Party Shoes

Let me be upfront about this: I don’t have anywhere to wear any of these shoes. 

And even if I did, once I arrived I can guarantee there would be a 99% chance that I would be required to remove my fancy shoes and leave them in a damp pile near the front door.

But that doesn’t stop a girl from dreaming.

Here are some lust-worthy holiday party shoes.

First up, Sam Edelman beaded pumps and flats, both from Nordstrom:

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Ivanka Trump bow flats:


Glittery Kate Spade heels:

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British brand L.K. Bennett:

Kareena Suede Block Heel Court

And my ultimate dream, these rainbow (!!!) Valentino 1973 Rockstud heels:


These just scream Fabulous New Year’s Eve Party in Palm Springs. I wish!



Friendsgiving ’14 Recap


Yesterday we had an awesome Friendsgiving, and I was so grateful for it.

After 16.5 years of marriage, it was the fourth Thanksgiving meal that Ever Patient Spouse and I crafted.

Two years ago (#2), I was in charge of the turkey. Yesterday, he was on Bird Duty.

One of the best parts of yesterday was having everyone over for drinks, appetizers and conversation, then people who had obligations elsewhere could go as necessary and everyone else stayed for the Big Meal.

It was perfect.

The biggest hit of the day was an appetizer: whipped lemon feta dip.

Seriously, every morsel of this was gone by the time cocktail hour(s) was/were done.

Here’s the recipe:

Whipped Lemon Feta Dip


  • 10-12 oz. crumbled fat-free feta (this is a real product and perfect for this dish)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • Juice AND zest of one lemon
  • Optional but recommended: Generous shakes of red pepper flakes


  • Get out your food processor. This is what you need for this recipe to work.
  • Pulse the garlic cloves until they are in fine bits. Scrape down bowl.
  • Add feta, lemon zest, olive oil, (and red pepper flakes, if using) and then juice/pulp of the lemon.
  • Pulse until creamy.
  • Ok to eat immediately, but even better if you let the flavors meld for a few hours.

I paired this with crudités (endive, baby zucchini, cherry tomatoes, carrots), a cheese board (brie, manchego, peppered gouda), marcona almonds, and two flatbreads I bought from Trader Joe’s.

After a prosecco toast, one holiday drink we served was hot cider with two kinds of spicy liqueur (Fireball – a cinnamon whisky, and Goldschlager) as optional add-ins. Yum!

The Big Meal was mostly traditional, but we had carrot cake, pumpkin pie, and my unfailing flourless chocolate cake as dessert. All of the chocolate cake was gone in the end. Every last crumb. Like ALWAYS. This dessert hit another home run.

Having friends over was so awesome. This was a great holiday.

P.S. This actually happened:






Madewell Sale

Oh, these Black Friday deals are making me crazy!

Must resist. Must. Resist.

One quick note: Madewell’s deals start now with 25% off using code GIFTON.

The shoes alone are making me swoon.

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But there’s a ton of other stuff to love:

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The main problem is that I want most of these gifts for myself.




What Do You Call a Group of Turkeys?

Nope, not your in-laws and their extended clan. Ba da bum!


A few weeks ago, the coffee shop I regularly patronize made the Group of Turkeys question their Trivia of the Day, for which a correct answer garners 10 cents off a cup of joe.

For the record, a group of turkeys is a called either a rafter or a gang.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here’s some trivia for your holiday table tomorrow.

What do you call a group of …

  • Bears: A sleuth
  • Cats: A clowder (For kittens: a kindle)
  • Giraffes: A tower
  • Ferrets: A business
  • Hyenas: A cackle
  • Ponies: A string
  • Jays: A party
  • Owls: A parliament
  • Starlings: A murmuring
  • Storks: A mustering
  • Sharks: A shiver
  • Toads: A knot
  • Crows: A murder (Yikes!)





Tata Harper

I’ve been seeing Tata Harper Skincare around the web so much lately, but I didn’t break down and try it until last month.



The products are described as 100% natural and nontoxic luxury skincare.

In an interview about her product line, Tata Harper describes how women want to keep their skin “healthy, plump and glowy at all ages.”

I’d agree with that.

