New York City Girls Trip and Turning the Big 4-0


    I have such a difficult time remembering movies.  I always thought I had some sort of “comprehension ” issue with them because I can literally watch a movie twice and it be like I’m watching it all over again for the first time.  But, there are scenes that can stick with me forever.   Any “Sex in the City ” fan worth their salt will remember the scene after Carrie and Big got married by the Justice of the Peace (after he left her at the alter of their posh wedding) where he had her girlfriends waiting for her and he said “Go, you guys have fun”.    I thought it was so touching.   As corny as it seemed I thought he gets it.     That’s what my girlfriends mean to me.   And Frankly , all of our husbands on some level knew they had to be like Big this time.    We all needed some time alone together so badly.  My girlfriend Claire joked she had been living for the weekend.   She wasn’t alone.   With my Dad passing and the stress of caring for 3 children it was a MUST to get away.   

     I met my college girlfriends very shortly after I first entered college.  We were all 17 Freshman year.  We were those kids that everyone “red shirts” or “holds back ” now.  There were four of us and we were all born in late November (me) and the rest early December.  We celebrated 21 together, 30 and now we were all turning 40.   I knew we had to do something monumental.   I planned a trip to NYC.  With me in Dallas, it’s only a 3 hour plane ride and the girls in Rhode Island and Massachusetts,  it’s about a little over 3 hour trek for them as well.  It seemed like a fun and fair place to meet.  

     When we planned our trip we kept saying how fun and crazy it was going to be.  We used phrases  like,  “We will take New York by storm”, “We would light up the night” and some other rather funny things I’m embarrassed to write.    While the trip was pretty tame for us, it ended up being one of the most emotional ones for me.   

     I started the weekend flying into the airport and taking a cab to the hotel in the city.     One of my favorites things in the world to to is to ride in a New York cab and take in the sights and sounds of the city.   From the moment I see that New York skyline I am struck by exteme emotion.    When I was about 21 years old I visited a friend in New York.   We were in a bar in the Village and I had this feeling come over me that I had lived there in another life and that I HAD to live there at some point in my life.   New York was electric to me and I saw it as the center of the Universe.   I graduated college and  got my first job.  Oddly enough, it was selling Mutual Funds and Insurance for a financial company.  I became the third rookie in the company on some crazy list one month, saved my money from commissions and plotted my plan to get to New York City. One day,  I boarded an Amtrack train from Providence to New York, met with a recruiter who set up two interviews for me that day and headed back to Providence that night with and offer from Prudential Securities as a Legal Assistant in their Law Department.  During the interview I sat in a corner office talking to one of the Department Heads overlooking a spectacular view of the city.  I was 22 and in AWE!  When I went home and told my Mom and Dad they said they were in shock.    My mother said she had never seen anything like it.   I joke to this day and say that’s what motivation looks like.  I was extremely motivated.   My father,   who never got mad at me, screamed,  “You are my daughter and I love you very much and I don’t want to see you killed in New York City”.   They supported my decision.   Not sure they could have stopped it as it was all my own money.    My Mom became secretly excited that she had a fun place to visit.   Christine was in graduate school at Yale at the time and I moved into her tiny apartment and slept on a futon  until I could find a place of my own.    I was young, determined and I figured it out. I hope my kids have even an ounce of what I had.    Christine talked about it again on our girls trip.   Like my parents, she said she had never seen anything like it.  

     The cab ride into the City brought back so much of my time there.   I drove down the FDR and saw my old apartment.   An apartment I shared with a Vetrenatian student that used to rescue chihuahuas.   I remembered the girl I was then and kept wondering how is it am I going to be 40.   Like seriously how?  It all seems like yesterday.  That girl I was was really cool.  I remembered the utter freedom I had living in the city at 22! 

