Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Treasure - A Musical Memory

Stevie Nicks via Oprah
Style Shout Out to music and creating memories.

A few weeks ago I wrote about Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Crow singing "Landslide" on Oprah. Watching the performance with my daughter is a moment I will cherish because she had never seen Stevie Nicks sing before.  Sure she's heard me sing "Rhiannon" a few (hundred) times and she's heard both of these songstresses on my IPhone but it's just not the same as seeing a performance.

Like most children her age my daughter's playlist includes The Jonas Brothers, Aly & AJ (now 78 Violet), Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus up to and including all things Hannah Montana and the Breakout CD.  Now that she has been taking piano lessons for almost a year my hubby and I have been introducing her to music other than Disney...not that there's anything wrong with that.  We just feel that it is important to keep an open mind and listen to different musical genres.

So when she recently asked us if she could record a cover of "Landslide" we weren't as much surprised as we were impressed.  As a parent it's always so satisfying when your child actually listens when you speak and so we headed into the studio.  As "Landslide" is more of a guitar song than a piano song and my daughter is still learning how to play guitar she told me, "Thank goodness Daddy can handle the guitar tracks!  I am so fortunate!"  And she is so fortunate...fortunate that she has inherited her love of music and writing from my hubby and me...and fortunate that she can record at home.

Watching her mix the song with my hubby I was so proud when she said, "Please don't put any effects on my voice Dad.  It should sound the same as when I sing it live."  And listening back to the song after it was mixed it did just that.

Some of my best memories involve music and I hope yours do too.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Summer is a great time to start music lessons...so grab a guitar and go!  And if you have children, give them the gift of music!

Listen HereLandslide

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Shorts

Style Shout Out to Sunday and keeping it short.

Memorial Day weekend is a great time to barbecue and relax with family and friends. And while you are enjoying that time take a minute to remember all of the men and women who serve our country proudly and give of themselves.

Happy Memorial Day!  And to our military...thank you for all you do every day.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Simply Speedy

Style Shout Out to Louis Vuitton for hitting another style home-run with their contemporary take on the ever classic Monogram Speedy Bag.

My hubby gave me my first Speedy bag when we moved to Dallas in 1996.  The quality of this bag is amazing and it still looks great today.  Even though he surprised me with a Speedy in the Damier Azur Canvas for Mother's Day I still reach for my Monogram Speedy 25 almost every other day.  This bag is stylish and indestructible.

This iconic Louis Vuitton bag goes with anything, can be dressed up or down, and I love the fact that it has a zipper that makes the bag secure for travel.

Today on Twitter I saw what Louis Vuitton refers to as the "alter-ego" version of the Monogram Speedy.  The leather stripe down the side of this bag is fabulous and the wide leather strap will make it great for travel and every day use.  When a bag offers options like being both hand held and cross body I think it is a great investment because of its' versatility.

So, if you are in the market for a new statement bag you can't go wrong with a Louis Vuitton Speedy.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  My Dad always says, "Carry a great bag and wear great shoes..they make the outfit!"  And I have to agree!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

7 Things

Style Shout Out to 7 things on Thursday and giving thanks.

American Idol Winner via E!Online
1.  Reading the news this morning I am amazed at how many tornadoes have torn a path through the midwestern and southern states over the past few day and I am thankful for the American Red Cross and everyone that supports them in the brilliant work they do.  To make a donation visit: http://www.redcross.org/

2.  To American Idol for a season finale that brought us Bono and The Edge, and a duet between Casey Abrams and Jack Black that left me thinking that they could be hilarious in a Blues Brothers movie!

3.  To Scotty McCreery for being the youngest American Idol winner and for handling the pressure of the season with grace.

4.  To Haley Reinhart who showed America last night that she can tackle any genre of music and give it her own unique style. Her duet with Tony Bennett was fabulous!

Carrie Underwood on Idol (AP)
5.  To Carrie Underwood for bringing the fabulous every time she graces the stage and being our favorite American Idol winner!

6.  To the Dallas Mavericks and Mark Cuban for winning last night and becoming the Western Conference Champs!

7.  To my hubby and 8 year old daughter and the music and laughter that fills our house every day, and for my daughter's new appreciation of the music of Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac.  So amazing when she wanted to do a cover of it and more amazing to hear her rendition of "Landslide"...

