Posts from — January 2013
Holy shiny chicness! God I love this dress. It’s silky, baggy in all the right spots and easy to wear. One problem: it’s silk, so it’s a little dressy for everyday and it wrinkles like hell. What are all these designers thinking these days? I’ve been on the hunt for casual dresses to wear on a summer trip we’re planning. I want easy numbers that don’t leave my butt cheeks hanging out (seriously, are women my age really wearing these shorty-short dresses?), aren’t made of silk and don’t cost $300. I want to be able to wear these dresses with some snappy sneakers or flats. Is that too much to ask?
Anywhoooo… I wore this dress for my press trip to Senses, a Disney Spa.
January 31, 2013 Comments Off on Shine Bright Like a Diamond
I have a confession to make … I loathe getting pedicures, spa treatments and getting my hair done. Don’t get me wrong, I love the end result, but all I can think of when I’m at those places is how much work I still have to finish and how many errands I still have to run before the witching hour of 3:30 p.m. when my daughter gets home from school. That said, I never turn down a FREE day at the spa, so when Senses, a Disney Spa at the Grand Floridan Resort & Spa in Orando invited me [on behalf of PLAYGROUND magazine] to try out a service and tour the joint, I was all over it.
Now, here’s where all my quirks come out. I could choose from a wide array of services, including a Swedish massage (nope, am too ticklish, plus I don’t like people touching me), a rejuvenating citrus facial (um, no again, I have rosacea and sometimes facials aggravate it), a citrus/mint or sugar body treatment (again with touching), a manicure or pedicure. Since my toes hadn’t been done since Christmas, I settled on the pedicure.
The spa itself is gorgeous. The theme is Relax, Renew, Imagine, so when you walk in you can choose from three different juices that are guaranteed to relax, renew or, well, imagine you. I decided to get my creative juices flowing with the imagine mango juice. In true Disney style, they had a beautiful mosaic in the wet room, complete with Mickey Mouse ears hidden in the tiles, a large waiting room with cushy chairs, lots of magazines and even curtains so you can hide away from the common folk. The basil/cucumber water was refreshing, seriously, much better than it sounds. But, the coup de grace was the chocolate-banana muffins. Yum!
Since my pedicure wasn’t until 10 a.m., I had about 30 minutes to relax. But, Tracey don’t do relaxing… No, I brought my computer and started working. I realize most people don’t go to a spa to whip out a computer and work, but that’s the way I roll. FYI: They don’t have a WI-FI network available, although they said they were working on it.
Once I was called to my pedicure, the fun began. My pedicurist, Luhong, was sweet as can be [She told me I looked 10 years younger than I am. Who cares if she just wanted a bigger tip. She earned it. Love her!] and it was a lively crowd in the treatment room. I didn’t even open my computer or a magazine as I was having too much fun talking to others in the room. All the instruments are autoclaved (is that a verb?), and they use vegan nail polish (as close to organic as you can get for chemicals you put on your nails.) I chose a neon pink.
Alas, the experience was over and I was heading home with perfect toes and a bag full of goodies. Got a free day? Head over to Senses, it’s totes (I hate that word, don’t you?) worth it. They also do girls’ nights out, wedding parties and even offer kids’ services.
January 30, 2013 Comments Off on Review: Grand Floridian’s Senses Day Spa
I had lunch with a college friend of mine the other day. We ate at Seasons 52, a restaurant known for their use of organic and seasonal foods. Love this restaurant because I can eat light with lots of flavor. I had the spinach salad from the gluten-free menu. It was great catching up with my friend, we don’t see nearly enough of each other.
January 27, 2013 Comments Off on Prints Charming
I attended a high-energy, future-look meeting the day before Florida Realtors January meetings. Since I knew I’d be walking a lot and sitting a lot, I wanted to be comfortable. Since I work for home, I don’t have a lot of professional clothing. I’m not sure cropped pants are completely professional but this was a casual atmosphere. I like this outfit, it’s bright so it makes me feel good, but I felt put together enough to fit in easily with the other businesspeople.
January 26, 2013 Comments Off on Work Attire: No Jacket Required
It pays to complete surveys for your favorite stores!
I love knowing that I’m a part of helping companies make better products for consumers, so I frequently sign up to be an insider for websites that I really like such as Banana Republic, Gap, Sephora and The Outnet.
Every few months, the sites will send surveys for me complete. The surveys aren’t long, and I’ve actually seen some of the suggestions I’ve voted on being implemented on the sites. I love being part of that process! The companies will put your name in a drawing for a gift card: usually $50, $100 or $200. But, I WON $500 from The Outnet!!!
What to buy? What to buy? The Outnet is a discount designer site–all of my favorite stuff!
January 25, 2013 Comments Off on I’m An Outnet Winner!
This blouse is one of my “I have to have it” items. I am a sucker for a bright floral pattern. But, I notice that it can look matronly if worn in too classic of a style. That’s why I pulled out the mint green of the blouse and incorporated it into my accessories.
January 22, 2013 Comments Off on Floral Explosion
I wrote this article last year and wanted to re-post it since it makes so much sense!
I love the start of a new year—the chance to set more realistic goals. You have a whole year ahead of you to reach these goals and there are opportunities just sitting out there waiting for you to grab them!
I put together this list of awesome articles to help guide you in finding your style, reaching your goals and rebuilding your wardrobe.
1. I resolve to learn how to use eBay. I know it can be time consuming, but believe me, if you want to score designer deals, eBay is a great way to do it. Check out these articles: Ebay is Your Best Fashion Friend, Ebay Tips and Deals, How to Snipe on Ebay and How I Search Ebay.