       The girls met me later and we were so excited.   We got up in the morning ready to take on the city.   Breakfast and shopping was well underway at 9am.  At breakfast we just talked.   Talked and talked about the demands of homework, being tired and then somewhere mid stream we just relaxed and started laughing like we did years ago.   There is one friend in particular, Christina, that can make me laugh like no other.  Christina is someone that if I just look at her I laugh.   I know exactly what she’s thinking and we are probably the two most similar in personalities.   We talked, laughed and  even cried at breakfast.    Then she whipped out her makeup case and started showing me her beautiful Chanel lipglosses.  She told me to try them on. Of course, I loved them so I had to pick one up on the trip.  True girlfriends know when it’s time to whip out the lipgloss, let you try it and tell you honestly how it looks. Then they march you right over to the Chanel counter to pick it up.  

     There are so many funny things that happened to us on the trip.   Like when we asked a young clerk at Bloomingdales where a fun hip spot would be for lunch and she responded “There’s a Johnny Rockets around the corner”.  Talk about feeling 40 then.  We couldn’t stop laughing.  We ended up at a pretty popular lunch spot called Dos Caminos.  There we all talked about college, all the crazy things we did, the boyfriends and all the stories.   No shock but Christina and I had the zaniest stories and the most boyfriends.   Ha!   We were both so full of piss and vinegar.   This was my favorite part of the trip.   Taking a trip down memory lane with some of the best Mexican food and some really stiff drinks in hand.    The best part was there were  no little people bothering us.  Eating that many decent meals with no interruptions is a feat in itself.   Eating and reminiscing with a 40 year old perspective.   At one point we were remembering a story and Christina blurted out, “Oh my God, what if my girls do that?”.   So frightening.   Hopefully they will have some good friends to do it with.  

     At dinner that night we saw a Jonas brother and some reality star named Gigi that the Jonas brother is dating.   Christina approached Gigi in the bathroom.    This Gigi told Christina she was very stylish.  I think it made her year.   Some lady in a North Face coat walked right up to me, snapped a picture of me and walked off.  Although I was utterly flabbergasted and annoyed, I was flattered maybe she thought I was someone famous. I mean I do write a blog!    What a laugh.  

     Much of our time was spent eating and talking.  It was a brutal reality coming back to normal life.   On the plane ride back I thought how lucky we all were to get the time away but also how lucky we were to have found each other.   Two of my girlfriends are twins so they are already sisters but to me my girlfriends are my sisters.   I can’t imagine life without them and I always say I don’t want to.   I thought about celebrating 50 with them.   Christina said at lunch  we all found each other.   Everyone should be so lucky.  Everyone should plan a girls trip , take a trip down memory lane, drink stiff drinks, bump into a few celebrities and buy overpriced lipglosses with their best friends from time to time.  I hope we are still celebrating birthdays until we look like the ladies pictured above.  Something tells me we will.  Because, just like the memories we were remembering last weekend, this trip will be a memory we tell in the future. There is something very frightening about that, but equally as comforting.  

Fashion Friday – Every Girl Turning 40 Should Have At least One Splurge Lipstick 

Some girls love shoes and purses.   I have always loved lipsticks and sunglasses.   The lipstick is sort of my thing though.    I entered my freshman year of college with 50, yes 50 Revlon lipsticks.   I used to think the perfect lipstick color could change your mood or even your life.  Comical, I know.   

Last weekend , while with my girlfriend Christina, I admired her lipstick.   We have similar coloring so she let me try it.   It’s Chanel’s Dazzling Bronze.   I thought it would be a good color for Fall.   When they rang it up I almost died when they rang it up and it came to 40 DOLLARS! Then I thought how apropo that was since I’m going to be 40.  I told Christina that I couldn’t believe I just spent 40 dollars on a lipgloss and she said “Bebe, it’s a lipstick AND a lipgloss! Oh,  good point girlfriend !!!

It was my splurge for the weekend and I loved it.  Christine just recently bought Smashbox’s Cognac and she is equally as excited.    

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.  



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