Monthly Archives: May 2011

Prom Redux……

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more Prom Redux! Because more of everything is always better, why go to one prom when you can go to two? While Nick attends the Be All and End All Academy, his girlfriend, E, attends another school. Two weeks ago, the kids had a great time at E’s prom, and even though both proms were being held at the same venue, I totally get why Nick might want to catch his too. The only complication was that E had a softball game on Prom Night…….

What are you gonna do? The kids decided that they would join in on Prom fun as soon as E’s game was over. All Nick had to do was get permission for late arrival to the dance and they were “In Like Flint” (cool dude James Coburn as super spy Derek Flint).

Nick is not a terribly sentimental guy, so he was hardly heartbroken to miss out on the mob scene that would be the Prom picture party. In fact, he was way more excited to be able to keep his Friday golf lesson while E was at her game. A practical twosome; not knowing what time E’s game would wrap up, the kids thought it might be easier if she met him at the Prom. She’s an AWESOME gal; lovely, smart, talented, gorgeous and reasonable with no demands and no drama. She’s perfect!

With Prom night fast approaching, I popped into Men’s Wearhouse to grab Nick’s tuxedo. The place was crawling with high school boys, their mom’s, colorful ties and cummerbunds. When it was finally my turn, we discovered that Nick was tux-less! His was accidently sent back to the Men’s Warehouse mother-ship. The very nice manager assured me it would be in the store, ready for pick up, by noon on Friday…..Prom Night. Once again; what are you gonna do? Should worse come to worse, it wouldn’t have bothered Nick in the least to wear his own suit. Some may say apathy. I say confidence.


This day was actually shaping up quite nicely. On our way to Amanda’s Sectional Track Meet (momentary bragging mom alert: where she ran Varsity 4×1, 4×2 and made it to event finals for both long jump and triple jump as a freshman. Way to go Sister!), my mom and I stopped into Hollyhock’s floral shop for the nosegay, and kept it wrapped in plastic in a cooler in my car to keep it perfect. Hey, at least this time we remembered the flowers.

On his way to his lesson, he was thrilled to hear from E that her softball game had been canceled due to the 40 days and 40 nights of rain we’ve experienced this year. The mad rush was on…..


Nick finished his lesson, raced home, took a shower, walked the dog and met me at Men’s Wearhouse, which was right up the street from Amanda’s Sectional Track meet. I didn’t miss a thing. The planets and the moons were completely in alignment (had I only thought to play the lottery!). At 5:50pm, Nick was able to get into a dressing room, and like Superman running through a revolving door, he was dressed and ready in a flash. Best of all, because of their mistake, Men’s Warehouse gave us Nick’s tux rental for the $20 deposit we’d made a few weeks earlier. Yay us! I handed him the nosegay for E, lest we be total losers twice in two weeks by forgetting the flowers, snapped a quick photo while he protested, and off he went… pick up E and take her to the Prom (where they danced, laughed and had an all around great time).

More softball games, more golf lessons, more rain, more Prom memories……

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My Favorite Things About Vanity Fair Magazine….


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more Vanity Fair magazine! While I am a total slave to shelter magazines like Traditional Home, House Beautiful and Better Homes & Gardens, my absolute all time favorite magazine is Vanity Fair. Each issue is chock full fabulous information; politics (too complicated and boring for me to really, truly follow), business (tantalizing and often scandalous!), culture (art, music, literature, very sophisticated), society (London, New York, LA and world jet setter’s….fun to see how the other half lives), style (for the Fashionista in all of us) and the very best part Hurray for HOLLYWOOD!

Years and years ago, when I was first introduced to Vanity Fair, I fell in love with columnist Dominick Dunne (father of Griffin Dunne of Who’s That Girl Fame…you know, the movie with Madonna). The moment I found the latest issue in my mail box, I frantically flipped around until I found Mr. Dunne’s latest juicy offering. Amongst other things, he was an amazing investigative journalist, who hob-knobbed with the rich and famous. In the words of Alice Roosevelt Longworth (Teddy Roosevelt is my all time favorite president), “If you can’t say something nice, come sit by me.”

I love getting a little glimpse into the lives of the fabulous, which is why the “My Stuff” feature is always a must see. A mover and shaker is profiled, where they divulge intimate details about their favorite everyday products.

I’ve always wanted to be profiled, so I thought it would be fun to compare the answers of the ultra-chic and fantastic with ordinary mom (which would be me).


Where do you live?


Western Suburbs of Chicago

Favorite Art?

Frances Bacon

Kevin Bacon





World-Traveler Trunks

Vera Bradley

Coffee Maker?

Cuisinart 12-cup

Starbucks Drive-thru hot chocolate



Office Max

Favorite record?

