Saturday, December 22, 2012

Turning 10

Claire on WFAA Channel 8 Good Morning Texas
Style Shout Out to turning 10...

I love this time of year...the decorations...the smell of cookies baking...the shopping...the general mood...the reminder to all about the importance of giving back...and most of all I love this time of year because it's my daughter's birthday.

This has been a busy year for Claire with school and with music and this morning, coffee in hand, I am taking a few minutes to reflect.  It still amazes me that just a year ago Claire had a gig in a small local coffee shop and now she is a featured artist at House Of Blues and is playing at House Of Blues in Hollywood again in the new year.

This year Claire attained a big goal at school by continuing to bring home straight A's on her report cards...and, another big goal in music when she released her first EP on iTunes! She had a fun party at House Of Blues to celebrate the CD and her 10th birthday where she used the party to collect toys for Santa's Helpers Toy Drive.

Watching Claire this year has been a real lesson and a reminder for my husband and I that, regardless of age, you can set goals and attain them if you work hard, play hard, have fun and be true to yourself.  And...it's never to early to start thinking about others and giving back.

So today I say Happy Birthday to my daughter who turned 10 this week and has taught me so much about achieving goals while having fun!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Iron Sharpens Iron...Leading With Pride


Style Shout Out to Claire and Plano West Football...And Leading With Pride...

It's been another extremely busy month with Claire's 10th birthday and Christmas on the horizon and the release of Claire's 1st EP...but that is a story for another day.  This morning as I was making some coffee I realized that my daughter at the age of nine is having experiences that some people don't have until they are older, and some people, quite frankly, never have.  We tell Claire that sometimes opportunity knocks when you least expect it, so it's good to always be prepared!

Last year Claire's elementary school gym teacher asked her if she would like to sing the National Anthem at a high school soccer game.  She, of course, said yes.  I knew she would say yes because when it comes to music Claire takes every opportunity.  She practiced quite a bit because this would be her first time singing this song and she wanted to do a good job because it's, "Our song!"

Claire had a lot of fun at the game and was invited back to sing again.  The high school football coach happened to be at that game which turned into Claire being invited to sing the National Anthem at the senior night game...yes under the big Friday night lights.  And, this turned into Claire being invited by the coach to sing for the team last night after their team meeting.

We really didn't know what to expect last night as my husband, Claire and I pulled into the high school parking lot. We chatted with the coach and something he said will always stay with me...He explained to Claire that the reason he invited her to play for the team was that he talks to the guys about how "Iron sharpens iron!"  It's funny because we have always talked to Claire about surrounding yourself with positive people that are going in the same direction as you. We've explained that even though music is a competitive business, the artists that truly have success are the ones that understand how to help one another and give back to others.  To be a winner at anything you have to surround yourself with winners and I knew that Claire understood exactly what the coach was talking about because she had an enormous smile on her face...such a proud moment!

As we walked into the very crowded team room, which was a sea of blue, I looked around and realized just how small a nine year old looks in relation to high school linebackers.  But Claire just smiled, listened to the kind words of introduction form the coach, picked up her Taylor guitar and started playing Brighter Than The Sun by Colbie Caillat.  The players and coaches were all smiles while she was playing and when she was done with her set shouted, "Encore!"

As Claire knows the importance of being prepared, she played, as an encore, Settle Down by No Doubt to big applause and cheers.  As she thanked the team she reminded them that her EP was on iTunes and to visit her web site...I think she gets her marketing skills from me.  And she wished the team luck at the big game.  Claire signed one of her CD's for the coach and as we left the room the team was giving her high fives and chanting, "Claire, Claire, Claire..."

As a Mom there is no greater joy than seeing your child truly happy and doing what they love to do.  Claire has been saying that she was going to do music since the age of four and I have no doubt that she will accomplish any goals that she sets...and she'll do it with a smile on her face!

We have always told Claire that no opportunity in music is too big or too small...they are all equal opportunities to have some fun and hopefully make some people smile.

Thanks Coach for an amazing opportunity last night!  Go Plano West Wolves!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

3 By 10

"A Better Day" by Claire Stevens
The last few months have been super busy and you can probably tell by the fact that I haven't been writing as much. Once the school year begins and homework starts coming home every night it seems like there just aren't enough hours in the day.

I must say that Claire and her music have been keeping us pretty busy.  You see last Spring she sat down and wrote her five year goals and yes, being that she's only nine, my husband and I were quite impressed that she put so much time and thought into what she wanted to accomplish. The three things that stood out for us was that she wanted to write and record her first EP, she wanted to play on the Sunset Strip in LA and she wanted to make a television or radio appearance...all before her 10th birthday.  As I was counting the months in my head I realized that she had approximately seven months to make this happen...and I also realized that she has always been determined and so we made a commitment to help her as long as she was having fun and maintaining her grades at school.

During the Summer I watched Claire writing songs and recording in the studio and I realized that sometimes as adults we spend so much time defining what we can and can't do based on age when maybe it's more important to just do what you like and have fun.  Nine year olds approach the world with such wonder...and I admire that!

Well, we are about 4 weeks away from Claire's 10th birthday and I am happy to say that she achieved her 1st three goals.  She played at House Of Blues on the Sunset Strip in August and will be performing there again in January, she appeared on Daybreak on my birthday with Ron Corning which was just an awesome day, and her first EP will be released on iTunes on December 1st.

To say I'm proud of her is such an understatement...and it goes so much further than these three goals.  I'm proud of her because of the person she is and her determination to always be the best she can be.  You see in the middle of working so hard to meet her music goals she has also managed to get straight A's and be named Citizen Of The Month at school for being a good role model and for showing respect for self and others.

And I want you to know that the reason I am sharing this story is because for me it is a story about what you can achieve when you set your mind to it and you have a positive attitude, regardless of age.  I seriously look at Claire running around with her friends and am so thankful that despite the fact that she is goal oriented and talented, she is still just a fun-loving nine-year old.

I have always told Claire..."You have fun...you set goals...you work hard...you play hard...you remain true to yourself...you treat others how you want to be treated...and you will succeed...and always remember to find the fun in whatever you do!"


My Style Shout Out Tip:  It's never to early to start teaching your children about goals and goal setting. We started early with Claire...just like learning to walk, learning about goals and goal setting is achieved through baby steps and setting your children up for success not failure.  And when they do fall down...you teach them how to get up and keep going...and you tell them tomorrow will be "a better day!"

Friday, November 2, 2012

Red Cross Always Ready To Help

As I was sitting here this morning watching the Today Show and updates about Hurricane Sandy I realized that the last blogs I wrote about the Red Cross were written to celebrate the organization's 101st birthday and about how my nine year old turned one of her shows last April into a benefit for the Red Cross to assist tornado victims in our area.

