Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blue Star and Red Dot

The Blue Star Art Contemporary Center has been around since 1986. It formed out of a need to exhibit the work of a number of contemporary artists in and around San Antonio. In 1988, after being operated solely by volunteers for two years, a full-time Executive Director and staff was hired.

Today, Blue Star is one of San Antonio's leading contemporary art influencers. In addition to the 20+ exhibitions that are showcased each year, the Center is also responsible for helping to create Contemporary Art Month, a citywide celebration that now includes over 50 collaborating organizations.

Tonight, Blue Star will host Red Dot, their highly anticipated art sale. This is an opportunity for patrons to purchase contemporary art selected by San Antonio collectors and other Texas cities. What makes this something beyond just raising funds for Blue Star (though that's clearly an important aspect of it) is that fifty percent of the art sales from the evening go back to participating artists. It's a win-win for everybody.

In case you are in or around San Antonio tonight, it's not too late to purchase tickets at the door.

Come Give Me A {French} Kiss

I saw "Un baiser s'il vous plait" ("Shall We Kiss?") earlier in the week with my friend D. It's a quirky French comedy that explores the oft complicated relationships between men and women, but it goes one step further. (We already know that men are from Mars. Period.) Specifically, as the title of the movie implies, it explores the relationships between men and women that are oft even more complicated after a kiss is exchanged.

The exploration of the role of the kiss adds an interesting element. Instead of looking at the usual relationship pitfalls between men and women, the kiss, itself, is at the center of the plot.

What a complicated character, too, that kiss is! After all, a kiss isn't always a simple thing, for it has the power to transform relationships. While it can be a plain token of affection between - say - mother and child - it also has the dichotomous power to begin or end a relationship, intensify or bore an attraction, enchant or ruin a connection.

This plot is full of twists and turns that will keep you entertained and curious for more. It relies on hilarity, irony, sadness, deception and truth to tell its tale, one that comes full circle by the end of the story (and yet - in a funny way - it still leaves things open for interpretation).

The lesson for me? "A kiss is still a kiss" no matter how you dish it out.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The 3/50 Project

You may have noticed the two images on the left side of my blog. I wrote about one of them the other day. Today, I'm going to focus on the other: The 3/50 Project.

The 3/50 Project is committed to saving the brick and mortars - those that are still alive, that is - that our economy is built on. It's a movement that encourages the support of all your local Mom and Pop stores that continue to bring you interesting goods and services in a personal and individualistic manner that large chains simply can't deliver.

So what exactly is the 3/50 Project? Choose your 3 favorite local shops. Spend $50. Save your local economy. It's that simple.

Saving your economy... one retailer at a time.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wool and the Gang

The mother's day gifts that I ordered for my Mom and Godmother FINALLY arrived!

It was so fun watching my Mom open her gift. As a knitter who is rediscovering her skills, she absolutely loved the knitting kit I got her from Wool and the Gang in the UK. (This, of course, made me so very happy!) Luckily, I was with her when she received it, so I was able to document the goods and see how they were packaged.

Let me just say that the whole thing is gorgeous. As you can see from the pictures below, the kit arrived in a white paper kraft bag. A sample of the peruvian yarn included in the kit served as the tie to a picture of what she was going to be creating.

Upon opening it, there were a number of things that I didn't expect to see. In addition to the beautiful knitting needles and fuchsia yarn, there was also a few iron-on patches, a package of smaller needles, instructions and a lookbook full of entertaining images (e.g., a dog covered in a knitted scarf).

I first discovered Wool and the Gang from DailyCandy. I also referenced it in one of my Mother's Day gift suggestion postings, but had no idea what to expect when I ordered the kits. Let me just say... this will not disappoint. It's the perfect gift or Do-It-Yourself project. (And given that it's May, you've got plenty of time to finish a new scarf before winter arrives.)

Hmmmm... perhaps a Christmas present for a loved one? After all, it's never too early to start that kind of shopping.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Just A Hint

Today's posting is late, primarily because I've been trying to get ready to for the long weekend. This morning, I was wrapping up a really fun project that a friend and I participated in both today and this past Wednesday. Rather than write a short segment about it, I'd rather save it for another time so that I can make sure and share all the important details. I will leave you with a few hints, though. (BEWARE: could cause heart palpitations.)

