Tiny Zebras

Tiny zebras seem to be having a moment. 

Not zebra print. Zebras.

I saw this cute Splendid dress last weekend at the boutique of the resort where I was staying for a work trip.


Here’s a close up of the print:


Tiny, adorable zebras.

The store was showing this with a long black cardigan. I think it would also look great with a red belt and shoes.

Like these:



Splendid also did zebras on a tee:



If that’s just too zebra-y, then consider this scarf or this clutch.

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For the rest of the family, there’s a boys’ shirt or girls’ shirt and – although this is zebra print, not the animals – I had to include these cute shorts for girls.

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Last fall I bought Chef Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Cookie mix from Williams Sonoma. 

And since I do not cook or bake with any frequency, it sat in the pantry.

And sat.

Over the weekend, I discovered that the expiration date was approaching, and at $20 for the mix, I was going to get my money’s worth.

(I also discovered that they no longer sell this product at Williams Sonoma! Argh).

Trixie (6) agreed to help out, mostly with sampling the batter.


I haven’t ventured into gluten free baking much because it seems to require exotic ingredients like xanthan gum and special starches.

This mix was pretty close to scratch baking, in my opinion. It contained a sugar packet, flour mix and chocolate chunks, which left us to add butter and eggs.

The box also said that it made a dozen cookies, but we got nearly double that amount.

And the cookies were delicious! My junior baking assistant was also quite proud of her efforts.

P.S. Although Williams Sonoma isn’t carrying this product anymore, it looks like Thomas Keller’s Cup 4 Cup Flour mixes have stepped in. Here’s a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, no xanthan gum required.

Stitch Fix #5

I was happy – and surprised – to find my fifth Stitch Fix waiting on my doorstep late last week.

And, wow! This was the best one yet.

I left brief notes in my profile that I was really digging blue lately, and my stylist Kelly hit it out of the park.

I could tell I was going to be reallllly happy as soon as I opened the box. Blue!


First up was this Gilli swing skirt in a beautiful sky color. The fabric is thin, but I think it could be dressed up with a blazer for work. More likely it will be a fun, casual summer piece. Kelly recommended putting it with a gray moto jacket from one of my earlier Fixes, which is a great idea.


(I’m back to having my kids help out with demo-ing these pieces. Not successful, see below).

The second item was this Collective Concepts sleeveless print blouse.


Here’s a close up of the print:


I already wore this to work! Totally me.

Another perfect work top was this Brixon Ivy lace blouse. 


Amazing photography, huh?

What my horrible picture does not capture is the pretty lace details:

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I have some public speaking events related to work that are coming up, and this bright top will be perfect under a suit.

Next up: a Mavi chambray shirt with embroidered pockets.


(MGM, 7, would NOT stand still. A millisecond after I snapped this, he twirled the shirt above his head and threw it down the stairs).

I actually wanted a new chambray shirt, so this was a welcome addition.

A still shot:


Ok, I saved the best for last. The final piece was my favorite, a Tart French terry striped blazer. (Similar here).


I already wore this to work, too, with lots of compliments.

I styled it with a light blue sweater, an indigo shibori scarf, slim gray pants and these gray suede ankle boots:


Here is the part where I try to show the look and mostly fail.


This was such a great Fix! These pieces will incorporate well with what I already have and also gave me a few fresh things for spring.







What Do You Do With The Teeth?

After weeks of twisting it so much that it was hanging on by a single cell (I swear!), Trixie (6) finally lost her first tooth yesterday.

You would have thought she won an Oscar and a Nobel Prize at the same time, she was so excited.

But curious.


This note was placed next to her tiny tooth, which the Tooth Fairy miraculously remembered to exchange for ten quarters, the going rate for an incisor at Fancy Pants Ranch.

She even went to bed voluntarily last night – a first! – which prompted my own thoughts of raiding a dental office for extra teeth…

Happy weekend!

Macrame: It’s Baaack

My crafty sister took a macramé class in approximately 1978 and churned out something like this:


I didn’t give it much thought, but in retrospect, there was also a hanging planter like this:


I vaguely recall that this hanger also had a shelf made of a cross-section of a tree, shellacked to death with little drippy bits of sealant on the bottom of the natural wood.

And then macrame died.

Until now.

I first started seeing the resurrection of macramé in serious design-y places like Jonathan Adler’s home a few years ago.


Image from Pinterest, but it’s from Jonathan Adler’s vacation home.

I died for this.

The oversized scale and the retro-ness of it all added up to pure heaven.

Maryanne Moodie is modern macrame darling. Here’s one of her pieces:


I’m just obsessed.

I would love, love, love to have one of these bright, super-scaled macrame works hanging on the wall of Fancy Pants Ranch.

While I’m good at tying knots in the OR, though, I am not certain this skill translates to fiber art.

P.S. Here’s a DIY version. 

The Moth Podcast

Have you listened to The Moth Podcast?

Tagline: “True stories told live.”

The tales are a real mix; some from hosted story slams featuring amateurs, some from noted writers or storytellers.

Some are funny.

Some are sad.

All are usually poignant.

I caught up on a few episodes during my recent work trip to Florida, including one from writer/actor/director Andre Gregory (he of My Dinner with Andre fame, and I am embarrassed to say I have not seen this film, which is a situation I hope to rectify soon), in which he says that as a child, he was never touched, hugged or kissed. 

The story isn’t a particularly sad one, but that line haunted me. Listen to it here.

Even though I often tell others that my own kids are driving me nuts, I make a big point every day to individually tell them that they are loved and that I am the Luckiest Mom in the World. 

(This universally elicits eye rolls from said children).

Another great piece on human connection is Starlee Kine’s “Waiting for Marina Abramovic.”  Way different from the piece by Andre Gregory, it’s funny and New York-y, and I absolutely loved it.



How To Be a First Class Airline Passenger

Last week the travel section of our local newspaper ran an interesting article about how to gain the favor of flight attendants.

While I wouldn’t follow all the tips (Bring homemade treats to share? Ummm, no), some of them were worth repeating.

  • Say hello. I’m occasionally guilty of boarding a flight and not greeting the attendant at the door. As the article pointed out, how would you like to say “hi” to more than a hundred people and have them all ignore you?
  • Thank them on the way out. This is my own tip, but I usually try to thank the flight attendants as I deplane.
  • Wheels in. Stowing your carry-on bag the right way saves them from hauling it out later on and performing an airline version of Tetris.
  •  Offer your magazines to the crew once you’ve read them. Waiting around the airport is boring. This week’s “People?” Yes, please.
  • Take your headphones off when they’re speaking to you. 
  • If you’re ordering coffee, be specific about what you want in it. Cream? Two sugars?

And the best way to get upgraded: Dress well. No sweatpants.

Other tips are here.

I’m heading back to Orlando today for a quick work trip, so this is particularly timely for me!

Mini Me

Sometimes the conversations with my kids steer off in a direction I’d never considered.

Like this one time.

And today.

I was rushing around, per usual, and Trixie (6) was leisurely eating a (pretty gross) mixture of about three different breakfast cereals.

(Her choice here, People! I was not forcing her to have little random bits of cereal dust from several boxes. At least not today).

Trixie: Dad said I’m your clone. What does that mean?

Me: Well, it means we’re almost exactly alike.

Me: We both like fancy things.

Me: We both like sparkly jewelry.

Me: We both like lip gloss.

Trixie: And we both loooooooove to eat!

Parenting is so repeatedly humbling.

Happy weekend!