This blog comes at a time when the Red Cross is once again on the front lines helping those affected by Hurricane Sandy in the North East.  Watching the images on the screen were especially difficult because I grew up in New York and New Jersey and have so many fabulous memories.  I am especially glad that when our daughter was four we were transferred back to the area for a year and that now, as a family, we have some very happy memories of living in that area, which include picnics and kite flying at the shore!

I give this organization so much credit and they really need our assistance now...so if you are able to make a donation please visit the Red Cross website.   And tonight tune into NBC for a concert to benefit the Red Cross and Hurricane Sandy victims.   My daughter said this concert featuring BonJovi and Bruce Springsteen will definitely raise more money than the gig she played and then happily added, "But like you always say Mom, every little bit counts!"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Friends & Family At Saks

LNA @ Saks
It happens twice a year and I have to admit that even though I know it's coming I still get excited when I open the email...it's the Saks Friends & Family sale!

This is such a great time to do a bit of early Christmas shopping for my hubby and family, and of course it's also a great time to pick up a few things for my daughter and myself.  So what's in my shopping bag today?  

J Brand Jeans...it seems that my daughter is following in my footsteps when it comes to denim and she absolutely loves all things J Brand.  So today, during the sale, is the best time to pick up some great jeans and twill pants for her!  The quality is outstanding and for me I will always take quality over quantity.

And to go with her J Brand I picked up a few Splendid tops!  They make a great line for girls and again I love their quality. My daughter loves that they are really soft and that they have a wide variety of styles and colors.  In addition to their tops she also loves their wraps and dresses.

J Brand @ Saks
For me...yes I did find a great pair of J Brand jeans in their Tulum wash.  I love that these jeans are a lighter wash and that they can be dressed up or down.  My closet is filled with versatile pieces and these fit the bill perfectly.  I think they will look just as good with ballet flats as they will with riding boots or pumps.

And what better tee to pair with a fabulous pair of jeans than a tee from LNA.  These tees are super soft, super cute, and super comfortable...and again they are excellent quality.  I always stock up on these tees when I find them on sale but have also paid full price for them because, for me, they are really worth it.

The other thing I love about J Brand, LNA and Splendid is that these brands are made in the USA.  

So today have some fun shopping the Friends & Family sale!  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Key Of Confidence

Claire Opening at The Cambridge Room
Style Shout Out to confidence because it is truly the best accessory.

As you can tell I haven't posted many blogs over the past few months.  It's not because there isn't a lot to talk about...in fact there is so much to write about but not enough hours in the day.

You see Claire has been super busy with music and school and, like any parent, your children and their happiness takes precedence.  I also volunteered this summer to manage a music program for young musicians that gives them the opportunity to play gigs...such a great way for kids to build confidence.

So this morning, after making breakfast, packing school lunch, driving to school, feeding the puppy and answering a bunch of emails I decided it was time to make time to write.  And of course no writing session is complete without a good cup of coffee...so I poured a cup of Cafe du Monde, which always reminds me of the fabulous time my hubby and I had in New Orleans, turned on Good Morning America because it's Modern Family take-over week, and sat down with my MAC.

Returning emails regarding the kids music program reminded me just how much Claire's confidence has grown in the short time she has been playing shows.  Now don't get me wrong, she has always been a confident child and I like to think she inherited her moxie from me, but her confidence increases each time she takes the stage which has given her even more courage to stand up for herself and others. And I think we all know how important it is for girls to have confidence, self-respect and self-esteem.

Last week I can honestly say Claire did something that takes real confidence...as an acoustic act she opened in the Cambridge Room of the House Of Blues Dallas for a band that is on a national tour.  When the phone call came about the show Claire was ecstatic.  I sat down and explained that it's the biggest stage she's played and told her that we would take her to the venue prior to the show so she could check it out.  She thought that was a good idea and was counting the days until the show.

The night of the show came and I watched in awe as my nine year did her vocal warm ups, thank you Roger Love, and handled sound check like a pro. As she was playing her Taylor guitar and talking with the lighting guy about lighting and the sound guy about her levels I realized that the confidence she is gaining through music is invaluable and whether or not she decides someday to have a career in music the lessons she is learning about preparation, planning, and dealing with people will stay with her always and be such a benefit.

The show that night was great and Claire had a lot of fun, which for me is the most important thing because if she's having fun, then I'm having fun.  If you get a chance to see Lauren Mann and her band get tickets and go...you won't be disappointed.  And make sure to get there early to see the opening acts because it's a great opportunity to see and support local talent.


My Style Shout Out Tip:  I've said it before, but I'll say it again.  Music is a such a wonderful confidence builder and also a fabulous way for children and adults to express themselves. My parents gave me my first guitar when I was ten years old and I still play.  When Claire was deciding what to wear for the show in the Cambridge Room I told her that anything in her closet would work because everything looks great when you wear it with confidence.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Gwen Stefani Spotted In Paige

Gwen Stefani in Paige Denim via InStyle
Style Shout Out to Gwen Stefani and Paige Denim...two of my style favorites!

Well, my daughter has been back in school for two weeks and I still cannot believe she is in fourth grade.  I also cannot believe that she had such a busy summer with music...but that is a story for another day.

So today as I made a cup of coffee and sat down to watch Kathie Lee and Hoda I figured it was time to get back into the swing of things with writing.  As I was contemplating what to write about, there on the coffee table sitting on top of my InStyle magazine was a picture of Gwen Stefani in the most adorable polka dot Paige Denim Verdugo jeans and fabulous pink leather jacket.  Now I'm not writing about this just because Gwen is a style icon and Paige makes some of the best fitting and extremely stylish jeans...no, I'm writing about this because my daughter is the one who ripped the page out of InStyle.  And, quite frankly, Claire has always been the inspiration for this blog.

If you've visited Style Shout Out before than you've probably come across a story or two that mentions Gwen and Paige.  In fact the first story I wrote on January 3, 2011 was about Gwen and was inspired by my little one.  You see, Claire has always loved No Doubt and Gwen Stefani's music and refers to the lead singer and style icon as one of the inspirations on her own web site.

So if you're looking for a very fun, very fashion-forward and very flattering pair of jeans for fall, look no further than Paige and their polka dots.  They come in three colors and the versatile length will carry you through every season in style.  Pair them with some fabulous L.A.M.B. booties now and some French Sole ballet flats later.  I'll be wearing mine with my favorite LNA tees and I must admit I do have my eye on that pink motorcycle jacket.

Thanks Paige for all of the great fashion, Gwen for being a trendsetter in music and style, and Claire for all of the inspiration!


Style Shout Out Tip:  If you're looking for some new shoes for fall you can find L.A.M.B. and French Sole at Nordstrom.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Best Birthday...Ever!

