Holiday Prep – Part 1

Let’s face it: We will forever be the family buying the sad Charlie Brown tree on December 23rd, but this year I’m trying.

Winter comes early here and lasts forever, so I wanted something pieces that could bridge November to March, not just the unofficial holiday season.

I went with two themes: cozy and buffalo plaid.

I share this perfectly imperfect shot to showcase the overall effect, but wow! Painful reality. Two kids and a dog seem to continuously rearrange my pillow fort, push apart the sofa sections and make the blinds quite janky.

These cuties are from Crate and Barrel:

The plaid pillow covers are straight off of Amazon. I slipped them over pillows we already had.

Ditto the plaid throw; it’s Amazon:

We have six fireplaces but I don’t decorate all of them. Here’s the start of the mantle in the main floor family room:

Please excuse the tape. This was a trial. That failed. Re-taping subsequently commenced.

I found these two cute garlands at Michael’s, a craft store that overwhelms me and I try to avoid. There was some weird promotion going on and they gave me the nutcracker for free at the checkout.

The candle is from Crate and Barrel and smells wonderfully like winter. I bought several to (hopefully) last until spring.

The last thing I did, for now:

I bought two faux boxwood wreaths at Target last year and I swap out the bows depending on the season. For someone who is generally lazy, this has been a great decorating hack.

But I’m not done! There is more coming. Will keep posting the updates.

My Fall Uniform

Friends, I can’t stop wearing this fall uniform. 

When a look works, I tend to fall back on it.  

Often. 

This ensemble has made five appearances already this fall. It may reach the point of needing to go out of rotation due to over-exposure, but I’m not there yet. 

From top to bottom: 

J. Crew pearl hoop earrings 

J. Crew slim turtleneck 

Veronica Beard dress  (similar)

Layered pearl bracelets (Arm party!) 

Tights 

Chanel boots – Check out the detail on the heels:

Can also be paired with a fitted leather jacket: 

Canyon Suites Review

Now this is a view.

Spouse and I escaped the Frigid North last weekend for some R&R, Vitamin D, Vitamin Champagne and Friendship in sunny Scottsdale, AZ.

Typing this brings psychic pain, since the current windchill feels like six degrees below zero in Minneapolis.

I wish I was being figurative with my language.

A few basics: The Canyon Suites are a distinct part of the (much) larger Phoenician Resort, a Scottsdale classic property nestled into the side of Camelback Mountain.

Seriously, I don’t think current zoning laws would allow a build like this, because it is not just at the base of the mountain but abutted right into the side.

The Phoenician proper is already a great resort, but the Canyon Suites take it up several notches.

From the hotel’s website:

Here’s the lobby:

Check in was seamless. We stayed in a one bedroom suite on the first floor. There was an entry with two closets and a powder room (LOVED the marble sink), a living and dining room, enclosed patio, separate bedroom with a king bed and a master bath.

Not sure if the video tour will work, but here it is:

A few stills:

Here is the marble sink I loved in the powder room:

And the patio:

Added perks to staying at the Canyon Suites included free breakfast, a private pool for suite guests, valet parking and free shoe shine services. I sent some Gucci loafers off and they returned quite spiffy.

For fellow toiletry hoarders, the amenities are Byredo Le Chemin and include face wash, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and soap, plus lip balm and bath salts.

We arrived Friday and went for a run, went for a swim, soaked up some rays and had dinner at the on-property J&G Steakhouse, where the weather was so fine that we ate al fresco.

Then we waddled back to our suite.

Saturday consisted of more running, breakfast (free and still delicious – the Nutella mini croissants should be illegal, but at least the fancy fruit art slightly balanced it out).

I was *so* excited for Saturday night, where we’d planned dinner with my dear friends R. and J.

I brought a hostess gift and I could hardly stand to wait for them to arrive:

We had a drink at their beautiful house in Paradise Valley (the name! I want to live there for the name alone), met their dogs (and I almost stole the tiny one), had a fabulous dinner at Eddie V’s and I smiled so much that my face hurt.

It was a perfect night.

Sunday required burning off Saturday night via a long run, undoing that with the Nutella croissants, then some serious pool time.

I was super jazzed that afternoon because I’d also booked a deluxe facial. The Spa at the Phoenician is located in a building adjacent to the main hotel. As far as hotel spas go, I would rate this a 9/10. The common areas were recently re-vamped and felt peaceful and modern. There is also a really well-curated spa boutique and a separate Dry Bar.

I loved this piece of art in the waiting area so much that I tracked it down and ordered it for Fancy Pants Ranch:

My 80 minute facial was top notch. The only problem was that it was so good that when I was done, I was done.

