A Worthy Cause

There are a lot of horrible things in this world and I think (to some extent) we are desensitized because it comes at us from angles - television, internet, email, radio, newspapers, and on and on. Sometimes, though, an individual story hits close to home and it's impossible to not act or help in some way.

One of my favorite blogs, Whoorl, recently shared a very personal tragedy with their viewers. The blog's author, Sarah, wrote about her cousin's beautiful, smart, talented five-year-old daughter, Madeleine. Maddie was diagnosed  with a terminal brain tumor called DIPG. Her doctors have given her a few months and as time passes, she will lose her ability to walk, fine motor skills, etc. The family is, of course, devastated.

Maddie's parents and family have started a foundation in her name to raise money for a learning center to be built at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, California. Maddie loves the ocean and spent a summer at their Sea Camp. It's important for the family to memorialize her in a tangible way and to build a place where families can go to experience all the things that Maddie loves so much.

As a mother, I really cannot imagine what Maddie's parents are going through. She is their only child and precious beyond words. It took me a while to decide whether or not to post Maddie's story - I guess I was afraid I might not do justice to who she is and what she and her family are going through. But, ultimately, I think the more people who know about her and send positives thoughts and energy, the better. If you'd like to learn more about Maddie's story, please visit her CaringBridge page and the new Maddie James Foundation site.


Color Blocking

Flipping through pictures from New York Fashion Week, I was particularly drawn to DKNY's bold, geometric color combinations:

Luckily, the affordable retailer ZARA (ALWAYS underrated, yet ALWAYS on-trend) has caught the color blocking bug with these fun pieces. Now we can all add a little DNKY to our wardrobe:



Reality Check

Holy macaroni, now I understand why people retire to Florida! It was warm, sunny, green, lush...ahhhh. For the first few days we stayed at the Omphoy in Palm Beach - I was super excited because Michelle Bernstein has a restaurant there (Top Chef fans know what I'm talking about!) - and soaked up as much sun as we possibly could before heading to Daytona/Orlando for work stuff.

I came away from our trip renewed and excited for spring...but then I got off the plane and realized we probably have another eight weeks of winter left and I spent the day digging myself out of a snow-induced depression.

At least I took pictures...

 The beach and pier in the distance.

 The Omphoy pool where I got a really attractive burn regardless of how much SPF I reapplied every hour.

 The view from our room.

 Icky Man O' Wars that were littered all over the beach - gross!

 Beach-side falafal n' fries - I ordered this more than I'd like to admit.

 My dinner at Michelle Bernstein's restaurant. It was some kind of white fish with a hearty mushroom broth and gnocchi.
 G's dinner - steak, crushed potatoes and cheesy broccoli. 

Dessert. Sit down for this...chocolate-filled donuts (they were warm!) and crème brûlée pudding with fresh whipped cream and chocolate crispy things. SOOOO good.


P's Girlie-Girl Nursery

Hello from sunny Florida! G and I are here for a few days soaking up the sun and enjoying our time together. It's wonderful to get the heck out of dodge but we miss little P - I've watched videos of her obsessively all day.

I'm a dummy and posted about being bummed and all you sweethearts wondered what's up. It's totally not a big deal and I've almost recovered...I applied for a blog writing position and didn't get it. It was really a shot in the dark and so, not surprising but disappointing nonetheless.

Anyway, I've been meaning to post some pictures of P's finished room, so here they are! Have a wonderful weekend and see you next week (try not to be TOO jealous of my charred skin, perma-smile and vitamin D glow).

 Somebody LUVS her new bookshelf!

 The room is painted Romantic Pink from Benjamin Moore. I thought it might be a bit much, but it's actually a really cozy color and brightens the room considerably. 

 The sloped wall in her room presented a problem - a bare pink wall was NOT acceptable! I made and hung lines of paper flags on twine - P is fascinated by them and the overall effect is really sweet. 




Do you ever get your hopes up about something that is completely unrealistic but you think MAYBE, just MAYBE it might happen (this you admit to no one, or course)? Ugh. I hate it, but I do this all the time and I'm always disappointed. I won't bore you with the details...but right now I'm just totally bummed.

Luckily, my ultimate feel-good TV show (Real Housewives OC, episode entitled 'Dinner Party from Hell.' Perfect!) is on and I have a plate full of chocolate chip cookies in front of me. Tomorrow is another day!


Paint Fumes

Short and sweet today...I'm in the middle of painting P's room and am embarrassed to say that I'm totally exhausted. Check out this jewelry - it makes me happy :)


Whining, Valentine's Day & Bargain Shopping

Three things have dominated my pea-sized brain lately: 

Our little P exhibits plenty of cute behavior - she IS my baby after all. However, she's developed one annoying habit that I REFUSE to tolerate...whining. I can't stand the sound - it's like nails on a chalkboard or Snooki's voice. All the books/doctors/friends/websites say this is because she's unable to fully articulate what it is she wants. It's also bound to be a result of being an only child, an only grandchild and super adorable (she pouts her lips, it's just irresistible).

A few weeks ago I thought I was going to finally snap when the whining was lasting the majority of a day. And then, out of the blue, P starting doing sign language - A LOT. It's like a light went off and realized that all those weird hand movements I had been doing actually mean something and get her things. All of sudden she was signing 'please', 'thank you', 'more', 'eat', 'ball', 'sleep' and on and on. Consistently signing has taken patience and persistence (of which I have very little) but it's definitely paying off. The whining has definitely been curbed and we both seem happier that we're able to carry on a sort of conversation (I think I just wrote that signing with a 15-month-old could be considered a 'conversation' - does this mean I need to get out more???).

Speaking of whining, Valentine's Day is around the corner. I've received my present early and I couldn't be happier. Her name is iPhone 4. She is amazing. I FINALLY understand what all the razz-ma-tazz has been about - happy sigh.

On a final note, I had posted this fabulous dress from Madewell:

I LOVE it, but it's a tad out of my price range. Then I found this little lovely:

From Target! And, the best part is that it's only $25!!! Oh, and it comes in black and indigo too...


In the Country

I don't know if it's all the chatter about Colin Firth's performance in The King's Speech or if I'm just in the mood for a vacation (or maybe a Valentine's getaway???), but I've been loading up our Netflix queue with some of my favorite English romance movies. I've also found myself bookmarking images of adorable countryside cottages and toile patterns...

Can't you see whipping up a cup of tea in that kitchen or taking a nap (while reading Pride & Prejudice, of course) in that living room?

(Image from Pride & Prejudice c/o prideandprejudice05.blogspot.com; interior images c/o birdsinthegarage.blogspot.com)


Stomach Bug

We have all, unfortunately, been inflicted with the nasty stomach bug that has been going around. Everyone says it's a quickie, so hopefully we'll all be back to normal tomorrow. Stay healthy!!!

Image c/o Have Chicken, Will Fly
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