Claire playing her Taylor Guitar w/ Ron Corning 
Style Shout Out to birthdays...

I know some people who would rather not celebrate birthdays...but not me!  First of all I'm a Leo and, well, this Zodiac sign does rather enjoy the spotlight.

But all kidding aside, birthdays are the best because it's a time for celebrating with family and friends.  I look at birthdays as the start of new beginnings, new opportunities and endless possibilities...for me they are a positive day.

This summer has been filled with so many positives and spending time with my daughter is at the top of my list of positives!  We've been having so much fun and I can honestly say that I am not really looking forward to the start of school which is right around the corner.

This summer has been busier than most because Claire has been busy with music.  As I was watching her sing last weekend at House Of Blues it struck me that she's doing more at nine, musically, than I did when I was nineteen.  My hubby and I realize that she is really young to be playing shows and recording in the studio, but she really has so much fun doing it.  She knows more about music theory now than I do, and as a Mom the best feeling is when you see your child doing something they really love and excelling at the thing they love to do.  I also think that music and song writing is a fabulous form of self-expression.

Claire & Ron Corning On WFAA Daybreak
I celebrated my birthday this month and it just so happened that Claire was invited to play on our morning news on that day. Claire was so excited about the opportunity but not as excited to wake up at 3:30 in the morning.  But she was all smiles as we pulled up to WFAA.

The team at Daybreak was truly amazing and made this experience a positive one for Claire and for us.  While we were sitting in the Green Room I asked Claire if she was nervous and she said, "A little because I've never been on TV...but I'm prepared because I've been rehearsing my songs!"

Seeing her smiling face as she met Ron Corning and Cynthia Izaguirre, and watching her happily playing some of her own songs and one of my favorites from Colbie Caillat was the best birthday present...ever!

Claire & Cynthia Izaguirre on the Plaza
Thanks Ron, Cynthia, Richard, Larry and the entire Daybreak team...and thank you Claire for making this birthday a very memorable one!  And also, a big thanks to my hubby and Claire for planning a really fun and fabulous surprise party...for keeping it a surprise...and planning every detail which included my favorite daisies and favorite songs from my two favorite people!

(Oh and thanks to my hubby and brother-in-law because even at 6:00 in the morning you are the best sound guys!)


My Style Shout Out Tip:  The best style accessory is confidence.  So today find something you love to do...something that puts a smile on your face...and watch your confidence shine through.

And you can check out Claire's web site to see her appearance on Daybreak!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Happy Anniversay Sale

UGG Boots @ Nordstrom
Style Shout Out to Nordstrom...Happy Anniversary Sale!

There are a lot of reasons why I love summer.  My number one reason is, of course, that my daughter doesn't have school so we have a lot more time to spend together.  Two, we always plan a fun vacation to Los Angeles to visit family.  Three, my hubby and I both celebrate birthdays this time of year.  Four, there's lots of time to spend playing music. And, five, on a style note...there is the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.

We headed to our local Nordstrom last Saturday, and for those of you who know me, you know that I am not a big weekend shopper.  I much prefer shopping when the stores are less crowded.  But there was a pair of jeans and some UGG boots that my daughter had her eye on that sold out so quickly on-line and with one pair of each left in her size we made our way to the Galleria.

Despite the crowd in the store it was, as it always is at Nordstrom, a positive experience. Their customer service is really amazing and for me that is my number reason for being loyal to a store or a brand.  Sarah helped us and my daughter found some amazing jeans and tops and of course that last pair of UGGs.

Paige @ Nordstrom
I also managed to pick up a great pair of Paige Skyline Skinny jeans in their Steely wash.  Now I have to admit that while I love denim I've never purchased a pair of gray jeans.  But all I can say is WOW!  This color is so flattering and versatile and I can't wait to wear them in the Fall with an LNA top and Splendid cardigan and Stuart Weitzman boots.  They also look fabulous with Sam Edelman ballet flats and of course for a cooler Summer evening, which we don't get here in Texas, they look great with Sam's Gigi sandal.

If you haven't been there yet, get there before August 6th to take advantage of some amazing deals.

Happy shopping...Happy Anniversary Sale!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fireworks & Family Fun

Style Shout Out to fireworks and family fun...

The 4th is a day to celebrate our country's freedom.  We spent a great day with family and, although my nine year old and her cousins would rather have had pasta and meatballs for dinner, even they enjoyed our barbecue today!  I think the enjoyment had more to with the fact that they spent a good part of the day swimming, playing games and playing guitars.  But for me as long as there's a smile on my daughter's face then there's a smile on mine too.

Tonight as I watched her face and reaction to the brilliant fireworks that lit up the night sky, I realized that we are so fortunate to live in a country where we have so many opportunities and the freedom of choice.

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th and thank you to all of you who serve our country every day so that we all may enjoy the freedom that is America!

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Paige Out Of My Summer Book

Paige @ Nordstrom.com
Style Shout Out to Paige Denim and their Jimmy Jimmy skinny boyfriend jeans...

Sitting here this morning with coffee cup in hand I cannot believe it's already July! My nine year old has been having so much fun with music this summer that it is proving the truth in the saying, "Time flies when you're having fun!"

It's no secret that Texas summers can be scorchers but when Claire is playing a show, even though the temperature outside may be 100 degrees, the temperature inside the venue is usually "too cold!" Trying to find an outfit that can take me from the outdoors to the indoors in comfort and style isn't always easy and that's why when I came across these Paige Jimmy Jimmy boyfriend jeans I was so happy.  The fit is a slim boyfriend cut and the fabric is a lighter weight which makes them great for all year round and especially great for summer.

I picked up a pair of these jeans from Nordstrom in the Carrine wash and have another pair in the Santa Cruz wash and they are both fabulous. I've worn them with Sam Edelman Gigi sandals, Stuart Weitzman Alex wedges, LK Bennett pumps, and Chloe ballet flats.  These jeans are extremely versatile which is another reason why I love them.  Dress them up with a cute blouse or sweater or go more casual with a fantastic tee from LNA Clothing.  Either way you can't go wrong.

Nordstrom has a great selection of Paige jeans and right now the Jimmy Jimmy in the Carrine wash are on sale!  Happy Shopping!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Confidence & A Full House Of Blues

@ House Of Blues
Style Shout Out to music and confidence...

It's been another busy week and as I sat down this morning with a cup of coffee while the house was still quiet I realized that I hadn't written anything all week.  And believe me there's been some fun finds to write about including a great find on some Chan Luu bracelets at Gilt and some adorable Sperry's that I picked up for my daughter at Nordstrom.

