What-to-Wear: Superbowl Sunday 2012


So you’re cheering for your favorite red, white and blue team this Superbowl Sunday but no one would exactly classify your style as “sporty”. No worries if you’re not a jersey kind of gal—try something equally as casual, that makes the team colors as stylish as you are. Here’s what you should wear on Superbowl Sunday.

Start with dark blue skinnies as your base. They’ll be comfy for both sitting and standing. Add a red Breton striped top with a fun detail, like this MIH Jeans version with the shoulder button accent. A white cardigan sweater and deep red infinity scarf are appropriate layering additions for the winter weather. And finally, add a sensible riding boot which will give you a slight lift that you wouldn’t get if wearing a flat shoe, and make your look feel pulled together and polished.



1. J Brand 912 skinny jeans in "pure"
2. Hugo Boss deep red wool blend infinity scarf
3. Old Navy white 3/4 sleeve cardigan
4. MIH Jeans red Breton striped top
5. Frye 'Shirley' riding boot in burgundy 

With this classic American look, you’ll be perfectly styled to cheer on a classic American pastime.

What do you wear to cheer on the home team?

Chic Gifting for a Toddler Girl

One of my good friends had a birthday party recently for her beautiful toddler girl who has just turned two. And of course, being mom of a boy—but “auntie” to several little girls—I take every opportunity to shop that section for all things fabulous, feminine and frilly.


I stumbled on this adorable red floral print dress in Old Navy. Initially, I sought out a red cardigan to accompany it, but when I saw this red biker inspired jacket, I knew it would be perfection.



Don’t you just love the juxtaposition of the toughness of the jacket against the sweetness of the dress?


Old Navy has tons of other super sweet items in their "Valentine's Day Style" section, like this chevron striped sun dress and this tiered-ruffle tulle skirt. And I could see any little munchkin winning hearts in this "bee mine" tee.

Frugal Friday: Uptown Cheapskate


Uptown Cheapskate is a ‘clothes for cash’ style retail store where budget conscious style seekers can go and sell their gently worn clothing, in exchange for cash or a credit to shop within the store. They recently opened a location on York Road in Timonium so I stopped by to take a gander at the merchandise.



My very first observation was that I am not the target audience. There are really cute pieces, but they are very young, trendy sorts of pieces. In my opinion the ideal consumers for Uptown Cheapskate are teens, and would range from middle school to college freshman and perhaps sophomores. This makes it a potentially ideal place for moms with teens or pre-teens to shop, as they carry both men’s and women’s sized clothing, shoes and accessories.

The store is organized like a typical retail store, with the hottest items in the front, as well as accessories. Shoes are on racks above the clothing throughout the store, arranged by size. Clothing items are further organized by type: tops, dresses, jeans, shorts and skirts. While the majority of the store is dedicated to women’s clothing, the decent sized men’s section lives in about an aisle and a half close to the dressing rooms.

Notable labels include: Ann Taylor Loft, BCBGirls, Betsey Johnson, Madden Girl, Nine West, Old Navy, Wet Seal and Xhilaration for women; as well as American Eagle, Diesel, Eddie Bauer, Express Men, Joe’s Jeans, Lacoste, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and True Religion for men.

The items at Uptown Cheapskate are priced according to what the name would suggest. Women’s clothing falls within $4 – 80 range (depending on the item), jewelry and accessories are priced moderately between $6 – 12, handbags fall in the $20-30 range and outerwear starts around $30. Men’s clothing is similarly priced, with shirts falling in the $9 – 20 range and jeans in the $40 – 80 range.

The great thing about shopping at Uptown Cheapskate is that you can get rid of items in your (or your child’s) closet that no longer get worn, and get money back in the process with which to replace those missing items. According to the manager on-site when I visited, they’re more concerned with style than label, which keeps the door open for anyone to sell, regardless of what their label preferences are. The seller gets the cash or store credit up front, which generally falls between 25-30% of the selling price of the item.

T has just started wearing men’s sizes within the past year so we wouldn’t have much to sell, but you don’t have to sell items in order to shop the store. I’ll likely take him in one day to see if he finds items he likes.

Have you ever sold or shopped clothing at a ‘clothes-for-cash’ style retail store? What was your experience like?


Photos via store website

Posh Tip: Cuffed Jeans are in Season

Show off your fabulous shoes in any season by cuffing your jeans. A single cuff will show off those statement flats. A thinner double roll is an excellent way to show off your booties, sporty or casual boots. And a flat cuff brings a bit of casual to your most fabulous pump.

