Friday, March 16, 2012

Dressing Things Up

Some Friday Inspiration.

images 1, 2 and 3 via Pink Wallpaper 

images 4, 5 and 6 via The Beauty File

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Just A Day at the Park

Yesterday, Sabine and I spent the day at the park with my sister and her three littles and my dad. 

It was blissful to be together with them on such a cool and sunny day. It's almost never that we get to be alone together like that anymore.

But there was a little hole in the scene and it's where my mom should've been. It's so strange how a family changes--and crumbles in a way--when a member goes missing.

I watched my dad quietly push Sabine and cousin Isabel on the swing as they beamed and their toes dangled so freely.

Tiny monster chased birds for a good portion of the day, talking and laughing with them like they were her long lost friends. My dad looked at her and said, "Go get the bird!" Two-year-old Sabine replied, "No, ganpa. It's a pigeon."

There's something about having three generations of family together on a brilliant day under the trees. It makes you think about all of it: your childhood, your parents' childhood, your and your parents' adulthood, and how your child's life will change and grow and ebb and flow through good and bad.

You just hope, since good without bad is unavoidable, that your child lands somewhere brave, strong and mostly happy. And that she has as many beautifully simple and sunny days surrounded by family at the park as she possibly can.

via Observando


Orange Push-Up Smoothie
(recipe via

1 can orange juice concentrate (Hawaii's Own mango-orange flavor), slightly thawed
1 cup milk (half and half, cream, nut milk, soy milk)
1 cup sugar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups ice, or to taste

Combine all ingredients, except ice, in a large blender or Vita-Mix and blend until smooth and creamy, taking care the sugar has dissolved and is well incorporated. If desired, add a splash more water or more milk. Add the ice and blend until smooth.
Makes approximately three eight-ounce portions.
Tips: Pour excess portions into glasses and thaw later and drink as smoothies; pour excess into bowls and freeze for orange sherbet; or pour into Popsicle molds, paper cups, or ice cube trays and freeze for homemade Push-Ups.  Or halve the recipe by cutting the can of orange juice concentrate in half and halving all other ratios.
Optional: Add 1 to 2 ounces of Rum, Malibu, Vodka, Citron, Marshmallow Vodka, Gran Marnier or similar, per smoothie portion, or to taste.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Breaking Up and Coming Together: The Final Chapter (I SWEAR)

For Part 1, click HERE; Part 2, click HERE; Part 3, click HERE; and for Part IV, click HERE. we arrive in San Francisco in the late afternoon/early evening. We didn't have a hotel reservation, but since I used to live in San Francisco, I knew we could easily find a room at one of the many boutique hotels. I drove straight to Nob Hill and found this great French hotel with vacancy on Bush Street. I knew my must have three beds policy would never hold since we were in the city, so I checked us into a room with two beds and figured I'd figure it out later.

Once inside, we all got ready to go to dinner. We had a reservation at The Slanted Door, one of The Ferry Buildings yummiest restaurants. We were a little dressed up as it was Kadin's official birthday dinner. I remember that we spared no expense and ordered a handful of plates to share and a few bottles of wine. We laughed and talked until our bellies were full. I kept thinking about the night before in Big Sur--about how Kadin and I slept together without sleeping together or even kissing and about his mini massage and what it all meant. There wasn't much flirting going on and we seemed to be a functional and platonic trio of friends having a perfectly excellent time.

Toward the end of dinner, we discussed whether we should head out to a bar or two in the Mission district or to a party in the same area. Our mutual friend had a friend who was having a party. He kept warning us about how different or unusual his friend was and said the party might be crazy but that he wanted to go. Kadin and I agreed and we headed to the Mission. When we got to the party, I realized it was a lesbian co-cop (a three-story house filled with rooms that were rented by mostly artsy lesbians). There was different music being played on each floor (hip hop, rock and funk/soul) and everyone was dressed in costume except for us (and by costume, I mean glitter, wings, masks, lingerie). Our mutual friend laughed and said he told us it would be wild. And immediately after doing so, an old friend of mine who lived at the house and was one of the hostesses came up and hugged me. Mutual friend's eyes popped out of his head because I think he thought he was more experienced or less conservative than I seemed.

