December 20, 2011

True Mom Confession:

When the kids are driving me nuts before running an errand, I tell them to go ahead and get in the car and I'll be there in a minute... or ten.
Paula

September 23, 2011

Happy Fall!

 I love this time of year! It's perfect for hiking, pumpkin patches and Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Weston Red Barn Farm

Weston Bend State Park
Weston Bend State Park
Weston Bend State Park
Weston Bend State Park
    
Of course, this year, I will leave the raking to the experts...

Weston Red Barn Farm

Happy Fall!
Paula

September 22, 2011

Overheard Conversations With a Preschooler

Last night's dinner conversation went something like this... 

A: Daddy, you may get out of time-out now. (Sean returns to the table.)

A: Daddy, why did mommy put you in time-out? What did you say? 

S: I can't say it again or I will go back to timeout. 

A: Daddy, did you say shut up? 

S: No, Aidan. 

A: Did you say damn it?

S: No, Aidan.

A: Hmmm, did you say shit... (mumbled, followed by lots of laughter).


Clearly we need to censor ourselves a little bit more.... 
Paula


September 17, 2011

The Dive Bar

Broke out these lovelies for a little fun and dancing with friends last night.


...thank goodness soccer was canceled today.

Happy rainy weekend!
Paula

September 14, 2011

Home Libraries


Little Green Notebook via Paula via Pinterest

I love a beautifully styled bookcase and can appreciate the time and effort that went into adorning its shelves.
Everyone seems to organize their own book collection based on a personal preference. The librarians I work with would cringe if they saw my bookshelves... no Library of Congress, Dewey Decimal, or even color system used in this house. (No, I am not a librarian.) Upon further inspection, I realized the absurdity of how I organized  parts of my collection into classes I had taken: Medieval Art, Medieval French Literature, Chaucer, 17th-19th century literature, reference books, and the rest are haphazardly placed on shelves. You get the point...


I have always considered bookcases to be a functional piece of furniture.  Functional, simply because we have a lot of books... so many that an entire hall closet has been devoted to storing boxes of kids books until I get additional bookcases for them. (Thank goodness we have three hall closets.)

Interior Design via Paula via Pinterest

What I really want is a home library that I can hide in for hours on end reading in my Eames lounger. Until then, I can dream of spending time in these home libraries...

Frederic Mechiche's flat via Paula via Pinterest
Lonny Magazine via Paula via Pinterest
New York magazine via Habitually Chic via Paula via Pinterest

HGTV via Paula via Pinterest

The last two are my favorites!
Paula

September 11, 2011

Never Forget

Contrails left by fighter jets on 9/11/01.

The day that forever changed our lives and our country... may we never forget.

September 6, 2011

Rustic Yoga Retreat

As a frequent traveler to the Riviera Maya, I am constantly looking out for a new resort that is eco-friendly minus the crowds of Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Akumal has been the town of choice for our family for years, but I am tempted to try the new eco-friendly resorts popping up in Tulum. 


Tulum Ruins - taken by me in September 2008

Famous for its Mayan Ruins, turquoise waters, and pristine beaches, Tulum is located about two hours south of Cancun. It is easily accessible by car, the First Class ADO bus or even the colectivos; I personally use the ADO and colectivos, and recommend them for the budget-conscious traveler.  When the whole family is traveling we usually rent a car for the week. 

T on her first ADO ride.

Just remember to mind the topes if driving down highway 307! 



The Amansala Resort caught my attention because it is the antithesis of the giant, all-inclusive resorts to the north. What this bohemian boutique hotel lacks in amenities (air-conditioning, all-inclusive food/booze, and shuttles to the beach) it more than makes up for with its ambiance, location, local organic food, and retreats. With the cabana room just steps away from the beach and crisp ocean breezes, you won’t need air-conditioning to sleep nine months of the year. 

Amansala Resort

My daughter and I usually take a trip to the Mayan beach sans the boys in search of quiet beaches, good snorkeling and relaxation. We often find ourselves doing yoga in the morning overlooking the beach; however, the location of the classes at our usual resort often leaves something to be desired. At Amansala, guests can register for either a yoga retreat or bikini boot camp with a quality instructor offering group led classes throughout the trip.  

Yoga Retreat
Yoga room overlooking the ocean
Yoga Class
Room
Resort View
Sunrise Yoga
I see the yoga retreat being a perfect escape for us offering serenity and relaxation…  

Namaste!
Paula

All yoga and resort images are from the Amansala Resort.

August 31, 2011

Daydreaming about...

The Villa Pitons Retreat in St. Lucia.
View from the living room
There is something magical about this villa designed by American architect John DiPol. Nestled between the Pitons near the village of Morne La Croix, the home's open concept ensures every room has a spectacular view of the Pitons or the Caribbean Sea. 


View from the master bedroom

View from the master bedroom

Poolside
Poolside

The perfect haven.
Paula

All images courtesy of Oasis Marigot.