Low Wide Cuff


A low wide cuff (rolled once or more) makes for a chic option to show off your statement flats like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s chain strap version.

Tight Thin Cuff


A tighter thinner cuff showcases the entire boot or shoe. Try adding tights for warmth if you’re wearing a shoe that exposes skin: black if you’re conservative or a bright complementary color if you’re feeling adventurous. Some people hate this style but I don’t mind it when done right.

Flat Cuff


Show off your pumps with a flat cuff a la Sarah Jessica Parker. Add a blazer for a chic and stylish casual look.

What’s your favorite ‘off-the-cuff’ style?


Photos via Pinterest: 1, 2, 3

In the Kid's Closet: Jordans and Converse

T has a huge affinity for Jordans and Converse sneakers. He loves to rock basketball shoes with long sleeved tee shirts and jeans; and Chuck Taylors with just about everything--from hoodies, to flannel shirts to sweaters.

He recently obtained two new pair for his collection:

The Jordan SC-2 in grey, black and white


and

Converse Chuck Taylor padded hi-tops in black with royal blue stitching


I didn't help him pick them out, but I think both shoes are fairly hot!

What do you think--has he developed his mama's eye for style? ;-)

Giveaway Winner Announced!



I am so excited to announce the winner of my very first giveaway! Thanks so much to everyone who participated; your comments, likes and follows are very much appreciated!

The winner of both iS Clinical Active Serum and iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex from Cosmetic Surgery Center of Maryland (chosen by random number generator) is:


@boonie84 (A)!!!!

Congratulations! Please send an email to ChicMommyCoolKid@gmail.com with your mailing address, so that your prize can be shipped.

Love. Want. Need. - The Winter Boots Edition

The Maryland winter has been fairly mild until recently, allowing for plenty of outfits where skinny jeans kiss the tops of bare feet tucked snuggly inside fabulous pumps. But as the temperature has dropped in the past couple of weeks, it has become a “hide your feet, hide your ankles” boots advised type of situation.

This isn’t a style crisis; I love to rock the boot. Except that it is a bit of a crisis because I’m bored with every single pair in my closet. Correction: I’m bored with almost every pair in my closet; and those I’m not bored with are ill and in need of an appointment with the boot doctor (aka my friendly neighborhood cobbler).

So what’s a girl to do? Why, troll the internet in search of new boots to covet, of course! Here are a few I am currently crushing on.

Browns

Though I have tan boots, and cognac boots, I don’t have any that are a true brown, so snagging a pair like either of the ones below would fill a hole in my shoe wardrobe.


Tory Burch Selma Riding Boot in chestnut


Max Studio Shoes, Apres Tall Boots in dark brown

Mixed Material

I love the height of a high high heel, but I also like riding boots because they give the feeling of a flat, but they allow me to still sneak in some extra height.

Etienne Aigner Shoes, Gilbert Riding Boot in black and dark gray


Practical

I’ve had my wellies for several years now and they’re adorable but are starting to fade a bit from use in snow and salt. I’ve had my eye on these pink Hunter wellies since last year. So cute!



Hunter ‘Huntress’ Rain Boots in Fuchsia

Casual

This Sorel boot is great looking, and it can withstand snow while keeping my feet warm. Casual with functionality is a big plus; ‘tis a far far better thing to trudge around in the snow stylishly.



Sorel ‘Sorelia Earhart” Shearling Boot

With which of these could you see updating your wardrobe?

Favorite Author: Gabrielle Bernstein

I am a proponent of "inner pretty" just as much as what shows up on the outside. And we can all use guides from time to time to aid us in developing that inner pretty. One of my favorite guides/book authors is Gabrielle Bernstein.

Gabrielle is considered a self-help author -- but if that term scares you, think of her as more of a relatable ambassador for happiness. Her books, lectures, podcasts and blog posts are extremely helpful for the woman who is striving to stretch herself and learn to live her best life. I find Gabrielle's messages particularly helpful in getting through days where I find myself frustrated and irritable. A lot of the information she presents is rooted in changing how we react to difficult situations and encouraging us to view all situations--and ourselves--with love, acceptance and forgiveness.





In her first book, Add More ~Ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness, Gabrielle speaks about learning to live according to your "~ing"--your inner guide, as opposed to your ego. Through her book, Gabrielle helps you "to change your life by accessing a state of flow, helping you connect with your ~ing, your inner guide, and readying you to release your limiting beliefs and to choose happiness."