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Today find your own 7 Things to be thankful for and donate to the American Red Cross if you can.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sunshine & The Morning After

Style Shout Out to the morning after...Not Pete Yorn's "Music For The Morning After" (although I love that CD)...just the actual morning after...

Last night we had horrible storms in our area.  Considering the devastation that recently occurred in Missouri and the twisters that were hitting Oklahoma when the warning sirens went off, as American Idol was finishing and Dancing With The Stars was beginning, it was quite unnerving.  I don't think I will ever get used to that sound and as the sirens were singing their warning song my 8 year old said, "See, this is why we need to move to California!"

There is something so stressful about that siren and I knew she was feeling unsettled so as a Mom it is job one to ease any fears.  My hubby and I assured our daughter that everything would be okay and that we were totally prepared.  We also made sure that she didn't see the images from Joplin and that while my hubby was watching the storm unfold on TV, she and I sat playing a game of fetch with our puppy and listening to music on my IPhone.  It's hard to feel stress when you are laughing and singing along to Pete Yorn and Stevie Nicks.  And, as a Mom there is no greater sound than the sound of your child laughing and singing!

This morning as I was driving my daughter to school the sun was shining and there were no signs of the wind and the hail we were pelted with last night.  But as I turned on the Today Show the images from Missouri and Oklahoma were a real reminder of how lucky we were that the storms that hit our city were not devastating.

The American Red Cross is doing everything it can to help the people affected by the recent tornadoes so if you can, please make a donation today as every little bit helps.  And for those affected, know that there is a morning after and hopefully that morning will bring some sunshine.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Today as you go about your day stop to appreciate the people and the beauty around you...on this morning after that is exactly what I am doing.  I am also making a donation to the Red Cross.  As my daughter hopped out of the car today to go to school she turned and gave me a big smile while reminding me that I could text my donation...and so can you!





Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday Treasure - Thank You Notes

Style Shout Out to Jimmy Fallon for reminding us that a handwritten thank you note can be entertaining while still expressing gratitude.

I have been a fan of Jimmy Fallon since he was entertaining us every Saturday Night on Saturday Night Live creating parodies of celebrities like Barry Gibb with Justin Timberlake and singing the ever popular "I Wish It Was Christmas Today" with Horatio Sanz, Tracy Morgan and Chris Kattan.  So when Fallon was chosen to fill the Late Night time slot after the Tonight Show I was excited to see his brand of funny five nights a week.

Timberlake & Fallon on SNL
As a host the thing I love about Jimmy Fallon is that he is so genuine and likable.  He appeals to people of all ages and that coupled with his impeccable comedic timing gives him an edge while interviewing his guests.  In the two years since Fallon’s debut his show has evolved, in my opinion, into the best and most entertaining late night show. Like many people I enjoy Fallon’s recurring segment...Thank You Notes.  Accompanied by the keyboard player from the Roots, Fallon’s brand of funny reaches new heights with thank you notes like:

“Thank you socks and sandals for being a look that proudly declares to the world I left my fanny pack at home.”

Jimmy Fallon was on the Today Show yesterday with Meredith Vieira, and again in the fourth hour with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford discussing his new book appropriately titled, “Thank You Notes.”  This compilation of the best thank you notes from Late Night With Jimmy Fallon is available now.  When my daughter saw the book at Barnes and Noble she said, “We are so getting that for Daddy and Poppy for Father’s Day!”  And so we did.   And so my hubby and my Dad will soon be enjoying some Thank You Notes!

If you want a good laugh pick up a copy of Thank You Notes and get one for you Dad too...funny always makes a great Father’s Day gift!

My Style Shout Out Tip:  (Key The Music) Thank you Jimmy Fallon for all of the laughs, for following me on Twitter and reminding me everyday to bring a little of my own funny and to always say thank you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fabulous Flip Flops

Style Shout Out to TKEES for making the most fabulous flip flops that go with anything and go anywhere.

Last Summer we planned a vacation to Los Angeles.  My hubby, daughter and I love LA and we take every opportunity to visit our family that lives there.

As I was going through my closet and organizing what to pack I realized I needed some new sandals.  But not just any sandals...I needed a pair that were versatile.  You see I am one of those people who has perfected the art of packing light.  It probably comes from the fact that I just don't like to check luggage and I don't like to be weighed down.  So, the alternative is to pack the most versatile pieces in my carry-on bag.  Seriously, I have been known to pack one carry-on bag for a 10-day vacation.  This makes my hubby happy as he likes to pack light too.