In the meantime, have a safe weekend! I'll be back next Tuesday.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lash "Extensions"

Following up on my previous post, eyelashes aren't just for eyes. Check out all the different types of "extensions" out there right now:

1. "Blink" via Supermarket; 2. Thakoon via Rural Runway;
3. pillow via Fur Tub;4. She Uemura lashes; 5. print via Best Art Studios 2;
6. water bottle via Cafe Press; 7. dress at Miss Selfridge;
8. Mika Olivia via Springwise; 9. eye mask via Patricia Field

Lashin' Out

Paris Hilton. Lindsay Lohan. J. Lo. Madonna. Those women have a lot in common. Besides their so-called “status,” celebrity-hood, drama, public break-ups and divorces, there’s another common characteristic that they all share: lash extensions.

Eyelash extensions were created in Asia, but soon moved their way west in the early 2000s. What started out as a celebrity-focused business has quickly turned into a consumer-focused industry. Salons – both large and small – are now offering the service as readily as they might offer a hair color treatment.

The process is simple, really. An individual synthetic lash is actually bonded to your real lash. In any given session, there are probably 50-75 lashes per eye applied. And unlike other beauty treatments, this isn’t harmful to your own lashes and it certainly doesn’t prohibit your real lash from growing. It just gives you an ultra sexy and flirty look year round.

Does it really work? YES! Pictures say it louder than words so I’ll just give you the visual proof:

And for the more adventurous consumer, there are even some companies that have colored lashes.

Sounds good, but what’s the damage? First time applications can run anywhere from $250 to $500, while refills run anywhere from $35 to $100. All of this, quite frankly, usually depends on your geographical location (it’s more expensive in LA and NY than it is in SA).

Having indulged in the luxury myself, I can pass along a bit of advice:
  • It’s important to go with someone who has a bit of experience with this process. Be leery of specials that sound too good to be true.
  • Make sure that they are applying individual lashes and not small clumps. While clumps can be effective for one night, for example, they won’t last as long as the individual lashes.
  • Be prepared to maintain them. In order for them to look their best, you have to take care of them and have regularly scheduled visits with your Lash Specialist. (I’ve got a great one, so let me know if you are interested. I’m happy to pass along her information.)
The newest fashion in beauty, this trend has even endured the recession. Companies who manufacture lashes are reporting record-breaking profits.

Blink it on!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Out and About {in Galeana}

The lovely stylist Marie Antoinette in Corey Lynn Calter tunic from Galeana

N-ICE, N-ICE, Baby

I recently came across "Operation NICE" (you'll notice the tag on the left sidebar of my blog). As the title indicates, it is a blog that is dedicated to the advancement of - drum roll please - people being nice to one another. Who'd have thought that an entire blog could be about being nice?!

Well, it can... and it exists. Founder Melissa Morris Ivone got the idea after someone held an elevator door for her. "If everyone was a little nicer to the folks they encountered each day," she thought, "perhaps the world would be a more pleasant place."


The blog is a sweet interpretation of what being nice means. You'll find encouraging stories of other people being nice, as well as a few weekly suggestions of ways that you, too, can be nice. (One of my favorite tips was to leave change in the change returner on a vending machine so that someone else can enjoy a treat.)

It's a simple concept, really, and it's so easy to implement. Look someone in the eye. Buy a friend lunch. The next time you say "have a nice day," actually mean it.

Whatever you do, just be nice. It's what every modern girl would do.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tracy Feith Hits Target

This past Sunday, Target launched it's newest GO International limited-edition designer collection, Tracy Feith.
Texan-born (aren't all the good looking guys), Tracy started designing his own skate clothes in the 80s. Upon entering art school, he was encouraged to take fashion classes and thus began his now 20+ year old career as a designer.

Now an avid surfer, his style is said to be "Bohemian luxury" - perfect for the beach or the red carpet. Made and sold in Manhattan, he's also got 3 other independent stores (in Brooklyn, the Hamptons and LA). His line can also be found in a few other high-end boutiques across the US (prices range from around $800 to $2000 and up).

