Weekend So Far

How’s your weekend? 

Mine = plenty ok.


On Friday night, my friends J. and B. met me for an important planning session for our upcoming trip to Las Vegas.

On Saturday, the kids and I ran errands, including a coffee/hot chocolate stop at the mall.


This Vuitton bucket bag is so old that I don’t think they even sell it anymore. Yikes. That makes *me* feel vintage.

On Saturday night I made the quinoa lasagne casserole that I posted about here for the second time. It’s the right amount of effort for my (limited) kitchen skills.


Today’s more coffee and getting ready for Monday. The kids were off last week, so waking them tomorrow is going to be worse than the usual bear poking. 

On the plus side: I took half of the week off, so it’s a short week for me. Yay!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

What’s Not Me

A few nights ago I was mentally preparing a packing list for an upcoming trip to Las Vegas with my friends J. and B.

We’re going there to run two races over the course of the weekend: a 5k on Saturday night and a half-marathon on Sunday night.

Running clothes, check. I’m not sure what the temps will be (desert nights can get cold, after all), but I’ve got plenty of options already in my drawer.

But it’s the other part of Vegas – the nightlife – that always leaves me confused.

These same friends and I were already in Vegas over Memorial Day weekend, and in the end I felt like I’d packed all wrong.

For going out to dinner the first night, I packed a jumpsuit. From Old Navy. It did not look right at all, especially because I paired it with a weird striped coat.


Image Via Old Navy

For brunching, walking around and shopping the next day, I ended up wearing a pink 3/4 sleeve top from Stitch Fix and an old black skirt from the Gap. It was serviceable, but not exactly cool.

At the pool, I felt self-conscious in my Athleta tankini. The striped sleeveless dress I brought as a cover-up also seemed wrong.

By the second night, I ditched my plans to wear a bright Lilly Pulitzer dress in favor of a black top with black pants. This was the only outfit that felt like me, and I had a great time that night without tugging at anything or worrying about the top half of my jumpsuit falling into a toilet bowl.

A recent post on a blog I love, Unfancy, shared thoughts about packing and dressing in Las Vegas. Here’s a direct quote from the blog:


It screams sparkles, stilettos, and body-con dresses.

But I’m not really a sparkles, stilettos, or body-con dress kind of girl.

So what to do?

Rather than feeling the need to invest in a ton of fancy clothes, I took it as a challenge to do Vegas in an Unfancy way — to bring my style to Vegas, instead of the other way around.

(Read the whole post here).

Up until that point, I’d been thinking it would look cool to wear a motorcycle jacket, specifically this one:


Image via Madewell

Even though I think motorcycle jackets can be styled up or down and across many age ranges, I finally admitted that they’re just not me. $498 saved.

Other things I realized that are Just Not Me:

  • Almost every vest I’ve ever seen
  • Linen anything, but especially pants
  • Jean jackets
  • White shoes
  • Boy shorts (swimsuit version)
  • Baseball hats
  • Over-the-knee boots
  • Heavy earrings
  • Ankle bracelets (Ick)
  • Toe rings (see above re: Ick)
  • Sparkly flip-flops
  • Chinos
  • Overalls
  • Most capri pants, especially wide-leg ones

I haven’t made my final packing list, but doing Vegas my way feels so much better than forcing a look that’s Not Me, just because it seems like What People Would Wear in Vegas.

But deep down (ok, superficially) I still want to look cool and not like I’m trying too hard, or dressing either too old or too young (both sins). I think the key here is to keep it simple, non-peacock for sure, but also in tested things that I know I will feel good wearing.

And the terrific news is that if I miss the mark with what I pack, there’s a lot of great shopping to be had in Vegas.




L’Occitane 2016 Advent Calendar

I loved advent calendars as a kid.

I didn’t get one every year, but when I did, I delighted in opening a tiny paper door every day to reveal a surprise.

The usual calendar that we got had a holiday-ish picture behind the door, like a candle, a tree, a manger. You get the idea.

One year, though, I hit the jackpot; my grandparents gave me an advent calendar that held a piece of chocolate behind each door. The final door – December 25th – held a big chocolate Santa. I loved that calendar.

I’d almost forgotten about this quaint tradition, but lately I’ve seen some cool advent calendars being advertised, like this L’Occitane one:


At $55, this boasts 24 beauty gifts for a value of $107. 

Per L’Occitane, this gift includes:

– Aromachologie Relaxing Shower Gel  1.18 fl. oz.

– Aromachologie Repairing Shampoo 1.18. fl. oz.

– Shea Butter Body Lotion 1 oz.

