Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day & Neiman Marcus Cake

I love what this day brings.

The sound of lawn mowers, children playing, neighbors talking in the early morning hours of a day that kicks off the summer and allows us to spend an extra day with people we love.

But let's not forget to honor all the men and women who have served our country...

While we get to be with our families, not everyone has someone to spend this day with, so please grateful and remember how much everyone means to you and how lucky you are.

Today I get to spend the day in Denver with a family that has become my family.

I met them in 2001 when I was hired as a nanny and worked for them for several years. Throughout the years I have spent many holidays and many summers in their home...
and trying to positively influence two teenaged boys.

I feel very lucky to have them in my life and never could've imagined that a job I needed to get through college would bring years of memories in my life.

Their oldest son is going to be a senior in high school this year so I'll be coming back soon enough for his graduation. (That makes me feel a bit older than I'd like considering he was seven years old when I met him).

We had a ton of good food that was enough to feed the ENTIRE neighborhood. I pretty much at breakfast, lunch and dinner over the span of six hours. It was nice. I am so full I have a stomach cramp...but that's normal right?

I had this phenomenol cake-like brownie dessert. It had this flaky goodness on top with some kind of cream with nuts in the middle and a brownie bottom...It was called a Neiman Marcus cake.

Neiman Marcus has cake??? Well if the actual Neiman Marcus had a cake, I am not surprised that it's this one, but I think it's just a cake called Neiman Marcus and there are lots of recipes online, but I have no idea where it originated from. Why haven't I heard of this?

It was so good I had two pieces......okay three. I don't know if ordinary brownies will ever taste the same. This has ruined me.

Here's the recipe-

Makes a 9×13-inch baking dish

01. 18.25 oz. box of chocolate cake mix
02. 2 large eggs, beaten
03. ½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted & slightly cooled
04. 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate or white chocolate chips
05. Optional: ¼ c. chopped walnuts or pecans
06. 4 c. (1 lb. box) confectioner’s powdered sugar
07. 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese (⅓ less fat is fine)
08. Another 2 large eggs, beaten
09. 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

* Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter or coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking oil spray.
* In a mixing bowl, beat items 1-3 together until well blended. Pat mixture evenly in the bottom of your prepared baking dish.
* Sprinkle the chocolate or white chocolate chips along with the nuts if using evenly over top.
* Make the topping. In a mixing bowl, beat items 6-9 together until smooth. Pour topping evenly over the chocolate chips and nuts making sure topping entirely covers the top.
* Bake for 40 minutes.
* Cool in baking dish on a wire rack.
* Cut into bars and serve warm or at room temperature.
* Cover and store any leftovers for up to 3 days

Thursday, May 26, 2011

JCrew Flip Flops

These Italian leather sandals are some of the best I've ever owned. I have them in silver metallic, gold metallic, rose-gold metallic and patent grey.
And today in this neon pink!
They actually look super cute on and even though I am not big on color, I think these will look fantastic with a white dress!
They retail for $50, but some are on sale for $39 in various colors online. The neon pink and neon yellow is on sale (in store) for $29 with an additional 30% off.

Women's Half Yearly Sale @ Nordstrom

I know I'll be going...just to look.....I swear.

Express Dresses and Shorts on Sale

Express is having a 40% off sale now through Monday on their dresses and shorts.

These are already marked down so now is the perfect time to go if you need to add some light
pieces for the summertime!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Aveda Lip Saver SPF 15

I had to force myself to use the rest of my store credit at Aveda because I've come to realize that I will lose it or not use it in the future.

I picked this out because they had it placed conveniently on the counter right by the register.
I thought $8.50 was a bit steep for a basic looking chap-stick, but I was determined to use every dollar.

I have to say that this is one of the most moisturizing lip balms I have ever used and I don't need to impulsively reapply every hour.

The SPF is great because your lips are the next thinnest part on your face, next to under your eyes. The SPF not only protects you from UV exposure, but from harsh environmental factors too. And it's water-proof!

