Monday, February 28, 2011

FashionMom: Things I Treasure too - AW

FashionMom: Things I Treasure too - AW: "This is the second of our 'Things I Treasure' series. We wanted to feature women who are inspirations to us, their&nbs..."

Things I Treasure too - AW

This is the second of our "Things I Treasure"  series.  We wanted to feature women who are inspirations to us, their families and friends. These are women who work hard every day to make a difference in the lives of people everywhere. They agreed to share with us the things they treasure in their everyday lives,  including their favourite fashion pieces and their must-have beauty product.

These women are our treasures.

Thank you!  Enjoy!

Legal Professional in the North East.
She loves Pandas

My Treasures

My core family.  By that I mean my mom, two brothers, nephew, nieces and my sister-in-law.

The family felines.  My own beautiful feline daughter, Angel, and my feline nephew, Shadow.  They are both integral parts of our core family.

The lovely Angie, photo courtesy AW

My Blackberry!!!  How in the world did I ever exist without it?

Blackberry Tour


Facebook.  Yes.  Facebook!  A great tool for keeping in touch with my globally dispersed friends and family.  Just a couple of weeks ago I got a friend request from a high-school classmate whom I hadn't seen since we were around 13 because she and her family migrated to The Netherlands.  Facebook rocks!


Treasured Fashion Item

My front laced, super comfortable black suede knee high boots (by Aerosoles), always makes me feel tres sexy.

The good old U.S.A.  My adopted country.  It's given me the world of opportunity.  For that, I am forever grateful.  Yes, even in a crappy economy.  :)

Golf.  The Game.  The metaphor.  It's soothing.

For the people in my life - whether near or far - that I know are true blue friends.  They are priceless!

Treasured Beauty Product
all Oil of Olay products - especially the active hydrating beauty fluid. moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

Active Fluid, OFO

Treasured Destination

Anywhere in the Caribbean where there is beautiful beach and stunning ocean. top of the list, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Cancun is right behind - stunning ocean. Jamaica for the awesome cuisine. A close second behind the Caribbean is London. It's full of people with sexy British accents! :)

Punta Cana, DR

Jerk Fish with Rice and Peas, Jamaica

We recommend
for recipes just in case you cannot get there tomorrow!

All Images except Angie and Oil of Olay courtesy of istockphotos

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's Friday! Saturday Mocktails, Sunday Morning Brunchtails, Hangover Cures!

Ha! Ok, I am not encouraging anyone to be a weekend lush, especially those with children.
These drinks are for a lazy weekend, no kids around ( fat chance!) and it's just you, with friends or you and your special someone. These are drinks designed to give you a nice buzz while hanging out on the deck in the summer.
They are all great for brunch too! Now that's a great excuse to invite people over and serve something yummy and delicious!
We also have a few hangover cure cocktails, very naughty right?
 Heavenly! Enjoy!

Maiden's Prayer
3/4 oz or 1 tablespoon gin
1 teaspoon orange juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
twist of lemon peel

Shake the gin, triple sec, orange juice and lemon juice vigorously over ice cubes until well frosted and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the twist of lemon peel.

Walk The Line (Hangover Cure)
2 fl oz vodka
juice of 1 lime
Dash of sugar syrup
ice cubes
1/2 cup/ 4 oz well chilled ginger ale
lime wedges to serve
Put the vodka, lime juice,sugar syrup and plenty of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously.Strain into a glass and top off with well chilled ginger ale. Serve with lime wedges.

Melon Ball
11/2 oz vodka
11/2 Midori
4 tablespoons pineapple juice
cracked ice
melon wedge
Pour the Vodka, Midori and pineapple juice over ice cubes and stir well to mix. Half Fill a chilled highball glass with cracked ice and strain the cocktail over it. Decorate with a wedge of melon.

Last Mango in Paris
2 tablespoons vodka
3/4 oz framboise
3/4 lime juice
1/2 mango,peeled,pitted and chopped.
2 strawberries, halved.
Lime slice
1 whole strawberry
Mix the vodka, framboise, lime juice , mango and halved strawberries in a blender until slushy. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass or sour glass and dress with the slice of lime and the extra strawberry.

Fluffy Duck (Hangover Cure)
1 oz white rum
1 oz advocaat Advocaat
crushed ice
1 oz cream
1 oz orange juice
4 oz lemonade
Pour the rum and Advocaat into a tall glass half filled with crushed ice. Add the cream and orange juice, stir and then top off with lemonade. Serve with a straw.

Blue Monday
cracked ice
13/4 oz vodka
1/2 oz Cointreau
1 tablespoon blue curacao
Put the cracked ice into a mixing glass or pitcher, and add the vodka,cointreau and curacao. Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass.

Espresso Galliano
11/2 oz Galliano Galliano
freshly made strong black coffee
sugar to taste
lemon or orange juice
twist of orange peel
Put the Galliano into a warmed,heatproof glass. Add the coffee, a teaspoon or two of sugar, and a splash of lemon or orange juice to taste, and stir. Serve with the twist of orange juice.