All I wanted:

I didn’t make it far beyond relaxing on the patio, but that was just fine for our last night.

We returned home Monday, another seamless but sad affair.

Final thoughts: Spouse and I had a serious debate about The Canyon Suites versus The St. Regis. My best St. Regis comparison would be the one in Bal Harbour (Miami), which also involves a single flight (for us) and affords both sun and city amenities. Overall, I would give the nod to the St. Regis, since some suites there have their own private elevators (THE THING I DIE FOR) and there is the winning element of the ocean.

But.

The Canyon Suites were also really, really spectacular. The view of Camelback Mountain was something special and the on-site restaurants and spa give the Canyon Suites an edge. Adding the opportunity to spend time with our friends really makes the two properties a push in the end.

Which means I need to visit both a lot more to collect additional data.

It’s called research.

Pink + Red

This color combo is having a moment.

Image via Vanity Fair

These are all red carpet looks from the Emmys (Vanity Fair wrote about it here), but mass retailers also got into the game for Fall/Winter 2019.

This is from Trina Turk’s Instagram feed, but I can’t find it online. Yet. #Stalking

From the available now files: This Boden sweater is my favorite of the bunch.

This silk blouse – also Boden – is an alternative:

J. Crew adds a few other colors to the mix, but pink and red are front and center:

Coats from – again – Boden and J. Crew, respectively.

And now this.

Georges BB bag, $2140, at Louis Vuitton.

My take on the trend:

Nylon bucket bag with an added Salt strap. This adds a punch of color to any outfit.

Get Me Murray!

**** This is one of my favorite blog memories. It still cracks me up to the extent that I wanted to share it again. For what it’s worth, Trixie is now 10 and occasionally wakes up of her own volition. ****

I was dead serious when I posted last week that getting the children up-and-at-’em is akin to poking two bears.

images-2

Trixie (5) has taken to wearing sunglasses in the A.M, which overall channels a strong 1990s Courtney Love vibe.

Here she is enjoying a nutritious breakfast of Fruity Pebbles, which was immediately preceded by her barking, “Where are my Fruity Pebbles? I ordered Fruity Pebbles! And why isn’t anyone pouring the milk?”

Murray2 Murray4 Murray1

Note that the picture quality is poor since I had to surreptitiously take them to avoid her wrath. Frankly, I’m scared of her.

Spouse has also worked out a whole backstory to her behavior that I find hilarious (and a helpful coping mechanism), namely that she’s an indulged, out-of-control socialite/actress/musician.

He’ll pretend to be Trixie (out of earshot, of course), and routinely provides bon mots like:

  • The sun! It burns!
  • I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day. And I don’t see any bags of cash in your hands.
  • Get the G6 gassed up and ready to go! I’ll be at Teterboro in 20.
  • See you in Ibiza.
  • Where the hell is my agent Murray? He was supposed to be here 10 minutes ago! Murray! Get me Murray!

 

 

 

Happy Halloween, 2019

Confession: I’m not a big Halloween person.

I haven’t worn a costume since my freshman year of college, and that was only to be able to use a fake I.D. to get into a bar.

But others around here do not share my indifference to October 31.

Even the dog gets into the game:

And a wig on a pumpkin, why not?

Spouse still swears by his regimen of offering Fireball shots to weary parents.

And this flashback is just ALL THE FEELS. Sniff.

Cool Leather Coats – On Sale

I have a mixed relationship with leather.

In the late 90s, I had a leather blazer inspired by “Friends” – just like everyone else.

Image via IHeartRadio

Then I went gun shy and stayed away for nearly two decades until springing for a black moto jacket last year.

I like it, but it’s not right for every occasion.

Last week I saw someone wearing this Vince zip cross front jacket.

Image via Nordstrom

I gave her a hug and the leather was like butter.

Plus, it was polished enough for work and looked good when worn open.

I was thrilled to find it for over half off at Nordstrom Rack, albeit in a dark green. I like the color, at least on the website.

$450 at Nordstrom Rack.

The green coat was a bargain too good to pass up, but I really wanted something in black or blue.

Or both.

This Cole Haan jacket is now 25% off at Nordstrom and comes in a several colors. I like the snap detail at the collar.

Image via Nordstrom.

The coat above is navy, but I ordered black. Even though my moto jacket is also black, the hardware skews it a bit tough, and the look above is more in tune with professional wear. I can see this paired with a dress during cooler months, which is basically 90% of the year in Minnesota.

This Andrew Marc jacket is an incredible 60% off:

It also comes in an amazing color called Rosewood:

This is under $200!

And finally, from at Shopbop, this Kingston jacket from The Mighty Company.

Image via Shopbop