But he was wrong. When I used to live in San Francisco, I lived in a house with a handful of male musicians, one of whom was a heroin addict who played in the band Brian Jonestown Massacre. And I worked at a progressive and experimental gallery called The Lab in the Mission district, where I met my artist and lesbian friend Zoe--the aforementioned hostess.

At some point during the party, Kadin, mutual friend and I all went our separate ways. There were a ton of people and it was difficult if unnecessary to stay together. I spent time catching up with Zoe, meeting many new sparkly, winged friends and drinking a lot of red wine. My fuzzy and tipsy brain soon began to wonder where the boys were so I wandered all three floors until I came to the funk/soul level, where Kadin was dancing alone to Prince. I had just enough liquid courage to start dancing, too. "Little Red Corvette" was playing and I stopped caring about how I looked and what everything meant and just danced because I love that song. Pretty soon, Kadin and I were dancing together. I mean, really together as in very close and suggestively. It felt like no one else was in the room.

Until I looked across the room and saw mutual friend dancing, too. I pulled away from Kadin a little and continued dancing nearby but on my own because I didn't want him to see Kadin and I. It shouldn't have been a problem but I was considering the past and the fact that I hadn't had a conversation with him about the possibility of romance between me and Kadin.

But after pulling away, I wanted to be close to Kadin again. It just felt right and magnetic and safe and electric and comforting all at the same time. It was like I belonged right there without any games or over thinking anything. It was that simple, that easy and that automatic. So in my head, I said fuck it and I kissed him. Next thing I knew he had moved while kissing so that his back was up against the wall and he could pull me to him.We stopped dancing and made out. For a long time. It felt like being incredibly thirsty for a long time and finally getting water but not being able to drink enough. Remember that at this point, it had been more than seven months of knowing and liking each other without any physical contact.

Without meaning to, Kadin moved so that his back hit the light switch and suddenly lit up the very dark room. Mutual friend looked over and saw us kissing. We stopped and saw him, too. He shook his head a little and left the room. We apologized, turned off the lights and ran out to look for him. When we found him he told us that it just felt weird to see and that he had no idea. He said he was okay with it but just surprised and didn't want anything awkward to happen or for us all not to be friends. I told him I felt the same way and hadn't let anything happen for months for that very reason.

The culmination of events had us feeling a little bit more sober so we grabbed a cab back to our hotel. It was understood once we got there that Kadin and I would be sharing one of the beds. But the three of us simply went to sleep. When I woke in the morning, Kadin started to cuddle and just held onto me. We just smiled at each other. I think we finally felt really happy to be able to be together without any fear. Mutual friend woke up, looked over at us, started laughing and said he couldn't believe that two of us his best friends had ended up together. When he got up to take a shower, Kadin and I talked a little. He said that when we first met and he told mutual friend that he was attracted to me, mutual friend told him I was jaded. I told him that around the same time, mutual friend warned me that Kadin was a player. Neither turned out to be true.

The ride home was much faster and less uncomfortable than you might think. Kadin and I weren't too  mushy for the sake of our friend. But we did text each other in the car and stare via the rear view mirror. When we got back to my apartment, it was Sunday and Kadin needed to head home for work in the morning. I dropped him off at his car and we made out for awhile before saying goodbye. Unlike so many times before, I knew we would call each other and meet again soon. For the first time in years, I felt secure, sure, fearless and confident.

Mutual friend and I spent the next few hours talking and laughing with zero awkwardness before he had to leave on a red eye back to New York that night. When it was time for him to go, I dropped him off at the airport and we gave each other a bigger hug than usual. I was driving home from LAX--with all of the windows rolled down and Prince shamelessly blasting from the speakers, going over and over every single little moment and magnificent feeling from the night before in San Francisco--when my cell phone started ringing. I looked down at the screen and saw Kadin's name flashing. I smiled, welcomed the eighth-grade-girl butterflies into my belly and answered the phone.

photos by Shannon Corr

Family Portrait

A mixed up family portrait cross stitched by Ellen at Black and White and Loved All Over. Adorable.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Looking Back

How was your weekend? Ours felt insanely busy. We were exhausted yesterday and steadfast in our belief that weekends should last three days, not two.

