Monday, February 28, 2011

Cate, Mila & the Wives...

 Hello Monday!  Did everyone tune in to the Oscar's last night? I have to admit that even for a die hard like moi it was possibly the dullest one I've seen in a while (and a little painful - love ya Annie and James, but as hosts not so much).  The red carpet played it pretty safe as well, although I thought Cate Blanchett absolutely killed it in her fashion forward lavender Givenchy, while Mila Kunis took the same shade in a pretty and feminine direction - both making me swoon!

 The other stunners, for me, on the red carpet were this trio of Hollywood wives - Camila Alves, managing to look both sexy and classy; Rhea Durham in that dreamy nude & red combo and Sunrise Coigney looking just plain cool with the best arm candy of the night to boot...(I meant Mark but those bracelets are pretty rockin too)

 I know there was a lot of love for Gwennie's dress and not so much for Marisa's but I thought the real standouts here were their multicolored gems, no?

 So, who were your favorites? Hailee Steinfeld looking sweet in pale pink? Jennifer Lawrence in her sleek tank dress (for me a little too Baywatch bathing suit but perhaps in a different color)? Sandy B in classic red?

Okay, celeb gawking done...back with some real Spring picks tomorrow...

speaking of warmer weather, we only have 3 more days of our Beat the Winter Blues recipe exchange...Today Danielle of Domestic Dish has put together the most fabulous "chic-nic" - make sure to check it out...I may have to set it up in the living room ;)
xoxo, M

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rock On!

So last week in the run-up to the big event* Sunday night I reminisced about some of my favorite good movies...(*okay I say big event but it looks like it will be me, my DVR and twitter hanging out since the Mr is running off to see Kris Kristofferson & Merle Haggard - okay that's actually lots cooler) 
but since guilty pleasures are a lot more fun I reached back to the first time I can remember watching the Academy Awards and that was in 1985 hoping to catch a glimpse of the Purple One who showed up to accept a best Original Song Oscar...if you can ignore the acting Purple Rain is actually pretty thrilling - the music scenes are totally fantastic...and it forever remains lodged in my memory as the first movie I ever saw with a "dirty" scene (teehee...if my mother only knew!). Plus, now that I live in MPLS I still get a kick out of catching it on VH1 and seeing First Ave & Lake Minnetonka...
So what are your favorite guilty pleasure films? The ones you can't resist getting sucked into? Just to get you about Urban Cowboy with Cissy & Bud? or anyone try to force their preteen nieces into watching Girls Just Want to have Fun with a young SJP?  Never miss a chance to quote Maverick and Ice Man?
Hope everyone has a fun weekend ahead and I'll see you here Monday ready to debate all manner of red carpet couture!
xoxo, M

PS - Looking forward to seeing what Samantha's up to in the kitchen for the recipe exchange - check her out at Vintage Is For Lovers
and here's the weekly wrapup:
Feb 21 - Barbie, Birds of a Lovely Feather
Feb 22 -  J.P. Archie, C'est La Vie
Feb 23 - Dyan, Passion Foodie/
Feb 24 - Toni, My Mommies Closet
Feb 25 - Samantha, Vintage is for Lovers

Thursday, February 24, 2011

To dye for...

loving all these subtle dyes...
shabd, eskayel, etsy, and etsy

nuff said - headed over to visit Toni at My Mommies Closet - she's whipped up a delicious Chicken Marsala for the recipe exchange...Yum!
xoxo, M

