Flower Power

Florals are yet again a huge trend for spring and I, for one, am not immune to the desire to don them in all shapes, sizes and colors. These covetable items are bright, feminine and perfect for days spent frolicing in the sun.

Nettie Floral Dress - Urban Outfitters $88
Rose Garden Romper - Forever 21 limited edition $28
Miss Me Couture Print Pleat Shorts - South Moon Under $68
Kripper Flowered Flat - Steve Madden $80
Neves Flap Shoulder Bag - Nine West $89

The Garden Collection by H&M

The Garden Collection by H&M will be available in stores at the end of this month. The eco-friendly, sustainable clothing is whimsical, perfect for spring, and best of all: green. Preview the collection now.

Photo credit: hmthegardencollection.com

Recipe: White Pizza (Quick & Easy for Busy Moms!) | Posh Kitchen

Last night I made a delicious pasta for dinner using Trader Joe's Alfredo sauce. Since we finished the pasta, I wanted to find a way to use the rest of the sauce. I decided to do a white pizza--an easy, quick meal that my cool kid and I could make together without disrupting our routine too much. So we whipped up a whole wheat vegetarian pizza. Here's how to do it:

What you'll need:
- pre-made pizza crust (We used a Boboli whole wheat thin crust.)
- 1-2 cups Alfredo sauce
- shredded cheeses: Mozzarella and Parmesan
- toppings of your choice

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Warm Alfredo sauce slightly and spread evenly over crust (sauce will spread better if it is warmed).

3. Sprinkle shredded cheeses evenly over the sauce.

4. Add your toppings. (We used chickenless strips (soy protein chicken substitute), green pepper, olives and mushrooms)

6. Bake for approximately 15 - 20 minutes

7. Enjoy your cheesy, hearty, piping hot meal!

We had to wait a little longer than necessary because the kid forgot to turn on the oven. So be sure not to make that mistake! :)

A Passion for Patent Leather

Over the past few months, I have found myself a renewed fan of patent leather. Yes, that shiny material best remembered from my private elementary school days, has shown me its mature, sophisticated side and I am completely enamored. Gazing at patent leather shoes in stores or online brings back that child-like attraction to shiny things. I have several pair, and wearing them--even in neutral colors--gives a fun pop of texture to my other pieces and a little bit of personality to my entire look.

The tricky thing that I have found about wearing this material is that it very easily gets nicks and scratches, and shows them--which can take away from the beauty of the shoe. So it was important for me to determine the best way to care for my lovelies and keep them fresh and wearable.

The first step to caring for patent leather is cleaning. Wiping the shoe with a soft cloth and warm water or even a mild soap after wearing will keep dirt, dust, salt, etc. from seeping into the material, and will help to preserve the leather.

Protecting the leather is easy with products made from liquid silicone. They lubricate the leather and aid in prevention of scuff marks and scratches. Some suggest using petroleum jelly for this purpose, but it is more likely that the shine will last only momentarily, then lose its sheen and the leather will end up appearing more dry than before. Linseed or mineral oil are more appropriate substitutes.

Mark Removal
A great trick for ridding patent leather of those nasty scuff marks, is to use a Q-tip or cotton ball with a small amount of acetone nail polish remover to gently buff it out. Wipe off the excess remover with a paper towel. Shoe polish in the same color of the shoe works in covering any unsightly marks that can't be buffed out or removed.

Finally, proper storage is a key in keeping patent leather scratch free. Shoes should not touch each other during storage as this can lead to marks. They should be filled with paper or shoe-fillers in order to maintain the shape and prevent the leather from creasing.

Professional Care
When all else fails, a great shoe-repair shop is your shoes' best friend. There will be access to materials and products that may not be easily attainable or cost effective to purchase. They'll also be able to take care of more serious damage that the average care routine won't cover.

Careful attention to these steps has kept my shoes in good condition and allowed me to fully indulge in my passion for patent leather, including perusing the beautiful collection of patent leather stilettos and pumps at Macy's by designers like Marc Fisher, Jessica Simpson, MIA and GUESS.

Love. Want. Need. - The Marc by Marc Jacobs Edition

Love. Want. Need...these items from the Marc by Marc Jacobs spring collection. These pieces are cool and fresh, as well as girly and pastel without being childish. My favorite color is pink and there is no shortage of pink tinted items available at ShopBop. This unique black watch, the two-toned enamel ring and the tonal sunglasses are perfectly suited for those warm spring days where you can't help but smile because of the warmth and sunshine. I swoon.

Shop Nordstrom Rack for Inexpensive Intimates

A good friend recently brought to my attention the benefits of shopping for intimate apparel at Nordstrom Rack. I've been a fan of Nordstrom Rack for many years--generally searching there for the perfect high-end shoe, bag, fragrance or pair of sunglasses at the appropriate discounted price. I hadn't, however, ever ventured to the intimates section. I'm glad that I finally did!

The store in my area has a good sized selection of bras and panties, but it's not overwhelming which is important to me, because in places like The Rack, Marshalls, Loehmann's etc--the bargains are great, but you can catch a serious case of claustrophobia surrounded by so many items at once. There are tons of sizes in all the items so there's no "this is really cute, but I can't find it in my size" frustration. The designer that I see most often is DKNY, but you can get other great labels occasionally too, like a hot pink w/leopard print accent Betsey Johnson panty--fun! Most appealing are the prices, ranging from approximately "OMG" ($14-$20), to "You've got to be kidding me" ($10) and even as low as "This is really just too good to be true!" (a.k.a $5 or less).

So, in the spirit of passing along the good information that was passed to me--visit Nordstrom Rack for quality, inexpensive intimates!

Photo Credit: DKNY.com

Fabulosity: What It Is and How to Get It

I've been reading Kimora Lee Simmons' book, Fabulosity: What It Is and How to Get It. I'd been planning to read it for a while. I am a big fan of Kimora's. I love how over-the-top she always is and how fabulously she carries herself. While my style and personality are much more toned down than hers, I love to watch her and see her energy. So I finally picked up the book, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it is about much more than just how to be fabulous on the outside, but how to be fabulous on the inside as well. Within the book, Kimora talks about self-esteem and confidence, work & power, independence, romance, positivity--and several other topics. She speaks from her point of view, but gives some really great tips on living a peaceful and happy lifestyle. At the end of each chapter is a series of quotes from famous models, actors, etc.--generally fabulous people. I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes:

"If I'd observed all the rules, I'd never have gotten anywhere." - Marilyn Monroe

"It is a risk, but I believe the best investment you can make in anything is yourself. Invest in yourself, and then back it up. Back it up with what you do." - Iman

"I have no problem with whatever the next big look is. Just don't try to tell me that only one look is beautiful." - Alek Wek

"Don't let anyone tell you that you have to be a certain way. Be unique. Be what you feel." - Melissa Ethridge

"If you've earned a position, be proud of it. Don't hide it. I want to be recognized. When I hear people say, 'There's Joan Crawford!' I turn around and say, 'Hi! How are you?' I never go out unless I look like Joan Crawford the movie star. If you want to see the girl next door, go next door." - Joan Crawford (One of my favorite actresses and style icons! She was always impeccably finished.)

"Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress." - Coco Chanel

"I wish I had invented blue jeans. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity--all I hope for in my clothes." - Yves Saint Laurent

"If you haven't cried, your eyes can't be beautiful." - Sophia Loren

Have a fabulous day dolls!!!