But the highlight of my week had nothing to do with shopping and was all about watching my daughter sing at the House Of Blues on Wednesday night. You see she's played there a few times, and in fact is playing there again today, but Wednesday was different.  The Cult was playing the main stage that night which meant a packed house.  When we walked through the doors into the Voodoo Lounge where she was playing she took one look around and said, "Wow this is really crowded!"  I'm sure it must have been a bit overwhelming for her especially since she's only nine years old.  I think it would be overwhelming for most musicians who are just starting out and even some more experienced performers.

I looked at her and asked her if she still wanted to perform and she said, "Yes, of course!"

So off we went to the "green room" to wait.  It's the first time we've been to the House Of Blues where we couldn't get a table and it was literally standing room only.  I heard someone say that there were about 350 to 400 people in the place.  As I looked at Claire playing a game on her iPhone and I scanned the "green room" I realized she was the youngest performer, by far, in the room. The other musicians were very nice and a few of them assumed that I was the one playing, which made my husband and daughter smile.  I haven't played since the 90's and that's a story for another day!

To say that the other performers were a little shocked when I said that Claire was the one playing is an understatement.  But they all wished her good luck.  That's the thing about music that I love...that it's a community where most musicians support each other. Musicians know how difficult it is to take the stage and perform especially when you are playing songs that you've written.

@ House Of Blues
As I watched Claire take the stage with my husband who was accompanying her on guitar I realized how much music has played a role in building her confidence.  I realized that every time she steps onto a stage, big or small, it is another building block in an already solid foundation.

She had so much fun the other night.  When the words, "Hi I'm Claire, I'm nine years old..." came through the PA system the room became a little quieter and when she sang "Brighter Than The Sun" by Colbie Caillat people were up and out of the chairs and dancing.  The smile on her face said it all as she continued her set which included "Relator" by Pete Yorn "Let The Rain" by Sara Bareilles, and her own songs.

I don't know if Claire will want to make music a career one day and that's for her to decide as she grows up.  But I am thankful for the experiences she is having and the fun she is having right now!  As a Mom there's no greater feeling than when your child is doing something they love to do and they are smiling and happy.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Simply Gigi

Ashley Tisdale in Gigi Sandals
via Singer22
Style Shout Out to Sam Edelman and Gigi...

I am one of those shoppers that is very brand loyal and very savvy about where I spend my shopping dollars!  And I am very big on companies that are big on customer service.

When it comes to denim I love J Brand, Paige and Current/Elliott for their quality, style and comfort.

For handbags I think that Louis Vuitton and Gucci are investment pieces that will last more than a decade.  I know this for a fact as I have bags in my closet today that date back to 1996.

For shoes I love all things Stuart Weitzman because of the style, quality, comfort and price point of his shoes.  I'm wearing my Alex wedges again today as they are a staple in my Spring and Summer wardrobe. TKEES flip flops are so versatile because they take me from a day at the beach to a dinner with my family! My Sledge pumps from LK Bennett in taupe are amazingly versatile and yes, these are the same shoes worn by a very well-known Duchess.

Other staples in my closet are my Sam Edelman Gigi sandals.  I just picked up another pair from Nordstrom in Almond which goes with everything.  This is simply a classic shoe that is both cute and comfy and perfect for these very hot Texas Summer days!  Gigi is a flat sandal that can be easily dressed up or down.  I've worn mine with everything from summer dresses and my Current/Elliott snap jacket to my white Paige jeans and LNA tees!

So if you're looking for a cute sandal order some Gigi sandals from Nordstrom or Singer22 today.  I wouldn't wait too long because last year the Saddle sold out quickly and I had to wait quite a while to get them!

Oh and if you have a liitle shoe lover at home, Sam Edelman now makes the iconic Gigi for girls!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

TOMS...Sunnies For Sight!

TOMS @ Nordstrom.com
Style Shout Out to TOMS...one for one!

I can't believe it's been a year since I wrote about TOMS launching their line of sunglasses.  With Summer temperatures heating up, now is the perfect time to pick up a new pair of sunnies and TOMS has some great styles at some great prices.

The thing I really like about TOMS is their philosophy of giving back.  It is both inspiring and so admirable.  The vision started with a simple shoe and is now continuing with some simple shades and some fun new shoe styles. Every time their sunnies are sold TOMS will ensure that someone will receive the gift of sight through medical treatment, prescription eyewear or sight-saving surgery!

So head to Nordstrom today and you can feel good about your purchase knowing that while protecting your eyes, you're giving someone else the opportunity to see the world more clearly.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hello Summer

Style Shout Out to Summer...

I seriously cannot believe how quickly this school year has flown by which means my nine year old is that much closer to becoming a fourth grader.  It's been a busy third grade year for her with family, friends, school, activities and music.  I am still a bit amazed by some of the incredible opportunities she has had, like playing at the House Of Blues, at such a young age.

As a Mom the hope is that your child will be healthy, confident and happy.  I am so proud of my daughter for having the confidence in herself to say yes to the opportunities that have come her way.  And, I am so proud that she not only has the confidence to use her voice to sing, but that she also uses it to stand up for herself and others and now understands the true power of having a voice!

This has been a year of ups and downs like any other.  Navigating the choppy waters of elementary school is a lot different from when I was in third grade.  But I am fortunate that my daughter has the confidence to stand up for what she believes is right even when it's the unpopular thing to do and that she has become a very good communicator.  Positivity always makes for a better day.

So for all of you that are not sure if one little voice can make a difference...I am here to tell you that it definitely can.  Because one voice has the ability to inspire other voices and that is how change happens.

Dr. Michele Borba has some very valuable information on her web site and some great books about helping your children become self-confident and self-assured kids.  Summer is a great time to catch up on reading and of course the best thing about Summer is that you get to spend time with your children.

Happy Summer!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

House Of Blues - Girls Rule

Style Shout Out to the House Of Blues for giving girls the opportunity to rock!

As I sat down this morning to write this blog I realized that it's been a week since I wrote anything.  Now it's not that I didn't have any ideas for stories. In fact it's been a pretty good week and I found some pretty good deals on LNA tees and J Brand Jeans from Gilt Groupe, and Oliver Peoples sunglasses at Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio.  And yes I did use the words good deal and Oliver Peoples in the same sentence.  It's rare to find a pair of their fabulous sunnies on sale!

The reason for my lapse in writing has more to do with the fact that my 9 year old was busy getting ready for her first one hour set at the House Of Blues.  So more of my time was spent promoting the show (with a little help from Ron Corning on WFAA's Daybreak - thank you so much!) than writing...which is fine by me...as a Mom there is no greater feeling than when you see your child find something that they love to do, and then are given the opportunity to do it.  So for me, watching my daughter take the stage Sunday with a big smile on her face, a twinkle in her eye and her Taylor Guitar in hand made Sunday a simply amazing day.