Gabrielle recently released a second book, Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles. Where Add More ~Ing was aimed at helping you to move your life in a positive direction, Spirit Junkie describes the author's own journey of spiritual transformation, and uses it as a power of example. After having read her first book, I am excited to see what I will learn from the second.

You can purchase Add More ~Ing to Your Life by clicking here, and Spirit Junkie by clicking here.

On the Bookshelf: Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Catching Fire

T has two new books on his bookshelf, both of which he received as Christmas presents. He is a huge fan of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and the 6th book, Cabin Fever, was released just in time for the holidays.



I’d heard great things about The Hunger Games series, so when T brought The Hunger Games home to read from the school library, I was intrigued to see what all the fuss was about. We took turns reading it, each of us finishing within a mere matter of days. And we’ve both been hungry for the sequel ever since. Catching Fire was even more of a page-turner, and he finished it in about three days.


The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is ideal for children, starting around the age of 9. The Hunger Games series is perfect for your pre-teen’s reading list; and it appeals to adults as well. It was actually chosen as the January pick for my book club. (You can check out my reviews of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire here and here).

What’s on your child’s reading list this month?



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




On particularly busy evenings for the family, you want to serve something that is nutritious, but is also quick and easy to make. This recipe for pizza purses fits the bill, as it uses few ingredients and bakes in just a short time. I made these for the kid a couple of weeks ago and he went bananas over them. I accepted the praise though it far outmeasured the effort! 


These pizza purses are essentially mini-pizza rolls. I used marinara sauce, spinach, mushrooms and goat cheese to fill ours, but you can use whatever your family likes best--I would just advise staying away from items like sausage that will be too heavy for the dough. 


Here's what you'll need:
1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1 jar marinara sauce
1 bag frozen spinach
1 basket sliced baby Bella mushrooms
Goat cheese (a whole roll or crumbled)


Directions:
1. Heat marinara sauce in a sauce pan on the stovetop.
2. Cook frozen spinach according to package directions. Drain.
3. Rinse mushrooms.
4. Add spinach and mushrooms to boiling sauce and mix well. Add seasonings to taste.
5. Unroll Crescent Rolls.
6. Fill each one with the marinara mixture, then top with goat cheese and roll into crescent shape.
7. Bake rolls for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.


By mixing the ingredients together, filling the rolls becomes easier. Once baked, the crescent rolls have a buttery taste that plays well with the other ingredients. I also suspect this is a great way to 'hide' vegetables if you have little ones that are particularly picky. 


For more crescent roll recipes, visit the Pillsbury website



Sweet Nothings: This Week's Inspiration


This is the front of the Christmas card given to me by my sweet friend, Mrs. E. Though it is intended to be holiday driven, these are things that I can believe in all year long. Belief in hope, peace, love, truth--and in myself-- are my guides to living my most fabulous life.

It's important to leave little reminders for ourselves around our homes that express our values and our goals, as they can help us to stay focused. They can also help to reign in our thoughts when we start to feel frustrated or overwhelmed. I'll be leaving this card up on the shelf all year long.

What types of sweet nothings do you leave around for yourself?

Posh Beauty Products Review: Tampico Skin Brush and Shea Radiance Shea Lavender Soap


Tampico skin brush: Bristles made from Tampico fiber--the unbleached stem of the agave plant. Used to exercise and stimulate the skin, gently exfoliate and deep clean.



Shea Radiance Shea butter soap: Lavender Bliss Eco-friendly, vegan, synthetic free. Formulated to nourish itchy skin. All natural ingredients: organic palm oil, organic evoo, organic coconut oil, shea butter, essential oils, castor seed oil.


This past Sunday, I tried these two products together and they were a match made in skin care heaven.

When my good friend Mrs. G mentioned (in a comment on this post at Peace Love and Pretty Things) that she uses a dry brush on her skin at night before bathing, I immediately took to Google to locate one for myself. If the idea of getting that layer of dry skin off your body before bathing--in order to get to the super smooth layer underneath appeals to you too; I’d imagine you’re likely doing the same thing right now.

Let me assure you that you will not be disappointed.

When I first used the brush I didn’t feel like anything was happening since there was no flaking, and no product to rinse. But after showering, I could really tell the difference! I felt “squeaky” clean. But my skin didn’t feel dry at all—and this I attribute to the soap. It worked up a full and silky lather that translated to my skin, leaving it super soft. It smelled great, and I believe the lavender may have even helped me to sleep better.