It is made with cinnamon leaf, clove, beeswax, sunflower and anise oils. It does have a bit of an earthy scent to it, but what Aveda products don't?

(35o people rated this product 4.8 stars out of 5.o)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kiehl's Blue Herbal Gel Cleanser

I absolutely LOVE this stuff! I wish I found it a long time ago. It is oil-free, non-drying, not tested on animals, and thoroughly removes dirt and oil. The main ingredients are salicylic acid, cinnamon bark, and ginger root.

Kiehl's is known for keeping their ingredient list small and keeping things light so it doesn't cause skin irritation. It heals existing blemishes, prevents new ones, and leaves skin clean, but not tight. I love the way my skin feels after using this!

It retails for $21 - though a little goes a long way. I put some water into my hand to foam it up a bit and then put it onto my face. If you are looking for a new cleanser I highly recommend this one.

There's not a lot out there that are quite this good. Oh and it was in Allure's Best of Beauty Awards in 2009 and 2010.

*Available at Nordstrom, Saks, Bloomingdales and

My Go-To Snack or Meal Replacement

I make a protein shake almost everyday.

It helps me keep my weight in check so I am less likely to snack, but it also keeps my protein intake high incase I am eating too much fruit (or chocolate). This creates a better balance for my protein, carb and fat intake and then I don't fluctuate in weight.

I don't log in my dietary intake, though I use to and should, but I try to be mindful of what I'm eating. But it is so darn time consuming!

If I know I'm going to be eating a late dinner at 8:oo then I will have a shake around 5:3o; usually because I am hungry, but also because there is no way I can go more than 3-4 hours without eating.
This can be a challenge when I travel, but I try to eat a very balanced meal before a flight so I don't snack on stale pretzels or sodium loaded peanuts on the plane and I always pack my own snacks. But I'm sure you knew that- I'm the girl that travels with wet-wipes in her bag too remember?

Because I've been making these shakes for several months now I have become quite resourceful and creative in the kitchen. Who says a protein shake has to taste like a protein shake??
Mine definitely don't.

There are so many varieties of whey protein now that there's a flavor out there for anyone. While I realize this doesn't replace real food, I still use it as a meal replacement if I need to have light dinner, especially if I had a really bad weekend, which is usually the case.

I don't do cleanses or any detox diets so this is kind of my way of keeping things light. I never do more than one shake a day though...tried two in one day and learned my lesson because I felt extremely nauseous and horrible.
So you do need real food too! Because I generally have very balanced diet, I'm getting all the nutrition I need even without the shake. It really helps if I don't want to eat meat everyday or if I need to run errands I can put it in a to-go cup.

I won't be sharing all of my recipes with you today, but I will gradually...

Here's what I made today:

8 ounces of Almond Breeze Almond Milk in Vanilla flavor- UNSWEETENED (there are so many varieties of this almond milk that it is very easy to pick up the wrong one)

1 scoop (sometimes 1 1/2 - 2 scoops if I know I won't be eating for hours) vanilla whey protein powder, whichever brand you like- I like to switch it up a lot, both brands and flavors

A heaping tablespoon of Oikos Plain Greek Yogurt

A tablespoon of ground flaxseed

A half a teaspoon of organic instant coffee powder (for a bit of energy and really good flavor!)

A half cup of ice or more depending how thick you like it (it's best to add a bit of ice as you go if you aren't good at making smoothies)

I didn't add any fruit today, though usually I do, but I had a pear not too long before I made the shake.

It tasted FANTASTIC!!

I rarely make the same shake everyday, although I might replicate this one from today- it was THAT good.

The Power of Words

Your words are powerful...

They influence how you think, speak and move through the world.

How you communicate dictates how people respond to you and the video
below is a beautiful message in just how much weight words have.

If you're going through a hard time, this might help put some perspective
on your life.

'Dancing With the Stars' Almost Ruined My Marriage..