Jennifer Aniston
TKEES Foundation
My search for the perfect sandal didn't take too long as I came across TKEES at Singer22.com.  I love Singer22 because of their great selection of designers and their easy to navigate web site. Plus it is fun to draw inspiration from the pictures of celebrities.

Rachel Bilson
TKEES Liner in Sable
TKEES are like "cosmetics for your feet" with color categories like...Foundations, Lipglosses, Polishes and Highlighters.  You can find everything from beautiful neutrals to metallic silvers.

So, if you are looking for a cute leather flip flop that can take you from the beach to dinner and can be dressed up or down check out TKEES.  They come in a variety of colors.  I am a fan of the Sunkissed "Foundation" because like my Laura Mercier Almond Tinted Moisturizer the color really matches my skin tone.  The added benefit when wearing my Sunkissed TKEES is that they make my legs look longer even though I am in comfy flats.  And, if you are looking for a pop of color check out the "Polishes" line which features beautiful shades like Bubblegum pink and Malibu blue.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  I have a few pair of TKEES and they are the perfect little flip flop. Last Summer they were selling out quickly at Singer22.com and I had to do some searching to find my size.  So check out these fabulous flip flops today while you can still get them.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Shorts

Style Shout Out to Sunday and keeping it short.

To Saturday Night Live for another season of funny and to Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon for re-creating "The Barry Gibb Show"...hilarious, just like the entire show last night!

To my daughter and hubby for a fun weekend spent in the recording studio. There really is nothing better than music and laughter.

And a special Style Shout Out to Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks from my 8 year old daughter who, since watching Sheryl Crow sing "Landslide" with Stevie Nicks on Oprah and seeing Haley Reinhart sing "Rhiannon" on American Idol, has two new favorite songs to sing and play that just happen to be two of my favorites!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fallen Idol

Haley Reinhart & Ryan Seacrest via E!Online
Style Shout Out to Haley Reinhart for her outstanding performances on Season 10 of American Idol.

Well, another season of American Idol is winding down and our favorite Idol has fallen out of the competition.  I enjoyed watching this season with my hubby and daughter because now that she is 8 years old and is taking music lessons she had commentary that was so much fun and so interesting.

The Idol finale next week finds two country crooners battling it out for the title "American Idol."  I have to say that while I like Scotty and Lauren, Haley had become the favorite in our house as the weeks progressed. Her song choices were bold and showcased her ability to sing a wide range of songs.  As a musician I appreciated Haley's ability to make a song her own.  When Haley sings you believe she has a connection to the song.  Like my hubby and I told our daughter before her recent showcase at the House Of Blues, "You have to love the song, you have to believe in the song, you have to tell a story through the song and you have to sell the song."

Haley Reinhart via E!Online
There is just something so "real" about her and when Haley sings it comes from her heart.  I've heard it said that you can teach anyone to sing and while that may be true I believe that you cannot teach anyone to have soul...that is the "IT" factor that you are born with.  And that "IT" is something Haley possesses.

Haley also possesses the ability to keep calm under pressure, and not just the pressure of being judged in front of millions on live television. There was also the pressure of not getting rave reviews from the judges for her first song knowing she had a second performance to give and in that second performance confidently hitting the equivalent of a musical home-run.  When she took a fall the other night while performing she didn't miss a beat as she picked herself up and continued singing like nothing had happened.  My daughter remarked, "Haley showed great courage because she got up and kept going and that's what you always tell me."

So thanks Haley for your unique voice and for showing my 8 year old that it's not about how many times you fall down, but how many times you get up.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Take a page from Haley's book and stay true to yourself, and if you fall down, get up and carry on with grace!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

7 Things On Thursday

Style Shout Out to giving thanks on Thursday.  Last Thursday the Blogger site experienced some technical difficulties so this week I am thankful for:
Vera Wang At Neiman Marcus

No technical difficulties on Blogger!

My daughter's love of music because it is something we share.

Dr. Michele Borba and the great information she shares with parents via The Today Show and Twitter.

The great deals on Bluefly.com and Gilt.

My white cropped Seven For All Mankind Jeans that look so great with my Vera Wang ballet flats.

