Daily Covet: TOMS made me eat my words

Ok, ok, I know, I know.  I’m not a TOMS fan.

As I mentioned, I love the TOMS mission.  Hate those little slipper-ish shoes.

However, I saw cute TOMS Burlap Bimini Stitchouts walking around this weekend while on vacation with my family.

I’m not 100% sure why I like these TOMS so much better, but it might be the more substantial soles and the cute red drawcord.  The TOMS looked cute on with short shorts and tees.

I can also picture them with boyfriend jeans and lightweight cardis for early fall.

TOMS, you made me eat my words!

Daily Covet: New England waterfront living

Summer is going fast.  My darling husband’s job is demanding, and not allowing for much of a summer vacation this year.

More than ever, our family could use a little R & R.  A little downtime.  A little un-plugging. (Join the crowd, I know!)

I keep daydreaming of a lonely seaside home.  A place where we could breath fresh sea air, sit under the stars and bury our feet in hot sand.  A place where we could ride bikes and lazily read in beach chairs.  A place where we could just be a family — without the hustle of activities, engagements, responsibilities.

This New England waterfront home looks like as good a place as any, right?


And since we are going to be on the beach, we’ll need great beach accessories!  How about these from OneKingsLane today?

Daily Covet: Westin Home Collection, Heaven on Earth

I revisited my favorite hotel bed this weekend.

My husband and I had a staycation for our 8th Anniversary, and stayed at this little hotel in Midtown.  It wasn’t the “Presidential Suite” at some swanky high-rise hotel or a European-style room at a boutique hotel downtown.  But it was the room I wanted at the Element Hotel, a cool, modern, extended-stay part of the Westin group, and home to the Westin Home Collection.

The king-sized bed has layer upon layer upon layer of white, down and high thread count Egyptian cotton.  You can’t even imagine the fantastic night’s sleep you can get in this bed.

And since I HATE my own new mattress, it is this Westin Home mattress and bedding that I dream about at night!  And it’s possible to buy them… for a price.

Okoboji or BUST!

So I’m back from Okoboji, where I spent a long and heavenly weekend with some of my best girls.  It’s day two of the “real world” and I’m already tired and haven’t slept through either night.  I did, however, promise an update of the weekend so here it goes!

We left Friday around noon.  Three cars, full of seven girls, leaving from two cities to have a fun-filled and child/spouse-free weekend in Lake Okoboji.  My friend, Tammy, purchased a lovely town home there about a year and a half ago and she graciously hosted us.   Upon arriving we sat out on the back patio with fresh guacamole, salsa, chips, cold cuts and crackers and of course, our first round of cocktails!  We joked and laughed and thought of a plan for our evening.

Then Tammy revealed the “favors.”  You gotta have favors!  She had purchased each one of us a big, plush, brightly-colored beach towel with an adorable initial on it.  Everyone got one except Gaye, who got her last name initial.  Apparently, this particular vendor doesn’t make anything with the letter “G” on it.  Just so you know if you are going to shop for “favors” at Von Maur… either that or you will have to excommunicate your friend with the initial “G.”

We got cleaned up and headed out to Bracco’s for cocktail hour.  The waitress there was the biggest “Debbie Downer” ever.  She had a negative comment for everything we ordered; “the virgin margarita is bad, the bartenders said people are sending back the mango margaritas…”  We then asked her what she liked and she told us her favorite drink… followed by the fact that they were out of it.  I hope Christina didn’t tip her well when she picked up our entire tab!

Back to Tammy’s due to my oncoming migraine.  Luckily, going home for the night was the right thing to do… a torrential rain storm hit within minutes of us arriving back at the house.  Watches and warnings blared from the T.V. and we all sat up visiting and imbibing.  We went to bed late and although it took me a while to get to sleep, once I did… I slept the entire night straight through until 9:30 am.  I don’t think I’ve slept that well since I had children, almost four years ago!

Saturday morning, with the smell of Rachel’s mini quiches and cinnamon rolls in the oven, I suited up, grabbed my iPod and headed out for a morning run – ON MY OWN!   I can’t tell you how liberating it is to just get the workout bug and go… I didn’t have to feed and dress three of us, manage daycare or get kiddos in and out of car seats.  It was heavenly.  I think I’d work out more often if it were that easy every day!

Thirty minutes later, I arrived home to Rachel’s breakfast, hot coffee, cold orange juice and the first shower I’ve had before 11:00am in a long time!  We got dolled up and headed out for a little small town shopping for souvenirs, nicknacks and gimcracks.

One o’clock that afternoon found us leaving for a lake cruise on a double-decker, glass bottomed boat on the West Lake.  Since it was just the seven of us on the boat, we had the entire top donned with brightly-colored Adirondack chairs to ourselves.  Captain Gary navigated the lake for us and showed us “Eagle Point” where a bald eagle sat perched way up high.   There was also Rachel the bartender, that supplied us with two hours of cold beer while we sunned, rested and laughed.

After a brief stop at Tammy’s aunt and uncle’s home, we stopped for lunch and headed out for a little more shopping.  We stopped at a great place with a bad name, called Barnswallow.  They had the most wonderful floor of children’s things and a more trinkets, art and party favors than you could ever use.  I bought a little stack of plastic glasses with the acronym “S.L.U.T.” on them… no not because we are easy but because it broke down into “Stressed Ladies Unwinding Together.”  I thought this very apropos.  I also picked up some pink napkins for Brooke that made a joke about partying in your minivan, which she just obtained in preparation for her growing family.

That night, we were too lazy to head out again and decided to snack on bacon wrapped chestnuts, the yummiest, cheesiest dip EVER and Brooke’s awesome snack mix that we have all come to love… and thank God, she was able to find the mini vanilla wafers or else Teri would’ve been in a bad way!

Another storm blew in and again, we were lucky to have been at home instead of outside at some bar in town.  We stayed up late, playing Apples to Apples and making fun of each other… it was “friggin’ hilarious!” to say the least.  I climbed the stairs at 1:10 a.m. and slept again straight through the night until I heard the shower running at 8:45am.

We had had our fun but were anxious now to get on the road and get back to our families.  While I thought I could have fun there forever… I was itching to see my babies and my darling husband… and we still had a 3 1/2 hour drive ahead of us.

What a great weekend with a great bunch of chicks.  It was so nice to unwind, laugh and sleep in for the weekend but when it comes down to it, there’s no place like home!

So Much to Say….

Sooo, it’s been a week… a very long week.  My DH wrapped up one job and started another.  Mid-week,  we did yard work, paid bills, took the kids to the parks and the zoo.  We also took a very short 24-hour hiatus in Kansas City to shop, dine, work out and sleep sans children over the weekend.

It was a great week and today we are back to our new reality.  Daddy going to work at an office instead of what will soon be known as, our new “sun room!”

Grant turned 11 months today and we are already getting ready for his 1st Birthday Bash.  I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since my little “Super G” showed up 9 weeks early.  He’s so healthy and strong and sweet.  He smiles all the time and is such a good boy!

Fit Minded Book Club meeting number 2 was tonight.  Still loving it and finding it amazing how much people open up to total strangers when you feel like you’re all going through something similar.  I guess that is the “Relate” part of this process…. Read “Change or Die” if you’d like more on that.  It’s a fantastic book on making changes… personally, professionally, etc.

I have much more reading to do so will sign off and will try to be more regular about posting.