I found this article online about a couple who watched the show together and found it inspiring...
By Mylène Dressler
I try to be a good wife. I really do. Marriage can be challenging -- it's a lot like learning the dance called the quickstep, in which two people try to look like they're effortlessly gliding across a floor when in fact they're gasping, thrashing and kicking each other near the groin -- but I've always believed if you work hard, and pay attention, you just might pull the thing off.

Being a good wife, I
do try to pay attention to my partner, so one Monday night, after our weekly viewing of 'Dancing With the Stars' (our favorite show -- I like the waltzes, my husband likes the Latin dances), I was all ears when my husband said, sighing, "Man, I wish I could tango. If I could learn any dance at all it would be the tango."

And so it came, the drop of a great mirrored ball into my consciousness, filling it with light. In two weeks it would be my husband's birthday. If I was going to be any sort of wife at all, I
had to get my husband a tango lesson.

We headed to New York that week on business, and no sooner had we landed than I found an excuse to take the hotel concierge aside and whisper that I needed help. Together we found a studio and made arrangements for a secret, private session on a Sunday afternoon with a well-regarded instructor named Alejandro. I was giddy with excitement. I mean, how often do you get the chance to fulfill your loved one's heart's desire just like

In the morning, with great fanfare, I handed my husband the birthday card I'd prepared. It was the only gift I'd gotten him. It can be challenging, after two decades of marriage, to come up with anything at all. All the card said, mysteriously, was: "It takes two to . . . "

He looked at it, puzzled.

"We've got a fabulous private tango lesson together in two hours!" I blurted out, waiting for him to melt like a swooning Marie Osmond into my arms.

He went white as a sheet.

"No way."

Here's the thing: You can be married to someone for two decades and still completely screw up. Make mistakes so profound it's like you've never even met before. What happened next was not pretty. I saw that I'd completely misread the love of my life and that nothing would be more demoralizing for a basically shy man than to be asked to stumble around a floor in front of, say, Maksim Chmerkovskiy. He realized that in shouting "no way," he had spurned my gift from the heart and crushed my sense of Good Wifeliness.

But did we apologize? Did we cross the floor to one another and melt into each other's arms? No; we fought. "But you said you wanted to!" "But you know I can't!" "But I stood before you with something beautiful and perfect, and you turned me down!" "But I stood before
you in all my trust, and you show me I'm afraid of my own shadow! On my birthday, no less."

Lord, it was awful. I moaned I would cancel the lesson, he moaned he couldn't let me, and we both knew that, either way, the day was toast. We settled on a compromise. We would walk the 20 blocks down Broadway to the dance studio, and see how we felt when we got there. Actually, we hoped along the way we'd be hit by a taxi. We made it to the studio, glum, and took the elevator to the third floor. We were barely speaking.

The studio was empty (maybe I wasn't such a bad wife, after all, I thought; I had known it would be better on a Sunday, when no one was around). Alejandro, a short, stocky, balding guy, stepped forward and introduced himself, smiling. He was no Maksim Chmerkovskiy, we saw with relief. He took us into a private, curtained room, and he said: "Okay. Tango is simply walking together."

Then he taught us how to walk, side by side. Then he taught us how to walk facing each other. He taught us how to stretch, how to glide our legs a little more, so that we were walking a little farther, a little more powerfully than we thought we could. The music was guiding us, the beat clear. All we had to do was hold each other, and listen. He taught us how to rock back and forth in a little, sexy movement, hip to hip, and then, to end our dance, he taught us a simple lunge. "And there you have it." We practiced over and over.

After 50 minutes, we stared at each other amazed.

When we had 10 minutes left on our lesson, a short, stocky woman Alejandro introduced as his wife and partner came into the room. "Please," my husband asked, "can we just watch you two, for a minute, and see how it's done?"

All at once the air transformed as these two, ordinary, remarkably un-starlike people began to tango with such timing, such gentle and yet powerful anticipation of each other's next move. It took our breath away. Magic. We thanked them, beaming.

As we left the studio, my husband and I were quiet for a minute, and then he said, "I'm glad we did that. That was good."

"It was good."