PS - thank you to everyone for your words of wisdom yesterday!! I'm excited to try out everyone's suggestions and looking into using relishrelish...seriously, can I fly y'all up here to spend a nice long weekend at a spa where we can chit chat to our heart's content??  That would be perfection...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I'm not a born minimalist but truly I've come a long way in the last year...the great declutter of 2010/11 has (sort of) morphed into an entire life philosophy and in these last 8 weeks before baby no.2 I'm determined to simplify to the max (hmmm...that might be an oxymoron?)...Since you lovely readers are such founts of wisdom I want to know what are your tools for living an easier lifestyle? where do you cut corners? ways you try to be more present, less scattered?
Here are a few things I've incorporated and a few things that need a bit of work...
1) I've finally learned to write EVERYTHING down...if it's not on the list it just doesn't happen (getting it to happen in a timely fashion is another story all together though...
2) Delegate & hire - heck, if I could afford it I would pay someone to take care of practically anything and it is, the absolute best thing I spend money on is having someone clean my house (yes, I know, roll your eyes - I pay someone to clean my tiny bungalow). Honestly I would rather not buy clothes for a year than give up coming home Friday afternoon to a sparkling home that I didn't touch...also, hiring a lovely assistant for my store to take care of the nuts and bolts has been a if I could only find someone to cook dinner every night I'd be set!
3) Declutter, declutter, declutter - I'm only about 40% there...but anything that hasn't been used in the past 2 years is donated, sold, or disposed of...and I love Joslyn's new 5 year theory for aquisitions
4) Shop online -,, Amazon...seriously, it takes far less time to reach my doorstep than for me to make that Target run (and far more pleasant experience!)
5) Socially Decompress - with twitter, facebook, blogs, email, cell phones, etc sometimes you don't even have to get out of bed to have a stressful encounter with someone...lately I've cleaned up my social network...Anytime I feel annoyed by someone on facebook I simply "hide all", blogs that make me feel icky - unsubscribe...I have a hard enough time returning emails and calls to people I truly love without spending time perusing things that don't make me feel good - and since the internet is endless there's always something new to discover and be inspired by!

Okay, here's what I need help with:
1) I'm still stuck in meal planning hell - and I take WAYYYY too many trips to the grocery store...4:00 "what am I making for dinner?" is the bane of my existence...thinking of checking out a grocery delivery service post baby? thoughts? and do I sign up for a CSA this year or is the sight of veggies going to waste in the midst of newborn crazies going to give me a complex? (is it wrong that I secretly love winter because I don't feel guilty about using frozen?)
2) I need a better blog schedule - most mornings I blearily turn on my computer, try to think of something inspiring and end up wasting a couple of hours searching for that perfect would be great if I could break it up into daily features (like some other bloggers that I do my best to copy)...I know I've asked before but what do you love here? what do you loathe( ahem...these longer think pieces?)? I know I need to get back to Everyday Obsessions on a weekly basis but what else?
3) Better preschooler managing skillz - why is getting my daughter dressed and somewhere the most stressful part of my day? any tips? My frined told me about a parent that dresses her kids before they go to sleep and then she doesn't have to deal with it in the morning - extreme or practical? Does anyone else have a child who would rather stay home all day? help!!

Okay - this post is becoming as cluttered as my basement - back to short & sweet tomorrow...
and luckily I can make today's Recipe Exchange offering without a trip to the co-op... Dyan of Passion Foodie's Mango & Avocado Salad  looks amazingly delicious and easy...thanks lady! 
xoxo, M

ps - I just added in new Stewart + Brown to the shop! It's a great little collection of pieces that would take you from resort through spring and into summer!
pps - Estelle has great piece over on Huff Post about chemicals in your cosmetics - ack! - another example of why simple is best, no?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


images & collage via Unspooled 
Does all the fashion week goings on in NYC & London have you wishing to inject a little Fall 2011 into your current wardrobe?  Well, one of my best friends, the brilliant Kat Bhandari, has just started a kick-a blog called Unspooled which chronicles the best of the runways and has the most genius feature of breaking down the trends into affordable etsy & ebay finds...
It's been years since we lived in the same city and I could shamelessly knock off her style so I'm excited to be able to do it virtually...Congrats lady! Consider me Unspooled's number one fan ;)

and mark me down as J.P. of C'est la Vie's newest fan...oh lady, how you make me swoon whipping up Huevos Rancheros for the Recipe Exchange - that coupled with her fantastic style almost makes up for the fact that she lives in LA where winter never rears it's ugly head...
okay! we are off to yoga & ballet - hope everyone has a lovely Tuesday ahead of them...
xoxo, M

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spring Forward

It may have snowed 10 inches yesterday - #%$#^$&%(*%(*!!! - but spring is still happening over at the shop...just added Laura Lombardi's new gorgeous pieces...including my daily go to square brass earrings - LOVE!

and you can preorder the new Matta spring Dupatta colors...I've had mine going on 5 years now and never, ever get tired of these...