Hudson Jeans and those well-placed pockets with the Union Jack

My hubby and daughter and the laughter and music that fills our home every day!  There is really no better sound than the sound of your child laughing.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  With the school year winding down and so much going on take a minute to make your own list of 7 Things!  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Rose Is Not Just A Rose

Style Shout Out to Lela Rose for designing fabulous!

Lela Rose Cashmere One-Shoulder Top & Tiered Organza Skirt
Lela Rose at Bergdorfs
Lela Rose is one of those designers that dances to the beat of her own drum creating ready-to-wear and wedding gowns that are so amazing and so unique just like the designer herself.

I first met Lela Rose when she shared a house in Manhattan Beach with some girls as they were all starting out ready to make their mark in their respective fields.  Was I one of those girls you ask?  No, I wasn't...but my sister was and that is how I was introduced to Lela Rose.  Upon meeting her it was easy to sense that this was a creative person with drive and vision.

Over the years I have watched Lela Rose go from working with the amazing Richard Tyler to launching her own line of fabulous.  Her designs are so innovative and I love her creative use of fabric and color.

You can find Lela Rose at select Nordstrom stores, Neiman Marcus and the legendary Bergdorf Goodman in New York.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Before you head out to do some Spring shopping go online and check out what your favorite designers are doing and draw inspiration from them.  Fashion is about creative expression and should be fun.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Treasure - Mad For Multiples

Style Shout Out to Nars for creating the Multiple.

As I was getting ready for a PTA meeting this morning I was playing beat the clock and reached for my Nars Multiple.  It is such a time saver and a product that should be in everyone's make up bag.  I love this product because it is true to it's name and serves multiple purposes.  Personally, I use Malibu as a blush and a lipstick and Copacabana is a fabulous highlighter and can really brighten up your eye area.

I first discovered this now legendary product, which consistently makes it into the InStyle Best Of Beauty issue, at Saks when it made its' debut.  At first glance this make up stick reminded me of the big Bonne Bell Lip Smackers that I had when I was thirteen.  Those Lip Smackers with their fabulous flavors like Watermellon and Bubble Gum were the must-have item for teens.  Picking up the Multiple it was like I was thirteen again.  There was a real sense of fun about this product.  Having a career in Marketing I know that most purchases are emotional and maybe that's why I originally picked up the Multiple but after using it once it became a beauty must have for me and once you try it you'll be mad for Multiples too.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  If you are in the market for a new easy to use product pick up a Multiple today!  Nars.com also offers this iconic product in a Limited Edition palette with two different yet complimentary shades.  The palette containing Copacabana and St. Barts is great for Spring and Summer!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Shades Of Tom Ford

Style Shout Out to Tom Ford for designing fabulous.

I have been a fan of Tom Ford since his days at Gucci.  For me the name Tom Ford is synonymous with style.  Being a fan of Gucci I love what he did for the brand and when he branched out on his own I was so excited to see what he would create.  I purchased a pair of Jennifer sunglasses when they first hit store shelves before I had seen them on celebrities including Jennifer Aniston who helped elevate this style to icon status.

These sunglasses are lightweight and remind me of Oliver Peoples with their understated simplicity. These are glasses that look good without screaming "look at me!"  And that is what I look for in sunglasses.

This morning as I was pulling my Tom Ford's out of my bag to drive my daughter to school it reminded me that every once in a while you make a purchase that becomes a classic almost instantly.  If you are looking for a great pair of sunglasses for Spring take a look at the Jennifer by Tom Ford.  They may not be the newest style on the shelf but they are classic and comfortable and truly stylish.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Sunglasses are a great way to instantly change and update your look. Shop for glasses with someone you trust.  I take my daughter who tells it like it is, and head to Neiman Marcus where their sales associate Christina always offers an honest opinion.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Shorts

Style Shout Out to Sunday and keeping it short.

To Zara for finding me that fabulous little blue dress.  It really is a classic and so versatile.

To Jimmy Fallon for continuing to bring the funny to Late Night!

To Seth Meyers and the cast of Saturday Night Live for another fabulous season of comedy.  Looking forward to Saturday's show hosted by Justin Timberlake.  I am laughing already.

To Seven For All Mankind for my cropped white jeans which are so great for Spring.

To my hubby and daughter for a fun-filled weekend and for all of the music and laughter.

Friday, May 13, 2011

7 Things on Friday?

Style Shout Out to 7 Things...

