Hillary Thomas Designs- My Visit To The Chic Shop!

I have loved Hillary's designs for years but when I heard she was opening a shop I was thrilled. I could hardly wait to visit Hillary Thomas in Brentwood at her newly opened office/ and store The Chic Shop. It did not disappoint!

Hillary was there to greet me looking Chic as ever. I could hardly believe all the gorgeous things in this shop! I'll take two of these...lamps with shades made from vintage saris.

Love these door knockers, but the vintage green wine glasses? To die for. What really caught my eye though, were her line of finials. These finials were just featured in this months House Beautiful! Aren't they gorgeous? They're like jewelry!

Oh you want a closer look? Of course I have that!

I love that in the back of the shop Hillary has set up her fabulous office. Don't you love the bulletin board covered in rattan and framed in a bamboo frame? She's going to start selling these too.

Can't wait to come back and see what other fabulous finds she has! You can find Hillary Thomas on Facebook and on Twitter. You can also shop for all Hillary's finds on line at The Chic shop!

Last Time For Babas and Diapers

As Coco gets older I start to realize: this is my last baby.

Granted, this is my choice, I feel like with all I went through to have these kids, I cannot go through it again. I am a lotto winner. I have a girl and a boy... but there's this little part of me, who wants a HUGE family. Kids everywhere. Siblings galore. Is this really the last time I will be a mother?

I watch as Coco waddles around in her diaper. She now can say words like "play", and "thank you" and "Mickey Mouse". My little baby girl is turning into a big girl before my very eyes. Blink and I will miss it. So what's a mother to do?

I am documenting, photographing, videoing, making sure I capture this moment. I know this is not my moment to hold on to. It will pass though my hands and I will be taking her to college. For now though, I hold her in my arms, snuggle, smell her hair and try to keep her 23 months in my mind.

The fact is: This is my last time for Baba's and Diapers. Some people would say this is a good thing. When they are older you can do more with them, but I look at Landon, so tall...I just want to keep them babies.

How do you handle your kids getting older? Does it make you sad? Tell me!

Life Around These Parts...

Life in the Fabulous household has gone a little topsy turvey since my part time nanny (only 2 days a week kids), went and became a thief. I did find a replacement and she is so sweet. The kids still have not even asked for the other nanny, strange!

I had gotten into such a nice and smooth routine with my old nanny, I am just trying to keep up with it all now. I joked with my girlfriends yesterday, "she may have robbed my blind but boy did she keep my house clean." No, I am not taking her back!

The "out laws" are flying in today for Grandparents day at school. We will be celebrating both their birthdays with lots of red meat I am sure!

Other than that I am dying for a vacation (right now the closest is hubby and I at the La Brea Tar Pits! LOL). With two fundraisers I am working on, school tours, and starting a business (you can learn more here: The Social Media Gals). I am tiiiiiired. The only thing keeping me going right now is God and iced tea.

And that's life around these parts...how's life on your end? Catch me up!

Tips For Getting Your Kids Out The Door!

Now that I am working I find the morning routines around here to be a little....CHAOTIC! I think it's true for all Moms. The kids are dragging their feet, you are trying to get them ready and dressed to be on time for school. Did you ever notice the more you hurry them the slower they go?

I found a few tips on getting your kids out the door from Circle of Mom's! 

  1. Embrace PM Prep
    Countless Circle of Moms members recommend prepping each evening for the following morning. This entails everything from laying out clothes for your child (and even yourself!) to preparing lunches and breakfast, packing diaper bags and backpacks, and even putting certain things in the car. Maggie V., a mother of three, is one of many moms who use this strategy: "We try to get everything ready the night before: kids' clothes, lunch bags, and everything the kids will need the next day."

  2. Double-check Backpacks
    If you have a child in school, do a thorough backpack check in the evening to avoid missing homework and forgotten permission slips. As Southern Californian mom Jennifer L. advises, "Sign those school papers and de-clutter the backpack, go over anything she may need to bring with her the next day (i.e., special book/toy for sharing, etc.) and have it in the backpack already."

  3. Give Yourself a Head Start
    "I myself get up early," shared Sue C., a mother of two children. "I have to be able to get ready before they get up." Waking up just a half hour before your children can make your own morning prep more efficient and less stressful.

  4. Create a Child-Friendly Checklist
    Angela W. is one of multiple Circle of Moms members who suggests posting a morning checklist: "A list (words or pictures) of all that needs to be done before you leave could be posted in the kids' rooms so they can see what they need to do, instead of you having to repeat it 50 times."

  5. Play Getting-Ready Games
    Making morning tasks into a game can motivate children to get through their tasks more quickly. "I do the counting game once breakfast is over," shares Kristi S., a mother of three children. "She tries to hurry and be ready by the time I get to 50." Lynn R. also uses a racing game: "In the mornings we have "blast off to the front door," where we get ready as fast as we can. First one there gets a rocket sticker...My kids have never gotten ready so fast...I have found that if you can make any routine fun then kids are more likely to do it."
What works for you?

    A Valentine For The Mom's

    You cook, you clean, you keep the routine
    You make sure the kids don't look a mess...
    You no longer buy yourself clothes anymore
    Unless you count that Target dress.

    You make sure homework is done, the kids are having fun,
    that your friends all know you care...
    You no longer have time for a morning routine and are thinking of cutting off your hair.

    Your a Mother for goodness sake, one honorable job
    At least that's what everyone says...
    You have no complaints, all you want
    is five seconds to shave your other leg.

    So this Valentines Day when you're up until dawn
    making your kids class Valentines galore
    Wait till the morning and call and schedule a Mommy pedicure!

    That's an order!

