Mom Fashion Monday 


This post is so funny to me.  This shirt was LOVED in my house.   I think I have some pretty cute dresses.  And when I worked , I had some pretty cute work outfits complete with matching accessories.   Yet, not one of those outfits caused this much of a stir with the men in my life.   

I was in Target a couple of weeks ago and I saw this plaid shirt.  I liked the color and liked the fact that the sleeves were different.  I thought that made it look a little more interesting.   I also thought that I never really bought a plaid shirt before and that I would just throw it on in the fall.  It was versatile enough to wear with jeans and boots.  Seemed like cute Mom attire to me.  

The first day I wore it, I picked Nicholas up somewhere and the first thing he said to me was , “Nice shirt Mom!”  I come home and see  Vince and he says , “Mom you look pretty today”.    And lastly, Vaughn went out of his way to tell me that he liked my shirt shortly after.   

Maybe I should have bought a plaid shirt years ago.   Nicholas told me “It was casual”.  A lot of compliments for a $24.99 shirt from Target.  I actually bought some white jeans from Target too that day on sale for $17.99.  All those nice compliments from the men in my life for just $43!  I would say it was worth it.  

There’s Strength in Numbers 


I’ve struggled the last few weeks thinking about something funny to write about motherhood.   I know I’ve said some funny things along the way, but truthfully I haven’t found that much funny about it recently.   It’s been hard.   It’s been busy.   Packing lunches, washing clothes, cooking meals, checking homework, running kids.  So much of what we mothers do, we do alone.       

To be honest, I am often criticized for wanting to see my friends a lot.  Since I was an itty bitty kid, I have been told I talk too much, am way too social and those teenage years………….yes, I was on the phone WAY too much.  

I struggle with whether or not to go back to work and after 10 years of not working full-time, I still have no answers as to what is better for someone.   I find that so strange.  I recently have a good friend who had her third kid.  It wasn’t planned and she had a well paying, pretty fulfilling career for so long.  She  finally decided, after many challenging days, to leave her career and focus on her three little boys at home.   She didn’t know what to expect.    As honest and as blunt as I am, I think I gave her some pretty realistic expectations while scaring the bejesus out of her a little bit too.  I told her, you are going to have some very difficult days ahead, maybe even more difficult than being in the office. I probably should have stopped there but I added that she will feel like she’s  going to go crazy.  But, like anything else in life you have to experience it yourself to understand it.      She’s been on my mind a lot lately.   I keep trying to reach out and check in and make sure I see her.

Meanwhile here at my house, I have been planning a weekend getaway with my best girlfriends for our 40th birthday.   I am so excited.   These are the girls in my life that we celebrated our 21st together and the people that when I’m with I  truly feel at home.     It’s probably pretty rare that four best girlfriends turn the same age all within a week of each other.   Not only were we college best friends and found each other in college, but we are all the same astrological sign.   Petty funny when you get that many “fire signs” in one place.   We have 13 kids between us, so it is NOT easy to get away.  Almost next to impossible.  If you ever told us in college that we would have had that many kids, I would have never believed you.   Actually it’s more like a 28 hour weekend.   A quick day and night to celebrate.  But, with so many kids, and so many responsibilities we will take what we can get.  The mere fact that this trip is on the calendar has given me something fun and non kid related to look forward too.  

So, there’s so much I don’t know about motherhood, but last week I figured something out.   If you are going to take some time and stay home with your kids, make sure you connect yourself to friends.  And I mean really connect and really plan things.   It will definitely offer some laughter and bright spots in the hard days.  I know being connected really got me through the early years and I still need it as they get older.     To use some Texas language…………. “You Just can’t do the dang thing alone!!”   Nor, should you. 

Fashion Friday – Bandwagon Shopping 

            I am a complete sucker for hype associated with any type of sale.  So when Christine briefly told me that Lilly Pullitzer designed a line for Target I was immediately enthused.  I even noticed the buzz on Facebook a bit.   I made a mental note to log on or visit a store that day to shop.  As usual, we were, as they say, “A day late and a dollar short”.   These types of sales quickly become a joke as the stores and Internet sell out so quickly thus making it a Lilly Pullitzer for eBay collection.   That’s where you will find all the merchandise.  As annoying as it is, I couldn’t let it go.   I saw this cute romper selling for $38.00.  I was like a woman scorned so I bought it.   I really love it.  The quality is good, the colors vibrant and it’s so easy to throw on in the summer.   I wore it with two items from   My Kendra Scott inspired necklace was $7.99 and My Jack Rodgers inspired sandals were $15.99.  Not quite a $50 outfit but pretty close.  