– Shea Ultra Rich Face Cream 0.33 oz.

– Almond Delicious Hand Cream 0.33 oz.

– Peony Hand Cream 0.33 oz.

– Shea Butter Shower Gel 1 oz.

– Cherry Blossom Shimmering Lotion 1.18 oz.

– Verbena Shower Gel 1 oz.

– Rose et Reines Hand Cream 0.33 oz.

– Almond Shower Oil 1.18 fl. oz.

– The Vert & Bigarade Shower Gel 1 oz.

– Verbena Fresh Toilette

– Jasmin & Bergamote Shower Gel 1 oz.

– Cherry Blossom Shower Gel 1.18 fl. oz.

– Shea Butter Hand Cream 0.33 oz.

– Verbena Leaf Soap .88 oz.

– Cherry Blossom Mini EDT 0.25 fl. oz.

– Verbena Hand Cream 0.33 oz.

– Immortelle Essential Water 1 fl. oz.

– Shea Butter Cleansing Water 1 fl. oz.

– Almond Delicious Soap 1.76 oz.

– Almond Milk Concentrate 0.67 oz.

– Shea Butter Foot Cream 0.33 oz.

– Advent Calendar Box

Wow! I secretly want this for myself but it would make a terrific gift. You could easily break it up into stocking stuffers or small gifts for several people. It’s also a great way to try new L’Occitane products without a full-size commitment.

L’Occitane also frequently runs gifts with purchase specials and will throw in a free gift wrap set (always ask for this! It’s very nice) upon request, plus samples with every order.






The Chore List

Trixie’s (7) been angling for a while to get a toy she saw on TV, a Shopkins Happy Home.


At $29.99, it wasn’t outrageously expensive (although overpriced for what it is), but it also wasn’t cheap enough to make it something I’d randomly let her get during our weekly Target run.

She saved her allowance ($5/week) and Tooth Fairy money until she reached $22. 

Close but no cigar.

We agreed that she could get the toy this week and earn the rest by doing chores around the house.

She made a list:



  • Make every bed in house
  • Do laundry (maybe)
  • Clean living room and keep clean

I’ll remain optimistic about the list, but I’m also not holding my breath for ironed linens and hospital corners on my bed.

Wax Museum

Last Tuesday night, amidst the usual evening chaos (scrounging for dinner/homework/backpack emptying/form signing/lunch packing/laundry folding/washing/brushing/grooming kids before bedtime arguments start), MGM (9) informed me that he needed a costume for a school project. 

Before Thursday.

His class would be presenting a Wax Museum project, which apparently is a Thing nowadays. (When I mentioned this to my co-workers, all unanimously chimed in about their kids’ Wax Museum experiences).

Here’s the idea: each kid would choose an explorer and dress as him/her. They would pretend  to be wax figures in a museum and museum goers would press a “button” to bring the character to life. The wax figure would then recite a narrative about his/her adventures.

Back to Tuesday night: I asked MGM about what other kids were going to be. The near-unanimous answer seemed to be astronauts.

Except for MGM, who decided to be Hugh Glass, who is the character Leonardo DiCaprio plays in “The Revenant.”


This guy.

(Why, oh, why, did he choose this? He hasn’t even seen the movie).

Luckily, we had an old Robin Hood Halloween costume that my sister made for her own kids many years ago stashed away in our laundry room closet. I was able to re-purpose the costume’s shirt and pants, plus fashion a “bear claw” necklace from a fake tooth thingy and a piece of cord. The final touch was a fur collar that MGM wore as a headband.


It turned out better than expected, especially on short notice.

The best part, though, was that I decided I would be a patron of the Wax Museum. It was in the middle of Thursday afternoon and if I tried hard enough, I could re-configure my schedule to attend.

But the unflattering secret is that there have been many similar events over the past four years where I haven’t re-configured my schedule to attend. Either from real or perceived busyness, I didn’t make them a priority. And I am sad about that.

With my recent changes and priority shifting, however, it was clear that I would show up.

When I arrived at the school, MGM was in the middle of a recitation of Hugh’s story, which included jerking to life and roaring like a bear when his imaginary button was pressed. (This was extremely popular among the younger kids).


When he saw me, he stopped mid-sentence: “Mom! You came to the Wax Museum! This is the first time you’ve ever come to anything! I’m so happy!

Cue simultaneous happiness and sadness on my part. My eyes felt leaky.

I listened to every single figure in that museum. Even with a glut of astronauts, it was really fun. I was proud of MGM and in the end, I loved the originality of his choice.