Monday, January 30, 2012

Coffee Talk

Admit it, you saw the title and immediately used the Mike Myers "coffee talk" voice. (smooth like buttah). If there was a Linda Richman font , you know I would be all over it. I am so flattered that so many of you have reached out to tell me how much you enjoy my blog. So many people have told me that reading "The Pursuit" has become part of their morning coffee ritual. I am so excited to be accompanying the "best part of waking up". (Folgers font). I am a fellow coffee addict so I know how important that first sip of hot coffee is.  There is nothing better than sitting there in your pajamas enjoying a hot fresh cup of coffee. I started drinking coffee when I was pretty young. I was about eleven or twelve and I wanted in on my mom's morning relaxation time. Given her hectic schedule and all the drama that is involved with surviving middle school, it was nice to have a couple minutes over coffee and flavored creamer (a huge deal in the mid nineties). We always had a bagel for breakfast since it was 1993 and carbs had not been invented yet. (thanks Dr. Adkins). I remember how we thought a jumbo bagel lathered in cream cheese was healthy. 


Since then, coffee has been my morning (afternoon in college) ritual. There was the high school morning cup with vanilla creamer while I waited for my ride.( I was way too cool to ride the bus). In college there was the Baileys and coffee for the afternoon classes. When I waited tables, I became accustomed to crappy coffee and mini-moos. (preparing me for office life). Then there were the birthing years. Once I had Layla, my coffee habit transformed into a coffee addiction. Most people will admit they started drinking coffee when they had kids. Pre kids, every moment is a moment to yourself. Once you have a kid, you are taking every sip with the desperation that it may be your last. When you find yourself walking around the house collecting glasses of half drank half curdling coffee, then you officially earn your Mom badge.

Today's coffee talk is dedicated to Monday. Monday was the real reason coffee is so popular. The sweet elixir that takes our bodies out of the weekend and into real life is the most important tool in the Monday survival kit. Today's cup of coffee was brought to you by the color purple. I try not to do too many Monday outfit pictures, but today's purple pants and sweater deserved a couple pictures. I love doing a monochromatic color pallet, especially with a rich jewel tone like purple. It was the combination of coffee and purple that got me through yet another Monday. So as you take that sip of sip of coffee I will give you a run down of the news: In weather news another unusual pattern of snow thunder has struck leaving otherwise sane people to wonder: is 2012 the end. Fresh out of Hollywood in complete "we saw this coming" style, yet another golden couple gets divorced proving once again that hollywood marriages are much harder than real marriages. (sarcasm font). In politics: republicans continue to debate and family dinners all over the country have reflected the turmoil that is yet another election year. In sports: Shaun White is awesome, the Patriots will most likely win another super bowl, tennis is still popular (in Australia), and it is time for the long haul between football seasons that is baseball.

All joking aside, I honestly cant say enough how much all the support means to me. "I am all verklempt...talk amongst yourselves".


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 Sweater/Necklace: Target
Shirt: Old Navy
Pants: The Limited
Booties: MIA (DSW)





Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Big Deal

"You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment" Henry David Thoreau

When you receive a wedding or baby shower invitation, do you immediately (a) cringe and think of who you may be there and if you like them.  (b) roll you eyes (c) get excited and dwell on the event thinking how nice it is for the people involved and you are so glad to be part of such an occasion. If you answered (a) or (b) they you may be negative and cynical. We all have moments of negativity, but sometimes we don't realize when our whole approach to something becomes negative. I know I have been guilty of (a) and (b). Who hasn't? Someone else's happiness and milestones remind of us of our own milestones or sometimes lack of milestones. If you are single, a wedding can make you feel anxious about when or even if you will ever have one. For me it is a reflection back on these events that took place ten years ago..wedding, baby, college graduation..all these things took place in 2002. I look back and wonder if I was able to actually enjoy these things or if it all just happened so fast that I didn't get a chance to savor the moment. I want to take an extra step toward positive thinking. From what I have heard it is pretty powerful. It is time to make a big deal out of everything..especially for my girls. Life should be a series of celebrations.

