Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Everyday Obsessions {21} - Therese Gibbons, Alora Ambiance

Good Morning! I'm finally reviving my much loved and much neglected Everyday Obsessions series...and what better way to start it off than with someone right here in Minneapolis...Therese Gibbons is one half of the sister team behind the super yummy home fragrance line Alora...(check out their fantastically dreamy backstory - 15 yrs in Lake Como Italy to number #1 bestselling home fragrance at Barneys!)  I'm a huge fan...it makes my home smell amazing but in a super subtle, non synthetic way and Therese also happens to be a super cool girl - so Thank you for sharing your favorites!!

 In My Closet:
tee – Classic muscle T by Alexander Wang.

jeans – I wish but at 21 weeks pregnant I’m living in my first pair of Lululemon groove pants, pilled like crazy but I love them.

on my feet – Sue London slippers, love love love. Although with the snow looks like my Tecnica boots are the new norm.

accessory – Lucy Barlow Kid Classic Hat, treat myself to a new hat each winter and am loving this one.

jewelry – watch, wedding band and the traditional Hawaiian gold bracelet my sis gave me when my daughter was born.

Beauty Secrets:
Skin –
Crème de rose face cream from By Terry
makeup – By Terry Baume de rose lip balm and Lizzie at Ophelia’s Salon who waxes and tints my brows/lashes every 6 weeks.
scent – Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan

 In My Kitchen:
cookbook – Marcella Hazan Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

15 min easy recipe – pesto from Marcella book above.

can't live w/o ingredient – Garlic from our Hogsback Farm CSA share, no comparison to anything bought at the grocery store.



walls -
my hubby bought me a couple of Samantha French’s pieces last year. We’d discovered her work at the MCAD art sale - she is from Minnesota but living in NY and making a living as an artist
bedding – John Robshaw, a dear friend and terrific guy. We joke that my home could be a Minneapolis showroom!
flowers - tulips

favorite design source – Elle Decor


Pop Culture Extra Credit:
on my nightstand – A stack of Elle Decor and World of Interiors mags.

No cable, no ipod, does pandora on the TV count?

Now that you've had a chance to check out Therese's picks head over to The Advice Gals for today's Recipe Exchange - Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeyes - Whoa!!
xoxo, M

ps - I happened to peek at Alora's website this morning and noticed they have 25% off all orders through today!! I can't imagine a better hostess gift this holiday season than their Festa fragrance or their new triple milled soaps - my favorite scent is the lovely citrusy Agrume.. 


Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Dressing

A couple of weeks ago a lovely reader asked for some ideas for holiday party outfits...she wanted to ditch her LBD and do something a little more interesting but didn't want to invest in pieces that she couldn't work back into her wardrobe...I hemmed and hawed a little, starting compiling a few bits and pieces but didn't get inspired until I spied this lovely girl on Kate's pinterest...

I loved the soft colors, the eclectic mix of soft & sparkly - and the ease of the outfit...with a bit of tweaking I think this could be a perfect party look - a slouchy grey sweater, silk bubble skirt, glittery gold belt, a bit of crystal at the ears & wrist, a fur stole for warmth, and depending on how dressy - a great bootie or whimsical oxford...and every single element could easily be transformed into everyday...
If you are looking for something a little dressier but still comfy I love this kimono dress from topshop...some great boots, a sexy topknot...plus you could easily hide a few extra pounds from holiday treats or a growing baby bump under the flowy chiffon ;)

and if I had the legs to pull it off I'd throw on some sequin shorts, tights and a chunky sweater and call it a day...

If you are looking for sparkles galore and more easy dresses head over to my Holiday Dressing Pinboard...and if you have any wardrobe conundrums you'd like me to weigh in on shoot me an email: shopprettymommy (at) hotmail (dot) com

Just in case you missed it in the Thanksgiving rush we started a Holiday Recipe Exchange!
Torrie kicked it off at a place to share...with a fantastic Turkey Gumbo
I followed with Cranberry Bread
and then Stephanie at scrumptious topped it off with Apple Sausage Stuffing
Today I'm headed over to see what Tina from Bull in a China Shop  has for us...
Happy Monday! xoxo, M

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Intangibles...

