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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Trimdown Thursday: Getting Back in the Groove

I'm kinda ashamed of this Trimdown Thursday. By this week, I should've been proclaiming I'm down to my pre-baby weight again! But, alas. I knew before I left for New York that I only had two more pounds to go and that wasn't bad at all. I also knew I would be indulging on my trip and that just like my beach vacay, it would set me back another week or so. But for some reason I'm still disappointed. I now have four pounds to go again, and I've signed up for one more month of Weight Watchers. Although since I've been back from New York, I haven't wanted to track my points...soooooo bad (I got into the habit of not doing it while there, so...). 

I also haven't been able to exercise but a couple of stroller rides here and there, because of my mom's recent illness/recovery (did you read yesterday's post?). I'm hoping I can make it to a barre class this weekend...I've already bought the class to try to motivate myself! The baby has been sleeping better than ever so why am I still dragging?! I must stop making excuses. I've made it this far - I can't quit at just four pounds left, right? I know the scale is just a number, and my clothes certainly fit, but if I allow five extra pounds, soon I'll allow 10 and so on. I've gotta quickly change my eating habits back from vacay mode to serious mode, and kick in some more cardio. Now that the weather outside is cooler, I'm really hoping I can jog with baby more and more. It also just makes me feel better! 

Tell me. How do you stay motivated, and what are your tricks for getting serious after returning from vacation?

P.S. I'm loving this new (wrinkle free!) white pullover that I can slip on over my workout gear. It's from trendy activewear line Heather Grey and it pairs so well with the rest of my classic black workout wardrobe. (Leggings are Spanx...backpack is the DOMINO by Ash.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Miracle in My Life

Life isn't always pleasant. I think we've all established this by now as big boys and girls. As much as we like to pretend, especially in our own little social media worlds, that everything is sugary sweet and stilettos, nothing is ever quite as major, epic or total perfection, as we let on. Am I right? Part of the purpose of this blog has always been an escape for me, another outlet away from the mundane parts of the day like cleaning house (wait, I don't do that)...shopping for groceries. I like to present those little glam things that keep me going...private Pilates lessons...extra-shiny lip gloss, faux leather leggings and super-strappy black designer heels. And, of course, all those baby giggles. But, I also like to be real from time to time. August was the strangest month of my life - and I hope it remains that way...I'll never look back. I want to share with you a little about it, without being too personal (because while I write this blog, I'm not always comfortable opening up to the world). And part of my reason for sharing is to let you in on how exactly I've gotten through my life as of late. It all boils down to one word: faith.

A little background info: my mom has not been well for nearly 12 years now. She has CML, Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. We spent Christmas Day 2002 at an IHOP and the remainder of the day at a cancer hospital. I left the doctor with her that day wondering if she'd ever see me get married (which ended up being only three years later, but alas) or have babies. I just didn't know.

Because of a miracle drug, my mom has been able to continue a normal life since that day, helping me take care of my kids and relieving me when I needed a break for coffee, shampoo or barre class (hello, always.). When I say she's been there to help me, I can't even begin to describe. She could anticipate our hunger pains and show up on our doorstep with fresh vegetables before I could even realize my stomach was growling. She could tote the heaviest freaking baby carrier on one arm just as well as these Pilates-toned arms of mine, and without thinking twice.

And I say this in the past tense now because these days my mom is recovering from an infection. Last month, I almost lost my mom. Without warning but anything but a fever and a stomachache, she left my house and remained home sick the entire rest of the week. Then the ER. Then a hospital room. Then a terrifying early a.m. call one morning she was having trouble breathing. Then the ICU. From stable...to serious...to critical. I'll never forget my dad rushing in that morning explaining the ventilator. I called my husband from out of town. I called my in-laws from out of state. I called my best friends sobbing. It couldn't be. My mom.

Throughout the entire month, day by day, every day I would visit my mom, I never let a visit go by without stopping in the chapel on the way. Just five minutes. A prayer. I couldn't get through this alone. I would specifically pray to God about certain things we needed help with that day. I took it daily. I prayed once about her blood pressure being too low and by the end of the day, it was considered normal again. No joke. I prayed about the infection she had contacted and for the antibiotics to start working, and slowly but surely, she was weaned off of them one by one. I contacted my church's incredible prayer team...every friend and neighbor I knew...I may have even asked you. And I sit here today without a shadow of doubt knowing that everything we went through in the month of August was God's plan, and He is what got us through this tough time. He is the reason my mom is still alive, and that this miracle has happened. A miracle beyond words. 

