A" with the sunglasses on his hat and the goofy grin on his face.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Updating a Classic?

I've seen alot of email traffic and talk about the new J Crew School Boy blazer. I think we can all agree that the navy School Boy is a closet staple. I know I wear mine at least once a week, to the office, out a night or with jeans on the weekend.

J Crew describes it this way according to an email I received:

Some History: School uniforms started in the 1500s in England, but the term "blazer" wasn't coined until 1825 by a group of Cambridge University students (the style was later adopted by '60s Mods as a symbol of youthful independence). Who Knew?

The New Schoolboy Blazer: Sometimes we take a lesson from you. You asked for it, so we gave the schoolboy a few new design updates, making it way better and the only blazer you'll ever need.The Details: (1) A slightly longer length elongates everything, so it's extra flattering. (2) Our silky stripe lining makes it even more comfortable. (3) Four buttons instead of three add detail and polish. (4) A menswear-inspired ticket pocket can hold little stuff like lipstick or credit cards- though we prefer keeping it closed.

Fortunately, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of difference in the two.  Elle, over at her {amazing} "Fast Food & Fast Fashion" blog. Check out her "Review: J. Crew Classic Schoolboy Blazer in Navy vs. New Schoolboy Blazer in Navy" post. There are tons of images that showcase both blazers side by side making the comparison easy.

I think I will stick with my classic as opposed to the new. How about you?