All images via

Lucky for us common folk, Tracy has teamed up with Target to create a less expensive line. Girly, flirty, bouncy and cute - this line ranges from $15 to around $140. (I'd say those prices are more in line with a - uh - real "bohemian" girl.)

Images courtesy of Target

Available now thru June 20.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sweet Girl

How yummy is this spread from an older edition of Vogue Girl Korea (March 2007)?

Makes me want to have a tea party. Coffee, tea or me? (Yowsa!)

The Hasbeens are Here!

Check out the following email I sent out for the shop today:

What is a hasbeen?

A hasbeen has been inspired by other hasbeens throughout the ages.

Look at the hasbeens of the 1970s, for example. Gender equality took center stage. The Vietnam War prompted deadly demonstrations from anti-war protesters. Mandatory busing to achieve racial school integration threatened our educational process.

Change. Revolution. Evolution.

The designers of Swedish Hasbeens’ have taken note of historic times like these. They know that sometimes you have to move backward to be able to move forward. That’s why they’ve introduced us to their line of toffels (aka clogs).

Today’s designs are based on those original 70’s models that changed and inspired so many. They’ve been updated, though, with ecologically prepared natural grain leather, a material that’s nicer to people, as well as to Mother Earth. They also come in all sorts of funky colors (red and silver are among our favorites). A winning combination, this keeps them relevant for tree huggers and 21st century fashionistas alike. And that can only mean one thing: these Hasbeens are so Must-Haves.

We’re the only ones in town who’ve got ‘em so get ‘em before they are so – uh – has been.

An interesting design note: Swedish Hasbeens were chosen as the trend of the year in Sweden at the annual Trend Award Gala 2008 in Stockholm.

Farm to Market

I had a great weekend. On Saturday morning, I went to the Pearl Farmer's Market that I referred to on Friday. It was a terribly muggy, hot morning, but that didn't stop the crowd from gathering downtown to attend the Grand Opening.

Fruits, veggies and meats galore - the Market was filled with beautiful colors and activity. There were only about 20 or so vendors, and many of them had run out of their supplies within the first 30 minutes!

Chef Andrew Weissman and his colleague, Luca, were on hand to do a cooking demonstration. Weissman is in the final stages of opening one of his newest spots, Il Sogno (The Dream), in the Full Goods building (immediately adjacent to the Farmer's Market). Opening is currently slated for June. (Now those are two guys that have got it going on - handsome, successful, charming, intelligent and both have beautiful families. Their beautiful wives are both customers at my store.)

I'd say that the Pearl organizers have some structural challenges to work through. The flow didn't move in a natural direction and it was so crowded that people were uncomfortable and complaining. For a first time execution, though, I'm not sure that they could've done it any differently. There are just too many variables that are difficult to predict without a trial and error grace period.

This was also my first glance at the River Improvement project. They had just filled the spot with water, so things are really coming together.

If Saturday was any indication of the future growth of this endeavor, it is well on its way. This entire project is going to do wonders for the Alamo City.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Local Harvest

For those of us who have grown up in San Antonio, we know that the Pearl Brewery has been a landmark building for 125+ years. Though it stopped producing beer in 2001, it's now famous sign and beautiful buildings have remained a part of downtown's landscape.

Image via Wikipedia

In 2002, it was acquired by Silver Ventures and thus began its transformation. The Pearl Stables (an event hall), the Aveda Institute and Texas Farm to Table were among the first businesses to go into the compound, followed by Melissa Guerra, one of the newest tenants. There are several other exciting things happening down there - the San Antonio River Improvements project, new restaurants, office and residential space, The Culinary Institute - but I will have to save these other treasures for a separate post and focus on the task at hand! (There's simply too many exciting things to discuss...)

The reason I write today is to let you know about the Pearl Farmer's Market. The Grand Opening is this Saturday, May 16th (tomorrow) from 9 am until 1:00 pm and it's going to be incredible.