The End of Summer Blitz – Last Minute Beach Trips and Back to School Shopping 



     I just recently saw a quote that said, “You have, if you are lucky, 18 summers with your kids.   Make sure you make them count”.   It struck me.  Maybe because I have a 10 year old now and time just seems to be ticking away.   I will admit I used to feel much like that old Staples commercial where the guy was flying through the aisles loudly singing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”.  This has been the first year that I honestly wasn’t counting the days, hours, oh who am I kidding,  minutes before the boys headed back to school.  With older kiddos, you realize the school routine brings more structure, earlier mornings, more work, and less time to lounge around.    NOT that there’s any lounging on summer break, it’s just wildly different.   

     As my summer was coming to a close I did what a lot of Moms do, I fit in some more beach time and headed back to school shopping the week before school.     What really made me laugh is how absolutely crazy both those things can be.   For 10 years , there has been very little relaxing at the beach.   Yet, the beach is still one of my favorite places.    Christine always says “You were so close to maybe sitting down at the beach , but you went ahead and did it all over again”.  She’s speaking of having Eve and extending that mothers’ heightened sense of alertness on the beach and my inability to comfortably sit and read anything in print.    Beach vacations to me involve packing massive amounts of paraphernalia of which I inevitably forget something.    This last time, I forgot the baby powder which Nicholas insists upon because in his words there’s “nothing like it to remove the sand” and another day I actually forgot towels thus sending Vaughn into a tiny temper tantrum.    Are you sensing a pattern here? High maintaince individuals all around me.   I find it a victory that I managed to get all five of us to the beach in one piece and not leave burnt to a crisp or down one kid.   I could write a whole article about what it’s like being married to a Pharmacist who obsesses about the ingredients in our sunscreen,  criticizes spray sunscreens and prides himself on “mastering the art of sun protection”.   By the time everyone is adequately covered we have been at the beach a good thirty minutes and I could seriously use a nap.   Sometimes I’m so worn out from applying that I can’t even bother to ask anyone to put any on me because I’m so over it.    Let the record reflect, no one has ever been sunburned on my watch, or lost.   Have you ever noticed how many kids actually get lost at the beach? Who cares about forgetting a towel or some baby powder.  I’m ready to give myself a medal that I bring this many kids to the beach and I actually keep track of them.  I got lost at the beach when I was five and my mother only had one to keep track of. 

    When the Kinosians hit the beach we have to get the full experience. The boys ingest massive amounts of Dels lemonade that we could actually add a line item titled Frozen lemonade into our vacation budget.  A major attraction to the beach for my boys are the  waves and as you might expect the bigger the better.   This year they used terms like punishing, crushing and the waves were actually “murdering” them.  Vaughn said the waves were so strong  that he thought he cracked a rib from the repeated beating they were taking from the waves crashing down on them.   Doesn’t  that just sound so relaxing ? 

      When we return from our ever so relaxing trip we are faced with getting ready to head back to school. My kids go to Catholic school which in a way is A LOT easier.  No clothes to buy and the school actually picks up the supplies for us. For a price of course.   But, we don’t get out of having to buy uniforms.  This is my fourth time buying uniforms at the store that outfits pretty much all of Dallas’ private school families.   What an experience.    I’m just going to lay it out there.   You know you are in the right place when you see the flashy, shiny, brand new SUVs pulling up.   I got to the store at 10:15am, 15 minutes after it opened and was the 19th person in line.  I have never been in a place where high school students have Louis Vuitton purses.  Just in my brief hour wait I bumped into Louis, Prada, Chanel and Gucci.  Not even kidding.    I wonder what they would all think of my  Michael Kors crossbody that I got for $40 at the local consignment shop.  Call me old fashioned but  I will never get used to high school girls having better purses than me.    We made it out in one piece , although a fight did break out between two ladies because one lady felt like the other was getting special treatment because she was allowed to skip the line.   I overheard it had something to do with the fact that her son had to get to an important football practice.  You know he may never get drafted to play college ball if they missed a practice.   