Jonathan Introducing My Daughter
If you pop in regularly then you know that Thursday is usually the day I set aside for giving thanks.  In addition to being grateful for my family, friends, health and happiness I find 7 things to be thankful for.

Unfortunately, yesterday the Blogger site experienced some technical difficulties after I had finished writing, but before I could hit the "publish post" button.  So today on Friday I am giving a Style Shout Out to Thursday and 7 things. 

Thanks to Gilt for offering some fabulous designers at some fabulous prices!

Thanks to Seven For All Mankind for designing quality jeans that fit great and are so comfy, and for paving the way for a new generation of denim.

Thanks to the teachers at my daughter's elementary school for hosting a phenomenal lunch for all of the Moms who volunteer.  Truly outstanding home-made dishes...recipes wanted!

Thanks to InStyle magazine for being the sunny part of a rainy day when it arrived in my mailbox earlier this week.

Thanks to the American Red Cross for their continued efforts helping those affected by the recent tornadoes in the South.

Thanks to the House Of Blues and my daughter's music school for providing an arena for young people to explore music and giving them a venue in which to perform, and to Jonathan Comacho who is an exceptional piano teacher.  When people heard my 8 year old performing on Mother's Day they were amazed that she has only been playing since last July.

Thanks to my hubby and daughter and the music and laughter that fills our house every day, and for making Mother's Day extremely special this year.  

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Today find your own 7 Things and give thanks!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gilt-less 7's

Style Shout Out to two of my favorite things...Seven For All Mankind Jeans and Gilt!

Roxanne By 7 For All Mankind at Gilt
Today has been a busy day...after my usual morning routine which involved making breakfast and school lunch, driving my daughter to school, unloading a dishwasher and throwing in a load of laundry, I didn't have time to sit and write.  I had to get ready for our monthly PTA meeting and annual Volunteer Appreciation awards and luncheon.  I am so lucky that my daughter attends a fabulous elementary school where the Principal and Teachers create such a positive environment for the students.

As I was driving home after the busy morning I was kicking around some ideas for today's blog.  As I settled down at my desk with my Starbucks cappuccino I read through some emails first and there it was...my email from Gilt saying that until May 12th they were featuring Seven For All Mankind jeans.  I felt like a kid discovering a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup for the first time...two great things that I love, together!  As London Tipton would say on the Suite Life Of Zack And Cody (yes, I watch too much Disney with my 8 year old)..."Yay Me!"

Gilt is such a great place online to shop because you truly get top-notch, quality products at phenomenal prices.  And what can I say about Sevens that hasn't been said before?  They just fit great and are made to last.  My hubby gave me my first pair for Christmas in 2004 and, seriouslyy, they look as good as the day I first wore them.  Sevens paved the denim way for other favorites like Hudson Jeans, J Brand Jeans and AG Jeans.

So, if you are in the market for some great denim at a fabulous price check out Gilt.  But hurry because they are selling fast.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  The Roxanne is a very versatile style.  With it's skinny silhouette it looks fabulous with Tory Burch Reva flats, Sam Edelman Gigi sandals, or tucked in a pair of Stuart Weitzman Linear Suede boots.  How do I know?  Experience!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday Treasure - A Recipe For Family Fun

Style Shout Out to Gwyneth Paltrow for creating a cookbook that reminds us that the true treasure is family and fun.

I recently saw Gwyneth Paltrow on the Rachael Ray Show talking about her new cookbook, "My Father's Daughter."  The segment was very heart-felt as Gwyneth talked about how she and her Dad had shared a love of cooking.  It reminded me of how cooking is a strong link which binds families together as recipes are handed down from one generation to the next and are shared.

As Gwyneth was talking about how her son loves to cook with her I thought of my daughter and how she has loved being in the kitchen since she was three years old.  She has perfected the art of making meatballs and they are as good as mine which are as good as my Mom's whose are as good as the ones my Grandmother used to make.  We watch Food Network together and  especially love Claire Robinson, Giada DeLaurentiis and Rachael Ray.

Giada at Sur La Table
I kid you not when Giada was on her book tour last year I took my daughter, then seven, to meet her. She was the only child in the line and it was so nice that Giada took a few extra minutes to talk to her and read a card my little one had made for her even though the line was long and out the door of our local Sur La Table.  Giada's kindness left a good impression on my daughter and every time we grab one of her cookbooks to create some kitchen magic my daughter says, "Met her...so awesome!"