August 25, 2011

Tree Hotels

Growing up, I was often jealous of Brother Bear and Sister Bear; they lived in the coolest tree house on the block. I wasn't too interested in the lessons they were teaching, but rather, I was focused on recreating my own version of their home.


My interpretation failed miserably and usually consisted of a blanket, pillow and book on the highest branch I could sleep on. Sadly, I no longer climb trees to read or take naps.

I was beyond thrilled when I stumbled upon The Treehotel located in Northern Sweden. This is the perfect getaway for those who want something fun and quirky in the midst of nature. Quiet and serene, this is an ideal place to relax after a day of hiking or  fly fishing. The Bird's Nest may be my favorite - you can pull the stairs up via a remote and be all alone suspended amongst the trees. Perfect!

The Bird's Nest

The Cabin

The Mirrorcube

The Mirrorcube

The Blue Cone

With views like that, I could definitely spend a day, or week, napping and reading in one of those amazing tree houses.

Finally, a  tree of one's own - ha!
Paula

July 21, 2011

The Well-Stocked Bar

It's hot here... way too hot in my opinion. Over the years we have relied on drinks of old to cool us down. We used to be the proverbial porch drinkers with an occasional evening on the stoop.  Back then, in the heat of summer, you could find us sipping on what we affectionately called the daiquiris of death  - served in a large bourbon snifter.

Source myrecipes via Paula via Pinterest

Or a Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic... occasionally served in a mason jar. I have since been banned from making them... in mason jars.

Source squaremeal.co.uk via Paula via Pinterest

We love mojitos around mid-afternoon while on vacation - perfect for quenching ones thirst after snorkeling all day. Lately, we have tried out some new recipes. The Don Q muddled and frozen strawberry mojitos have been a frequent favorite. Refreshing and delightful; perfect for cooling down when the temps are nearing triple-digits.

Source Don Q via Paula via Pinterest

Frozen variation of Don Q mojito

Adult milkshakes are another treat around here. I usually blend whatever ice cream we have on hand with one scoop of Christopher Elbow Dark Venezuelan  ice cream, Skyy Vodka and a splash of milk. Yummy!!!

My concoction via Paula

The Cuba Libre is another staple on scorching evenings. Simple and delicious.

Source Don Q via Paula via Pinterest

Might be time to venture over to the house of booze, aka Lukas Liquors, to replenish our supplies... or switch gears entirely and make sangria! 

Source http://yellowsongbird.blogspot.com via Paula via Pinterest

Salud!
Paula

July 8, 2011

I might need a Baconista!

To say I love bacon may be a bit of an understatement. I would be a vegetarian if it weren’t for this wonderfully crispy cured meat. Mmmm… My mouth is watering at the thought of baked bacon right now; with eggs, on a BLT, salad, or a hamburger. You name it and I usually love bacon with it. 

Pinterest has not been helping with my lust for bacon lately, and has been supplying me with way too many bacon recipes and inspiration. Hello food porn!

It is such a rare treat when we eat bacon in our house – the relatively health conscious part of my brain knows it’s not the best option for daily consumption – and well, I also don’t want the smell to linger in the oven for too long. Yes, I bake my bacon. 

The monkeys were ecstatic when they woke to me cooking a breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs with cheese and salsa, bacon and pancakes before dashing off to work.
(I don’t like to cook. Ever. Especially before the daily jolt of caffeine kicks in.)

This is what they devoured.
I didn't exactly follow the recipe and opted instead to pour Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake mix over the already baked bacon.

The monkeys were happy and stuffed, and their hands were not as greasy as they could have been. Bacon pancakes=pancake napkins. Yes, folks, this was a winner in our house. I am kicking myself for only recently discovering the power of blending pancakes and bacon into one yummy concoction.

Next on the list to try: Bacon, Egg, and Toast Cups.

Yep, bacon makes just about everything better; however, I draw the line at bacon infused vodka or bacon ice cream.

Paula

All images via http://pinterest.com/lethe1998/

June 27, 2011

Adults Only weekend at the lake, aka, I need a new swimsuit.



The Mr. and I spent our weekend here with his childhood/college friends. 

Holy shit! I laughed so hard I cried and may have even peed in my swimsuit a little…or a lot!

And saw more cazzo then at a nude beach; of course, this is the price of being mostly sober while at the lake. You can still see! 


 
 Discovered that not all vodkas made by Three Olives are good.

 
  
You have been warned: Do not try the Dude. Ever. 


 
Realized it has been a long, long time since I’ve been to a bar where security was called to “observe” our group of friends at 10:00pm for singing and dancing in the locals lounge.
Of course, someone may have said "That’s how you do Tan-Tar-A bitches," and this shirt may or may not have been worn by a certain member of the group.
Best. Weekend. Evah.
Thank goodness it only happens once a year.

Paula