Exfoliating with the dry brush definitely got rid of that extra layer on top of the skin, and allowed the moisture cocktail that is the shea butter soap to penetrate the new skin. I’ve been doing this cleansing combination for the past three nights; my skin feels noticeably softer, and my eczema is less irritated. I think this is going to be an ideal formula that, in combination with the right moisturizer, is going to work perfectly for my winter skin.

Have you used these products or similar ones? How did they work for you?

Posh Tip: Cozy Bathroom Décor with Photos

The bathroom is one of those rooms in the home that is often seen as purely functional, but it doesn’t have to be that way! You can find a way to make any space in your home one that is beautiful and inspiring.

There are certain pieces that are basic components of bathroom décor, like hand towels, mirrors, rugs and shower curtains. But why not make your bathroom even cozier by adding wall décor? Wallpaper is one way to do this, but another way is with great photos. You can really personalize based on your signature style.







We ladies spend a lot of time in that room—even if it’s just primping in the mirror. It should be a place that makes us feel happy, shouldn’t it? Of course it should.

Happy decorating!


Images via Pinterest: 1, 2, 3, 4

Chic Mommy, Cool Kid Giveaway with Cosmetic Surgery Center of Maryland

***** This Giveaway is Closed *****

I’ve been setting goals for the new year, including some new things I’d like to do on this lovely little blog. I can feel it naturally evolving from a general diary of my random musings to a more informative and inspiring space. I’m pretty excited to bring you guys some new content full of whit, whimsy and sartorial savvy; I’ll hope you’ll be just as excited to read it as I am to post it!

To that end, I am hosting my very first giveaway in this space! (cue applause) I’ve won a few giveaways on other blogs (you can read about my scores here, here and here) and I know just how much fun it is to have that little brown box appear at your doorstep—without having to break out your credit card.

So, let’s talk about the goods! The team of friendly, highly-qualified surgeons at Cosmetic Surgery Center of Maryland has been helping people in the Baltimore area to be their best selves for over 10 years. They offer a wide variety of cosmetic procedures to help patients to look refreshed and feel revitalized, like: advanced skin care treatments, cellulite treatments, medical grade peels, waxing and (something on my personal “to do” list for the future) laser hair removal. But, their approach also involves educating patients, and recommending high-end beauty products that can help them to care for their skin at home. And that, my darlings, is where you join the party.

Cosmetic Surgery Center of Maryland has given me the opportunity to give away two fabulous products:

iS Clinical Active Serum


The Active Serum is anti-aging, anti-acneic and brightening. It contains glycolic acid, which is good for acne and hyper pigmentation as it helps the skin to turnover faster; as well as lactic acid; and willow bark--a natural source of salicylic acid—which is also good for acne-prone skin.

iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex


The Youth Eye Complex hydrates, reduces puffiness and helps to smooth those pesky wrinkles that show up around our eyes as our skin ages. It also strengthens the delicate skin around the eyes, leading to longer-term results in addition to what you can immediately begin to see.

Does it sound like these items are right up your alley? I thought they might be. So here’s what you need to do to enter:

Leave a comment on this post stating how you would incorporate either or both of these products into your current beauty routine. Please include your email address in the comment.

For bonus entries, you can:

1. Like  Chic Mommy, Cool Kid on Facebook
2. Follow @ChicMommy1 on Twitter
3. Like Cosmetic Surgery Center of Maryland on Facebook
4. Follow @CSCMD on Twitter

Each of the above qualifies you for one additional entry. Be sure to include which of these things you’ve done in your comment. The giveaway will close at 11:59pm on Sunday January 22nd and the winner will be chosen by random number generator.

Best of luck!

Sweet Nothings: This Week's Inspiration

After spending the holidays with all the people who are important to me, my thoughts have been centered on love. Love for myself, love in my relationship, love for everyone around me--and how important it is to send out into the universe the type of energy you want to come back to you. Give me love all day every day. 








What type of energy are you surrounding yourself with?


Images via Pinterest and Tumblr

Recipe: Yummy Spinach Dip | Posh Kitchen

I have finally begun to find cooking a likable experience (I cooked before, I just didn't really enjoy it much). The desire to cook more has been slowly fueled over the past few years by a desire to eat more healthily, and primarily as a vegetarian. In fact, one of my goals for the new year is to cook more often and make more of a variety of meals. I'm still working on making that actionable, and setting a plan in place. In the meantime though, I'll continue saving recipes that I'd like to try. And, inasmuch as I can get the meals made and photographed, I'll try and post the results here on the blog. 