And speaking of awesome, Gwyneth Paltrow was pretty awesome on Rachel Ray.  As she spoke about the book you could sense that this project was really close to her heart.  You could sense the love of cooking that she shared with her Dad and now shares with her children.  It was great how when Rachael brought up the fact that she is slim Gwyneth replied by saying that because she loves food she has to work her a** off.  I appreciated her honesty and have always found her to be genuine.

Gwyneth & Rachael Making Pasta With Zucchini
After watching Rachael Ray my daughter and I decided to make Gwyneth's pasta and fried zucchini dish.  We had so much fun making it and I think my daughter's favorite part was putting the sliced zucchini in a small brown paper bag, sprinkling it with flour and shaking it.  If you haven't tried this method it is a great way to coat your zucchini with flour because it is quick and fun.  The great thing about cooking with your kids is the fact that if they have a hand in making the food, they are more likely to eat it.

So thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow for a wonderful cookbook filled with some fabulous recipes and serving as a reminder to get in the kitchen and have some fun with the people you love.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Even if you are not the greatest cook you should pick up "My Father's Daughter" because it is filled with some really easy and delicious recipes.  Grab your hubby or kids or friends...choose a recipe or two...and start cooking.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Moments & Memories

Style Shout Out to my daughter and hubby who gave me the most fabulous Mother's Day and some really fabulous memories!

Our weekend was so busy and so much fun!  On Friday evening my daughter decided that with a weekend filled with so much activity it would be good to give me my Mother's Day gift early.  I knew she had been working on something special but I wasn't exactly sure what it was.  When she called me into my hubby's office she dimmed the light and said, "Ok, Daddy!"

My hubby had hooked the Mac up to the TV and my daughter started talking...about me. She had created the most heart-felt power point presentation talking about why I am a great Mom.  Talk about fabulous gifts!  This is one that will always be hard to beat.  She put so much work into it and it was her words...pretty fabulous for 8 years old.  My hubby also surprised me with a great Speedy bag and Jo Malone perfume which is my favorite but the hands down best gift came from my little one.

On Saturday another great gift was seeing my daughter make her First Holy Communion.  It was such an amazing day and I was so proud of her.  We had a family celebration afterwards and it was just a great way to kick off Mother's Day weekend.  She said she felt like a princess, Kate Middleton to be exact, in her Monique Lhuillier dress and I must admit she looked like a princess.  It was such a lovely ceremony and it was great that she made her Communion with some of her friends.  As a Mom one of the greatest gifts is to see your child laughing and happy.

We spent Mother's Day at the House Of Blues which doesn't exactly seem like the type of place you associate with Mother's Day. My daughter's music school was having their showcase and how exciting to see my 8 year old on the House Of Blues stage playing keyboard and singing Miley Cyrus' Simple Song.  When her teacher Jonathan introduced her his words about her being a "sponge" when it comes to absorbing music was so sweet and when she sat down at the keys and wished everyone a Happy Mother's Day I must admit that I did get a tear in my eye.  She looked so adorable and I think I was more nervous than she was as she started to sing.  The best moment for me was during the song when she said, "Sing along now..." and everyone in the audience did just that.  I cannot tell you how proud I was that at such a young age she was able to get up on that stage and do her thing.

When we were driving home I asked her if she was nervous before walking onto the stage at the House Of Blues.  She replied, "Daddy says if you're prepared there's really no reason to be nervous and you always say a stage is a stage is a stage.  No nerves.  It was fun."

Well, I must say it was fun.  The entire weekend was filled with some wonderful moments that have created some wonderful memories.  I was a very proud Mom this weekend, as I am every day, but not just because my daughter made her Communion or performed at the House Of Blues but because she is growing up to be an amazing young lady who has confidence, character, and compassion.  What more can a Mom ask for...well maybe a powerpoint presentation or two.

Hope you all had a Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Shorts - All About Mom

Style Shout Out to Sunday and keeping it short.

Today is Mother's Day...so I am giving a big style shout out to my Mom who has taught me everything I know about being a fabulous Mom.  Thank you for always being there.  I hope you know how much you are appreciated!

And to my Mother-In-Law, Sisters, and Sisters-In-Law...Happy Mother's Day to some very amazing, very fabulous Moms.