Today's big deal: it is Saturday. The four of us went to lunch. The girls did great on their report cards, so we took them to lunch as a way to show them good grades earn them something other than Spaghetti-Os for lunch. Saturday is usually an excuse for me to stay in jammies all day. Layla asked if she could wear sweats to lunch...after all it is Saturday. I let her and was secretly happy when Liv got dressed up and dressed her doll up for lunch. I like to get dressed up a bit when I grab a bite to eat..even if it is at a small cafe and there is a chance that Layla won't be the only person who celebrates Sweatpants Saturday. I went with a cute skirt, a denim shirt and a pair of navy rain boots. Living in Ohio, my wardrobe consists of fun pieces as well as weather necessities. I have finally got a great pair of rain boots. The pair of Crocs rain boots I had been eying since fall finally went on sale at Piperlime for $20! Since we have had way more rain then snow, they were definitely a beneficial purchase. It was a nice day to celebrate each other. In a continued effort to celebrate and embrace the everyday, I am hoping it is the big and small moments count. 

Writing prompt: What is the last thing you were invited to celebrate? Were you happy or cynical? What is something you do to celebrate the small moments? 


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Shirt: Target (from Marc's)
Skirt: Gap
Tights: Target
Boots: Crocs (Piperlime)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bad Hair Day


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It was probably about five years ago..but it seemed like yesterday. Layla was three  and Olivia was two. I am now so used to Olivia being the character in our family, that I forgot that Layla used to be quite the ham. When she was three, she had the world figured out. She asked any question that came to her little mind. We were at Nelson's Ledges...which is a quarry park/campground/music festival hot spot. This was the first of many summer trips with the girls to the Ledges. While the night times were filled with drinking and listening to music...daytime was all about swimming and building sandcastles. The ledges is a kids and adults playground...which is why we go ever summer. It is also filled with hippies of all ages. At three years old, Layla was especially intrigued by the not so average people all around her. There was a woman dancing in her own little world. She had on one of those homemade hippie dresses and as she spun, her purple flowered skirt would twirl around. She had her hair twisted up into a mess of ponytails that were pointed out in a Lisa Simpson like way using pipe cleaners. You could tell she embraced every inch of her individual spirit. Layla was standing there staring her and back at me. She looked down and Layla and smiled...twirling around her. Layla looked at her with question. "Excuse me." She started with her three going on fifteen tone. "Are you having a bad hair day?!"

Some days, I feel like that woman with the pipe cleaners. I look at my hair in the morning and wonder what the heck to do with it. It looked extra messy this morning and I had planned to pile it on my head in a messy bun. Of course, I couldn't quite get my bun to meet the right amount of messy so I had no choice but to make do with my hair as is. I easily slipped into my tulip jean skirt, a great print top and burgundy tights. No pants Thursday has easily become my favorite dressing day of the week. But my hair just wasn't agreeing with me. I looked at my calendar, January 26. At five o'clock, I would be ending bad hair days for the next six to eight weeks...I was getting my hair cut. Running my fingers through shiny freshly colored hair turns any bad hair day upside down. I love getting my hair done...the time away at the salon, my amazing stylist...no kids around..it is always a great time. Todays' bad hair day reminded me why it is important to have a great stylist. Today's outfit picture is the last bad hair day for a while!


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Shirt: Forever21
Necklace: Charlotte Russe
Skirt/Tights: Target
Belt: Walmart 
Scarf: Gift 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Zombie Yellow

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Had a long and grueling Monday? Feel like the world is coming down around you and you are just plain and simply defeated? I have one solution: Zombie Apocalypse. I had one of those Mondays...but really isn't that every Monday? It was the sort of day where I started off owning the day and by the end it completely owned me. Perhaps it was the grey skies and they steady rain fall...or it was the feeling that I am not always in control of my fate..no matter what it was, I was pretty worn down by it.