Claire w/ her Taylor Guitar
There were two girls scheduled to sing at the House Of Blues for their Girls Rule show.  Claire opened and Mikayla closed the show.  From my own experience, I fully understand the challenges of performing for an hour. Commanding the attention of the audience for that long requires some excellent music and some entertaining stories in between the songs. Both girls were outstanding, playing to a packed house with confidence.

So, thank you Tim and your amazing House Of Blues Dallas crew for giving these young musicians the opportunity to do what they love to do and an opportunity to play in front of such a large audience.  You rock and so do the girls!


My Style Shout Out Tip:  Summer is a great time to introduce your children or yourself to music so sign up for some lessons today.  I personally think that music is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your kids.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Taylor Guitars...Like Mother, Like Daughter

Taylor Guitars From Guitar Center
Style Shout Out to Taylor Guitars for making a mini guitar with all of the quality that you find in their standard size guitars.

I hope that all of you Mom's had a wonderful Mother's Day.  For me it was a great day because I celebrated at brunch with my family and afterwards my husband, daughter and I stopped at Guitar Center to pick up a graduation present for a friend.

We barely made it through the doors of the store and my daughter was headed to the acoustic guitar room.   I have to admit that I didn't mind because this is my favorite area of any Guitar Center.  I got my first acoustic guitar when I was ten and even though I have a beautiful Fender Telecaster, I reach for my Taylor everyday!

It wasn't like we were there to buy a new acoustic that day, and my daughter didn't ask us to buy her a new guitar, but as we were looking around she stopped in her tracks and there it was...a Taylor GS Mini.  "It looks kind of like yours, Mom!" The Guitar Center sales associate asked if she'd like to play it and from the first strum of the strings and the look on her face as she happily played Cobie Caillat's "Brighter Than The Sun"... I knew we may have come into Guitar Center for one present, but we would be leaving Guitar Center with two.

My daughter did say that it was Mother's Day and so she shouldn't be the one getting a present.  But this was a wonderful teachable moment as I explained to my nine year old that as a Mom, the joy really is in the giving of a gift, and as much as I loved my Mother's Day gifts, the best gift was the smile on her face when we told her we were buying her that Taylor.

That GS Mini has been played so much this week!  I am amazed that Taylor has found a way to make a smaller size guitar with all of the quality and tone of their standard guitars.  It was funny because my daughter looked at me and said, "I'm not surprised about the quality...it's a Taylor!"

She'll be playing that Taylor at the House Of Blues this week and I'll be watching and smiling.


My Style Shout Out Tip:  Summer is rapidly approaching and this is a great time to give your children the gift of music.  My nine year old started piano lessons two Summers ago and I have to say that I am still a little bit amazed that two summers later she's playing at the House Of Blues.  Get your kids into a music program and you may be amazed too.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

C's Daisy Rock
Style Shout Out to Moms every where!

Let me just say...I absolutely love Mother's Day because I absolutely love being a Mom.  I learned about the kind of Mom I wanted to be from watching my Mom...who was always there for us with a hug and a smile!

I've had a lot of great jobs but there is none more rewarding for me than being a parent.  And I actually don't even refer to parenting as a job because it is truly the most fun I've ever had.

Watching my daughter as she navigates the sometimes choppy waters of childhood I am in awe of her confidence, grace and her awareness of the world around her!  Recently I wrote about her desire to use music as a way to raise money for the American Red Cross.  And, yes I was extremely proud...but as a Mom I am proud of her everyday and yesterday when she picked up her Daisy Rock and played me a song that she wrote for me for Mother's Day she said, "Mom, I'm so lucky!"  I gave her a hug and replied, "And, I am even luckier!" Because, I am...I'm her Mom!

So today I hope you all enjoy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Justin Young...Just In Time

@ House Of Blues
Style Shout Out to Justin Young...and if you don't know him yet, then this story comes to you just in time!

My daughter has had a busy few weeks.  There's been a lot going on with the school year winding down and, for nine, she's actually played quite a few gigs recently.  Yesterday she was writing out her set list for an upcoming show at the House Of Blues.  This will be her first 45 minute set so we were talking about the best way to put a set list together.  

As she was writing she said, "I'm definitely closing my set with Brighter Than The Sun!" I had absolutely no doubt that she would choose that to close the show as it has become her signature cover.  And even though piano is what I would call her first instrument, ever since seeing Colbie Caillat and Justin Young in concert the guitar is inching it's way closer to that number one position.  

You see, last October I wrote about our experience meeting Colbie Caillat and seeing her and Justin Young play at the House Of Blues.  And, yes, this is the same House Of Blues where my daughter will soon be playing, although she'll tell you that while Colbie and Justin played the "big" stage, she's playing the restaurant this time.  Meeting Colbie was a great experience because she actually took the time to ask my daughter about her music. 

This meeting coupled with one of the best concerts I've seen, left a lasting impression on my daughter.  You see, she is one of those people, regardless of age, that still believes it's all about the music and not the melodyne.  She understands that to be able to stand on a stage with an acoustic guitar and sing like the album should be a prerequisite for having a career in music.  I admire my daughter for that because honestly my hubby and I feel the same way.

With Colbie Caillat @ House Of Blues
So today while on Twitter I came across a link to a Justin Young video on You Tube that brought me to another video of him covering "Set Fire To The Rain" by Adele.  While I think Adele has an amazing voice I must admit that I really enjoyed Justin's cover.  I have such respect and admiration for any musician that can sit in front of a mic, take an extremely popular song, and somehow make it their own in a very authentic way.  If I were Adele I'd be extremely flattered.  

This song is so good I've listened to it about 7 times today and just played it for my daughter who said, "Now that's music!" I guess it's true that the apple really doesn't fall too far from the tree, even where music is concerned.

Happy Listening!  And, if you get the chance to see Colbie Caillat and Justin Young in concert...get tickets and you seriously will not be disappointed! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Music Monday & The Palladium

@ The Palladium
Style Shout Out to Music Mondays!

We had another music filled weekend.  I love days spent with my family that are filled with fun, laughter and music. My daughter had her year-end showcase with her music school at The Palladium Ballroom.  It was a great venue for the kids and the day kicked off with each performer being interviewed about how they got involved with music. This is a memory that will last for each and every child that graced the stage and for every parent that sat watching in awe.

I give so much credit to anyone who can walk onto a stage in front of over 150 people and perform.  I know from experience that it is not easy and certainly not something that many nine year olds can do.  

Music is so important and I think when children get involved with music and learn to play at an early age it helps to build their confidence.  It's also a great way for them to learn to express their emotions and of course studies have shown that music and math go hand in hand.

I hope all of you have a happy Music Monday.  If you have children, maybe this Monday is a good day to start researching music programs.  Summer is a great time to learn something new.  Or if you've always wanted to play an instrument, like guitar, take that first step for yourself today. 