     Meanwhile , while Christine’s end of summer experience was different it was equally as nutty.  They opted for a road trip coupled with annual beach excursion.  Rather than the familiar Cape Cod they chose the Outter Banks.   Christine packed countless activities and snacks and hit the road.   What she didn’t prepare for was that speeding ticket they got on the highway setting them back $290 bucks even before they took their first bathroom break.   Or the fact that Victor decided to jump on a conference call while navigating the GWB and crossing three lanes of traffic in New York City.     As they say in Texas, “Bless his heart”.   Christine spent most of the week in a house full of choas with the fear of becoming a statistic and possibly falling victim to another shark attack.   Yet another relaxing beach vacation.    

     Back at home when she was greeted with the “Back to school” list she was equally as bewildered.   She read the list and was confused at its sheer length and descriptiveness.   Teachers were now mandating certain colors and amounts of things.   Texts were flying amoung the Moms and complete panic set in as to where they would find that elusive double pronged orange folder.    The list requested massive amounts of hand sanitizer and Kleenex when you know full well that a raging stomach virus is gonna rip through the classroom like a freight train come February whether or not  you buy name brand or generic.   Christine purchased school supplies for her daughter and spent $118 for someone going into the fourth grade.  

       We may not have had much down time or sanity, but we sure do have funny memories.  While I’m sad to see summer 2015 go so fast, I’m setting my sights on summer 2016.   They go so quickly.  I’m already thinking of the ways I can make it count.  Turns out having that third kid gave me 16 more summers to do so. 

Mom Style – Fashion is always better when it Supports Friends 

  I’m not sure if it’s that I’m getting older or I’m just channelling some of my father’s beliefs, but I’m kind of getting sick of shopping at big box retailers.  I’ve been thinking about it more and more, and I have always had a thing for  small businesses.  Never mind the fact that I don’t need Macy’s, or any other retailer for that matter,  telling me what my political beliefs should be.   

On a recent trip to Narragansett, Rhode Island I happened to walk by my friend Maribeth Carcieri’s boutique.   I discovered it last year and I liked it immediately.   Maribeth was a Pilates instructor at the gym I used to go to years ago and also a successful small businesswoman in my home state.   I have always admired her greatly.  She’s positive , funny, keeps herself in formidable shape and is an all around hard worker.   Did I mention she’s funny too?  She would always keep us laughing.   Her store is called KC Shoes on the Pier and it showcases much more than just shoes. I stopped in on a Sunday a couple of weeks ago and got lucky enough to visit with  Maribeth herself.     She styled me up , all while Eve tore apart her lovely store.    KC Shoes on the Pier is definitely a must visit for any fashionista visiting Narragansett.  The romper pictured was around $50.00.   Affordable, like much of the other items in the store.  I loved the print.  

Ten Things You Didn’t Know about My Dad – Written with Love (and humor of course ) 


I know this sounds strange, but my father’s death was so sudden to me.   I’m not sure if an almost four week battle in the hospital is exactly what most people would call sudden, but for me it was.   My father was probably one of the funniest people I knew so I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t want me to be super serious or morose about all this.    Thinking about  and writing about some of his humorous and unique traits has helped me grieve.  So here are some of the funniest things I remember about him, in no particular order of favorites:

1.  He got married and had me at the age of 35.  Back then that was ancient.  His mother, my Grandmother, started to question if it would ever happen.  

2.  He operated on what he called “Vince Lombardi time” arriving 15 minutes early to every event.   The man was NEVER EVER late.  If he was, it was entirely my mother’s fault.  

3.  He despised mayonnaise.  He would warn waiters and waitresses instructing them to not even put it on the side of his plate. He told them if they did he would have no other choice but to throw his plate.  They believed him.  I’ve never seen him throw anything.  

4.  He never applied an ounce of sunscreen and oddly enough never burned.   He was the tannest man I ever knew.   Until I had my son Vince.  

5.  My husband and guy friends used to love to play Poker with him.   He could tell jokes continuously without ever consulting a cell phone or book.   He told one of my friends,  ” I have more jokes than you have cell phone battery”.  Not only was that true but he also cleaned up that night. 

6.  At my wedding he gave a toast.  He said he saw a father do it at a wedding and he always wanted to do it.   He stole the show, but I think he was already a dozen vodka- tonics deep.   

7.  He went to catholic grade school, catholic High School (Laselle Academy ), the Army and graduated from Bryant College on the GI Bill.  He believed strongly in Education and was a true Patriot.  

8.  He loved to talk about food, shop for food, criticize food ……….anything related to food.   But, Italian food was the only food for him.   If he went to a restaurant and thought the food was terrible he would say , “The salt was good”.  Then , he would never return.  

9.  He was a talented Photographer but a terrible salesperson and he hated chasing people for money.   He once wrote a letter to one of his customers saying,  “You owe me money and I need it now!”.  He did not mince words.  