Bullshot (Hangover Cure)
2 oz vodka
1.2 cup chilled beef bouillon or well flavored stock
Dash of lemon juice
2-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of celery sale
1-2 dashes of Tabasco
Twist of lime or lemon to serve
Put the vodka, bouillon, lemon juice, Worchestershire sauce, celery salt, and Tabasco in a cocktail shaker. Add extra Worcestershire sauce of Tabasco if you want to spice the mix up. Shake well, and strain into a tumbler, and add a twist of lime or lemon.Serve with a stirrer.

Strawberry Colada
4 to 6 ice cubes crushed
21/2 oz of golden rum
3 oz pineapple juice
3/4 oz coconut cream
6 strawberries hulled
pineapple wedge
extra strawberries
In a blender mix together the crushed ice, rum,pineapple juice, coconut cream and Hulled strawberries. Blend until smooth, then without straining pour into a chilled highball glass. Dress with the edge of pineapple and a few strawberries.
Serves 1

Is This All?
11/2 oz lemon vodka
3/4 oz triple sec
3/4 lemon juice
1 egg white
Shake the lemon vodka, triple sec, lemon juice, and egg white over ice cubes until well frosted.Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

cracked ice
11/2 oz tequila
3/4 oz lime juice
lime or lemon slice
Half fill a chilled highball glass with the cracked ice.Pour the tequila and lime juice over the ice and top up with cola. Stir gently and decorate with the slice of lime or lemon.

Bourbon Milk Punch
11/2 oz bourbon
3 oz milk
1 teaspoon clear honey
dash of vanilla extract
freshly grated nutmeg.
Shake the bourbon, milk,honey and vanilla extract over ice cubes until well frosted. Strain into a chilled highball glass or lowball glass and sprinkle with the freshly grated nutmeg.

Kirsch  Rickey
crushed ice
1/1/2 oz kirsh Kirsch
1 tablespoon lime juice
sparkling water
a few fresh cherries or olives pitted.
Pour the Kirsch and lime juice into a chilled lowball glass, half filled with crushed ice. Fill with sparkling water and stir gently. Decorate with the cherries or olives.

Wake Up Call(Hangover Cure)
1 oz gold rum
1 oz Amaretto Disaronno
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 oz cold strong black coffee or a shot of espresso.
Ice cubes
grated dark chocolate to serve
Put the rum, AD, cream and coffee into a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice cubes. Shake vigorously.Strain into a cocktail glass and grate with a little dark chocolate on top.

Planter's Tea
11/2 oz strong black tea
11/2 oz dark rum
11/2 cups orange juice
2/3 cup lemon juice
superfine sugar to taste
orange slices
Mix the tea,dark rum,orange juice and fresh lemon juice together. heat gently, sweeten to taste and serve in an Irish Coffee glass or mug with the slices of orange.

Please remember to drink responsibly!

Have a great weekend!

Photos courtesy istockphotos.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mac and Cheese - 2 Ways

We are always looking for a better, best, or different variations of Mac and Cheese recipes.

 Your kids will give you big hugs for these two!

Herbed Macaroni and Cheese( serves 8 to 12)

6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded Fontina cheese
2 cups shredded Havarti cheese
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound egg noodles, cooked according to package directions, drained

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8 (2 cup) asking dishes with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour to butter, whisking well. Cook, whisking frequently, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add milk to flour mixture, whisking to remove any lumps. Cook, whisking frequently, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add sour cream, whisking well. Add cheeses, stirring to combine. Add basil, chives, oregano, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper to cheese mixture stirring well. Add cooked noodles to mixture, stirring well and pour into prepared dishes.
  • Bake, covered, for 25 minutes. Remove cover, and bake until top is light golden and edges are bubbly, about 5 minutes longer.
  • You can also bake this recipe in a 13x9 baking dish. Increase initial baking time to 40 minutes. Uncover and bake ten minutes longer.

Traditional Macaroni and Cheese (serves 8 to 10)

6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
11/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided.
1 pound macaroni noodles, cooked according to package directions, drained

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13/9 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, whisking well. Cook until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add milk, whisking to remove any lumps. Cook, whisking frequently until thickened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add salt, white pepper, mustard and nutmeg, whisking well. Add Monterey Jack cheese and 2 cups Cheddar cheese, stirring well. Add cooked noodles, stirring well. Pour into prepared dish.
  • Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil, and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup Cheddar cheese. Bake until edges are bubbly, about 10 minutes longer.

Recipes from Taste Of The South Magazine.
Photos courtesy of istockphotos.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Question Of The Week -Your Favorite Home Appliance

Forgive me, this was something I had not faced before. My family and I moved to a new home. The home required some renovation in the kitchen so we have moved in with some cabinets and other appliances still to arrive.
We did not have washer/dryer, microwave among other home appliances.