Image of the Walker's Benches & Binoculars Gallery
Hello Black Friday! Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday...since I didn't stuff myself silly yesterday, I woke up and made biscuits to use up the last of my cranberry sauce - Yum!! How was your celebration? Any fun traditions? We usually spend the holiday in MN and I don't get around to my family's tradition very often (a postnap/meal, pre UT/A&M game movie outing) so today I'm staying far away from the malls & big box stores and taking my nieces & L to see Tangled to make up for it...
speaking of malls, since I'm in the middle of a huge purge cycle at my house (ie - everything that hasn't been used in the past year is off to Goodwill, consignment, etc) I'm working very hard at coming up with more intangible presents...We just don't need anymore STUFF...here are a few ideas if you are in the same mindset:

* For the Family: Membership to your local museum - I'm hoping for one to the Walker - they have a great toddler program twice a month so I can get a little culture in mine & Lila's diet at the same time!

* For the kiddos: membership to your Children's Museum and/or Zoo - my sister-in-law does this every year and we get so much use out of it...it's perfect when you just want to pop in for an hour or so and makes a weekly trip to visit your favorite animals more feasible

* For the Cook in the family: cooking classes, gift certificates to a CSA, or membership at a Co-op (hint, hint - can I please get the latter so I don't hang my head in shame every time they ask if I have a member number)

* For the Snowbirds in your life: tickets to a show or tour in their vacation spot of choice...Chris's parents head out to Palm Springs every winter so he's hooked them up with tickets to tour the movie stars homes, Hearst Castle, and shows at the local Casino...

* For the new Mom:  A visit from your cleaning lady - I can't think of anything better than having a clean house when you have a newborn (and not doing the work yourself)

* For your best gal pals - I'm hooked on the idea of a private at home yoga session but I'd never turn down time at a spa, getting a pedicure, pilates classes, acupuncture appointments or anything else to help my mental well being

* For The Beer Lover (aka my husband) - the best present I ever bought my Mr was a year long subscription to a beer of the month club...

* For the music lover or sports fan - tickets to see their favorite band/team

* For the Dad who has everything - gift certificate to the cool restaurant in town

 Have any good ideas up your sleeve? I love that most of these involve spending time together - in fact my holiday fantasy is skipping presents all together and heading somewhere warm!
Hope everyone has a long, relaxing weekend!  OH, and if you, like me, don't have any stuffing leftovers why not whip up a batch of Stephanie's Sausage & Apple Stuffing from the Holiday Recipe Exchange? I think I just might...
xoxo, M

ps - not that I'm eschewing all shopping today - in fact you can still take advantage of 25% off at the shop by entering "HOLIDAY" at checkout ;)

pps - speaking of UT vs A&M - WAH!! what happened this season to the Longhorns?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Calm Before The Storm...

I tucked my computer away this morning and after L went to preschool puttered about, quietly eating the most delicious satsuma oranges (aren't they so pretty with their leaves on?), drinking a pot of genmaicha and indulging in a private at home yoga session...it was the perfect way to start the beginning of the holiday season and reflect on what I am truly thankful for...and a great reminder to find little moments of calm in what can be a stressful time of the year...I hope everyone can indulge in a bit of down time this long weekend to restore - Happy Thanksgiving!!
xoxo, M

ps - if you are in the Twin Cities I can't think of a better treat for yourself or your best gal pal than an in home yoga session with Sarah Jane - she ends with really amazing meditations...(just make sure the UPS man doesn't knock right in the middle - argh!) and if you just have 5 minutes to yourself she recommends doing Legs Up The Wall Pose

pps - If you like beating the crowds and shopping in your pjs the sale is on over at the shop - 25% off everything when you enter "holiday" at checkout!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Recipe Exchange - Cranberries!!

 image via MS
There are those who swoon over stuffing, go mad for gravy, can't get by without pumpkin pie...but for moi it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without fresh cranberry sauce - what goes better with turkey and biscuits than a huge dollop of tart, sweet, juicy cranberries?  and since it couldn't be simpler to make there really isn't any excuse to leave it out of the feast...I like GP's chutney recipe...My love for them doesn't stop at sauce - dried cranberries elevate this Kale dish from merely healthy to seconds please - and my new obsession is this tasty cranberry bread - I've made it twice now and it never lasts more than a few days...