We didn't apologize. We didn't have to. Sometimes, in marriage, the judges are forgiving.

Fashion Diet

I have been on this diet for quite some time now, but diets don't last right????

The economy has forced even the biggest shopaholics to put the breaks on spending.

I have spent too much money and too many hours shopping for things that I didn't necessarily need or want. I now keep a list of things that I actually NEED and have learned that WANT is a separate category. Needless to say the list is tiny, so it looks like I might be on this diet for longer than I'd like.
Here are some things that will help you look your best and curb your appetite to spend-

Make A Plan

Many women love markdowns and tend to shop impulsively when it's such a good deal. It is much better to shop with items in mind and buy selectively to avoid surprises on your card or account. I suggest only going to the store when you need something, not just go to look around. This is hard for me because not every season I like the things that are in the stores so I like to look year round. Unfortunately looking leads to spending so I go A LOT less then I use to, but maybe a bit more then the average person.

Before heading on a shopping trip, it's best to look over your closet and assess what you already have and what you will still wear. This is why it's good to clean out your closet every three months so there's nothing in there that's sitting around for no reason.

And the more clothes you have the harder it is to find something to wear. Usually it's because you can't find it or see it! And cleaning out your closet four times a year is really not that much. It's better than doing it every couple years, which then gets overwhelming and can take hours if not days to sort through.

Need vs. Want

I want it, I deserve it, it makes me feel better are all things that lead to dangerous spending.

We all go through times where retail therapy is the only kind of therapy that will make things better, but we all know what happens when you think with your heart and not your head.
I tend to shop at stores that have a flexible return policy so if I do make a regretful purchase then it is easy to take it back.
But then I am back at mall or store and sometimes I end up exchanging the item for something I like better, which can be good because then I'll wear it or bad because I'm out that money.

I go through a series of questions (not out loud) like how many times will I wear it? Is it versatile enough to wear from day to night? And can I see myself wearing this next year?

When I went to Poland and took a look at some of my cousins wardrobes I was seriously impressed.
By the way if you don't know, Poland is one of the most fashion forward countries in Europe and people just get how to dress well. Hence how I was inspired by my mom who is still one stylish woman.

The wardrobes I saw were small, simple and very organized with lots of accessories. I'd say most closets are the size of an average bathroom closet if that helps. I saw a lot of black and minimal prints. Everything looked stylish, fitted and of quality. On average there were 15 shirts, 10 sweaters, 8 pants, 5 dresses, 3 skirts. Several scarves, tights and a nice amount of fashion jewelry. I also saw only 2 handbags and maybe 4 pairs of shoes.

I wonder if people would shop more if the closets in Europe were bigger? But I don't think so. They really are smart shoppers who buy things that they actually WEAR. And when it gets worn out or they need something for a special occasion, that is the ONLY time they head to the store.

Quality or Quantity

There is definitely a difference in a $25 dollar shirt and a $250 dollar one. I think you should spend what is in your comfort zone, but the reality is is that a $25 dollar shirt will only last you through one season, two if you are lucky. And aren't you usually buying several at a time and spending a couple hundred dollars anyway??

While $250 is a bit much, I find that the best shirts I own are over $100. I have had them for years and they never lose shape and always look great. But you have to really study the fabric because it can be easy to spend a lot of money on things that won't last that long. If you are not familiar with the label there is usually someone you can talk to at the store about the item and honestly if you are spending a lot of money, you should ask questions! Most importantly the clothes should fit your body well and be COMFORTABLE. Never spend money on something that looks nice, but doesn't feel amazing on you. What's the point? You won't wear it again.

Building a high quality wardrobe takes time, usually because the pieces are expensive and it takes time to get a feel for what you really like.

I think it's best to spend the most on accessories. Handbags, scarves, and shoes are my indulgences. They completely transform any outfit. Spending a couple thousand dollars on a bag might seem extravagant, but when the cost is amortized over several decades of use, the price may seem a bit more reasonable.

