Archive for July, 2014

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I have been on the search for a great pair of classic white heels for what seems like forever.

Every time I came across a pair, there was just something that I didn’t love about them.  I had given up on finding a pair until we made a visit to the shoe floor at Saks Fifith Avenue in New York.  I should have known that if there was a pair of shoes I was looking for, they would have it.  I picked up these Prada heels and I am smitten.  The search is over.

Why white heels you ask?  I am not quite sure but I have always had a thing for white shoes.  It started in High School with Jack Purcell’s, continued in college with the stacked Steve Madden’s (if you say you didn’t wear these in the late 90’s, you are lying….unless you weren’t born yet and I am completely dating myself), and has continued ever since.  There is nothing like a clean pair of sandals, flats or heels.  The best part is that in Orange County, you can really wear white shoes all year long because we tend to rebel against all fashion rules when the sun seems to never go away.  This is the same reason we continue to wear our white jeans.  Here are some really cute white shoes that would be a great classic for any closet…

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“One cannot paint New York as it is, but rather as it is felt” – Georgia O’Keefe

When I travel, I really hate to over plan.  Part of my love for seeing the world is not having a set schedule and being able to walk the streets, grab a coffee and rest when you want and find hidden gems that you could perhaps overlook when you are quickly on to the next.  As our plane took off in LA, there were only two things that we had purchased tickets for; the 9/11 Museum and Memorial and a Yankees game.  Other than that, we were just going to figure it out as we go, understanding that this may limit how much of the city they see but making the entire trip more enjoyable for everyone.  What we didn’t realize is that this approach actually brought us through more of the city than I could have ever imagined. The children now love New York as much as I do and are asking when we can go back.  I must say, if you have thought about bringing your children to New York but have been a bit hesitant, GO FOR IT!  It is crazy how much there is to do with them.  I am going to share our day by day (apology in advance in how long this post is) with just a few photos on what we did and what they loved.

Here is our little adventure in New York…

Monday – The American Museum of Natural History, Central Park and The MET (for just a second)

We were staying right on Central Park South so it made sense that the first day there we would simply walk out the door and head toward the Upper West Side and the American Museum of Natural History.  The children love Natural History museums and we had heard this was one of the best.  It made complete sense to walk because it was gorgeous outside and it would give us a chance to see the park.  The museum was incredible and to make it even better, we grabbed Shake Shack for lunch right across the street.  On impulse we decided to walk across the park to the Upper East Side and the MET.  Though we did not decide to go in (there is only so much museum time a child has), we did decide to drive remote control sailboats in the park for a while, allowing us to soak up the sun and spend some peaceful time together.  The perfect first day.

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Tuesday – The 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty, SOHO, the Bowery

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum was a MUST when we first decided to go to New York.  Our Middle Man was born on September 11th and has always known his birthday was important but never has fully understood why.  Our Oldest has started to learn about 9/11 in school and it seemed like the perfect time to share with them this tragedy in American History.  We headed downtown early so that we could take them to Battery Park and show them the Statue of Liberty (no boats or Ellis Island for us today).  Then we spent some time at the Memorial, explaining a bit of what they were going to see inside and paying respect to those who were lost.  The museum absolutely blew us all away.  They did an incredible job and it brought back all the sadness and loss that I remember so vividly from that day in 2001.  For the boys, they experienced for the first time the planes hitting, the buildings falling and all the loss.  At one point I saw tears in my Oldest’s eyes.  They now understand the weight of that day.  The entire museum was incredible moving and I recommend everyone visit if they can.  We then headed to SOHO for lunch and a small bit of shopping at my favorite French boutique, Comptoir Des Cotonniers .  That night we met friends in the Bowery at Bacchanal.  This was our one “adult” dinner, the food was amazing and thanks to three iPads, we made it through.