I've only been to a handful of Farmer's Markets in my lifetime, so I'm definitely not an expert on this subject. However, I can say that the concept for this one is really cool. All vendors plant, raise and harvest all of their goods, so you can be sure that it's the real, downhome thing. Even more impressive? All vendors must come from within 150 mile radius of San Antonio. That's means its all local. (As a small business owner, I believe that supporting your local vendors is a great way to give back to your community.)

In addition to plenty of things such as fresh produce, potted herbs, baked goods, fish and meats, there will be a cooking demonstration by one of San Antonio's true gems, Andrew Weismann, the star chef from Le Reve, Bigz, and Sandbar. Local band, Emory Quinn, or EQ as they are called by their fans, will also perform. Finally, you can even purchase a ticket for a seat at MesAllegre, the chef's table where all meals are prepared using items pulled directly from the market.

From here on out, there will be a Farmer's Market every Saturday - come rain, shine, snow or sleet. Put this on your calendar. This is not to be missed.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I've made some major and significant changes in my life in the last 5 years. Thankfully, most of them have been for the better.

I'm still wanting to change certain areas of my life, but I find myself paralyzed, at times, by a number of obstacles such as fear of failure, perfectionism, negative thinking - even laziness. While I like to think of myself as a go-getter, I also have to realize that I am human and therefore, am not perfect. Admittedly, that's a hard one for me to digest sometimes.

Maybe if I look at the mini posters below everyday, I'll find the inner gumption to take action and make the changes I need to make. They sure beat the dust collectors you might find in your doctor's office that's looked the exact same since 1982.

Douglas Wilson at Keep Calm Gallery

Orange Beautiful @ Etsy

The Love Shop @ Etsy via Design Milk

I still won't be perfect, but at least I'll be one step closer to being better.

Adeal at Aloft

Just an interesting follow-up to my earlier post re: Aloft, W Hotels answer to the budget-conscious traveler who still appreciates design. As Target as shown us, great design doesn't always have to be expensive.

This is just an image, not an actual link, but I imagine you can find this special if you look on their site.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Out and About {in Galeana}

The always lovely Marcella A. in her
"Marcella" nameplate necklace

Designer Dish {Amy Tangerine}

Customers at Galeana tell me that part of what makes my store so appealing is that I carry several - what they call - "different designers." It's the "stuff that you don't see everywhere."

Personally, I take this as a compliment. I like that I take risks and push my customers to step outside of their comfort zone a bit. You can go anywhere to buy a white tshirt and jeans, and while I also carry a few of those basics, I tend to lean towards stuff that - well - you don't see everywhere. The lines I carry are more unique.

Having said that, I feel like it's my responsibility to know a little bit about these independent designers. So I thought it would be interesting to share the dish with you. It's about them and by them. If successful, perhaps this will turn into a regular series.

Today's Designer Dish is with Amy Tan. Her line, Amy Tangerine, is filled with embroidered goodness. Mostly women's and baby/children's tees (there are a few accessories), it's sweet, fresh and easy to enjoy.

Below is a bit more about Amy:

Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am 30 years old and an only child. Born and raised in Chicago until I was 15, I moved to Atlanta and lived there for 10 years, and currently I have been in Los Angeles for 5 years. I enjoy traveling and being on-the-go, but can also be happy staying at home being crafty. My two Jack Russell Terriers, Buster and Bamboo, keep me on my toes at all times.

How did you start your business?
It started basically by accident 7 years ago. I asked my mom to teach me how to crochet so that I could make arm warmers for outdoor photo shoots (I was working as a fashion stylist at the time). After wearing them into a store opening party, the owners asked if I could make them some to sell in the store. I delivered them and sold a pair right out of the bag. Three hours later, they called me and said half of them had already sold. After some press and selling to a few more stores, springtime came and I decided to hand embroider some tank tops. Fred Segal picked them up and a few months later Cindy Crawford was photographed in Glamour Magazine wearing one of them. At that point I decided I might have a business and flew to NY for my first big tradeshow.

How have you kept things fresh?
I travel a lot and seek inspiration of all kinds, whether it be from daily life, nature, people or different places, I try and keep an open mind and not follow trends too closely. I just make what I like.

