Monthly Archives: June 2010

This Season I Am All About The Nude Shoe…


As the More is More Mom®, I must confess; I am addicted to…..more shoes! I love shoes. Shoes make me happy. Shoes make me feel good about myself. No matter what my scale says, my shoes never let me down! Some are pretty, some are fierce, some are sassy, some are cute and some are comfy (but not very many).

This season I am all about…The Nude Shoe. These champagne hued gems are sophisticated and coordinate beautifully with everything in your wardrobe (and they make your legs look like they go on forever…).  

My fascination with the Nude Shoe began over four years ago.

 

These Joan & David strappy wedges are gorgeous and comfy. I can wear them all day!

 

I’ve had these Unisa espadrilles forever. They are casual, but get a little bit of glam with the shantung silk and the feminine ankle wrap.

 

This season I’ve gone hog wild! The Born brand is absolutely known for their quality construction and comfort. These babies don’t disappoint. It’s as though you’re walking on clouds in a sandal embellished with a flirty and fun day lily. They just scream summer!

While Amanda was on the hunt for no fewer than four dresses this spring season, I was also in dire need of some new fashions. I found great dresses from Talbots (they have really upped the style ante and are channeling J Crewe for the middle aged) in a sherbet rainbow; a classic Kelly Green (one of my all time favorite colors!), a pique raspberry and an orange which is reminiscent of a Push-up pop (like from the ice cream truck). I was totally obsessed with finding the perfect Nude Shoe for each of these dresses.

 

What a sweet, sling back from Bandalino. These feature a small, floral detailed, embellishment on the toe, and I think they are great with a slightly darker, copper-y metallic sheen.

 

Then there are the 9 West modified gladiator. I never did wear these, but I think they would be divine with a pair of capri’s out for the evening….. Here’s a little tip; if you are on the wrong side of 20, tone down the trends. It’s much more appropriate to express your style by incorporating the flavor of a hot new look. Adult women know who they are and what looks good on them. Have a little fun with a trend without being a slave to it. These are perfect! They aren’t too clunky and the color lends them a classic vibe.

I did purchase two pairs of Heavenly offerings from Ellen Tracy. They are, without a doubt, the most comfortable dress shoes I have ever owned. Hitting the dance floor all night long would be a dream in either of these beauties!

 

A strappy sandal is always in fashion, but these are especially gorgeous and friendly. The thicker strap is a wink to the gladiator, while retaining a lady like elegance.

 

I think Jackie O. would have been smitten with these stunning peep toes. They are so fresh and up to date in the lovely, nude tone and the patent leather finish. Classic!

 

Now, I am never one to endorse a matchy-matchy look in either fashion or furnishings. I prefer a more thoughtful and eclectic pairing, but you can never go wrong with a gorgeous, statement handbag to coordinate with your shoes. This is a fabulous purse from Coach. Wear it with a nude shoe or a burst of color or pattern. You’ll never go wrong!

More shoes, more handbags, more fashions…..more fun!

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The First Day of Summer? I’m Already Tired!


Ah, June 21st, the first day of Summer; more sunshine, more flowers, more baseball games, more barbeques, more ice cream, more watermelon, more water fun, more bike rides…..more college visits?

I am sooooo tired! I was up for three days getting ready for our Father’s Day celebration. My family has been very patient with me, as I can’t wait to share a fantastic 4th of July party with you. So, for Father’s Day, I planned an amazing menu, with a beautiful buffet and tablescape, and my family indulged me by celebrating the Faux of July! Next week I will be showcasing delicious recipes and party planning tips! Yay!

In the meantime, Nick and I hit the road at 6:00 o’clock Monday morning for a quick road trip and college visits. Again….Yay!

The days are inching closer and closer to the time that my Nick heads off to college and that makes me very sad; I’m not ready to let him go (and clearly it’s all about me). My Nicky is amazing…he’s bright and funny, with a wicked sense of humor, he’s talented, he’s exceedingly kind and he’s quite handsome (if don’t say so myself…). It is impossible to imagine what our household will be like without him (other than very quite), and it makes me exhausted just thinking about it!

If I’m looking at the glass as half full, then I appreciate the time we’re spending together. There’s nothing more fun that coercing a cranky teenager out of bed in the morning (or afternoon), and hitting the road, just the two of you. Monday, our day was exciting (especially the 40 minutes we spent in the most awful, torrential down pour EVER! White knuckles and everything!). There was no Donny Osmond sighting, so I should have known; we visited a very small school, and it reminded us of how much we enjoyed another small school. We visited a large campus and it reminded us of just how much he enjoyed another large campus.