10.  He always said there were never “male” jobs or “female” jobs around the house.  Just jobs!  Even up until the end of his life, if he came over my house and there were dirty dishes in my sink, he would get up and clean them.   Just recently , I found him sweeping my garage.   

I guess you could say I’m lucky to be very unfamiliar with  death.  I’m trying to be thankful I had such a funny and loving father for nearly 40 years of life.   I would give anything to just have had a little more time with him.  

Fashion Friday – My Fashion Girl Crush 


I don’t watch much television, but I have caught a glimpse of HGTV’s newest hit show, The Fixer Upper.   There are probably many reasons why this show is so popular.   I was struck by Joanna Gaines’ unique style and I have a small girl crush on her.    She will never trump my first girl crush, Megyn Kelly, but  I have no desire to copy Megyn’s current hair and makeup.  Joanna’s style is about as refreashing and unique as the way she styles the beautiful houses on the show.   I did a quick google search  and right away the search revealed what makeup she wears.  Two items in particular, her lipstick (MAC Fresh Brew) and her signature blush (Lancôme Mocha Havana).  I thought well that doesn’t sound so complicated and it might be cool to give it a try.   I certainly don’t have time to pick up a multitude of new products but a quick trip into Macy’s and I could pick up both those things in one full swoop.  The person at the makeup counter said I sounded like one of the most decisive customers she has ever met.    I actually would have NEVER in a million years picked the lipstick or the blush, but I really really like the look.   

I copied her effortless style by buying a pair of silver circle hoops for $9.99 at Nordstrom Rack.  I bought the lace dress at a neighborhood online boutique for $18.00 and already had a jean jacket.    The bracelet was from Richardson Merchabtile for $12.00.   It definitely reminded me of her style.   

Signs the Novelty of Summer Vacation is Wearing Off

It’s been two weeks and one day since school has been let out for summer.   Ask me when I felt the novelty wear off and I will tell you yesterday.   Exactly 2 weeks.  Living in Texas allows us to get out earlier than my New England friends but every year a few weeks after school is getting out I get some crazy calls from my girlfriends.    I have to laugh because most of these calls have to do with who thinks their kid is bipolar, depressed or just plain psychotic.    It’s really funny.   Well yesterday here’s how I knew my patience was wearing thin and I wasn’t looking at summer vacation through rose colored glasses any longer. 

1. You start devising a strategic plan on how you will afford camp every day.  Surely they will put you on a payment plan, right?  Maybe I could give them some of my jewelry? Maybe we could take out a loan on the 401k? 

2.  You say SURE to your kid’s 9th Popsicle request.

3.  You look for anyone that looks fit to babysit just to run to the store.  You know you are just running there to buy snacks anyway. 

4.  You start going on and on about how great your summers were as a kid and how you just left your Mom alone. 

5.  You pull up your Amazon App and start asking the kids what books they want to get “lost in” all summer.   

6.  The sound of your kids bickering makes you want to pour yourself a cocktail at any hour.   Why can’t we all just get along?   

7. You think there’s got to be a conspiracy with how school days go by so fast and this summer day lasts forever. 

8. You think this might be actually enjoyable if someone didn’t call my name every second.   

Truth is I get so excited about summer vacation.   No alarm clocks, homework and no  strict bedtime routines.    I am determined to have a great summer without loosing my mind too much.  It’s really funny though , we all go through it, the ups and downs of being at home during summer vacation.   I wonder how long it’s gonna take to get my first SOS call from a girlfriend.   My prediction………..2 weeks.  


Fashion Friday – Pinterest Inspired for Less than $100

    I recently started noticing these cute army green cargo vests out and about.  They are so cute and so versatile.   The picture of the woman on Pinterest really caught my eye and thought I could probably recreate it in a budget friendly way.  I noticed Macy’s had one in the INC section for half off the retail price of $100.   Believe it or not the simple striped dress was much harder to find.   I actually found the one I’m wearing for $19.99 on Amazon.  I just added some gold jewelry that I already had and put on a brown wedge.   I plan on wearing this outfit with sandals  in the summer.   So all and all much much less that $100!  

Three Day Kickstart 


Two weeks ago, one of my best girlfriends, Claire, told me that she just purchased some Shakeology shakes from her friend at work.  She said, ” I’m going to do a three day cleanse, it promises about 4 lbs of weight loss”.   I thought, hey wait a minute, you can’t loose 4 lbs without me.     I recalled I too had a friend  that was involved with this company.   I decided to do it too and then tell some of my girlfriends as well. Girlfriends code of honor, right?  As usual, Christine,  being one of them.   Christine is what I call a “late adopter”. But, the funny thing was she had one ear open listening to my craziness.  