Skip Trends

Find things that REALLY look good on you and build your wardrobe around that. If it's a skirt that looks great on you then use it to pair with tights in the winter months, pair it with tank tops and button down shirts in the summer, wear it with boots or heels. You don't need ten skirts, just a couple that suit you well and your needs.

Having some kind of signature style will really help because then you just add things here and there. If you like trench coats, you can wear it with almost anything- over a dress, with jeans, etc. But it has to look and fit amazing and a color that looks good with anything. For example, mixing t-shirts and jeans with unique or vintage jewelry or cocktail dresses with motorcycle jackets.

I actually despise trends. Or any store that screams trendy. Even if I go to H&M I still don't get anything trendy, which by the way is very rare. I usually go there for swimsuit cover-ups or things that I don't mind ruining or losing on holiday. I stay away from prints or super bright colors as much as possible, only because I know what works for me. I would have a hard time spending a couple hundred bucks on something with a pattern. Chances are it will be out next season and for years to come.

I think every woman should own the perfect blouse, a great fitted pair of jeans, black pants, a versatile skirt, and PERFECT black dress.
There is so much you can do with that black dress. You can dress it down with a jacket, make it look preppy with a sweater, wear with sandals for a more casual look or dress it up with high heels and eye catching jewelry.

I know that by following some of the things I've learned throughout this fashion diet have helped me come into my own style even more. It seems the less I shop, the better I am at understanding what I like and what I gravitate towards.

And you definitely don't have to be in designer wear from head to toe. I recommend mixing and matching labels and fabrics as it adds more texture and helps the nicer things really stand out.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Avoid Food Poisoning on your Next Trip

Here are some tips to avoid food poisoning on your next trip abroad:

Keep your portions small so you don't shock your digestive system. (This is particularly hard for me to do when in Poland or France).

Try to pay attention to how the food is prepared. I would definitely go to a cafe and eat something that has to be cooked instead of an already pre-packaged meal sitting in the refrigerated section.

Avoid buying ice cream from unknown vendors. You don't know if it's been properly refrigerated and if it isn't then that gives bacteria a chance to grow.

For people who are seafood lovers, myself included, it is best to avoid anything raw. As much as I like fish, I have a minimal amount (if any) when in another country. Undercooked seafood is at the top of the list for how people get food poisoning.

Pay attention to what you are drinking and make sure to have a bottle of water with you to stay hydrated so you don't find yourself drinking the local water. But make sure the bottle is sealed as some restaurants are known to refill bottled water with local water. When I'm with my family in Poland they boil a bunch of water for me and it lasts all day. If you want to eat fruits or vegetables make sure you rinse them with your bottled water because either they haven't been rinsed or they've been rinsed with local water.
With that said, you should DEFINITELY avoid ice- ALWAYS. You just get use to drinking soda without ice, well sort of, but at least you don't get sick.

The BEST way to avoid getting sick is actually leading a healthy lifestyle as much as possible. If you don't practice a good lifestyle now there is still room to change that before a trip. Try to exercise as much as possible, get lots of sleep, and eat plenty of fruits and veggies. I know that when I've been taking care of myself in the past and have taken three trips to Europe in the span of 4 months I didn't get sick once. And most of my time on the plane exceeded 20 hours.

Another thing I like to do is have the local yogurt as it coats your stomach with bacterial cultures that aid digestion and fight the so called bad bacteria. I usually do this the first day and then off and on throughout my trip.

While I am at the airport I put a Vitamin C packet in my water and when I board the plane I wipe down the arm rests, tray table, seat-belt, window with wet-wipes.
And yes I ask the person next to me to move their arm if they are already seated..they usually appreciate it.

I hope this helps some of you on your next trip!

Barefoot Dreams

I first discovered this brand when I received a blanket as a gift back in 2006.
Absolutely the softest piece of material you could ever feel!

It comes in two sizes- twin and queen/king. The twin size is perfect for a throw for either on the couch or a bed. The larger size can be used as a comforter or to add another layer to your bed. It is VERY BIG and VERY COZY.