I am afraid of horror movies. I still look for the boogie man under my bed. When I am laying there in total silence, I am often jump out of my skin. "What was that?" I will ask Josh. "It was the cat." he always says drifting off into his usual state of non-protective snoring. Sometimes I like to gently nudge him. "What?" he will say in confusion. "Oh..nothing, I must have bumped you." I lie. (guess I am busted now!). I hope he will stay awake and engage in some pointless pillow talk..but his eye lids are magnetically drawn to his face. I know it is juvenile, but I still check the closet before bed and make sure the house is locked down tighter than Fort Knox. Perhaps a certain cousin of mine who shall go nameless may to be to blame for telling me Freddie Kruger was under my bed as a kid. Either way, I am the last person who would be unwinding with a glass of wine watching a zombie Apocalypse on a Monday night...or am I?

Josh and I have become obsessed with watching "The Walking Dead" on AMC. I kept hearing it is a great show and the writing is fantastic..which for me is always an indication of good TV. I wasn't quite sure if good writing was going to be enough to overpower the idea of people eating other people...but I gave it a try. I was immediately hooked. We watched the first season Sunday and Monday. I swear, I didn't want to love it, but I did. There is something about watching people's lives being turned upside down by zombie mobs that reminds me that life could always be worse. Today is my sister's birthday and I can say thankfully that she was not eaten by zombies.(Happy Birthday Kim!!)  As I laid in bed, the details of the day mixed with images of zombies tearing into human flesh spun around in my mind. Josh attempted to stay up and hang out with me until I fell asleep..but he was snoring by the fifth time I said "what was that". I was little extra jumpy and added zombies to the list of things that could go bump in the night.  I thought about which kid I would gather first (another argument for them sharing a room)..I thought about whether I was strong enough to withstand an attach or if I would just collapse from a heart attack right there. Needless to say, my mind was racing for a little while before I finally drifted off to sleep.

Then my alarm started to chime. Or so it felt. I was barely asleep dreaming of dead people and guts abound when my phone went off and a tiny person (not zombie) appeared in my room. It was Liv making sure we were still on for our morning pilates date. How do you say no to a seven year old asking you to exercise? So I stumbled out of bed and staggered down the hall. It is funny because I was afraid of a zombie attack and as I caught a glimpse of my bloodshot eyes in the mirror, it was the only zombie I had actually encountered. I could barely wake up....and of course I hadn't picked a picture worthy outfit. Here is my style suggestion: when you look and feel like a zombie, go bright or stay home. Have you even seen a zombie in sunshine yellow? That was the angle I was taking when I put on a yellow cable Vneck and bright purple shoes. The only that kept me awake was the reflection off my sweater. Perhaps I need to wait a day before I start season 2.

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Sweater/Shirt: Old Navy
Pants/Belt: The Limited
Shoes:Coach (Ebay)
Headband: Forever21
Earrings: American Eagle
Small Bracelet: Design Spark

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Dark Hair Princess




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When I was a kid, I always wished I had long strawberry blond curly hair and pale eyes. It may have came from my small obsession with Teen Witch...or the fact that with brown hair and brown eyes, I was no where near looking like a natural blond. There was a brief time when, combined with my perfect "Rachel", I had achieved the closest thing to blond hair that I would ever get. It was a shade of light brown mixed with straw. Straw was the texture my hair became after a bad combination of bleach and sun-in. The truth is, my Lebanese roots were not going to allow any sort of blond natural curl. The closest I came to that was a permed mullet in the fourth grade. As I got older, I stuck as close to possible to my natural shade of rich chestnut brown. I am lucky to have such long thick hair....and wish I would have always been as fond of my coif as I am now. Thanks to scientific advancements in curling iron technology (thanks Hot Tools!), I am able to achieve a bit of wave in my hair.

Liv and I were at the store and I was looking for some hair dye. I like to get my hair dyed by a pro, but sometimes my budget doesn't allow it. I usually go for the box to hide the four gray hairs that seem to be multiplying. Liv started to cry as I picked up my usual shade of chocolate brown. "What is wrong?" I asked confused by her sudden outburst of tears. "I...I just wanted you to get blond....like Cinderella.." She stammered. I was taken by this. When I was a girl, most of the princesses were blond. But now, we live in a diverse world of princesses. There is a princess for all nationalities...so why are we still fixated on the blond princess?