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Wednesday – Chelsea Piers, the Highline, Little Italy, Time Square

Our dear friend Maritza of MilkShop NY and her husband live right outside the city and we had planned on getting together with them and their beautiful family.  They suggested the driving range at Chelsea Piers and this was right up the kids alley.  For an hour they were able to “golf” while we caught up on life and all that has been going on.  When leaving, they had mentioned they had never been to the High Line, which was only a block or two over, so we headed there next.  It is such a cool urban park with food, things to do with the kids and beautiful views of the city.  After that we headed to Little Italy where we completely over-indulged at La Mela and made a visit to the cutest children’s boutique, Piccolini NY.  At this point in our trip we had stayed clear of Times Square but we all figured the kids would love the lights and craziness so we headed over there, only to unload the car and have a major thunderstorm surprise us, drench us and give us an excuse to all head home.  I have not laughed that hard in a long time.

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Thursday – Yankee Game, 5th Avenue

A Yankee game is where all the chatter about visiting New York began.  We even picked the week we went because they had a day game that would be easier to bring the kids to.  So, the boys got their Yankee game (the only bummer for them is that Jeter didn’t play!) and then the girls got to do some shopping on 5th Avenue.  I introduced Baby Girl to the shoe floor at Saks and she anxiously helped me try on shoes though she was disappointed I did not walk out with the jelly sandals.

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It amazes me how much of the city were were able to see in juts a few days without ever feeling like we were trying to do too much.  Between walking, the subway and a cab here or there, everything seems extremely close, which was one of the great things about staying in Midtown with kids.  On Friday we jumped on the train at Union Station and headed to Washington D.C to visit our friends and enjoy the weekend there.   I will share our fun adventures there soon.  I am sure you have had enough photos for now.

 

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Every time I return from vacation I feel as if I need a major detox.  I indulge every bit of the way and take no concern to how good our bad my food is for me.  Enjoying the food in the city you are visiting is part of the experience!  But I will admit that towards the end, it gets to feel like a bit too much indulgence.  I also tend to come home sick of eating out.  As much as I love the big meals and the constant glass of wine, there comes a point when I am done.  I am ready for healthy,  home cooked meals, lemon water and feeling a bit lighter.  I become energized to get back in the kitchen and try some new recipes that are going to get us back on track.

I was perusing the internet for some light salads to go with out first dinner home and this Watermelon-Cucumber Salad instantly caught my eye.  Watermelon and cucumbers are instant refreshers and it sounded like the perfect way to get some fruit and vegetables back into the diet without it being too heavy.  Plus, I love goat cheese.  The entire salad took only minutes to put together and was exactly what I was hoping it would be; light and refreshing, just like a summer salad should be.

I will admit that I forgot to pick up the mint at the store and there was no way I was going back out so I am sure that would have made the salad even better, not that I seemed to miss it this time around.  I also left out the red onion because the hubby REALLY doesn’t like red onions.  Again, it was still amazing!  I will definitely be making this salad as long as our warm weather continues.

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“The world is a book and those who do not travel only read the first page” – St. Augustine

Los Angeles —> New York —> Washington D.C. —> Los Angeles

After eight days of traveling the East Coast, we have arrived back home in Orange County and I am now looking back at what was a total whirlwind/fabulous vacation.  I cannot believe how much we did and all that we were able to see.  It truly was one of our most memorable family vacations.  I will share it all with you over the next few days but for now I need to figure out what is for breakfast (there is NOTHING in this house) and get some laundry done.  The glamorous side of traveling with 5 people.

This has nothing to do with was returning but I came across these Freebird by STEVEN booties and they are on major sale and perfect to transition from Summer to Fall.  I thought I would share.

Happy Monday.

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We have hit that time in the summer when it feels just right to get away for a bit.  Our trip to New York could have not have arrived at a better time and this week seemed to take FOREVER in anticipation of getting out of suburbia for a bit.  We tend to take weekends away here or there throughout the year  when we can squeeze them in but with the kids schedules and school it is extremely hard to schedule an entire 8 days away without conflicting with something.  The month of July seems to be the only time of year where it works and I look forward to this week away with our family every year.  Just the five of us exploring something new.