It comes in six nice warm colors and my favorites are stone and espresso. They are machine washable and easy to take care of. This brand also carries robes, baby blankets and sweaters.

These blankets retail for $168 and $198 and I promise it's worth every penny. Available at or a Nordstrom near you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Outstanding Handbag Designers to Watch

As some of you may already know, I love shopping for handbags, talking about handbags and writing about handbags. While this obsession can be time consuming, I welcome this passion for these beautifully crafted things so that they can hold the rest of your beautiful things.
Here is a list of designers that I think are going to be around for a very long time. Some of them haven't been around for too long, but have remarkable impressions on the fashion world.

Olivia Harris

Joy Gryson, owner and founder, worked for Liz Claiborne, Coach, Calvin Klein, and Marc Jacobs until she launched her own line in 2006 called GRYSON. After huge success with GRYSON she launched Olivia Harris in 2007, named after her daughter. This line is geared toward a young and slightly edgier demographic then her other label, which has more structured bags. Her designs are unique, eye-catching with a mix of femininity and versatility. She recently launched a third line called MCM New York that will be sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. It doesn't seem like Joy has any plans getting comfortable in the handbag world. She constantly strives for the next best thing and setting new trends. You can find Olivia Harris bags in high end department stores as well as online. I encourage you to check out her bags if you can. The reviews are quite spectacular. I'm thinking this may be my next purchase. This line retails from $300 to $700.

Tory Burch

On her opening day of her own store in New York City her entire inventory sold out. She was inspired after 9/11 to go for her dreams and worked relentlessly until she was able to launch her own line. With resort-wear inspired designs, her line has grown rapidly and she continues to come out with innovative designs that sell out consistently. I have to say that I didn't start becoming a fan until 2008 when I think she really grew into her style. I have two of her bags and am highly likely to purchase more in the future. The bag featured is a bit on the higher side at $595, but you can definitely find some for less. She actually has phenomenal wallets as well, which I own too. I am excited to see what things she will come up with next.
Here's what she said about luxury that just makes me like her even
more..."luxury not something you can buy, it’s about having personal style
and living your life based on your individual aesthetic. It is not about spending
money but also about having taste, developing it over time and understanding
how to apply it to every aspect of your life.”


Consuelo Castiglioni founded the company in 1994, but first started working with fur by making it more wearable and appealing. She then had to design clothes to wear underneath the fur, which started this Italian fashion line.
Her style is understated, practical and chic. I happen to think they are some of the best versatile bags around and I wish I owned one already! The leather she uses is buttery soft with a quality that will last for years. She only started with handbags in 2004, but it's only bound to get better as time goes on, if that's even possible. The bag featured retails for $1,330.

Proenza Schouler

Founded by two friends who met in design school in 1998, they collaborated on their senior thesis collection which was bought in its ENTIRETY by Barneys New York. I'm sold.
The name comes from combining their mothers maiden names. Sold again. They have been nominated numerous times for awards and won the Womenswear Designer of the Year award in 2007, which they were nominated for in 2006 and 2008. Almost every celebrity you can
think of probably owns this bag. The bag featured retails for $2,350, but luckily their prices start at $950
...for a wallet.

Reed Krakoff

Reed (I love that name) has been the President and Executive Director at Coach for thirteen years and previously worked at Ralph Lauren for five years. He launched his very luxurious line in 2010 and continues to run the Coach line. His style is more on the neutral side (love that too) and can be somewhat masculine. Prices range from $450 to $1,500. While Coach has been coming out with some impressive designs,
I am in awe that Mr. Reed Krakoff is doing so well with both lines.


Though they only launched last year, but they have quickly entered the luxury world by storm and looks like they are here to stay. The company is owned by an entrepreneur who is passionate about leather and design. And the leather and detail IS beautiful. Prices range from $165 to $450. And might I add that I am impressed with what I've seen on

Andrea Valentini

She studied interior architecture and her work has been shown in galleries all over the world. After she successfully mastered interior design for decades, she launched her handbag line in 2007. She very recently began a women's wear line, but is only made to order. The bag featured is called 'the gracie' and has been selling out quickly. It starts at $277, which is a price point that many can be happy with.