Happy Music Monday! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

J Brand Has Moxie

J Brand @ Saks.com
Style Shout Out to J Brand and their very stylish and easy to wear 7/8 jean in the Moxie wash.

Ok I have to admit that besides the J Brand name on these jeans, the thing that caught my eye was the name of the wash...Moxie! According to Webster's the word moxie means: energy, pep, determination, courage and know-how.  The day before I spotted these jeans at Saks my nine year old and I were having a conversation about how I was proud of her for having moxie.

So, while I may have tried these jeans on because of the brand and the name of the wash, I bought them because of the fit. These jeans are very flattering and hit me right at the ankle.  They are named 7/8 because to get the perfect crop you can hem them so that they will hit three inches above your ankle. And to make it easy, J Brand has attached the cutest little ruler with directions included.

Personally, I am leaving my jeans just the way they are because I can roll them up to make them shorter.  And you know how I love versatility.  These jeans look just as good with ballet flats as they do tucked in boots.

These 7/8 jeans are available at Saks.com so you can get a little moxie today! Happy shopping!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Music, Monday & The Red Cross

Style Shout Out to Music, Monday and The Red Cross...

Sometimes it's hard to get into the swing of things on Monday mornings after a busy and fun-filled weekend with my family. This weekend was no exception.  It started and finished with music and in between there was a quick trip to Saks for their Friends and Family sale.  Well, if you ask my hubby he would probably say it wasn't exactly a quick trip but for me if I am in and out of the mall in 60 to 90 minutes including trying on clothes, that's quick.

Of course as much as the shopping was fun, because I found some great things from J Brand, Splendid and Ella Moss for my daughter, and a few things for myself including some J Brand jeans and a cute Current/Elliott jacket, the most fun was with music.  The weekend kicked off with my nine year old and a family friend playing a show to benefit the Red Cross.  As a parent it's a great feeling when your child finds something that they love to do and right now that thing for my daughter is music...whether it's playing piano or guitar, or sitting behind our drum kit, singing or writing a song...when she's playing, she's smiling!

And she was smiling a lot on Friday knowing that she was raising money for the Red Cross to help storm victims.  If you would like to help the Red Cross you can visit their web site for ways to donate!


My Style Shout Out Tip:  Make it a new music Monday and check out Claire's music.






Sunday, April 29, 2012

Savings At Saks

LNA @ Saks.com
Style Shout Out to Saks and their fabulous Friends and Family sale.

It's no secret that I enjoy shopping at Saks.  It probably has something to do with memories of growing up in New York and New Jersey and shopping there with my Mom and sisters.  If you live in the New York area then you have most likely visited the Manhattan store and the amazing shoe department that literally has its' own zip code.  If you haven't been there, it's definitely worth a look the next time you're in the city.

For me, Saks has great customer service and a great selection of merchandise including some of my favorite, yet not always easy to find, brands like LNA and Repetto.  LNA makes some of the most amazingly soft and comfortable tee shirts and tops, and Repetto makes that simple yet classic ballet flat that is a staple in my wardrobe.

Repetto @ Sak.com
I always look forward to the Saks Friends and Family sale because it's a wonderful time to pick up some fabulous designer pieces at fabulous prices. This time I found some adorable Ella Moss and DKNY tops and dresses for my daughter and some LNA tees, Repetto flats and J Brand and AG Jeans for myself.

The sale ends today and since it looks like rain here, I'm heading to Saks with my hubby and daughter so we can do a little Mother's Day shopping for my Mom...and maybe my hubby and daughter will find a little something gold and shiny for me...I've had my eye on this very beautiful and very classic Ippolita bracelet. The bracelet may not qualify for the Friends and Family discount but you can't really put a price on such a timeless piece.

Happy Shopping!



Monday, April 23, 2012

The Red Cross Is 101

Style Shout Out to the Red Cross and a very happy 101st birthday.

Growing up in New York and New Jersey I knew the American Red Cross existed but wasn't really as aware of them as I am now that I live in Texas.  You see North Texas is in the area of the country where Spring not only is the season where the weather starts to warm up and the flowers bloom, but it is also the season where tornado warning sirens are often heard sounding in the sky.

Recently our area was hit with tornadoes and once again the Red Cross sprung to action assisting those that so desperately needed help.  In the days that followed the tornado outbreak you couldn't turn on the television without seeing devastation and the people who were there to help.  As a Mom, I do try to shield my nine year old from as many of the harsh realities of the world as I can, but when you live with tornadoes, you have to be prepared for tornadoes.  So my husband and I sat down with our daughter to discuss what had happened in our area and how the Red Cross was mobilizing to help.

A few days later while working on a homework assignment about local government and community there was a question about a way that you could help make a difference in your community.  My daughter said, "Mom, I can make a difference with music.  Maybe at one of the shows I play we can donate the money to the Red Cross to help the people who lost so much."  To say I was proud was a huge understatement.

When a family friend asked our daughter to play a gig with him at a local coffee house,  Claire had the idea of using the show as a fundraiser for the Red Cross to raise money for those in need.

I know that children are supposed to learn lessons from their parents, but I've found that if you listen closely, as a parent, you may just learn a lesson from your child.  I learned last week that if children grow up in an environment that fosters caring for others, when they need to make decisions that require empathy they will be equipped to make those decisions.

Happy Birthday Red Cross!!!


My Style Shout Out Tip:   Make it a new music Monday and check out Claire's music today!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gilt-free Shopping - Current/Elliott & Chan Luu

Style Shout Out to Gilt and their fabulous sale today.

I've talked about Gilt before because I like to write about things I know and experiences I've had.  When I worked in sales and marketing and gave sales training seminars for new team members,  I opened with this...

"If you work in sales and marketing you should really love and believe in the product that you are selling and if you don't love it and don't believe in it, then you shouldn't sell it." I believe those words and I think it's also what makes me fiercely loyal to certain brands and certain companies.  When I find a brand or a company I love, I stick with them.  And part of the reason I'll stick with a brand or company is not only for the quality of the merchandise but also for the customer service.

And based on my personal experiences, Gilt is one of those companies that has my loyalty.  I find their customer service to be on a par with Nordstrom and Saks and I can honestly say that all of my shopping experiences have been positive.

So what a nice Tuesday surprise to find that one of my favorite sites to shop has brought together two of my favorite brands. Yes, today at Gilt.com you will find exceptional denim from Current/Elliott and fun and fabulous jewelry from Chan Luu.

Check out Gilt today! As for me, I placed an order already but as I was searching their site for some pictures for my blog something else just caught my eye.  Enjoy the guilt-free shopping at Gilt.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Vince Says Service

Style Shout Out to Vince for great style and service.

I looked at the calendar a minute ago and realized it's been a month since we were in Los Angeles visiting family. Things have been so busy since we got back with the end of school approaching and the number of gigs my daughter has been playing lately, but busy is good.