Five hours in the car, two campus’s, an audio book (Who’s Your Caddy, by Rick Reilly, was great, but it was no Confessions of a Shopaholic!), and more time with my fella….what more could I ever ask?

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Thankfully there are about a million ways to prepare chicken!


Every family has their favorites. Nick is a pasta guy; spaghetti, penne and macaroni (and lots of chocolate!). Amanda is a carnivore; she loves her steaks and hamburgers bloody and rare. Chuck is in favor of a meal for supper, and I think wine and Haagen-Dazs chocolate, chocolate chip ice cream sounds like a fine meal. However, there is one thing that we can all agree upon; we love this Roasted Chicken with a Rich Dijon Sauce.

Roasted Chicken with Dijon Sauce:

3 lbs chicken parts (we happen to be partial to breasts and drumsticks, but you should use whatever your family likes)

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 small shallots, thinly sliced

¾ cup dry white wine

¾ cup chicken broth (perhaps reduced sodium)

¼ cup heavy cream (I always use a heavy whipping cream. It’s so rich!)

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp finely chopped chives (I love the salty, tasty goodness, so I used 2 Tbsp and it’s to die for! Scallions work quite nicely as well)

Pre-heat oven to 450°, with the rack placed in the middle.

Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper (everything tastes better with black, cracked pepper!).

Heat oil in an ovenproof, 12” (or bigger), heavy skillet over medium-high heat until the oil glistens….

You may have to work the chicken in two batches. Brown the chicken by placing it skin side down until the chicken becomes a nice golden color (about 5 minutes). Turn the chicken skin side up (returning any pieces that were removed in a previous batch to the skillet) and roast in the oven, 15-20 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a platter. Add the shallots, wine and broth to the pan juices in the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping any brown bits, until the sauce is reduced by half 2-3 minutes.

Add cream and boil until the sauce thickens (about 1-2 minutes, but you’ll really want it to thicken, or it will be too runny).

Strain the sauce through a sieve in to a bowl.

Whisk in mustard, chives, salt and pepper.

Drizzle the sauce over the chicken. It’s amazing!

Garlic Roasted Potatoes:


I make these bad boys all the time. They are mouth watering goodness! I always prepare a big batch so we have leftovers for another night.

Pre-heat oven to 375° (if you have convection capability, all the better).
3- 24 oz bags of little potatoes. I love a variety, so I always get 2 red potatoes and 1 golden. I cut them in to nice, bite size, cubes. Rinse the potatoes and place in a lightly greased roasting pan (I like a little Pam on the bottom of the pan. It really does help to prevent the potatoes sticking.).

16 cloves of garlic…or more (you know how much I love the garlic!). You can use less certainly; but three pounds is a lot of potatoes. Press the garlic and spread evenly across the pan.

Add salt (sea) and pepper (cracked black pepper baby) and cover with a light coating of olive oil. You want enough to coat the potatoes, but not so much that the potatoes are drowning in oil, because that would be gross. Mix well.

Roast for about 45-60 minutes and serve.

 

My people are all willing to eat broccoli (unlikely choice right?). So we make broccoli 9 out of 10 nights. I buy the florets in a bag, all ready to go. I bring water to a boil in a large saucepan and add the broccoli, drain and butter (butter and ranch dressing would be precisely the way one is able to choke down the vegetables!).

Chicken, potatoes and broccoli; a more healthy and more delicious dinner!!

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Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates…..Sort of.


Life is like a box of chocolates……sort of.

My book club is the best! There are eleven of us; all mothers from Our Lady of Perpetual Donations Grammar School. Between us, we have 30 children in grade school, high school and college. What we lack in diversity, we make up for in commitment to our personal ideals and perspective (most shared, many unique). We have read a huge variety; classics, pop culture, best sellers, controversial books and sleepers.

We have always met in the evenings for a few snicky snacks, cocktails and scintillating discussions. But motherhood is a tough and demanding profession. Evenings can be complicated with family commitments such as homework (if I can’t comprehend the material, I can certainly crack the whip!), sports (fans and transportation are always in demand), dinner (why are these people always so hungry?) and work (bringing home the bacon is nowhere near as much fun as eating it!). Some nights it’s simply impossible to squeeze it all in.

During the school year we’ve decided to try something completely new……luncheon meetings. Thankfully, we’re back to our summer evening hours, because too many cocktails at lunch seems kind of booze haggy. Cocktails in the evening feels completely social. Regardless of when we meet however, one problem still remains: while everyone attends the meetings, not everyone reads the book. Hmmmm. What to do?

My dear friend Julia had a delicious idea; if you haven’t managed to read the book, you are required to bring a box of good chocolates. Like truffles. While M n M’s are to die for, only decadent and luscious chocolates will suffice.