Who are some of your favorite designers?
I love the lines Corey Lynn Calter, Notice, Rebe and Robin's Jeans.

Where else do you get inspiration?
I love crafting, and seeing cute cards and paper products is really inspiring. I think it translates well onto positive and fun tee shirts.

What advice would you give someone looking to start a new business?
I think it's important to take things slowly and day by day. The big ideas are wonderful, but stick to what is true in your heart. Also, get advice from a couple mentors, seek wisdom from them and always be willing to learn from mistakes. I've learned new things every day, and am grateful for those lessons.

And now... for all those proud Texans (or those of you who wish you were from Texas)... check out Galeana's latest arrival:

(Eat your heart out, California.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tent Sale @ Galeana

I mean, what Modern Girl doesn't like a sale? Don't miss it! This Thursday through Saturday.

In-store only at Galeana.

Blog Love

If you're going to be a modern girl, you must get in on the blog scene. What exactly is a blog? Short for weblog, it's an electronic version of a journal. The subject matter is up to the blogger, so as you can imagine, there are tons of blogs out there about tons of different subjects.

Part of what makes blogging so appealing to me is the fact that one can tie to so many other blogs. It's sort of part of the blogging world, actually, and it goes along with the territory. At its core essence, it's what social networking is all about.

I was recently encouraged to share some blog love, but instead of focusing on the always brilliant "usuals" like design*sponge or decor8, I thought I'd highlight a few of my recent favs:

The Pioneer Woman: Move over, Martha. Meet The Pioneer Woman. A true pioneer woman, indeed, Ree Drummond does all sorts of incredible things. She lives on a working cattle ranch with her husband and 4 kids where she cooks, photographs, homeschools, blogs... and those are just a few of her daily chores. Not only does she do ALL that, she does it with beauty and perfection. This woman is my new hero (and her sweet rolls are to die for as was attested to in my Mother's Day Brunch post).

[Images via The Pioneer Woman]

Feather Your Nest: FYN is operated by two women who know style. Miss Bleecker lives in Forth Worth and Miss Byrd lives in Savannah. Both have backgrounds in event planning (among other things), but their experience goes far beyond getting the logistics together. They are experts in the things that can really make or break a special occasion: flowers, linens, stationary/invitations, and photography. (As a side note, they also have a blossoming retail presence in Fort Worth called Byrd + Bleecker.)

[Images via Byrd and Bleecker]

Style Rookie: Meet Tavi. A lover of Bob Dylan and C.S. Lewis. A fan of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "A Night at the Roxbury." A devotee of Comme des Garcons and Alexander McQueen. A stylish and intelligent Londoner, indeed.

It's rude to speak about someone's age, but in this case, you'll have to excuse me. You see, Tavi is 13! Yes, she's 13 and she's the most sensational 13-year old I've ever come across.

Darling, quirky and eccentric, she has a respectable style of her own that is well-documented on her blog with daily pictures of what she's wearing, what she's doing, what she's listening to, who she's following, etc. Some might say that Tavi is wise beyond her years, but one of the most appealing aspects of her life is that one can still see the child within. She's still attractively innocent (she prefers chocolate pudding over vanilla).

[Images via Style Rookie]

Perhaps you'd like to share some of your favorite blogs, too?

Monday, May 11, 2009

State of Play

I saw “State of Play” a few days ago. It’s an entertaining flick with big name actors (including Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren and Rachel McAdams). An engaging plot, it’s a great date movie.

The movie aside, I was reminded of the role music plays when creating a soundtrack for a movie, television series or commercial. I got thinking about this because there was a Creedence Clearwater song that played during the credits.

I couldn’t help but think what a perfect match it was for the movie. The voice, the beat, the guitar. They captured so much of Russell Crowe's character in that one song - even long before that character had been created. So what did I do? I went home and downloaded – not only the song – but the entire CC album - off of iTunes (and I’m definitely not the biggest CC fan). A great example of successful product placement (but that's another story).

There are lots of other times when this has happened. Music has gotten me excited about something or inspired me to do something new - even if it's simply to find an old CD or download music. Call it a "state of play." It's a state of playing music. Some of my favorite "states" have come about through soundtrack or broadcast associations. It's sort of feels like an aha moment - even if I haven't actually figured something out. I've simply rediscovered something I'd forgotten about... or discovered a "new" thing that's actually old.