I hope all of you Mom's that read this blog have a great day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

To Mom

Style Shout Out to my Mom at the start of Mother's Day weekend.

I was watching the Today Show this morning as Ann Curry, Al Roker and Natalie Morales paid tribute to their Moms.  It made me stop to think about the important role my Mom has played in making me the woman I am today.

My Mom has always been there for me.  She and my Dad never missed a game when I was cheerleading and there were a lot of games over a 10 year period.  Growing up she was there after school every day for my sisters and me with a smile and a snack.  Always ready to hear about our day and help with our homework, she was and still is my best friend...well she and my hubby. She made her family her number one priority and some of the best times we shared were sitting around the kitchen table having dinner every night.

When I look at my relationship with my daughter I realize that I have learned everything I know about being a Mom from my Mom.  And I hope when my little one grows up she looks at me the way I look at my Mom...with admiration, respect and love!

Thanks Mom for all you do every day for your daughters and grandchildren.  I appreciate you not just on Mother's Day, but every day!

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Take a minute today to thank your Mom for all she does for you and for the lessons you have learned!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thursday & 7 Things

Style Shout Out to 7 things on Thursday.
Today as every day I am thankful for my family and the laughter!  I am also thankful for:

The American Red Cross for all they do every day to assist those in need and all of the people who they are helping in our southern states that were hit so hard by the recent swarm of tornadoes.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who handled themselves with such grace during their Royal and very public wedding.  As the mom of a young daughter I can honestly say that it is nice to see a role model like Kate Middleton who exemplifies class and confidence. 

Bobbie Thomas and her fabulous "Royal" Mother's Day gift ideas from her segment on the Today Show this morning.  I especially loved the Queen for a day stamps from Zazzle.com.

NBC's new show The Voice hosted by Carson Daly.  I love that this show gives some very talented singers, some in their 30's, a platform for their voice to be heard.  

Zara for finding me that little blue dress which is so hard to find, and for their excellent customer service.

Ippolita for designing fabulous and unique jewelry that makes a fabulous Mother's Day gift.

My hubby and daughter and the laughter and music that fills our house every day!

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Go out and find your own 7 things to be thankful for today.  Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Power Of A Princess

Style Shout Out to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, who is on her way to becoming a style icon.

Before I had my daughter I worked in marketing.  It's amazing that even though I haven't worked in that environment since my little one was born I think I will always wear my marketing cap.  It's a mind set...a certain way of looking at things.  Whether I am sitting at my daughter's music school, getting a hair cut or shopping in a store I am constantly looking at how the brand could be better positioned or am thinking of ways to make changes that would increase the level of customer service which would increase sales.  I guess you can take the girl out of the marketing department, but you can't take the marketing department out of the girl.

I find the power of celebrity and the media amazing when it comes to selling products.  And the power varies depending on the celebrity.  Last year when Jennifer Aniston was featured in the "I Really Love My..." article in People Style Watch magazine wearing her Stuart Weitzman Alex espadrilles the shoes became a hot commodity and literally sold out every where.  Even Nordstrom with their outstanding customer service and this amazing ability to make shopping magic happen could not locate these shoes in a size 8.  The good news is they are available again this season in the classic khaki as well as some other fun colors and are a very versatile shoe for the warm weather months.

So Jennifer Aniston is one of those celebrities that can make a product fly out of the store even if she is not officially endorsing the product.  I have a feeling that Kate Middleton will also have this effect on the shopping habits of many people and will most likely become one of the biggest fashion influencers.

Besides the fact that her stunning Alexander McQueen wedding dress and the dress she wore to the evening reception have already been recreated and will hit stores in time for Summer weddings, people seem to be searching quite a bit on Google for things related to the Princess, excuse me, Duchess.

Being fascinated with marketing I love watching the trends. When Kate left with William the day after their wedding the photos of them holding hands were every where.   She was dressed in a simple blue dress from Zara, black jacket and L.K. Bennett black patent leather espadrilles.  I kid you not you cannot get the espadrilles right now but with the number of women looking for that shoe it is highly likely that L.K. Bennett will reintroduce this classic espadrille.  After checking online to find that Kate's blue dress was unavailable, I called my local Zara store Monday afternoon.   I was informed that the blue "Kate" dress had sold out that day.  Apparently it hadn't been the hottest selling dress in the store...until the world watched the Princess happily walking with her Prince.