To that end, I made this yummy spinach dip over the holidays, following a recipe I found online and saved several months ago--with a couple of minor tweaks. I cooked a lot this holiday season, but I have to say this is my favorite dish that I made; maybe that's because it was something new? At any rate it was delish! The young man claimed to not like spinach dip when I was picking up the ingredients, but when he tasted it, he loved it. And he can be tough to please! 


Secret ingredient spinach dip



  • 1 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach

  • 5 -7 medium artichoke hearts , drained and chopped

  • ounces low-fat cream cheese , softened

  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

  • 16 ounces of 4 cheese Alfredo sauce (I used Classico creamy Alfredo--not the 4 cheese)

  • garlic powder

  • onion powder

  • salt

  • pepper

  • crackers, sliced baguettes or tortilla chips (I used multi-seed flatbread crackers)

  • Directions:





    1. 1
      Cook spinach in microwave by following instructions on box.
    2. 2
      While spinach is cooking begin chopping artichoke hearts.
    3. 3
      Add cream cheese and artichoke hearts to medium saucepan over med-low heat.
    4. 4
      When spinach is finished cooking remove from microwave and blot with paper towels to absorb excess moisture. (I didn't actually have to do this step as the frozen spinach I used didn't have much excess moisture).
    5. 5
      Add the spinach to the saucepan and stir occasionally until cream cheese is melted and all ingredients are combined.
    6. 6
      Pour in Alfredo sauce and heat thoroughly over LOW heat, stirring frequently.
    7. 7
      Add Parmesan cheese and seasonings to taste, stirring well after each addition. 
    8. 8
      Let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
    9. 9
      Pour mixture into a baking pan. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese on top and bake at 350 for approximately 15 minutes, or until cheese is slightly browned.




  • Posh Tip: Create Actionable Goals for the New Year

    via

    The excitement has calmed, the sparklers have gone out, and the champagne bottles are empty; now it's time to think about what you want for yourself in this new year. Year over year, legions of people make new year’s resolutions and year over year, decidedly less amounts of people actually keep them. The idea of making resolutions has, in many cases, become synonymous with empty promises. So how can you hold yourself accountable to those changes you want to make in your life? Why not create actionable goals with bite sized steps that you can more easily sink your teeth into?

    Associate with a word or a theme

    By tagging the year with a word or a theme, you’re creating an association that you can be mindful of all year long. For example, my theme for 2011 was “abundance” and I dedicated all my activities to creating abundance in all areas of my life--from love to a new home to generating new business opportunities. I listened to lectures, repeated affirmations and used guided meditations, all year long, all centered on this theme. I found that zeroing in one theme helped tremendously with focus.

    Set up a concrete plan that includes definitive steps

    via

    Goals are less lofty hurdles when you can see a clear path to achieving them. For example, if you are resolving to find a new job in the new year, take a moment to sit down, consider carefully and list the steps that will aid you in accomplishing this. What companies are aligned with your desires for your ideal position? What research will you need to do? What websites will you need to visit? With whom might it be a good idea to network? With a plan in place, you’re less likely to end up in a rut of repeat actions.

    Set mini-goals that achieve your overall resolution

    via

    During this year, I plan to continue to work toward optimal physical health for my body. This means daily exercise and pushing myself to do new things. But this is a goal I’ve had every year; how do I keep myself from falling off? By setting a more concrete goal attached to the overarching one, which is to complete a half marathon next fall. Obviously I can’t go from the couch to 13 miles without training! Getting my body ready for the half will help me to achieve my overall fitness goal. This also brings me to my next suggestion….


    Find someone to hold you accountable


    via

    We’re more apt to stay on track when we know that someone is watching. In my case, my running buddies will hold me to getting out and hitting the pavement. So state your plans out loud to a friend, a trainer, a member of the same social club—anyone who is willing to call you out if they notice that you’ve been slacking.


    Give yourself reminders

    via


    Stick post-it notes to your mirror, make lists, create vision boards, repeat mantras, blog about it—whatever your method, just be sure to surround yourself with visual reminders to help you stay on course. I like to use Pinterest for vision boards, and I keep lists on lists on lists in my blackberry.



    Do you make new year’s resolutions or create goals at the start of the year? What are they? How do you stay on track to completion?

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