As I mentioned a while back, the kids have been begging to go to New York for some time and this Sunday we are on our way.  I cannot wait to share with them one of my favorite cities in the US and I have a suspicion that it is going to blow their mind.  They love big cities and have seen Chicago, San Francisco and Washington D.C but this is NEW YORK and they just have no idea.  After a week in the City we will be heading down to D.C. on the train to visit some dear friends and take in a little bit more of the Capital.  It is going to be a vacation drastically different than last year’s relaxing vacation but very exciting from beginning to end.  East Coast, here we come!

In order to simply enjoy time with my family and catch a little vacation myself, I will not be posting on Juggling in Heels this upcoming week.  You can follow along on our trip via Instagram and Facebook and I will be back the following week.

Don’t forget that today marks the beginning of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!  You can see all my pick’s for her, him and the littles by clicking here and all my picks from beauty, sunglasses and jewelry by clicking here.  Happy Shopping!

New York, here we come!

*photo via

When it comes to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I have always tended to focus merely on the clothes.  Updating everyone’s wardrobe becomes a priority and I overlook all the other details of the sale.  Sure I will visit handbags and shoes (who doesn’t???) but when it comes to beauty, jewlery and sunglasses, I tend to forget about them in loo of everything else.  Sometimes it can get just a bit overwhelming.  This year I have finally taken notice and there are some GOOD GOOD goodies in all departments.  My mistake for overlooking them all these years!  Here are some of my favorites that will pair perfectly with all the items I shared yesterday.  Remember, if you have “Early Access” you can shop these items NOW!  If not, the sale begins TOMORROW!

Beauty

Sunglasses

Jewelry


For all my picks in handbags, shoes, for her, for him and for the littles, click here.

 

If there is anything that can distract me from the beautiful summer days we are having and turn towards Fall and its cooler weather, it is the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  Celebrated across the country, it is truly the sale of the year.  And it starts FRIDAY. Many of you may have already shopped the sale with “Early Access” (this is the only reason I have a Nordstrom debit card) but the doors open bright and early across the country Friday where the madness will continue late into the evening and for days to come.  As a previous Manager of Nordstrom, I was always amazed at how crazy it gets.  Don’t get between a woman and her sale!  It can sometimes become a bit overwhelming so I have pulled some of my favorites that you can shop now with “Early Access” or pick up first thing Friday morning.

Happy Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Shopping!

For her

Shoes

Handbags

For Him

For the kids

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When I was younger, I thought my mom was obsessive about family photos.  At a young age, it seemed to be no big deal, just what we did prior to Christmas.  As I got older though, I began to wonder why my mom was so crazed about them and would get rather annoyed every time all six of us were told we were doing family photos again.

“Why are we taking family photos AGAIN?”

“Do we seriously have to coordinate?”

“I think we have gotten enough photos mom, can we stop now?”

And then I became a mom.

I never appreciated how important family photos would become as children were born, they began to grow up and the family changed over time.  What I viewed as simple photos for Christmas cards were really my mom’s chance to capture the youth of her children.  The personality that shows through a toddler.  The smiles that change with age.  The new additions to the family.  It was glimpses into who my mom and dad and the family they created was today and would be in the future.  I began to realize why these family photos were so important to my mom and they have become equally as important to me.  After a year and a half gap from our last family photos and the children changing so much over that time, I couldn’t resist saying yes when the extremely talented bi-coastal photographer, Vanessa Tierney reached out for a collaboration.  Of course I wanted to work with her!  Her photos were beautiful and I couldn’t wait to see how she captured our family.

On a Sunday afternoon we headed out to Giracci Vineyards in Silverado Canyon to avoid the typical “beach” photos. We wanted something new and different.  When we arrived Vanessa had already scouted out the entire location and selected where we should take our photos.  She was warm and welcoming with the entire family and even when my Middle Man’s anxiety set in and he began to throw a tantrum, not taking any photos, Vanessa calming worked through it seamlessly, allowing him to find his moment to warm up and come back in.  The kids loved her so much that Baby Girl began to think she was Vanessa’s personal model and we had to tell her to stop posing for the camera.  Vanessa was amazing from start to finish.