    Happy Valentines Day!

    Valentines Day! Reach Out To Others

    Valentines Day is one of those holidays that has gotten lost in translation. As I sat assembling Landon's Valentines to give to his class last night, I kept thinking: Valentines Day is not just for kids!

    It's cute to see kids think of their classmates and give them a little token of friendship, but I think the magic of Valentines Day is really to reach out to others. I know you know someone, who is going through a divorce, a break up, a terrible time in their lives, who could really use a card or a call. Valentines Day is the perfect time to show that you really care about them.

    This year I am going to reach out to some neighbors and friends who might need a little pick me up. It's amazing, by letting someone know that you care, how much better you can make them feel.

    The Mr. and I are spending Valentines Day in this year as usual. We hate to fight the crowds and would rather have a fabulous night at home. I'll post about it on Monday!

    Thank you to everyone for their sweet comments about my nanny situation. I am slowly but surely coming out of the fog and into the light!

    Devastated- My Nanny Who Was Stealing

    When I hired my life saver of a Nanny, I brought her into my family. Her problems were my problems. Her dreams were my dreams. I knew she was exceptional and I was grateful for her every day. I felt like I had hired Marry Poppins. That is, until I realized she was stealing from me.

    Things had been going missing for years, but I blamed it on Mommy brain. I just could not believe it was my Nanny who was so amazing and loved my kids. Even when I got a sick feeling about things that were gone, I ignored it and pushed on. When I asked Nanny about the missing things she said no way would she steal.

    Over Christmas a few gifts had gone missing. There was no one else in the house but her, no one else could have taken things, but still...I kept my Nanny.

    Until this last week when a friend, who also used my Nanny, told me not only was my Nanny stealing from her, but she had proof. There is was, my Nanny's name on a receipt, proven she had stolen.

    We confronted her, she denied everything except what she was caught in. A few days later she admitted to more. I realize now, I did not know this person at all.

    I find myself missing the old her, wishing I had never found out about her dark side. I also am starting to realize I was too dependent on her. My kids have not even mentioned her, or realized she's gone, I however have been sick about it. I feel betrayed, violated, confused, angry and sad. As I process this, I have learned from all my Mommy friends about their stories of Nanny's and stealing. Is this an epidemic? Do I need to start a support group for tired mothers who refuse to believe the one person making their life easier is a thief?

    What's your experience? Have a nanny? Has one ever stolen from you? Do you refuse to have one? Love yours?

    Galco's- My Filed Trip To Fanatsy Island

    I'd been hearing so much about Galco's, their amazing soda and beer collection, but when I heard they carried Charleston Chews and Sugar Daddies, I got in my car and drove out there.

    I was greeted by the owner John Nese, a cutie pie who explained to me that his store was a real "Mom and Pop" shop!

    John is the son of the grocery's founder, has transformed this market with a 53 year history in the neighborhood into a bastion for small, independent bottling plants around the country whose product has been pushed off the shelves of the 'chains' by the Coca-Cola and Pepsi empires.

    There were once over 3,500 bottlers in the country. Now, just a handful remain, and thanks to Galco's, there is shelf life for their product ~ everything from Dad's, to Grape NEHI, Nesbitt's Orange to Route 66 Root Beer!

    As I walked around the store my childhood flashed before my eyes seeing sodas I ad not seen in years. Out of the corner of my eye I spied something amazing. The original Dr. Pepper's. I mean with real sugar!!!

    I was loving Margos Bark rootbeer

    Which gives it's proceeds to shelter dogs.

    The selection of beer was mind blowing. Beer from all over the world, in gorgeous bottles! They even had a huge bottled water collection. I kept thinking of all the baby showers, kids parties, and rehearsal dinners I wanted to plan!! (In my mind I am a party planner!)

    You can have the same Fantasy Island experience if you go to Galcos. Even better, they ship anywhere! Just in time to buy my Hot Lips Sodas for Valentines day.

    You can find Galcos on Twitter and Facebook and at the Galcos Website.

    Elmo's World Party!

    Bestie did it again. She took a regular kids party and made it look so special and thought out! It started with the hand made Elmo birthday invitations she sent out. It had a red Elmo face on the front cut out with pinking shears! It invited us to "Sarah's World". Her daughters 2nd birthday with Elmo!

    I almost died when I walked in and saw the cupcakes.

    The chocolate lollipops were so cute!

    Loved her Garland!
    The kids had a blast in the jumpy, making magic wands, and of course you know who showed up!
    A good time was had by all. Especially the Mommies who got to talk and drink Prosecco! I know some of you are super crafty...be sure and share some of your best kids party ideas!

    Kevin Laue The One Handed Basketball Player and Landon

    Last night, watching Good Morning America (I DVR them and watch at night!)I saw an amazing man named Kevin Laue.

    Kevin Laue is a 6 feet 10 inches tall college student and basketball player from Pleasanton California. He was born with one arm and has been recognized for his skills and success in overcoming adversity. Due to a restriction of prenatal blood circulation, Laue was born with a left arm that ended at the elbow. His parents encouraged him to play soccer as a child, but Kevin didn't like soccer. He also refused to use a prosthetic arm. He had some struggles as a youth basketball player, but by 8th he had grown enough that he could handle a ball with one hand and could dunk a basketball. In March 2009 he received a scholarship to play Division I basketball for Manhattan College.

    This is exactly what happened to Landon, except Landon's arm was saved. I sat there watching Kevin's story amazed by his spirit and fighting tears because we are so lucky. I am going to show Landon this amazing video. See for yourself.

    The Good Morning America clip is here:


    Isn't it nice to be reminded that no matter what you are dealing with in life, you can find the blessing in it?