Karen Elson’s The Ghost Who Walks

K-tel Hits (I especially like my “album” with Eric Clapton singing I Shot the Sheriff)

Favorite Gadget?


I-Pod (with my nearly 5,000 songs, because more of everything is ALWAYS better)



Rag and Bone

Eddie Bauer, Tall (thanks you Eddie Bauer….long inseams are hard to fit)



Nike Shox

Day Bag?

Chanel chain bag or Dolce and Gabbana Miss Sicily

Raspberry Cole Haan, on clearance at TJ Maxx


James Perse

Old Navy


Dolce and Gabbana Scarlett

Bath and Body lip gloss in Warm Vanilla



Chanel, and Sonia Kashuk for Target (slightly more reasonably priced)



Crest (duh)




More high society, more exclusivity, more middle America, more normal everything…..

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S’Mores; A Simple Sign of Summer…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more simple signs of summer! The moment that I saw my Home Depot’s parking lot full of flats of flowers, evergreens and perennials, I knew that summer couldn’t be terribly far behind. Really, there’s little as hopeful and inspiring as flowers in bloom, in a rainbow of color. Would be horticulturists seem to agree. I stopped by for a few flowers Saturday morning, and when I returned for a few more in the evening, half the flowers were gone!

These poor kids have spring fever, too. While school seemingly drones on and on forever, I think they’ve just about checked out (which is unfortunate because Amanda has 8 more school days left and poor Nick still has 11 days remaining of his high school career!). After a long, cold winter and obscenely wet spring, we’re all ready for a change in scenery.

But what is there for a teenager to do? The beginning of the school year is always exciting; making new friends and showing your school spirit at football games. You’ve got homecoming, dances and pep rallies; barely a moment for boredom. Things certainly seem to slow down after Christmas, though if your high school team is any good (Be All and End All Academy), basketball games are a real possibility for socializing, entertainment and fun. Of course there are only so many games even a Super-fan can handle, so the Multi-plex starts to call their names. Going to the movies with a gaggle of friends can be a blast, but at $10 a ticket, a visit to the concession stand and grabbing a bite at their favorite eatery (the boys love, love, love Buffalo Wild Wings, otherwise known as B-Dub’s, and I find that Amanda and her pals can’t get enough of Red Robin and California Pizza Kitchen), they’re looking at about $35 for an evening out; nearly cost prohibitive for the average un-employed high school student.  


A great alternative to a night out is an evening in with friends; snacks, pizzas, desserts, movies and games. But by May, even that experience can benefit from a change up; thank God for the ever popular bonfire! Teens love hanging out and listening to music, but what makes that even more fun are s’mores; the perfect dessert. What could possibly top the smoky flavor of camp-fire cooked marshmallows, the gooey chocolate-y goodness of a Hershey’s bar, smooshed between a slightly sweet and crispy graham cracker? Absolutely nothing!

I can’t think of a better way to ring in summer than with good friends and a tasty s’more.

More warm weather, more pal-ing around with friends, more bonfire’s, more s’mores…..  

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Bring a Hot and Spicy Mexican Dip to Your Next Dinner Party!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more being invited to a dinner party! While I love to entertain more than the average bear, I must admit, sometimes, it’s a real treat to be a guest in a friend’s home. Life often gets so crazy busy that it can be hugely complicated to host friends for cocktails and appetizers, much less a sit down dinner. This weekend we had the pleasure of being invited to a dinner party with good friends that we met when all of our 12th graders were in Kindergarten. Talk about a trip down memory lane……

Because more of everything is always better, I hate to turn up on someone’s door step empty handed. I insisted on bringing an appetizer, regardless of the fact that my Amanda strongly suggested that maybe not everybody wants my food (WHAT?!?). Undeterred, I decided that because my hosts love Mexican food, I would bring a Mexican dish (besides it was Siete de Mayo).

One of my favorite hostess gifts, if I’m bringing a dish to share, is a serving piece for my appetizer, side or dessert. I love the treasure hunt for the perfect piece for my hosts, the occasion and the recipe. In this case, I was making a homemade dip served with tasty tortilla chips. I found a great green baking dish with a lovely scalloped edge for the dip, and a lively patterned bowl for the chips. They made a perfect pair!

Hot and Spicy Black Bean Mexican Dip:

This is one of those awesome recipes that you prepare and assemble a day or two in advance, and when it’s time to eat, you just pop it in the oven. It’s delicious the minute it comes out, and even better warmed up the following day.