I asked Claire how her three day cleanse went.  She seemed pleased.  She said the hardest part were the headaches, but for the most part everything went well and she was happy having shed the promised weight and felt like she had kickstarted a new healthy trend.  Hmmmm, that didn’t sound so bad.  I thought to myself that I could certainly handle that.     

In retrospect , I’m laughing because I should have known.  Claire usually embarks on challenges without many complaints.  I always say she’s so graceful and has such a nice way of saying things.  She can make a difficult situation sound almost tolerable.    Like when, not by her own planning, she was left with no other option but to deliver her third boy naturally, thirty minutes after arriving at the hospital.  The way she described natural childbirth you might actually think you may be strong enough to rise to the challenge.   I learned, the hard way, to leave that  to people like Claire and The Dutchess of Cambridge.   

While my three day cleanse was certainly not natural childbirth, it presented some  funny challenges worth mentioning.   

Let’s start with day one.  By far the funniest day.   I wake up and start blending my first chocolate shake with Almond milk.  Oops, the cleanse does not allow Almond milk.   First step and I’m already one mistake in.  I decide to comply with the “strong recommendation ” not to drink coffee.   I think okay surely this can be done.     By mid-morning, I am at the post office and I read it’s time for a “fiber sweep”. What on earth is a fiber sweep? I learn, basically,  Metamucil on steroids.   It was not one bit appetizing.   Second step in and I decide to email my personal Coach. The cool thing with purchasing these products is that you have someone to be your sounding board and to be there for you if you do have any questions. I had no idea so many questions would actually present themselves.    This is when I found out Almond milk was a no no and I should probably pinch my nose while drinking the fiber sweep.   Onto lunch.   I have to admit bringing a vanilla shake out to mix  without a blender isn’t the most convenient.   This time, I mix my lunchtime shake with water in a Poland Springs bottle sitting in my car.  Not only did my lunch taste like chalk, but now my car looks like nepalm exploded.    I text Claire to tell her that I didn’t like the fiber sweep and that I think the lunchtime shake tastes like chalk.   Claire’s response , Oh, I didn’t mind that one”.  I think wow maybe it’s me.   And then, mid-afternoon it hits, that tsunami of a headache that happens during a full-fledged, bonafide  caffeine withdrawal.  I realize I never really had one of these and quickly realize how much freakin coffee I actually drink every day.  I started having violent thoughts towards whomever that was that wrote in the instruction manual to avoid caffeine.  I text Claire “Oh my God,  I have a headache”.   Claire’s response,  “Yeah, the headaches are the worst”.   That’s its? That’s all she said? By this point, I feel like my obituary will read “Mom dies from seizing due to caffeine withdrawal”.  I think maybe I should email that Coach again.  I mentioned needing a suggestion to make the vanilla shake more appetizing and I also mentioned my headache.   She responsed , “Oh no you are having a rough first day”.   After all of these exchanges it was time for my dinner time shake.  What do you know it was the same as lunch.  This time I added some cinnamon and a dash a vanilla extract.   It did taste much better.  My “Coach” was super helpful and my splitting head felt thankful for her.  

After day one I truly  wanted to stop.   Day Two was better.  Maybe it’s because I knew what to expect.  I powered through.  This day food just looked so appetizing.  I must admit I snuck a piece of my son’s pizza slice.  It was the most delicious bite of pizza I had ever had.  I started updating Christine and my friend Christie some thoughts.   They were mildly interested and when I described my headache they said they were thinking they would stay caffeinated, fat (their words) and happy.   

Day three came and I completed everything until dinner.  I forgot my dinner shake and ended up at a baseball game and had some grilled chicken and salad for dinner.  

When the three days were over, I realized how hard giving up coffee and substituting all meals for shakes truly was.   The program kept its promise.   I lost 4 lbs on the nose.  As hard as it was, I love any program that keeps its promise.   I do feel like it helped to jumpstart a healthier eating program.  But, I decided that unless I’m in a swimsuit competition or walking the red carpet that I won’t be worrying about three day cleanses anytime soon.  I loved the results though. My pants didn’t feel as tight and I started adopting much healthier choices.   I could certainly pinch my nose and toast my fiber sweep to that! 


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