I've always been a believer, but until something like this happens to you, you just don't realize the power of prayer. I would sit next to my poor mom for days and she wouldn't even be able to speak to me. Her lips were so dry, they were raw. To give her a drink of water, I had to dip a sponge in it. To eat, she had a feeding tube. At one point, there was no point in spending much time there because she was so sedated. I didn't know if she would remember me. I felt helpless, but always kept hope. Because I knew if I lost hope, there was nothing. Cheesy as it seems, I listened to (and still do) uplifting music every day to lift my mood. 

I could go on and on in this post about how so many things were off those several weeks (my son started preschool, I juggled nursing baby L, we had a different person helping at our house every week, my husband got sick), but those things aren't important to me anymore. Yes, it was terrible, but we got through it. It's about perspective. And the only thing that matters to me now is that my mom is alive. I don't care about anything else. 

She's getting stronger every day now. And while she can't exactly lift a car seat, I'm thankful my kids got to eat lunch with her this weekend. Just to spend time with her. 

I guess I've grown through this experience to realize the only thing that really matters in life is family, friends and faith. Thanks to all of you for putting up with my extreme insanity the past month. I'm grateful for you. Thanks for listening and if you're the praying kind, please continue to pray for my mom's full recovery. Xoxo 

P.S. I heard this quote this morning that stuck with me. Don't get so distracted by the burdens that you miss the blessings. Have a great week!

DKNY Continues the Sporty Chic Trend for Spring

If ever was there a fav fashion week show of mine, it's DKNY. It's the epic part of my New York trip each season, and usually the last show I see before I fly home. I love ending it on such a good note! Each season, Donna Karan shows at Cedar Lake in Chelsea and it's just as much a who's who as it is the fashion. On our way to the show, famed New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham rode past us on his bicycle, wearing his blue jacket. We chimed, "hi, Bill!" and he responded with a friendly "hello." Such a New York moment. 

I'm not sure about you, but I'm a little excited (as a new mom) how things are turning towards sporty chic these days. While I'm not sure I could rock a bright-red dress with crazy platform pumps in my hometown, I do admire those who could. Being comfortable and bold, graphic patterns are something we can all look forward to come spring 2015. Donna Karan's "New York nation" is about beautiful black and white mixed with bold hues of red and blue. Pleats and volume and stripes, oh my! (gimme that crop top) DKNY pulls out all of the brave cards this spring, and I know I can't wait to scoop up some more platform pumps for my dresses. 

P.S. What a great crowd at this show...I was able to catch up with Newsday fashion editor Anne Bratskeir (such a doll); Lucky editor Alexis Bryan Morgan (toting her monogrammed Louis Vuitton); Marie Claire accessories editor Kyle Anderson (check out those sunnies); Paper Magazine editorial director Mickey Boardman; blogger Tina Craig of BagSnob; the Beckerman Blog girls; DJ Chelsea Leyland; Victoria Justice; blogger Perez Hilton and, of course, DKNYPRGirl, who was working the room making sure everyone was taken care of. Oh, and did you see my Nina Garcia selfie after the show? ;)










Soft Layers at Rebecca Taylor Spring 2015

I was so incredibly excited and honored to see the Rebecca Taylor show this season because if I could have my way, I'd have an entire closet full of everything, single thing RT. Especially for spring. The designer really knows her stuff when it comes to making a girl feel sweet and frilly and I had a pretty close-up look at this collection (too bad I was trekking from another show, so forgot my "real" camera. le sigh.). After waiting for almost two hours (I was early), the show finally started...just down the street from Chelsea Piers. 

As you can see, spring is all about soft blue and white with fun, frilly textures and layering. I can't get enough of the photo above that layers a textured sweater over a swingy midi skirt and heels. This. is. spring perfection, folks. Don't get me wrong, the collection also incorporates brights, including a bright green bustier layered over chiffon button down and trousers as well as several bright orange floral applique pieces that are beyond gorge. But I found myself pining over these softer styles and I really love the mix of chiffon throughout. The belting is classic, the coats are amazing and the way everything just flows against the body is breathtaking. Thanks for another beautiful collection, Rebecca Taylor. Still squealing I got to see it in action.