2. I resolve to hone in on my style and buy accordingly. I watched What Not to Wear the other day (love that show) and it can be hard to figure out how best to let your personality shine through with what you wear. Here are some articles to help you figure it out: Finding Classic Investment Pieces, Defining Your Personal Style, Dig Out of Your Fashion Rut and Your Guide to Creating Your Own Personal Style.
Magpie Styling Tip: Check out my 10 Fashion Rules.
3. I resolve to wear clothes that fit well. So many people make the mistake of wearing pants that are too short (they make you look stumpy), wide-leg capris, too-tight shorts and too-big jackets. Check out: How to Dress For Your Body Type, Size Matters, Finding Clothes That Fit and Flatter and Finding Pants That Fit.
4. I resolve to buy for my life, not the life I dream of living. Yeah, I have issues with this. I love sparkly, glittery and dressy, but my life is work from home, and I have two children. So, I don’t really have the opportunity to wear all that I buy. I put together a shopping checklist that will help you determine whether or not an item is worth your investment, check it out: Download my FREE Shopping Checklist here. Other articles: Tips for Finding Fashion Deals, Shopping Savvy Quiz and How to Stop Buying Clothes You’ll Never Wear.
Look for more great articles about personal style, making over your closet and buying investment clothing this year!
January 21, 2013 Comments Off on Smart Shopping Tips
Every year (and sometimes twice a year), my mother and I hit Renningers’ Extravaganza, a huge antique flea market. I generally look for jewelry. I came away empty handed this time. I fell in love with an antique brass Czech bracelet with cobalt stones, but at $100, I wasn’t sure if it was worth it. I did some research once I came home and found a similar one on ebay for $179, so it probably was a good price. It’s so hard to buy vintage or antique jewelry if you don’t know a lot about it.
I did make one purchase though, a Number 3, my son’s football number. I LOVE these industrial-looking, metal, rusted giant letters and numbers. I think they would look super in a gameroom and saved a picture (and got the guy’s card) for when we re-do our gameroom. In the meantime, I bought one for my son to hang on his wall. I also found some cool custom furniture. Unfortunately, the industrial-chic style doesn’t go well with my traditional house. I am slowly moving toward a more modern look in the house and this guy’s cool tables will bring a minimalist vibe that may blend with traditional and transitional if done properly. You can check out his stuff here: Industrial Chic by Christopher Bailey.
January 21, 2013 Comments Off on Shopping Antique Markets
I am a Diet Coke addict. Love the stuff. But, I’ve read so many horrible things about drinking diet soda, that I’ve decided to cut it almost completely out of my life. I figure I’ll have one here and there, maybe even one a day. I started two days ago and boy it’s hard. I will drink a Diet Coke first thing in the morning and then usually have one at lunch. Generally, I’ll have up to 3 or 4 a day. I’ve gone from that to once in the morning. I really miss my lunchtime soda! Because I’m still drinking one a day, I haven’t experienced the caffeine withdrawal.
To make it easier, I fill up a water bottle, squeeze some lemon in it and carry it with me always, so I have something to drink. Anyone else give up caffeine? I’ve done it before–while I was pregnant and nursing my children. But, I always went right back to it…
January 20, 2013 Comments Off on Deep Blue
No, this blog isn’t turning into a cooking blog, but I was so excited about this recipe that I had to share. I don’t really have a lot of time to cook but sometimes I go on “cooking rolls,” where I’ll plan lots of new recipes. We’re trying to eat healthier, so I’m making recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s Cleanse Recipes in Redbook. I’m just not disciplined enough to go on a complete cleanse, but if I can make dinner and breakfast healthier, then I’m all for it.
I was SHOCKED that my entire family liked these as much as they did. While both of my kids are fairly adventurous when it comes to food, my son is a total meat guy and my daughter really likes her pasta. But, they loved these quesadillas. Here’s the recipe with my notes:
4-8 brown rice tortilla wraps (I just used whole wheat tortillas)
3 Fillets cooked wild salmon (or two cans of wild-caught) (I bought these filets and marinated them in a mustard marinade*–see below–then broiled them.)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
1/4 cup fresh chopped dill (or 2 tbsp dried)
1/2 cup miso-almond sauce*
6 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1/2 Tsp. Minced Garlic
Whisk ingredients together and marinate salmon for 10 minutes before broiling for about 5 minutes on each side.
Miso Almond Paste*
1 cup almond butter
2 garlic cloves
3 tbsp chickpea miso (I used MUCH less, only about 1 tsp. of this and I couldn’t find the chickpea miso, so I used soybean miso)
Juice of 1 lemon
Place into a high-speed blender or food processor with the rest of the above ingredients. Blend well until puréed and a smooth paste is formed.
Place a large griddle or cast iron pan over medium heat with a few small scoops of coconut oil. Gently warm the wraps for 1-2 minutes on each side, to make them more pliable. While warming, chop onions and dill.
Once wraps are warm on each side, remove from heat (keeping it on medium) and cover half of each wrap with miso-almond sauce to desired thickness (I spread a good amount on there). Top with sliced red onion, dill and salmon.
Fold wrap in half and place onto the still-hot griddle or pan. Cook on one side for 3-4 minutes, or until tortillas are a golden-brown. Flip and repeat on the other side, cooking until the entire quesadilla is warmed through.
This recipe says it serves 4, but I could have easily made 6 out of it, maybe even 7. I also served it with black beans and brown rice. The picture above is from my lunch the next day. I made another one for myself with the leftovers and ate it with a yellow tomato.
January 18, 2013 Comments Off on Salmon Quesadillas