We went to a birthday party, moved way too much furniture (we got a new bed!), cleaned out Sabine's closet (unearthing a bassinet, a swing, too many baby clothes and a baby toys), had a nice visit with a long lost cousin, went to Costco (oh the torture of Costco!), bought new sheets and so much more.

While cleaning, I found a pile of old pictures and a card I'd given Kadin exactly four years ago while we were still dating. I'd pasted a poem inside that went like this:

Love Sonnet XVII

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Pablo Neruda
via Observando

The Shift Dress

 Was reading The Beauty File last week and saw a post on shift dresses. It made me long for my non-pregnant body just so that I can wear a few of these. Love.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Birthday Parties

We are about to go to our third kids' birthday party in three weeks and Sabine is only two and a half. I used to think we'd enter this phase much, much later--like when she's in school.

But apparently, the party going and having starts a lot earlier than I thought. Note, we did have a first birthday party for Sabine because, well, it was her first and so many of our friends and family wanted to celebrate. However, when she turned two, I tried to skip it. I don't want her to expect or feel like she needs a big party ever single year. Dude, that's a lot of parties. And those parties usually require a lot of organizing and stress and preparation and time and material things rather than just doing something a little special that lets you really be with your kid and squish them and tell them how much you love them.

As I grew up and celebrated my own birthdays, my mom would make my favorite meal for dinner and a cake for dessert. She would bring cupcakes to my school (if I was in school) and my parents would buy me no more than two presents. I never remember thinking that it wasn't enough or that I'd been cheated. I remember loving it and feeling happy and lucky on that day.

For Sabine's non-birthday-party second birthday, I tried to have a little be enough but still found myself at a small party. It was just extended family, but a party nonetheless. My in-laws have made a habit out of visiting each year on her birthday so we'd planned to gather at their rental house to have dinner on that day. Once my sisters found out, they wanted to be there, too. Kadin grilled a ton of food and we bought a giant ice cream cake to accommodate everyone. And many balloons, streamers, signs and presents later, we found ourselves at a party.

Now that Sabine is two and a half and has been to plenty of parties, she loves them. A lot. And as we plan to head to another party this weekend, I can't help but think about what I'm going to do when she turns three. I'd like to continue to at least try and teach that a little can be enough and that sometimes, it's even more or better. But again, that's increasingly hard to do these days--especially when we go to these parties and watch the gift opening portion of the program. We never buy huge or multiple gifts when we give to Sabine or any other child because we see how much they already have; how much they don't play with their own toys; and how little storage space people have to house these toys. And, when a child receives so much in one sitting, they can't focus on any one or few things because they're so overwhelmed by sheer volume that they can't think or feel straight.

The gift we gave at our last party was a sparkly princess tiara, a floral top and an ice cream coupon (for one free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery). Sabine made the card--an abstract toddler scribble on white paper, where I wrote a simple message as directed by tiny monster and her color choices. I rolled the paper into a scroll and tied it with a ribbon. Sabine carried the present around for days and was beside herself with joy at the thought of giving it to her friend. But once we were at the party and I saw what other people gave--multiple outfits or outfits and toys, wrapped in big boxes with fancy cards, I started to wonder if a little is enough.

How can I teach Sabine that you don't have to have a big party to feel special and have fun when there are so many parties to go to? And how in the world can I teach her that to revel in a few things is so much more beautiful and satisfying than going hog wild with too many things when we watch birthday girls open presents that are much more extravagant than the one we gave?

Lacey Pretty

The perfect bra (especially perfect for summer clothes--I don't think I would mind if these straps showed a little).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Breaking Up and Coming Together, Part IV

 Read Part I by clicking HERE; click HERE for Part II; and HERE for Part III. part of the reason that I was hesitant to be anything other than Kadin's friend was our mutual friend, who I'd dated before moving from L.A. to New York. We only dated for about two weeks before I moved and became close friends afterwards. Once I was in L.A., we talked on the phone, visited regularly and developed a completely platonic relationship for about five years before Kadin came into the picture. But still, I didn't want to start anything romantic with Kadin because I didn't want to ruin a friendship or cause any awkwardness between two or three of us should things not work out. And because this mutual friend had told me that Kadin was a player, I was sure things would, in fact, not work out.