Well, we met Wednesday night for our first meeting since instituting the new bylaw. We enjoyed a great night full of love and laughter, thoughtful discussion and two beautiful and amazing boxes of chocolates…..How sweet it is!

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Wrigley Says, “You’re Not The Boss of Me!”


Wrigley was an adorable, but awful puppy! I suppose, in the end, we were just ineffective owners. Perhaps that’s been our problem all along…..we don’t see ourselves as his owners, but as his family.

He’s a pretty funny character, that Wrigley. At 7 ½ years of age, he’s still a bit of a pup. I think, because he sleeps with Chuck and me, that he thinks that he is one of the leaders of the pack. Clearly, in his mind, Chuck is in charge, and I think, he thinks, that he and I tied for second. Wrigley has always and forever been gentle with Amanda. Even now, when she leaves the yard, he follows her all the way to the edge and then cranes his neck to watch her until he can no longer see her in the distance. He doesn’t nibble on her or bark at her particularly. She is his golden child.

Nick, on the other hand, is the weakest link….. From day one, Wrigley’s goal in life has been to dominate Nick. It must be an alpha dog thing, but I can tell you its rather bothersome. He’s like that pesky younger brother; he wants to do everything Nick is doing and to have everything Nick has. He’s a pest!

A while back, Chuck, Amanda and I were gone for the day, leaving Nick in charge of Trouble…..and boy was he ever!

The instructions were simple; when you get home from school take Wrigley for a walk. Well, Nick is a creature of habit as the Crown Prince of our household. He’s like an old man. He walks in the door, removes his tie (discarding it in the Mud Room), takes off his dress shirt (discarding it in a pile on the Kitchen table), deposits his wallet and car keys in a heap on the Kitchen island, and drops his trousers in the Powder Room. He riffles through the mail to locate some reading material, grabs a snack (usually Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups or a plate full of home made baked goods and a great big, cold, glass of orange juice…Tropicana, No Pulp), and then retires to the sofa to relax…..

But Wrigley needs to go for a walk, apparently interrupting Nick’s hour of relaxation, so instead Nick opens the door to let him out in front. Wrigley has been known (okay is known daily, even multiple times daily) to leave the yard and go visit our neighbor two doors down. He’s like a raccoon; she gives him treats and he keeps coming back. After he’s had a chance to play (and has a belly full of ill-gotten gains), Missy brings Wrigley home. She knocks on our door to return Wrigley to his rightful owners and Nick has to answer the door in his undershirt and boxer shorts (at least he was wearing them!). I suppose it is at this moment that Nick determines he should put on some pants.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Moments later, we are told, Wrigley taps on the door again (his way of letting us know he’d like to go outside)……and Nick lets him out! It appears to Nick that Wrigley is mulling about the driveway enjoying the fresh air. A short time later Nick goes to the window to check on Wrigley and he is no where to be seen. Now Nick is getting worried, so he puts on a pair of shoes and goes outside to investigate. He looks down the block to find our neighbor, Mr. N, heading towards our house with his own dog for a walk on her leash, and Wrigley following close behind. Mr. N said that Wrigley liberated himself from our yard to head over to play with Cazzie (his well behaved dog). Wisely, getting a gander at Wrigley’s razor sharp pearly whites, Mr. N didn’t think it was worth risking life and limb to slip a leash on Wrigley’s choke collar, so decided they would all just walk Wrigley home together instead. Wrigley is beside himself with excitement and won’t come in the house on his own accord, so Mr. N brings Cazzie in our Mud Room so Wrigley will follow suit. Aha! He’s been out smarted! Nick apologizes and thanks Mr. N and Wrigley is thoroughly disappointed. In all of his excitement, he knocks over the umbrella stand, sending it crashing to the ground, shattering to pieces.

 

 

Fool me three times…..really, three times? Wrigley taps on the door, and an exasperated Nick lets him out again! This time, Wrigley makes no pretense of mulling about the yard like an angel, but instead, at top speed goes flying out of the yard back to Missy’s house, with Nick, this time, in hot pursuit. Wrigley is a man on a mission. He’s like the Tasmanian Devil, whirling past Missy and her pooch Gen, and is frantically digging behind her bushes. Fast as lightening, he un-Earths a moldy old rawhide bone, and before Missy and Nick can wrestle it out of his mouth, he swallows it whole…. In One Big Gulp! Completely satisfied, Wrigley then walks to the middle of Missy’s front yard, and proceeds to leave an enormous gift!

Wrigley turns to Nick and says, “Just so you know, you’re not the boss of me……”

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