When we were in LA we packed quite a bit into our visit and one of the days we took the opportunity to drive down to Fashion Island in Orange County to meet some friends for dinner.  Of course we got there a bit early so we could do a little shopping.  I wanted to pick up something for my sister as a "thank you" for inviting us to stay with her and I knew we would find the perfect gift at Fashion Island.   We parked and immediately headed for the nearest map so we could get our bearings and my nine year old said, "I found Vince, let's go!"

I knew that we would find an awesome gift at Vince, but I didn't know we would find such phenomenal customer service.  The team was attentive and asked all the right questions in assisting us with our purchase.

And we did walk away feeling great about our purchase, not only because we found a beautiful Spring-time sweater, but also because the service was so good.  For me the service is as important as the product.  I am big on companies and brands that know how to build customer loyalty which is why you will find me shopping at places like Nordstrom, Saks and Gilt for brands like J Brand, Paige, Current/Elliott, Stuart Weitzman, LNA, Ippolita, and of course Vince.

So thanks Vince for the fabulous fashion and fabulous service.  Recently I was at Highland Park Village with my family for brunch but the Vince store was closed.  I'll have to stop by soon as I have a little Spring shopping to do.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's All About The Choo's

Jimmy Choo @ Saks.com
Style Shout Out to Jimmy Choo for continuing to create fabulous!

On a recent shopping trip to Saks I picked up an adorable pair of Jimmy Choo ballet flats. I have to say that while I normally don't gravitate toward shoes that my nine year old would describe as "bling-y" this shoe really caught my eye.

First of all the picture does not do this shoe justice as it is the most beautiful shade of dusty pink and is one of those versatile colors that will flatter most skin tones.  The rose-colored studs add an element of fun to an extremely classic style.

These shoes are available in Saks stores and at Saks.com and I have to say that besides being the statement piece when I wear my favorite J Brand or Current/Elliott jeans and LNA tee, they are as comfortable as my favorite pair of Converse.  I am hoping that Jimmy Choo will make them unadorned in some basic colors like black and a neutral taupe for Fall.

Jimmy Choo @ Saks.com
My Dad always says, "Carry a great bag and wear great shoes and that makes the outfit." I thought of his words when I bought these shoes and when I met him and my Mom for brunch a few Sundays ago the first thing he said, after hello, was, "Great shoes!" And I smiled because I know it's all about the bag and the shoes, or in this case the Choo's.

My Style Shout Out Tip:  While these shoes are on the expensive side I believe in investing in quality pieces that are versatile. These flats can be dressed up or down and will take you from season to season in style...and comfort!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Today Is A Better Day

Style Shout Out to the American Red Cross for all they do everyday to help those in need.

First of all let me say that it is a beautiful day here today.  The sun is shining and it's currently about 65 degrees.  You would never know that yesterday afternoon was filled with tornados and horrible storms.  As of a few minutes ago there still isn't an official tornado count but the images on the news tell a story of devastation and loss.  It is truly amazing that the force of these storms left only loss of material possessions.

After the storms had passed through our city my husband and I were watching the news and my nine year old was in the studio playing her keyboard and singing.  The lyrics of her song filled me with a sense of hope as the pictures on the television told a story of heartache..."It's shining on you, it's shining on me, it's shining for everyone to see...that today is a better day."

So today in several neighborhoods and towns the clean-up has already begun and of course the American Red Cross is there ready and willing to help.  As my daughter got out of the car this morning she gave me a big smile and said, "See you at noon when you're volunteering Mom and don't forget to send some money to the Red Cross. They really need it."  As I looked at her face I saw hope and positivity and it reminded me that yes, today is a better day.


My Style Shout Out Tip:  Thanks to the American Red Cross for all you are doing to help people in the DFW area today in the aftermath of yesterday's storms.  If you'd like to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross you can text REDCROSS to 90999.  Here's a link to my daughter's song and I hope you all have A Better Day!

Friday, March 30, 2012

INTERMIX Is In The Mix In Brentwood

INTERMIX @ Malibu Country Mart
Style Shout Out to INTERMIX on the grand opening of their new store at the Brentwood Country Mart.

Whenever we visit Los Angeles besides spending time with family and at the beach we always visit The Grove and Farmer's Market, the Malibu Country Mart and the Brentwood Country Mart.  All of these places are great spots to do a little shopping, grab a cup of coffee or enjoy some great food.  Personally I am partial to the Farmshop at the Brentwood Country Mart for breakfast but that's a story for another time.

Today it's about INTERMIX.  For me the appeal of this store is that it features so many of the designers I love and they are all in one place.  So it truly is shopping made easy and I can check out the latest from J Brand, Vince, Splendid, Joie and Chan Luu as well as so many other amazing brands!  INTERMIX just opened their new store at the Brentwood Country Mart in LA and even though I am lucky to have a store in my area I can't wait for summer to visit their new store.  Yes, I will use any excuse to get to the west coast for a few days.

So if you are in Brentwood head over to the Country Mart and have breakfast at Farmshop, grab some cappuccino at Caffe Luxxe or a burger at Barney's but definitely stop by INTERMIX and check out all of the fabulous fashion.

Happy Friday and Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Nordstrom Brings The UK To The US

Style Shout Out to Nordstrom for bringing a bit of the UK to the US...

A few months ago I wrote about a fabulous pair of pumps that I bought from L.K.Bennett. Yes, these are the same pumps made famous by a certain Duchess and I have to admit that while I usually am not influenced by what others are wearing I was intrigued by this particular pair of shoes because they looked like the perfect heel height and the color seemed so versatile.

At the time the only place to find these potentially perfect pumps was at an L.K.Bennett store as they were sold out of the color I was looking for on-line.  Finding a store might not be so difficult if you live across the pond, but in America at the time there were only two stores.  I was fortunate enough to find a pair at the company's Atlanta location and after placing my order, eagerly awaited their arrival.  This was the first time I had taken such a leap of faith with regard to a pair of shoes.  My rule of thumb normally is that I won't order shoes unless I've tried them on in a store.

But I was lucky because when my shoes arrived they fit perfectly and were the perfect shade of taupe!  And now finding L.K.Bennett shoes is even easier because Nordstrom is carrying several styles of their shoes on-line and in stores.  When we were in California two weeks ago I tried on the most adorable patent leather pump meets Spring-time espadrille called Maddox.  I didn't buy them that day but am thinking I may just have to order a pair today.  It won't be a leap of faith since I've already tried them on and I know they fit well.  So if you haven't met L.K.Bennett check them out the next time you are at Nordstrom and you won't be disappointed.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Feeling Like LA, Wearing LNA

LNA @ Saks.com
Style Shout Out to LNA and Saks...