Elie Tahari

He was one of the first designers to open a boutique in 1974 on Madison Ave in New York City. Though he sold his share to Theory in 2003, he has made quite an impression in the fashion world. The bag featured consists of super soft leather, brass hardware, fits perfectly on the shoulder, and has pockets for your necessities. It is simple, yet elegant and retails for $598. I think these bags are timeless.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Emporio Armani Ceramic Watches

I love watches even though I don't own many. I seem to have acquired a taste for very pricey time-tellers and have tried numerous times to find one that is reasonable.

I believe that a watch makes a statement and says a lot about who you are.

There are so many styles, colors and sizes that anyone can find one to fit their needs. With that said, I don't think that watches have to be expensive to look well, it's how you wear it and if it suits you.

I am a minimalist when it comes to accessories so I almost always wear a watch. I have a couple for daytime only and a couple for when I go out, and only one of them I can wear on any occasion.
I do feel like that's enough, but I truly enjoy looking at watches when I'm at Nordstrom (they have a great selection at various price points).

I got this watch as a gift last year (in black) from Nordstrom for my birthday.

I loved how different it looked, a classic look with an edgy feel. It is scratch resistant and water resistant up to 100 feet.
It is slightly on the heavier side since it's ceramic, but you get use to it. I also have very small wrists so it sometimes seems impossible to find a watch that doesn't look like costume jewelry.

I think I love it even more now for some reason and haven't found another one that I would consider getting since.

These are available at and at various retailers, but my watch is sold out at Nordstrom for now.
You can find the white one on different websites for sale, but there are usually shipping and handling costs.
I can only find the black one on their website. They have other ceramic styled watches as well and all look really nice. The watches retail anywhere from $445 to $545.

Do you think $500 is reasonable for a watch? I guess compared to a Chanel ceramic watch I've been eyeing for $4,000 I'd say this is a steal!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Barney Butter Bliss

After years of eating peanut butter I just needed something else...something better. I have tried several brands of almond butter, but nothing even comes close to Barney Almond Butter. I haven't gone back to peanut butter since.

I crave it when I get up, I crave it when I am traveling and when I run out.

It is made in a peanut-free facility, the texture is super smooth, there's no need to stir (like many other brands), it's all natural, gluten free, and does not require refrigeration.

I use this on toast (almost every day), in my oatmeal, with apples, with bananas, with celery, on crackers or pretzels, and by the spoonful.

It is THAT good.

You may just never go back to peanut butter.

*Available at Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage and

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Banana Republic Favorites

I apologize for my absence this last week. It has been quite the week for me as some of you may know. But busy or not, I still make an effort with my appearance every single day. I guess you can say it pushes me forward and keeps me motivated.

I can't believe Summer is right around the corner! It is my absolute favorite time of year. And not because I have a birthday...but because there's something about summer that just makes me happy. I get to wear clothing that feels like I am on vacation, I end up traveling a bit more, I see friends I haven't seen in a while and it recharges me for the rest of the year. Oh and a nice tan helps.

I usually purchase everything I want to wear in the summertime by now, but I haven't been shopping as much lately and honestly have had a hard time finding things I love. My closet has also grown to a place that I have plenty to wear all summer long and not wear anything twice. And nothing else will fit. My style is still evolving, but it can get a little boring considering that all my go-to things are white, off-white, ivory, cream, beige and tan. I do my best using colorful accessories, but it's usually just a watch or bracelet...though it does stand out with my plain outfit.

Here are some things I like at Banana Republic. If you haven't been there in a while I suggest taking a look. They have really stepped up in their versatility and have some great finds that you can't find anywhere else.

They make some of the best lightweight sweaters I have ever bought. They are great alone or for layering, but they last forever and never look bulky. The grey one below comes in four colors. These sell out quickly so I usually get two.