But on a sunny Saturday morning, after a bunch of times of unromantically and romantically hanging out with Kadin and learning he was not player-like at all, I hopped in a car with my former love interest and my current love interest for a seven-hour drive up the California coast.

I drove and the two of them took turns sitting in the front seat. We listened to music, talked and stopped for snacks and gas until we got to Big Sur, where we got out and stood on the beach looking at sea lions, the beach and the epic landscape. It was as beautiful as ever and I remember feeling free and happy, but slightly worried about the wind and how insane my hair looked.

We took a ton of pictures and dipped our toes in the water (it was March, and just before Kadin's birthday) and hopped back in the car to try and find a place to stay before darkness came. I had wanted to stay in a yurt on a bluff just above the ocean but decided against it in the end since it was March and they only had two beds. I needed three beds, one for each of us. We found a camping ground amidst giant redwoods and a babbling creek that I'd seen online and had one-room wood cabins with multiple beds. We checked in and then headed out to find a restaurant so we could eat an actual meal vs. Cheetos and Diet Dr. Pepper. We finally found a bar/restaurant filled with locals and really delicious seafood. We parked it at the bar, which means that I was sitting in between Kadin and our friend. I remember that Kadin and I unconsciously ate off of each other's plates and I was horrified--once I realized--to be doing so in front of our friend.

After dinner, we ducked into a local bar that the bartender from the last place had told us about. It was filled with hippies dancing to Jimmy Buffet-style music and reminded me of one of my college hangouts in Santa Barbara called the Beach Shack. I was either too embarrassed or thought I was too cool to dance but Kadin and our friend busted out and started shaking their butts immediately. They kinda took over the dance floor and it was hilarious. Once they were sufficiently tired and sweaty, we hopped back into the car to try and find some wine we could take back to our cabin.

We sat outside in front around our own little fire pit, talking and drinking cheap red wine for hours. But pretty soon, the night sky was too cold so we went inside, where the only place to sit was a set of bunk beds and one queen size bed. I strategically placed myself on the queen bed, where Kadin was sitting. Our friend kind of had no choice but to rest on the lower bunk bed. And while I didn't want to actually get all humpy and horizontal with Kadin yet, I was dying to know what it would be like to makeout with him.

Our friend fell fast asleep on his bunk while Kadin and I talked and talked. I kept waiting for him to make a move. I mean, I was laying right beside him in a bed for chrissakes. More hours went by and I tried to concentrate on what he was saying, but really, I couldn't stop thinking about the fact that if I had balls, they would be blue by now. At some point, I was responding to something Kadin said when I all of a sudden heard him snoring beside me. No way, I thought. Are you kidding me? All of this talking and listening and no makeout? I was pissed, but eventually I fell asleep, too. Then sometime when late night starts to become early morning, I felt a heavy hand rubbing my lower back, dangerously close to my butt. I was entirely freaked out by this. He wouldn't makeout with me but felt comfortable enough to give me a rub down near my buttocks? My ass is not that fantastic, but I've got great lips. I lay there a little frozen, not knowing what to do. Finally, I sat up and said something about needing to brush my teeth.

Now, this is the first physical contact Kadin and I had other than one lingering hug. I'm utterly confused about where we are taking things--some place or no place and which one do I prefer at this point?

Pretty soon, we pack up our things and head for our next stop: San Francisco. But we need a little gas first. I pull up to the pump while our friend heads inside to pay and Kadin gets out to put the gas in. I get out, too, and Kadin and I are standing there alone for the first time since his confusing back/butt rub minus the makeout. And he says to me, "What, no morning kiss?" I laugh uncomfortably and walk away thinking, morning kiss? As punctuation to what? Some random rub and nothing else? What is he talking about?