Do I think the dress is cute?  Yes, it's an adorably stylish dress but if it wasn't for Kate I'm sure Zara would still have a few of them in stock.   You see, I think it's not so much the "Jennifer" shoes, the "Kate" dress, or the "Kate" espadrilles but the feeling you get when you wear the item.  That's the power of marketing...the Power of a Princess.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  Take your style cues from celebrities but don't follow a trend if it doesn't suit you.  Wear what you love and wear it with confidence and you too will experience the Power of a Princess.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday Treasure - Best Of Britain

Style Shout Out to all of the designers that created such beautiful dresses and to the women who wore them so beautifully on the red carpet at the Met Ball in New York.

I love the Costume Institute Gala Benefit because after awards season it is one more opportunity to see some seriously amazing dresses.  Last night's Red Carpet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art did not disappoint and I did have a few favorite dresses who just happen to be designed by some fab British designers.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Stella McCartney with Fred Leighton jewelry looked fabulous.  The dress was so simple in shape yet so dramatic with the low cut back and the slit up the side.  Stella McCartney was also the designer of choice for Kate Hudson who looked stunning in a strapless bejeweled gown that so complimented her skin tone and hair.

Livia Firth also chose to wear Stella McCartney.  I read the most interesting story today on Vogue.com UK about how the dress is "green" which is totally in keeping with Livia's commitment to the environment.  Her hubby Colin, who you may know as the Oscar winner for The King's Speech, looked dashing in Tom Ford and was Livia's best accessory.

My other favorite of the evening was Sarah Jessica Parker who was stunning in Alexander McQueen and Fred Leighton jewels.  Again this dress had a simple elegance that reminded me of Kate Middleton's wedding dress that was designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen.

The Costume Institute Gala Benefit celebrated the opening of the "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" exhibition which is featuring the late designer's iconic work.  As Sarah Burton, the company's Creative Director has said, "I am very proud and honored to have worked for him.  He truly was a genius."

My Style Shout Out Tip:  The Metropolitan Museum of Art is an amazing place to visit.  If you are lucky enough to be in New York City the exhibition celebrating the work of Alexander McQueen and his contribution to the world of design will be on display at the Met May 4th through July 31st.  Stop by and experience some of the best of Britain.

To read the story of the Green Carpet Challenge and Livia Firths's amazing dress designed by Stella McCartney visit Vougue.com UK at http://www.vogue.co.uk/blogs/livia-firth/

Monday, May 2, 2011

We Didn't Get To Go

Style Shout Out to Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb for last week's entertaining Royal Wedding coverage, even though they didn't get to go!

Last Thursday I set our DVR to record the Royal Wedding. After taking my daughter to school I turned on the Today Show as I began straightening up the house.  Grabbing my laptop I settled in on the couch next to my hubby who was finishing a project for work. As I started writing my blog I looked up to see the fourth hour of Today starting.  My hubby burst out laughing which he doesn't ever do during the Today Show.  Pointing at the TV he said, "Read that!"  The sign behind Hoda and Kathie Lee on the set said, "We didn't get to go."  It was one of the funniest things we've ever seen on morning television.

Where are Kathie Lee & Hoda?
But even though they didn't get to go to London, Kathie Lee and Hoda did make the supreme sacrifice of getting up in the wee hours of the morning and making their way to the Jean Georges restaurant to attend one of many Royal Wedding viewing parties that were taking place around the country.  As only they could do, the pair ascended from their limousine dressed in matching leopard print pajamas with pink robes. 

So thank you Kathie Lee and Hoda for a fun Royal Wedding hour last Friday.  Your Royal Ambush Makeover segment with Louis Licari and Jill Martin was great.  It's always so much fun to see the transformation of women that get plucked from the Plaza and the addition of wedding dresses in honor of the Royal Wedding was a great touch.

Even though you didn't get to go to London you did get to make the fourth hour of Today a lot of fun...as always.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  I love the expression when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  So today as you go about your day if by chance something doesn't happen to go your way think of Hoda and Kathie Lee who didn't get to go to London but had a lot of fun any way!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Shorts - A Royal Toast

Style Shout Out to Sunday and keeping it short.

To William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as you begin your adventure together.  Thank you for sharing your big day with the world and for carrying yourselves with poise and grace!  May you always remember the joy you felt on your special day for it is the joy and the laughter that will carry you through the journey.