Every time we do family photos I get nervous that there are not going to be any that I really love.  You just never know!  Then I saw the proofs and my jaw dropped.  Not only did I find some that I really love but I was going to have the hardest time deciding which ones I loved the most!  There was just too much goodness.

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I could not have been happier with the photos and cannot thank Vanessa enough for the treasures she created.  I think I may have our Christmas card done early this year (a first!).  And now it is your turn!

The first 10 Juggling in Heels readers to contact Vanessa and schedule a shoot will receive the family session (lasting between 1 and 2 hours) and a DVD with 15 edited images for $500 ($700 value).  YEA!  Simply complete Vanessa’s online form by clicking here and leave in the message that you are a Juggling in Heels reader.  Vanessa will then contact you to schedule your session.  Make sure you do it soon too!  Not only will those 10 spots be gone but Vanessa will begin to get busy in the Fall as the holidays near.  You definitely don’t want to miss out!

Thank you Vanessa for sharing your incredible talent!

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SAND.  SALT.  SUN-KISSED.  STYLE.

Four words.  One incredible shop.

Located on Pacific Coast Highway in the heart of Laguna Beach sits The Shop, a boutique designed with long, sunny beach days in mind.  The moment I walked in I knew I was going to love this store.  Walls filled with bathing suits, cover ups, dresses and tees shared space with shelves filled with jewelry, candles and beach towels.  I had to stop for a second to take it all in.  Everything epitomized the casual yet chic beach style of Orange County.  I was hooked.

It takes some time to walk the entire store as there are treasures and unique pieces around every corner.  Your day at the beach is taken care of with Beach People towels, Mikoh swimsuits and Nena & Co kimonos.  Gifts for family and friends are a breeze with Lil Coconut clutches, Heart Majestic necklaces and skincare products by Herbivore Botanicals.  When transitioning from the beach to dinner, nothing makes it easier than a Gypsy Queen romper and Matisse sandals.  And of course the classics.  The Shop carries all the surf lines we have loved for years such as Billabong and Rip Curl.  There is something here for everyone.

One thing I look for in a boutique is whether they offer pieces that you cannot find anywhere else and Jessica, the owner of The Shop, has done a phenomenal job of selecting merchandise and designers that feel special.  You know that you won’t find certain pieces anywhere else.  That is what makes shopping at The Shop even more fun.  We all want something a little special don’t we?  Add the “Endless Summer” feeling that washes over you the second you walk through the door and you can’t help but enjoy the entire experience.

If not for a time constraint I could have tried pieces on for hours but I still managed to bring home some goodies and can’t wait to make another trip in again for a little wardrobe pick-me-up.  If you are in Laguna Beach I highly suggest stopping in for a visit as the staff is extremely friendly and I know you are going to find something to take home.  It is impossible not to!  You can find The Shop at 1020 South Pacific Coast Highway.  I also suggest following The Shop on Instagram.  They post new arrivals all the time and if you find something you love, they can ship it directly to you!

Thank you The Shop for having me!

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We are a week away from heading out to New York for our summer vacation and with the humidity and moving around the entire city (we have lots to do!), I am looking to pack pieces that are easy and comfortable while still looking pulled together.  Day dresses seem to be the best option when trying to accomplish all three and Anthropologie has a crazy good selection right now.  I made a stop with some friends yesterday and we were hard pressed not to walk out with a handful of dresses each.  I plan on filling my suitcase with a number of these, making packing a breeze and giving me the ease to move around the city that never sleeps.

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<clockwise from top left: Isla Midi Dress / Anupamma Mira Costa Maxi Dress / Yoana Baraschi Meadowlight Dress / Mandra Dress / Giroflee Maxi Dress / Petra Swing Dress>

Here are some other dresses I am loving right now…

Happy Weekend.