In keeping with that theme, I thought I’d share a few of those "states" that stuck with me. (I apologize for the small type. Click on the image to enlarge it):

[Click image to enlarge]

And if you were a fan of "West Wing," make sure and re-watch the scene where "Brothers in Arms" played. It's fantastic.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Brunch

I feel like I have exhausted Mother's Day, but I have only one more post that I thought you'd be interested in: my Mother's Day brunch. I thought you might find some ideas for something you might be planning in the future (since it's certainly something that could work for multiple occasions).

My menu was inspired by none other than Mom. I knew I wanted to do a brunch that would be 1) homemade, 2) really tasty and 3) not terribly difficult (that detail was for me). I used two different resources to come up with my final menu: fresh squeezed orange/grapefruit juice, eggs in ham cups (from Gale Gund's Brunch), steamed asparagus, fresh watermelon chunks and two variations of sweet rolls (orange marmalade and cinnamon, both from the extremely talented The Pioneer Woman).

On Day One, I set the table. I got out my formal china, crystal and silver - all of which rarely gets used (unfortunately). I used my grandmother's monogrammed linen napkins which were the perfect contrast to the large, green leaves I used for the placemats.

Then, I made a beautiful centerpiece from hydrangeas, ranunculus, carnations (yes, I used carnations) and stock. The flower arrangement I made last week (of hydrangea, ranunculus, peonies and stock) still looked pretty good - I changed the water and replaced a hydrangea - so I left that in the kitchen. I put tulips on my mantel. My precious GrayBear sent me red roses which I placed in the living room.

I also made the dough for the rolls which sat covered in the fridge overnight.

Day Two started promptly at 7:00 am. I rolled out the dough and made the rolls. The first batch was made with sugar and cinnamon and topped with plain sugar frosting (not maple as the recipe called for). The second batch was made with orange marmalade and brown sugar and made with orange sugar frosting.

[Pictures via The Pioneer Woman]

While the rolls were baking, I prepared the ham and poached egg cups. These delicacies were prepared with ham, eggs, pesto, mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes and they are yummy. My Mom steamed the asparagus while my Dad nibbled on the watermelon.

The meal, itself, was very tasty. The sweet rolls were the big hit, but the eggs came in a close second. Overall, everyone was very pleased with the results. This in and of itself makes for a most happy hostess!

All in all, it was a great way to spend Mother's Day. Now it's time for a nap...

Happy Mother's Day

My Mom found this in the New York Times several years ago. (I don't remember the exact year or source, but it may have been part of an ad.) She had me transcribe it onto a piece of paper so that she could make copies and distribute it to friends and family members. Ever since, my brother, sister and I have received a copy - without fail - on Mother's Day.

Here's another version that I created. As you will note, the perspective has been altered a bit. I wonder... have you ever heard anything similar to the sentiments below?

I am, indeed, lucky to have a Mom that says all of these things... and more.

NOTE: I don't want my Mom to come across as some aloof airhead. She is anything but. I should have mentioned that my Mom is a very bright, intelligent and well-read woman. Some of her sayings above aren't always serious.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Renowned Artist Appearance @ Saks Fifth Avenue

One of my favorite American artists from my generation is Waddy Armstrong and these days, it appears as though I'm not alone. After all, it was his artwork that inspired the Saks Fifth Avenue 2009 Mother's Day Catalogue. (I mean, I feel like I know a celebrity.)

If you've seen any of Waddy's pieces, you will surely agree that they are both organic and modern in a most fashionable manner. He paints a botanical series using "hybridizing" - a term he coined to mean "the creation of visual elements from different plants and trees that are combined within a single composition." His works draw inspiration from the pure beauty of nature, but include a modern interpretation of what is real. It's natural - say - with a twist.

[Click image for larger view]

Waddy grew up in San Antonio, but attended the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design in 1999. He's moved around a bit (his past includes a stint in New York), but returned to Texas to settle down a few years ago.