And with winter upon us, I’m loving face oils of all manner to keep my skin at its glowiest.

Tata’s line is pretty broad, so I decided to start with a Daily Essentials Discovery Kit ($68).

(There’s also an even more affordable introductory Try-Me Kit for only $11).

The packaging was really great! This is one of the box flaps:



The major bonus was the generous number of free samples that came with my order:


There were five samples in all.

My hands-down favorite item was this Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tint in “Very Charming.”


The color is a perfect petal pink and the formula melts right into the skin and lips, making them look ever-so-much better than on their own. It’s also a perfect match with using face oil to achieve a radiant, natural look.

I had to order a full-sized version for myself:


This is my favorite new discovery.

Other products I am loving include the best-selling Rejuvenating Serum and Beautifying Face Oil. They smell incredible! I want to get so much more.




Holiday Binge

The Holiday Binge Season officially starts this week.

Except these binges aren’t going to ruin your waistline.

With holiday travel and – let’s face it – long afternoons to fill with “quality time” with long-lost relatives you barely know, you may be looking to occupy your interest elsewhere.

That’s where this list comes in.

Each one of these is a satisfying use of your time, and it’s ok to be a glutton once in a while. (These would also be great company during marathon gift-wrapping or holiday card writing sessions, not to mention your four hour layover in Detroit).


  • Serial. If you’re not already listening to this podcast/phenomenon, you’re in for a treat. Seriously, I am so addicted to this true crime story that’s being told one chapter at a time (ergo, “Serial”). The people behind it are also involved with “This American Life,” which I’ve mentioned before. It’s free to download the podcast but I would encourage you to donate to support Season Two.


  • Celebrity Mean Tweets. These clips from the Jimmy Kimmel Show are short and hilarious. I thought #8 (above) was particularly funny. Check out their crazy YouTube viewing numbers – 29 million!


  • Arrested Development. I am so jealous of you if you’ve never seen this. So jealous. I would love to go back in time and watch it for the first time. 


  • Orange Is the New Black. I have to slowly dole out my access to this Netflix darling, lest I go nuts all at once. You have my permission, though, to go nuts all at once.


  • A buoyant round of “Cards Against Humanity.” Yes, this card game was funnier and cooler last year, but it’s still a ton of fun. Select players carefully. Aunt Agnes may not get some of the references, and explaining them to her will just mortify you both.


Welckum Home, Mom

My heart burst when I saw these signs upon my return home from a work trip to Vancouver, Canada, last night:


My favorite is the trajectory of the celebratory return night, as depicted by Trixie (5):


What Mom does (quoting Trixie here):

  1. She comes home with sparkles. (!!!!)
  2. She eats pizza.
  3. She is happy.
  4. She goes to bed.

Yep, this night is playing out exactly as I’d hoped!

Truly, have an awesome weekend!

P.S. Bonus pic: Me depicted as a rainbow butterfly, with Trixie as smaller butterfly.


Goodbye, Vancouver!

It’s a rainy day as I wrap up my trip to Vancouver.


Since it’s been cold and drizzly for the past two days, I opted to run indoors on the hotel treadmill instead of outside. (I know, I know). I’m so glad I took the opportunities to run outside when I had them.


One thing that stuck in my head from the conference I attended this week was this quote:

Taking off is optional, but landing is mandatory.

This advice was meant for surgeons to pause and consider their strategy for successfully completing a surgery before grabbing the scalpel, but it applies to so many situations in life as well.

Have a great weekend!


Winter Accessories

Ironically, it was warmer in Canada this week than at home.

Living in Minnesota, I thought I had some serious street cred when it came to winter dressing.

But I will give it to Canadian retailers, who have elevated the art of merchandising winter accessories to a new level.

First up, the snood:

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  1. Club Monaco (the price is not for the faint of heart, but this is a very interesting knit)
  2. Club Monaco
  3. Aritzia (the drawstring detail makes this special, also comes in black)

 Banana Republic also has some pretty cashmere scarves. I like this blue one:


These BR gloves have a suede detail and zipper at the wrist:



While not technically a winter accessory, these J. Crew perfumes would also be good to wear now.

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The one called No. 57 is spicy and particularly suited to winter.

Let it snow! (I guess).