Tonight, as we were getting ready for dinner, I reminded Liv how beautiful dark haired girls were. With our poker straight thick hair and our long eyelashes, we need to embrace the things that are natural. We are not blond material...we look much better they way we are. I paired a dark turquoise sweater over a coral turtleneck with an adorable button detail on the sleeve to wear for dinner. My dark haired princess wore a faux fur coat, sunglasses and a sparkled purse for her stuff. If my girls learn anything from my constant flow of Mom philosophy, I hope they remember that beauty comes in many forms and colors and they need to be confident in theirs. I loved doing this photo shoot...let's face it snow looks beautiful. It is such an amazing contrast to the colors I wore that I am making a pact to do all my photos outside in the winter....no matter how cold it is.

Writing Prompt: What is something you hated about your self as a kid that you now love and embrace? 

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Sweater: Forever21
Shirt: Target
Scarf/Belt: The Limited
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Seychelles (DSW)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Band-Aid

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Me: Liv..why do you have two really big band-aids on your leg?
Liv: Because my leg hurts soooo bad.
Me: Band-aids are not supposed to make the leg stop hurting...they aren't magic. They just stop the blood. 
Liv: Maybe not for you.

Something caught my eye about Olivia's Band-aid. Did she write all over it? Did she draw little hearts and stars on it? Even better...she had her friends at school sign her band-aid as if it were a cast. She had two extra large band aids wrapped around her shins and another one on the back of her leg. Because her leg is so tiny and stick-like the Band-aids wrapped around most of her leg. I looked at the leg warmer effect the band-aids were having on her leg.  

Me: Who signed your band-aids?
Liv: All my friends...I didn't tell them to, they just did it. 
Me: When you take a shower, you need to take those band-aids off. Just rip off the band-aid. This time it is not a metaphor for life...you literally need to rip off the band-aid
Liv: Huh?

She goes in to take a shower and comes back with the band-aids still fully in tact. The signatures have washed off leaving a clean wrap around her calf. 

Me: Why do you need two band-aids. How big is your cut. 
Liv: it is really big. 
Me: Like this big. I spread my hands about a foot wide. 
Liv: Well maybe not that big
Me: What happened to your leg
Liv: I dunno. I can't remember
Me: Why are there three band-aids? Does the cut wrap  all around your leg?
Liv: No. It just hurts that's all
Me: You know if you don't take the band-aids off then the leg will get dirty. 

I looked at how the band-aid had been framed by this line of darkness...like a million black dirt particles had stuck to it. It was so messy, so dirty that I just wanted to rip it off myself. I couldn't understand how someone who complains about the seem of a sock rubbing on her baby toe could handle the feeling of a pants sticking to a band-aid. 

Me: You know if you don't take that off, we will have to take you to the hospital and have them cut off your leg...
Liv: Mommy!!

It is so easy for me to use the band-aid metaphor. I can say that whatever you are scared of, you need to rip off the band-aid...take the plunge. I don't think that is the case here. I look at Liv and wonder what caused her to wrap up a little scratch in a make shift band aid cast. Did you ever do something weird like that as a kid? Perhaps you faked an injury to get attention, or sympathy. I remember wearing a clear braces rubber band across my front teeth so I could draw out the same sympathy that a mouth of metal generates. I never had a cast...but a couple times I wrapped my arm in an ace bandage and paraded my arm in a overly dramatic scarf sling. When I look at Liv's band-aid cast, I can't help but be taken back to those days of childhood when sustaining an injury somehow made you cool. 

Speaking of "ripping off the band-aid", I couldn't quite make myself do today's pictures outside. I put on my navy and tan skirt from JC Penney. I had all intentions of doing a photo shoot in the beautiful white snow...but it was so damn cold. Just like Liv and her band-aids, I couldn't deal with the piercing breeze. Sorry that they aren't the best..especially for how much I loved this outfit..and my homemade necklace. Today's pictures are a reminder that sometimes we have to throw in the towel and deal with what we have...sometimes, if we are lucky, we get a group of friends rushing over to sign our make shift casts.


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Shirt: Forever21
Sweater: The Limited
Skirt: JC Penney
Tights: Target
Shoes: MIA (DSW)
Necklace: Homemade