He and his family now call San Antonio home (again), but Waddy is anything but "settled down." In addition to meeting the demands of various galleries, art shows and individual collectors across the country, he's also drummed up a steady corporate following. The new Hyatt Hotel in downtown San Antonio is one of many businesses lucky enough to have some of his paintings.

As a friend (and a fan), I can tell you that Waddy is not only a seriously talented artist, but also an incredibly nice guy. Don't you love seeing friends and acquaintances enjoy such great success in their lives? I sure do. (Well done, friend.)

Waddy will make a special appearance today (May 9) at Saks Fifth Avenue in San Antonio. Join the celebration from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. (If you are lucky, maybe he'll even give you an autograph.)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More Mother's Day, Final

It is Thursday today, so you've only got a couple more days before Mother's Day is here. I've already purchased my Mom and Godmother their gifts, but they are coming from across the Big Pond (the UK) and they haven't arrived yet. I'm not exactly thrilled about their delayed arrival, but I can't do too much about it either. I thought I'd share this simply because perhaps my anxiety might motivate all of you who wait until the last minute to go ahead and get something together.

As you continue to ponder the perfect gift, my final category of gift suggestions are inspired by the "Queen Bees." While I believe that there are many mothers out there who deserve to be treated like Queens - especially on Mother's Day - let's not confuse these suggestions with that notion. In this instance, the term "queen" is used to describe those mothers who love luxurious goods. "Luxury" can be defined in a few different ways, but this list is for the Mother's that have - well - slightly more expensive taste. (It's always nice to dream...)


[Click image for larger view]

1. Pineda Covalin@sloan/hall; 2. VSA necklace@Galeana;
3. original artwork by Waddy Armstrong;
4. lipstick@vivre; 5. paper tiara@A+R; 6. DVR blouse@net-a-porter;
7.; 8. wallet@Louis Vuitton; 9. bracelet@eluxury;
10. throw@Leontine Linens; 11. heels@Neiman-Marcus

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More Mother's Day, Part 2

The Craftster

I love to create. My mind is constantly aflutter with new ideas of what I could make or manufacture. It's easy for me to imagine myself as a modern day superhero-type craftster. "Faster than a sewing machine! Handier than a glue gun! Able to create beautiful ball gowns with a single stitch!" (I'd definitely have a pink cape.)

To all the creative, crafty Moms out there, these are great gift suggestions of projects she can do, things you can make for her, or adventures you can both partake in together!

[Click image for larger view]

And because many of them won't be immediately recognizable, I thought I'd explain each entry with a few more details than the earlier posts:
  1. A homemade paper bouquet is cute and kitschy. Besides never wilting, one of the best things about this arrangement is that it comes in a kit. All of the materials are packaged together and there are specific directions for how to assemble it.
  2. A picture book is a great thing for everyone to enjoy. I'm a diehard Mac user, so I'd use iPhoto to create one, but there are plenty of other services out there that can do it as well. (Try Snapfish, Shutterfly or Kodak.)
  3. The craft revolution is upon us and this is, perhaps, most evident in the rise in popularity in activities such as knitting and crocheting. Why not knit your mom a scarf? Or have her knit one for you? Again, this neck warmer project from Wool and the Gang comes in a kit so it's all there for you to do or to give.
  4. Amy Butler is an artist who lives in Granville, Ohio (also home to my alma mater, Denison University, by the way). She's created a hugely successful business with her sewing and textiles. Why not toss Mom a pillow or two from Amy Butler? Perfectly posh for the front porch swing.
  5. Sublime Stiching was started by (almost local) Austinite, Jenny Hart. Inspired by her mother's creations, she began making easy to follow embroidery patterns - perfect for even the beginner stitcher. Embroid a cute scene on a handerchief or pillowcase and Mom is sure to cherish it forever.
  6. For the novice sewer, Singer has created a darling purple sewing machine. It's a beginner's dream as it's loaded only with the essentials. A Mother's Day arrival will ensure enough time for a go at this year's Halloween costumes.
  7. Why not give Mom a craft class? There are lots of local shops that offer a number of classes in different mediums. If you are in San Antonio, try the Southwest School of Art and Craft or Tres Rebecas (call 210.224. 5733 for more information).
  8. "Handmade Hellos" is a fun book. Written by the two sisters and designers who own Hello! Lucky letterpress, they've compiled 25 craft ideas from various paper artists. Why not try your hand at creating a card for your Mom?