Jill Stuart Spring 2015 Gives Us the Midi Skirt

Fashion week day two involved a lot of running around, and I didn't mind. It's always a great opp to explore the city on my own (ahem, while my sister shops). It was still extremely hot for September in New York, so I was glad I had chosen this gray dress to bop around in (and you can't see them, but I opted for my gray ankle booties since they're super-comfy and I had to walk quite a bit). 

The Jill Stuart show is always a fav of mine, and with there being soooo many shows during fashion week, I've learned I sorta have to pick my all-time favs so that I don't stretch myself too thin. This show is usually across the street around Lincoln Center, but this season it was held off site around Chelsea/Meatpacking (and it was another where I got to ride in another old-fashioned elevator...score.). Jill Stuart always shows so many girly, femme silhouettes, this spring will be no different. Blue and white will be the color combo, mark my word, and I love this fresh spin on the crop top here. A bit daring, yes, but pretty darn cute if you ask moi. 

I love the long suede coat in the bottom photo...such a fresh way to accessorize, and of course all of the strappy heels have me swooning times one zillion. The midi skirt will still be a major trend coming out of fall (get yours!), and soft tailoring is a gorgeous way to approach a spring wardrobe. I love, love, love this sweet sophistication. 

P.S. Stylist June Ambrose (think Beyonce, hello) attended with her daughter Summer and I snapped a (sunny) photo below. The space where this took place was very open, airy and white with lots of natural light, hence the silly iPhone lighting. Oh, and Man Repeller was also in the house, if you read her blog? ;)



video

Monday, September 15, 2014

Charlotte Ronson Is Dreamy & Girly for Spring 2015

Oxford shirt dresses, denim shorts, blue leather jackets and lots of cropped overlays embodied the Charlotte Ronson presentation for spring 2015. As usual, this is a collection we can all wear and make our own, and I love that about Charlotte's work. It appeals to the masses. It's friendly...it's fun...yet it's so cool-girl chic not just any girl can wear it. It takes a certain girl with a little downtown edge...the one with the effortlessly cool vibe, much like Charlotte herself. Did I mention there were bedazzled Tevas?

I love these presentations because you can get up right next to the clothing (versus a runway show, which is cool in other ways). You can really observe a collection this way and I love having the individual looks side by side (behind a polka-dot rope, no less) to see how the story unfolds for the entire collection. Because the cropped top isn't going away for spring, I absolutely swoon over the way CR incorporated the overlay into so many of the soft, elegant pieces. It's evident blue and cream will be big hues come spring, and I love the variations in the shades that she used. Overall, a collection I can see myself wearing over and over come milder temps. 

P.S. Of course her sister Samantha Ronson was in the house spinning the tunes, and my sister and I attended the afterparty at Avenue that night. It's always a fav of mine because it's just as chill as ever. There's usually champagne and pizza and the entire family just hangs out like it's their living room. In fact, Charlotte hailed a cab upon departure just like the rest of us. Such a family full of talented and fun people!


 

Kate Spade Spring 2015 Is Adorable

The first presentation I attended during spring 2015 fashion week was this one by Kate Spade. We literally landed at LaGuardia, checked into The Empire and got dressed to head down to Chelsea for this amazing presentation. It was one I absolutely did not want to miss because it was the first time I had seen this brand in action. It didn't disappoint one bit. We rode up a very old-fashioned elevator (ya know, the kind where they have to pull a huge chain?) and when we stepped out we were immediately surrounded with Kate Spade happiness. Grass was actually placed on the floor and models were glamly perched atop white blocks modeling THE cutest purses I've ever seen in my life. (gonna need that snail, stat.)

Crisp white was everywhere and I loved the floral theme. "Fresh starts, taking chances, and a feeling that anything is possible is my inspiration for this season," said Chief Creative Officer, Deborah Lloyd. The breakdown?

Silhouettes = relaxed and elegant
Colors = poppy and graphic (think grass green, fresh white and black)

These are "pieces that can take you anywhere, on any adventure." 

I mean, don't you love this concept and this collection? Crop tops + florals + snail bags + sunnies. I kinda want it all for spring. Can I?




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