Kodachrome Summer

As soon as school is out for summer I'll be catching up on books and magazines piled sky high by my bathtub, blaring the Pandora 70's station while I cook things bought at the farmer's market, maybe even dust off my tennis racket. I'm looking forward to a Kodachrome kind of summer

You give us those nice bright colors 
You give us the greens of summers 
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day, oh yeah! 
I got a Nikon camera 
I love to take a photograph 
So Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away... 

What to drink this summer:
How beautiful does this drink look...like summer in a glass. I'm sure the more you sip, the better it tastes. Check out this Fruity Summer Striped Ice Cubes post from Oh Joy! A Kodachrome day calls for fruity ice cubes.

For dining alfresco in the summer:
These kissing rabbit plates are so sweet and perfect for young children and eating outside. Can't you just see a cheeseburgers and hotdogs on this plate? My children would love them and because they are melamine plates, I wouldn't worry to ask my four-year-old boy to help do the dishes. 
What to wear this summer: 
These sunglasses from Westward Leaning remind me of the ones I had in the fifth grade in 1987...hot pink and so rad. They're called Color Revolution and come in all the best 80's neon colors.
This new eyeshadow by Stila is summer in a tin. Stila Countless Color Pigment also come in many more vibrant colors. You can wear one shade alone or swirl them all together for a pretty mix. 

Flip flops are a staple of summer. These Tory Burch flame red flip flops are glossy, bright and right from May to September.

Wishing you many Kodachrome summer days ahead. xx

Summer Cocktails inspired by Greta, Grace and Romy

There's nothing like a cocktail to kick back and relax at the end of the day. I love these movie star inspired cocktails...just in time for summer. 

Glamorous Greta Garbo's 1930 movie, Anna Christie, has one of her most famous lines. She sulks into a bar, plops down and says, "Gimme a whisky with ginger ale on the side and don't be stingy baby." You can see Greta in action here

Greta has a cocktail named after her (not with whisky). The crème de menthe in this Garbo cocktail gives it a cool refreshing taste that's just right for summer. 

The Garbo Cocktail:

  • 1oz brandy
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1/4 oz grenadine
  • dash of white crème de menthe

Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain into a chilled highball glass. 

The beautiful Grace Kelly has a cocktail named after her too. How very suiting that it has Champagne and roses in it. I love this scene from High Society of Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly drinking Champagne.

Cocktail Grace:
  • Rose petal jelly
  • 1 teaspoon rose liqueur
  • 1 glass of very cold Champagne
Spread some rose petal jelly on the inside of a frozen Champagne glass then pour in the rose liqueur. Top off with Champagne. 

Another stunning movie star was Romy Schneider. This scene from Cesar et Rosalie is the quintessential summer cocktail idea. I imagine Romy is drinking an Aperol Spritz because it's one of the lightest alcoholic drinks and that makes it perfect for the beach. An Aperol Spritz is an Italian cocktail that may have been created during the Austrian occupation of Italy. It's popular in Italy, Austria and Switzerland. The Aperol Spritz is cool, sparkling, and bitter with an orange flavor (I see the oranges behind Romy).

Aperol Spritz (for a Romy-style beach picnic):

  • 3 parts Proseccco
  • 2 parts Aperol
  • dash of soda
  • slice of orange
Add ice and a slice of orange. Pour in Prosecco, the Aperol and soda.

Summer is the time for relaxing with a cool cocktail. Try making plans to enjoy some time during the season by cooling off with a special cocktail and an old movie. Cheers! xx

Ten Things I've Learned From My Mom

Happy Mother's Day to my mom!
I've learned so many things from her... these are just a few.

1. ALWAYS send a thank you noteIt will always be appreciated, bring good feelings and never be forgotten.
2. HOW to make the perfect red sauce. 4T extra virgin olive oil, 4 garlic cloves, 1/2 C red wine, 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes, 28 oz can Italian tomatoes chopped, pinch of salt and sugar, 2 T chopped fresh basil. 
3. WHEN in doubt, wear red. When my parents were married, my Dad told my Mom he loved it when she put on red lipstick. He liked her lips red so much that he nicknamed her Rita.
4. HOW to make the perfect bow for a present. She an expert bow maker. Her presents under the Christmas tree are the most beautiful. I love to save her bows.
5. DANCE and follow your dreams. She was supportive of me for majoring in dance because she knew it was my dream to become a professional dancer.

6. AN appreciation for old movies. The Bells of St. Mary's, Weathering Heights, Roman Holiday, Casablanca...My mom would make us hot tea and we'd get cozy on the couch for a black and white movie (it's a bonus if it's raining). 
7. NEVER discuss sex, politics and religion.  Of course she's right, it's just in poor taste. 

8. FAMILY comes first.
She has always put family first. She is selfless. 

9. HOW to fix most anything for my children. When in doubt, I can always call my mom. Her knowledge is fast effecting medicine to my ears. 
10. THE most important thing that I've learned from my mom is that she is ALWAYS right! What's funny is that she says the same thing about her mother, my grandmother.

My Mom has always been able to make me smile. Wishing you the Happiest Mother's Day! xx
Pictures from my third birthday party.

It's May...the gift giving month

May blew in and it feels like Christmas time again with gift season upon us. May brings many gift giving occasions like: teacher appreciation, Mother's Day, Father's Day, wedding season, graduation...May is the month to sing, Chic's "Ah, freak out! Le freak, c'est chic..." My head always spins in May, it's the "freak out" month. 

For end of the year gifts for your child's teacher, don't freak out, remember it's supposed to be a gift FROM your child. Why not make sure your child's name is part of the gift? When pregnant with my first baby, I was reading Franny and Zooey and that's how I came up with my daughter's name, Zooey. The same is true for my son Quincy...I was reading about John Quincy Adams. You can find something with your child's name in print and make your gift extra personal and memorable. 

I take a lot of pictures and the end results make a spectacular gift for my classroom volunteers...pictures of their children throughout the year. Pinhole Press is one of my favorite places to shop. I would love this accordion brag book as a mom because it's like a parent's version of the yearbook. Aren't you always supposed to give gifts that you would love?

It's almost summer and people always need new beach towels and sunglasses. ASOS has a fashionable and affordable selection.

I combined the ideas and put them in a cute "take-out" box from the container store

For the graduate, give the inspiration to travel with 36 Hours in Europe. The newly engaged couple should read The New-Fashioned Wedding. You can't go wrong with books. I'm pretty sure my mother is featured in My Mom Style Icon and she would also love Domino, the book of decorating. For my dad, the Grateful Dead Father's Day card is just too cool! The ultimate Mother's Day gift would be Pino's Close to my Heart Giclee canvas.
My son recently had a classmate who had a going away party because his friend was leaving for Taiwan. We made him a personalized t-shirt at Cafe Press with a picture of his class.
Has anyone ever written you an ode? I think of John Keats when I think of odes...romantic, heavy and emotional. Now imagine a child writing you an ode...sweet, innocent and the best gift ever! Those are the best gifts...the one that comes from your heart. One of my former students personally delivered this ode to me last week...what a treasure and again THE best gift ever!

Need more ideas for teacher appreciation see here. More gift ideas for May, see here.