The Sugar Mama

Sugar usually gets such a bad rap, but an indulgent treat every once in a while isn't bad. There are so many sugary delights to chose from out there, so why not marry them with an fun gadget or accessory? It makes me want to have an old-fashioned tea party. "Coffee or tea? One lump or two?"

Check out my fun selections for the Sugar Mama:

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1. sugar roses; 2. double-thermal cups; 3. cookies@Lily's Cookies;
4. cupcakes@Kate's Frosting; 5. French macarons@Paulette;
5. Kusmi tea; 6. kisses;
7. Nespresso milk frother; 8. heart-shaped sugar cubes; 9. French honey

For all the latte lovers out there (or for those of you who have Moms who drink lattes), I MUST mention the Nespresso milk frother. Pour in the milk and push the button and all your work is done for you. It creates a friendly, frothy accompaniment to your morning espresso (be it iced OR hot)! Yes, it does hot and cold.

After my friend Elizabeth introduced it to me in her kitchen, I couldn't stop talking about it. My sweet godmother gave one to me and it's like nothing I've ever seen before. Plus, it has certainly saved me a few bucks at the coffee shop.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More Mother's Day

Yesterday I began to post gift suggestions for Moms. I started out with what I thought a more "Classic" mother might like.

Following are suggestions for the "New" or "Expecting" Moms. (My sister just had a beautiful baby girl so we've been very focused on this very special segment of mothers this year.) There's nothing like the excitement of a new baby and this Mother's Day category deserves LOTS of attention.

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1. Flip video camera; 2.;
3. door; 4. child portrait@Langmore;
5. silk; 6. pedicure from any local salon; 7.;
8. Kate Spade custom stationary@You're Invited; 9. necklace@Bloom Maternity

I think most of the things I've listed here are self-explanatory, but in case you don't recognize the Flip camera, this is one worth mentioning. The Flip is a video camera that is the size of an iPhone, so it fits in any purse. It's easy to use (we're talking one button to record) so even the most - ahem - technologically-challenged Mom can figure this one out. And it plugs directly into any computer (thankfully it's PC and Mac friendly) so video clips are ultra easy to share with grandparents, other family members and friends. Simply record, upload to YouTube and voila - you're done.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is upon us so I've been on the search for the perfect Mother's Day gift. I thought I'd share some of my picks in case you need a little assistance.

I've rounded up a selection of really great things and have categorized them according to how I might categorize Moms. That's a hard task because if your Mom is anything like mine, it's way too difficult to put her under only one heading. That's why I was careful to select cool things that would work for all types... regardless of how I've put them together.

Throughout the next few days, I'll be posting different suggestions. You'll note that I've included things from all over, but have marked those that can be purchased in good ole San Anton.' (It's always nice to support your local shops, after all.)

Check out what I might choose for the "classic" Mom.

1. Hermes scarf; 2. Jo Malone perfume; 3. Flare candle@Galeana;
4. P.Jamas nightie@Lin Marche; 5. tulips from Martha Stewart;
6. Reed & Barton picture frame; 7. spa treatment@The Watermark Hotel;
8. monogrammed heart locket@Target; 9. bronzed baby shoes;
10. soap and 11. handwash/lotion@sloan/hall

Cinco de Mayo

Budweiser has single-handedly turned Cinco de Mayo into a celebration in the US. Though it's not an official holiday in the US (or Mexico, for that matter), it IS reason to munch on a few tacos (if nothing else).

Luckily, we are blessed with some of the finest Tex-Mex in the country here in San Antonio. Whether savoring the BEST breakfast tacos at Cocina la Mexicana (on Fredericksburg Rd.) or enjoying a margarita at Rosario's (on S. Alamo), here are a few outfits that would be perfect for the occasion:

By Day

By Night

All items are available at Galeana (except for the shoes... head over to LeeLee for those beauties).