  See ya later - I'm hopping over to visit Barbie at Birds of a Lovely Feather who's cooking up Spanish Fish and Isreali couscous for the recipe if I could only truly transport myself into her kitchen I might get out of this Monday funk...see y'all in a happier place tomorrow...
xoxo, M

Friday, February 18, 2011

Best Picture

With the Oscars only a week away I've been loading up my Tivo with all the Best Picture nominees that have been running on TCM...Lila got her first glimpse of the Wizard of Oz (yes, I fast forwarded the scary parts), I had a cozy night with my girlhood favorite Gone With the Wind, and spent Valentine's evening with Bogie & Bergman in Casablanca...(ahh the wife of a music critic post kids means lots of solo nights with the telly while he's out at shows)...but my all time, pass the the kleenex box love is Out of Africa...Streep & Redford, the setting, the scenery, the costumes, the SEXY, and the sad...I can never get enough! I must need a viewing soon because I found myself collecting some modern Karen Blixen photos on pinterest...aren't they dreamy??
So what is your favorite oscar winner? Thanks to Carina for the TCM reminder and you can catch the full schedule here...
so many good ones...Annie Hall, 8 1/2, Gigi, All about Eve, North x Northwest still showing!

Now onto my another favorite - the Recipe Exchange! 
Myndi from The Naming of Things is making me so, so happy with her aptly named Sunshine Salad
and here's a quick recap:

Feb 11 - Torrie, a place to share...
Feb 14 - Tina, Bull in a China Shop Mama
Feb 15 - Carina, Nonchalantmom
Feb 17 - Elizabeth, sophisticated pie
Feb 18 - Myndi, The Naming of Things

Thanks ladies!! Have a fantastic weekend everyone and if you are in Minne I'll see you at Rock the Cradle...
xoxo, M

Thursday, February 17, 2011

So Fresh & So Green

Yes, I'm a little giddy after 5 consecutive days above freezing... and yesterday we hit a whopping 52 - which for those of you unfamiliar with the great tundra's (ie MN's) February weather, that's about 25 degrees above normal - yippee!!!  The snow is slowing melting and you can spy little bits of actual green grass around the edges...which has me crushing on all things verde this month (ohhh....verde...that makes me hungry for Mexican food!)

Even my little shop is starting to get all botanical...don't you love this fresh basket print scarf from Virginia Johnson? or these glam rock Lizzie Fortunato Earrings??

and who could resist this pile of John Robshaw pillows?
Speaking of hard to resist, have you visited Elizabeth's blog Sophisticated Pie? Well, today's the perfect day to head on over - I can't wait to see what she has in store for the recipe exchange!
xoxo, M

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

dull Diamond takes a Holiday...

Just a heads up for all dull Diamond fans - Jen & Emily are headed to Roma for holiday in a couple of weeks and will closing up shop temporarily...only 2 weeks left to snap up some goodies before they are living La Dolce Vita! (lucky girls, huh?)
xoxo, M

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Working Girl

New desk chairs? Yes, No?

 Yawn!!!! After a morning of packing, shipping and ballet class I'm ready for a nap...but before I doze off I thought I'd share the next little step in my office/bedroom remodel project (is this interesting to y'all??)  You can check out phase one here and below is our freshly painted wall in a fleshy pinky brown and my new desk and shelves - YEAH!...I can't tell you how nice it was having them installed instead of the usual cursing teeth gnashing experience that our do-it-yourself projects have I'm excited to keep it all clutter free and organized via some goodies from Russell & Hazel (lucite riser, collator, & smart deck calendar - my absolute favorite because it's giant enough to write all your to-do's and let your tot scribble) and lacquer boxes at West Elm...

doesn't look exciting yet but coming along...

Now head on over and visit Carina of Nonchalant Mom fame who's talking about Cacao Truffles for the Recipe Exchange...she also recommends this Citrus Kale Salad for those who are on chocolate overload after V-day...personally, I'm recommending the new Super Sky skirts in her shop - too, too cute!!
off to snooze!!
xoxo, M
ps - thank you so much to everyone who takes the time and energy to leave me such lovely comments - I'm woefully behind in returning the favor...just a bit in the weeds (as always!)