2 Tbsp olive oil, plus some for the baking dish

3 medium tomatoes, cored and diced


1 large yellow onion, diced

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 – 15 ½ oz black beans, rinsed and drained

2 chipotles, from a can of chipotles en adobo, plus 3 Tbsp of chipotle adobo sauce

¾ cup water

3 Tbsp cider vinegar

1 ½ cups of fresh, or frozen, corn kernels

2 cups of shredded cheddar

2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican blend cheese

¾ cup of chopped cilantro

Black pepper

Tortilla chips

Lightly oil a baking dish

In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat until glistening

Reduce heat to medium

Add onion and 1 tsp salt

Cook until translucent, for about 4-6 minutes

Add garlic and chili powder, stirring for a minute

Add half of the black beans, the chipotle, adobo sauce, water

Bring to a boil

Cook until the liquid reduces by at least half

In a food processor, add the bean mixture, in batches if necessary

Pulse until smooth and transfer to a large mixing bowl

To the large serving bowl, add;

Remaining beans

Half of each of the cheeses



½ cup of cilantro

Mix thoroughly and season with salt and pepper

Transfer to a baking dish

Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses

Refrigerate until ready to cook

Pre-heat oven to 425°

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, to catch any ooey gooey goodness

Cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until cheese melts and slightly browns

Sprinkle with remaining cilantro

Serve with crispy, salty and tasty tortilla chips

Share with long-time friends

More salty and savory goodness, more appetizers, more celebrating friendships…..

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Hot and Spicy Mexican Dip…

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Filed under Entertaining, Family Life, Friendship, Hostess Gifts, More is More Mom, Recipes

Great Gift Ideas For Mom…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more Mother’s Day celebrations! I consider myself extremely lucky to have been blessed with the Best Mom in the entire world. She’s so good that even my girlfriend’s tell me, “You’re so lucky; you have the world’s greatest mom! Can I borrow her for the weekend?” One of the many things that makes her exceptional is her complete and utter devotion to us. She’s our biggest cheerleader, greatest advocate, and most trusted companion. To paraphrase the prolific Marvin Gaye, “Ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low, ain’t no river wide enough, baby……to keep me from getting to you, babe.” That’s my mom; a woman that would move mountains for us. She’s totally my role model.

When Nick and Amanda were little I mistakenly thought Mother’s Day should be filled with all sorts of pomp and circumstance, like Christmas or your birthday. Now that I’m a little bit more seasoned, I recognize that it’s truly more meaningful and satisfying to celebrate in more thoughtful ways, by spending time together. Seriously, the greatest gift the children could give me would be; no fighting or arguing, picking up their rooms, not leaving a trail of personal articles throughout the house (glasses of orange juice and Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup wrappers…Nick) and actually listening to me before my voice reaches a ridiculously high octave and before I have permanent wrinkles on my forehead from my perpetual state of shock, anger, horror, confusion and incredulous-ness.

On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with a beautifully wrapped, thoughtful gift. We girls love it when our families consider our personal interests, wants and desires. We just want to be appreciated and remembered, so here are a few ideas (in no particular order, but the first one’s good);


  • Diamonds are a girl’s best friend: Jewelry is always a safe best, though it needn’t be diamonds. Sterling silver, 14 carat gold and costume jewelry are all welcome, by way of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings. The pieces should just “look” like us.


  • Say it with flowers: While a bouquet is lovely, plants and perennials simply last longer. A container filled with her favored flora and fauna is fabulous, but why not spend a little time with mom at the garden center, dedicating the rest of the day to planting in your yard?


  • Now smell This: A beautiful new bottle of perfume is a luxury! Does she have a favorite or is she open to adventure? A quick trip to your local department store will do the trick! If you’re not sure about mom’s favorite perfume, lotions and bath products are a huge treat too.


  • This little light of mine…… Girls just like things that smell good (which is why we don’t care for your gym clothes)! Gorgeous candles in an array of scents are always a welcome luxury. I know that this time of year I’m totally a sucker for fresh scents like linen, lemon, basil and bamboo. 


  • Pajama games: After a busy day of working, carpooling, refereeing, tutoring, cleaning and a stint as a short order cook, there is nothing like a great pair of comfy pajamas. Buy for our comfort, not your enjoyment, and you’ll hit a home run!


  • For the bag lady…..I’m sorry. There’s nothing like a fabulous new handbag to perk up a girl’s spirits. While a purse is functional, it’s so much better when it shows off a little flirty personality. If a purse is too much of a commitment, how about a great wallet? It’s all about the best accessorizing!


  • Picture this….. As moms, we love our families. Framed photos commemorating important moments are truly a gift. Be a shutterbug and capture those special moments in time.


  • Mani’s and Pedi’s and Massages, Oh My!  A gift card to your gal’s favorite salon is a real treat! There’s nothing like a little luxurious pampering…..


While a beautifully wrapped, thoughtful gift is always welcome, spending time with your family is the best gift of all!

More Mother’s Day celebrations, more wonderful mother’s, more thoughtfulness, more love, more appreciation…..

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