Cranberry Bread
adapted from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything

4 Tablespoon (1/2 stick) cold butter, plus some for greasing the pan
2 cups flour (I use 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 white all purpose)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 cup orange juice
zest from one orange
1 egg
1 cup fresh cranberries

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 x 5 inch bread pan
2) Stir together the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into bits, then use a fork or two knives to cut it into the dry ingredients, until there are pieces no bigger than a small pea. (you can use a food processor for this step)
3) Beat together the orange juice, zest, and egg. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix just enough to moisten; do not beat and do not mix until smooth
4) Fold in the cranberries and spoon batter into loaf pan. Bake about an hour or until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan

Big thanks to everyone participating in the Exchange - tune in Friday to see what Stephanie at Scrumptious has in store!
xoxo, M

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gift Guide at Rikshaw and 25% Off!

Super big thanks to Catherine over at Rikshaw for including me in her gift guide - Head over and check it out!  and in honor of the giving season I'm upping the sale to 25% off your entire order - just enter "HOLIDAY" at checkout...xoxo, M

ps - I promised a lovely reader some holiday outfits today but am woefully behind - I've starting pinning some ideas over here and will put some things together soon...

pps - Congrats to my wonderful friend Ann who gave birth to Luella Caroline this morning - yeah for baby girls :)

Holiday Recipe Exchange

image Bakelab via Oh Joy Eats! (isn't that a cool cupcake kit?)

Get ready to do some surfing! Today I'm sending you over to Torrie at A Place To Share to kick off our Holiday Recipe Exchange...I have two words - Turkey. Gumbo. - be still my growling stomach! - I just made her soup from the Fall Exchange last night and it was super delicious...
Here's the full schedule (and if you want to jump in the sign up is here):

Nov 22 - Torrie - a place to share...
Nov 23 - Michelle - Pretty Mommy
Nov 26 -  Stephanie - scrumptious

Nov 29 - Tina - Bull in a China Shop
Nov 30 - Cee -  Advice Gals
Dec 1 - Emily- Big Moon Sky
Dec 2 - Jess - Shades of Sunshine
Dec 3 - Danielle - domestic dish

Dec 6 - Go to Girls - Go To Girls
Dec 7 - Jessica - Civetta,
Dec 8 - Katie - the30girl.com
Dec 10 - Sharon - I Can Totally Make That

Dec 13 - Chassity - Look Linger Love
Dec 14 - Rebecca -  Reluctant Floridian
Dec 15 - Rali - Styles ‘n Cream
Dec 16 - Estelle - Under a Pink Moon

Happy Monday Everyone!! 
xoxo, M

Friday, November 19, 2010

Think Pink!!

Whohoo!! In honor of the fact that we found out yesterday that we are going to be the proud parents of another GIRL I thought I'd share some of my favorite pink images...a color that I never, never get tired of...much like my girl(s) -Yeah! - can I admit now that I was secretly hoping for another?  Hope everyone has a rosy weekend!!
xoxo, M
all image credits here

ps - Torrie kicks off our Holiday Recipe Exchange on Monday - make sure you are signed up!
pps - the SALE continues! Don't forget you can take an additional 20% off using "hello" at checkout

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Well, my parents didn't take me to KISS concerts when I was 7 (ie: my husband who is now a music writer - nature or nurture?)  but they did keep the Beatles red album on pretty heavy rotation - in fact I think I could still sing all the tracks back to back without missing a beat (that and the American Graffiti Soundtrack)...so I think that my early musical education didn't suffer too badly...luckily for the younger generation The Beatles finally surfaced at itunes this week and they can finally fill in those gaping holes between Taylor Swift and Glee soundtracks...(hmmm my 13 yr old cousin knew Journey's "Don't stop believing" before "I wanna Hold Your Hand")
Anyway, enough old lady chatter, what are your favorite fab four tunes? anything you plan on downloading? I always have a softspot for a little ditty called "Michelle" and Abbey Road pretty much makes the case for downloading albums instead of singles...but I realized we were missing "Yellow Submarine" after Miss L was clamoring to hear it...
xoxo, M