The three of us jumped back into the car and began driving again. I remember stopping at a beach and skipping rocks and climbing driftwood. I also remember texting back and forth with Kadin little jokes and flirtations and wonderings that were fun and sweet and exciting because our friend had no idea. It was a way of being alone without being alone. I was participating in all of this but still confused about the previous night.

...okay, don't be mad, but I have to continue this because Sabine just woke up and this is way too long already and people, sadly, rarely read long posts, articles or stories anymore. I promise that Part V will be the juicy final chapter...stay tuned!

Marni for H&M

The Marni for H&M collection will be available tomorrow, March 8. I'm crazy for the color block tank, the striped leggings, the silver sandals, the paillette collar, the amber statement necklace and that adorable bucket hat.

via Refinery29

Fashion Week: Paris and Milan

My favorite in Paris: Isabel Marant.

via The Man Repeller

My favorite in Milan: Jil Sander.

via The Man Repeller

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Scaling Back

Sabine copies everything I do. Time to be more careful/aware--for both of us.

New From Anthropologie

You either love these or you hate them. I think with the right ensemble (all black or all white skinnies or leggings and a loose-fitting tee), they could be pretty amazing. What do you think? 

Faces of Music

Just because they look so young, happy and hopeful (and because Beast of Burden brings back old memories and Bob Marley brings new ones).

Friday, March 2, 2012

Is the Suspense Killing You?

I owe you guys the fourth and perhaps final chapter of Breaking Up and Coming Together--the story of how Kadin and I ended up as a couple. But I'm going to have to post it next week since I need to scan some photos from the crazy and pivotal roadtrip that I elude to in Part 3.

Sorry to make you wait but the scanning needs to happen and so does the rest of the storytelling, which has been impossible to write with my recent adult onset narcolepsy (as discussed HERE).

In the meantime, happy weekend! I hope it feels long-lasting...

via Observando

Vanessa Paradis

I kinda wanna makeout with her more than I do Johnny Depp. Love her style, her gap, her voice--and the fact that she's forty and the mother of two.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ever Growing

Sabine has been a dream lately, thank god. I, on the other hand, have felt like I'm in a dream for almost two weeks. I'm exhausted. All the time. I nap when she naps and fall asleep way too early each night. I'm almost 29 weeks now (feels more like 40) and I toss and turn all night and get up constantly to use the restroom. This little baby is breech at the moment and has a thunderous kick. I constantly wake up thinking someone is poking or squeezing or prodding my belly and then I realize I'm pregnant and there's a tiny human growing in there.

There's a handful of pregnant women around me. And all of them look tiny with a big basketball attached to their bellies. I, on the other hand, look and feel a lot more like Chris Farley (I'll post a photo soon).

For now, it's just me and Sabine during the day. That's going to change forever in just two and a half months. So I'm sitting and laying and cuddling and laughing and talking and exploring with her as much as possible until we have to share each other with someone else. Sometimes I don't want to. These days, I look at her and realize I don't just love her because she's my daughter. I love her because she's beautiful and funny and idiosyncratic and smart and silly and brave and strong and curious and so, so seemingly happy.

A beaming smile takes over her entire, delicious face when she rides the baby carousel for fifty cents in front of the 99 cents store. When we go to Old Navy, she falls all over the plastic dog and mannequin girl as if they're her best friends. She talks to them, hugs and kisses them, laughing the whole time as if they just told her the funniest joke she's ever heard. She kisses me and tells me she loves me all day. She tries to get so close to me; closer than on my lap or right beside me. She wants to be up against my chest with my arms wrapped around her (but my Chris Farley belly doesn't make that so easy at the moment).

I can't imagine yet the feelings I will have for baby number two--my last and final baby. Sabine makes me feel more than I ever imagined. She's turned my heart into this huge, swollen, bright, smiling, can't-get-enough-of-her beating thing that would shrivel if anything ever happened to her. She's made my life more beautiful, brilliant, tender and terrifying all at the same time.

Beyonce and Baby

Beyonce is wearing her baby (Sabine practically lived in a sling until she was two)! She's also wearing Isabel Marant sneakers--the only things I would commit a crime to get.

via Marvelous Kiddo via Global Grind


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