First of all I have to say that I have had a hard time getting back into the swing of things after our trip to Los Angeles last week.  I also have to say that I miss the beach and just the general vibe of that city. We also have family there and so, of course, I miss them most of all.

But I didn't grow up in LA.  I grew up in New York and New Jersey which meant that shopping trips often took us to Bloomingdales and Saks, two stores that are to New York what the beach is to Southern California.  These stores are iconic and if I don't stop by when I'm in the city my trip just isn't complete, which is the same way I feel about my trips to LA, only in that city for me no trip is complete without at least one day on the beach in Malibu.

If you have the opportunity to visit  LA check out Malibu, and in New York you should definitely stop by and check out Bloomingdales and Saks.  Saks is especially unique because the shoe department in their 5th Avenue store actually has their own zip code.  It really is just that big.

But today I'm not talking about shoes, I'm talking about a brand that is California through and through and is available at one of my favorite New York stores....LNA at Saks!   LNA was founded in California in the Summer of 2007 by California natives Lauren Alexander and April Leight. The line may have started with tees and leggings but has expanded to include some adorable and easy to wear dresses, sweaters that remind me of sitting on the beach in Malibu on a cool March day, and some fabulous skirts.

LNA @ Saks.com
LNA has an easy yo navigate web site and in addition to Saks, can also be found at stores like Revolve Clothing and ShopBop.  I find their tees to be fabulous layering pieces and my daughter was teasing me when I was packing for our recent trip to Los Angeles that even though I pack light, my suitcase looked like an LNA trunk show. I must admit though I did have a Vince sweater and Michael Stars scarf tucked in there too.

I just ordered a few LNA tops from Saks and am counting the days until they arrive! If you haven't checked out LNA, today is a good day to get to know this company.  I may not be fortunate enough to be in LA today but when I put on my favorite white LNA crew neck tee and J Brand 910 jeans I will feel a little bit LA wearing my LNA.



My Style Shout Out Tip:  LNA has found a way to create clothes that have a relaxed feeling but still make you feel pulled together. I am going to pair the coral top with my Current/Elliott white Roller jeans and my TKEES flip flops for a relaxed look.

For a dressier look I'll kick off the TKEES and throw on my L.K.Bennett taupe patent leather pumps (now available at Nordstrom).  I love LNA not only because they create stylish and comfortable clothes but because of the versatility of their pieces.  Happy Shopping!

Monday, March 19, 2012

From Malibu To Manhattan Beach

Style Shout Out to Los Angeles...

Last week was my daughter's spring break so we packed up and headed west.  We try to get to Los Angeles as often as we can to see family and after years of living in and visiting Southern California we have a list of our favorite things to do.

Of course no trip to LA is complete without spending time at the beach.  If you're looking for a beach that is expansive look no further than Manhattan Beach.  You can walk the beach or the strand or just stretch out in your favorite beach chair with a good book and it is a relaxing way to spend a day.  My other favorite beach is in Malibu.  The coastline is breathtaking and the views are simply amazing.  The beach isn't as wide as Manhattan Beach but it's a great place to build sand castles and write.  Something about Malibu is just so inspiring.

Another of my favorite things in LA also happens to be in Malibu.  It's the Malibu Country Mart and the Malibu Lumber Yard.  If you're looking for a great place to shop, dine and relax then this is the spot for you.  Last week we stopped by twice and visited a few of our favorites like Oliver Peoples, Kitson, and 7 For All Mankind.  And I had to stop by Coffee Bean for a cappuccino.  My daughter's favorite part of the Lumber Yard is Kitson Kids, the gelato at Chocolate Box Cafe and the ping pong table where she spent time laughing with her cousins and Dad.  For me that was a highlight of the trip...any time I hear my nine year old's laugh and see her smile it is a highlight of the day.

So the next time you're in LA take a scenic drive down to Manhattan Beach or out to Malibu and enjoy some of the best that the LA area has to offer.


My Style Shout Out Tip: I always pack light when I go to LA because I know I am coming home with a few treasures.  And LA is such a casual city that for me it's all about great jeans, great tops, and great shoes.  I spent the week in Current/Elliott, AG Jeans,  J Brand Jeans and Sevens.  Of course when in LA it's all about LA brands like LNA and Michael Stars for tees.  And comfy shoes are a must for me because we always do so much walking so I packed my favorite Jimmy Choo ballet flats...not a California brand but super stylish and super comfy!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Point Of View At Saks

Style Shout Out to Saks, their fabulous shoe department and seeing things from a different point of view ...

My nine year old and I recently met my sister at Saks to do a little Spring shopping.  After lunch and a quick look at the sunglasses, where my sister picked up some stylish Tory Burch sunnies, we headed to the shoe department. I love how even though we don't live in New York any more, Saks has that awesome reminder...you know, the sign that reminds you that this fashion icon's shoe department has something that is unique, their own zip code in New York City.

While I was trying on some adorable Jimmy Choo ballet flats, that I ultimately bought because they were just too comfortable and yes they were cute too, my daughter asked if she could use my phone.

So I handed my iPhone over to her thinking that she wanted to play some games while we shoe shopped but she had another idea in mind.  I watched as she happily walked around the department taking pictures of the shoes she loved and commenting on why she loved them.

I had so much fun that day, not only because I walked away with some extremely fabulous shoes, but because I really enjoyed the time with my daughter and sister.

Rather than keep her choices all to myself I decided to share a few of them with you.  So if you let a nine year loose in Saks with a camera this is what you get...

Stuart Weitzman
I have to say that I would wear these sandals and may have to get back to Saks this week to pick up a pair before they sell out.  Lets face it, they are Stuart Weitzman and I adore that purple box because you know that the shoes inside are going to be stylish and very good quality.  My daughter says they would look great with shorts, cropped jeans, and summer dresses so they are versatile.  Isn't it great when you talk and your children listen...I am all about pieces that are versatile.

Jimmy Choo

This sandal is a Jimmy Choo and I can see why my daughter zeroed in on this shoe.  The color is an amazing shade of pink.  I've seen this shoe on Kate Middleton in a different color, and I've tried this shoe on in a neutral shade.  For a high heel it is amazingly comfortable.  My daughter's reasons for choosing this sandal...it's pink and it looks like Summer. She is lobbying for me to buy this shoe and I have a feeling that she is hoping that someday she too will wear a size 38.

Vera Wang
This Vera Wang ballet flat is adorable and again, a great color for Spring and Summer.  My nine year old said there are two things she likes about this shoe...it's an awesome color and it's a classic style.  I agree with her.  I love pieces that are classic with a bit of a twist.


My Style Shout Out Tip:  The next time you are shopping with your children give them a camera and see what catches their eye.  For me I really enjoy getting the opportunity to see things from my daughter's point of view.