ps - speaking of Glee - did you catch Gwyneth this week? as if my girl crush couldn't get any worse!
pps - speaking of girl crushes - I thought Arcade Fire's Regine Chassagne looked super gorgeous in her gold spangly dress on SNL...and now I can't quit singing..."Living in the sprawl, 
Dead shopping malls rise like mountains beyond mountains, And there's no end in sight
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights"
Good stuff...
ppps - more good stuff? Not totally new but Band Of Horses - Infinite Arms might be my new favorite...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Sale and Wishlists!

Just a few pieces left but all the Ace & Jig is on sale 20% off - I can't get enough of their super soft fabric...and...

 Stewart + Brown has been marked 20% - 50% off...I've been obsessed with my Stadium Coat & Wells Hand Knit Sweater...LOVE!

 Fleabags Original Fleas are 20% off as well AND
 when you use "HELLO" at checkout you get an additional 20% off anything and everything!!!
Head here to see all sale items...

Lots of beautiful Matta scarves - including new ombre and swami colors...

and if you have designs on giving or receiving any Clare Vivier this holiday season I need your orders ASAP - they have been flying and we are having trouble keeping even one piece in stock...

Speaking of the holidays - I would love to keep your wishlists on file - shoot me an email at shopprettymommy (at) hotmail (dot) com  and send your loved ones my way!
Hope everyone is having a spectacular Wednesday - don't forget to sign up for the new Recipe Exchange...
xoxo, M

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ready, Set, Go - Holiday Recipe Exchange Sign Up

To say I was a bit smitten with our Fall Recipe Exchange would be a bit of an understatement - not only did it get me back in the kitchen but it also had me cooking totally out of my comfort zone - my family and stomach owe a sincere thanks to all the awesome bloggers who participated! So let's keep a good thing going and share our favorite holiday treats, savory or sweet - cookies, quick breads, candy, side dishes, etc - what do you turn to when the holidays are upon us?
Head over to the sign up sheet here...it works just like last time - post the recipe on your blog on your day and I'll link back (and anyone else who desires to)...and please email me with any questions!
shopprettymommy (at) hotmail (dot) com
Happy Cooking!
xoxo, M

Your Good Deed for the Day!

First things first, why not start off your Tuesday with a good deed?  Aspiring Kennedy, Luxe & Lillies, and a host of other bloggers are spreading the word about Charity Water, an organization that works to provide clean, safe water - did you know that dirty water kills more people every year than all forms of violence - shocking and sad...right now Charity Water is raising money for a well in Africa that will provide clean water for 250 people - They are only $425 dollars away so if 85 of us donate $5 today it's a done deal!! It's probably the one time today that your five spot can work more magic than just a half caf double latte so click here to make the world a better place ;)
xoxo, M

Monday, November 15, 2010

Current Crushes

LA Girls - because Jeana Sohn has shown the world with her closet visits that they are giving NYC a run for it's stylish money...so here's to gallery owner Heather Taylor (above in her Zara cape & Clare Vivier clutch), lifestyle guru Simone LeBlanc, store favorites like Dream Collective's Kathryn Bentley, handbag genius Clare Vivier (and her awesome right hand girl Jocelyn), the fantastically cool Sarah Hendler, and all together too many more to list - you girls are rockin my style world...

Apple crates as storage and gorgeous kitchen windows via Pinterest

Non maternity maternity...ladies, it's pretty bleak out there in baby bump land...so I'm snapping up flowy tshirt dresses, drapy cardis with leggings, pretty hand knits and a couple of good pairs of maternity jeans...If you want to see more options follow me here...

My morning cup in something pink

and indoor citrus trees to get me through winter (it snowed 8 inches this weekend!)

Sequins that aren't trying too hard...can't you see this with slouchy jeans and mocs for christmas morning...

or over the top sequins for sitting around a silver and tulle festooned tree...
Happy Monday!!
xoxo, M