We always discuss beauty products we cannot live without or wonder where we would be without our cell phones.
Have you ever thought about being without some of the appliances we use every day? The ones you see every day and just assume that they will always be there? The ones we take for granted?

My pick?  was the microwave. I never realized how much I used it, needed it.
It was like missing a part of my body, in the kitchen I constantly turned to warm my daughter's tea, our lunch, everything! It was such a part of my life I never thought what it would be like to live without it for a week or two.

Think about it, the Microwave may not be your vice,  but which home appliance would you have miss for a  week or two?

 Our microwave arrived this weekend and my life is once again restored to its balanced state.

 We look forward to hearing from you!

Images courtesy istockphoto

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Paint Picks Update- FashionMom Favorites

We just moved to a new home( not really, built 1940) and I was happy we had the opportunity to paint the entire home before we moved in.

I did some intense reading and  research and it took some time, but the family was happy with my choices. The colors are all neutrals. I have tried brights before and I have had my fill,  neutrals always work and you can do so much more with your accessories with neutrals.
I wanted colors that had a hint or blush of a deeper color mixed with white.   I love paint because it really changes the look and feel of an entire room and home. I tested about 15 paint samples on all of  the walls and it took about 4 days to decide which ones looked best in different types of light, but it was worth every penny. It is mistake proof.
The paints that are also mistake proof are from Benjamin Moore, Farrow and Ball and I also like Sherwin Williams.

These are the colors we used and they all came out beautifully, the house looks bright and welcoming.

Living room- Marble White and Grant Beige Half and Half of each. One of the best beiges anywhere. Neutral with a khaki undertone, of course you could go heavier on the other color. Marble White is creamy, Grant Beige is more Khaki. I then used the Marble White in the Dining Room and Kitchen. I used the Grant Beige as background in the open cabinets in the living room.

All Trim and Ceilings- White Dove and Decorator's White by Benjamin Moore.

Den- A wonderful blue to match our accessories. White Satin by Benjamin Moore. don't let the white fool you, it is a beautiful light blue, almost powdery in the final phase.

Covered Deck( two walls)- My favorite, Farrow and Ball Pale Powder, greenish, bluish hints depending on the light but mostly white, I love this color. If you have somewhere in your home can use F and B Great White, please use it, it is a beautiful rose hint white.

Hallways- Honeyed White by Sherwin Williams. A creamy white that looks golden and warm during the day, an excellent neutral.

Daughter's Room- My daughter loves purple and lavender but she has red and navy bookshelves and a red table. I choose a light lavender violet that blends perfectly with the reds and blues. It is Violet Ice by Benjamin Moore. They painted her closet in Lavender Ice from Benjamin Moore.

Guest Bedroom- I had never done a room in gray before and I choose from about 5 shades. My final pick was Wickham Gray for the walls and Horizon for the closet. Both are Benjamin Moore. Wickham Gray.... every time I hear the name I  remember Mr Wickham in Pride and Prejudice,  it is a warm gray that will work well with golds, yellows and tans.

Master Bedroom- I went for a pink undertone. Pink is the ultimate enhancer for any room. I told my husband that he will look better every time he wakes up in a room with a shade of rose. I went for a white with a pink blush so it does not look too feminine. I used Wild Aster from Benjamin Moore. It changes color as the day moves on, beautiful. available at Benjamin Moore Outlets.

Remember that some paint companies and home improvement stores may be able to match your samples too.

Happy Painting and Happy Spring!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

FashionMom: It's Friday! One of our Best! It's Liqueur Cocktai...

FashionMom: It's Friday! One of our Best! It's Liqueur Cocktai...: "This is one of my favourite Fridays. I love liqueurs and we shared some fantastic recipes below. Enjoy ! Before we begin, let..."

It's Friday! One of our Best! It's Liqueur Cocktails!

This is one of my favourite Fridays. I love liqueurs and we shared some fantastic recipes below.
Enjoy !

Before we begin, let's talk about the difference between a cream and a creme.
A Cream is a mixture between a cream and a spirit, e.g Baileys Irish Cream.
A Creme is a liquer with a flavor.

After Eight

1 oz Kahlua
1 oz creme de Menthe
1 oz brown creme de cacao
1 dash cognac

Shake all the ingredients together and then strain into a martini glass and serve.

Amaretto Comfort
2 oz Amaretto
2 oz Southern Comfort
1 oz heavy cream

Stir the amaretto and Southern Comfort together and strain into a martini glass. Float the cream in top and then serve.

Black Sombrero
2 oz Khalua
1 oz tequila
1 oz vodka
Sitr all the ingredients together, then strain into a martini glass and serve.

1 oz creme de mure(Blackberry)
1 oz dry sherry
1/2 oz triple sec
1/ 2 oz heavy cream
Shake all the ingredients together with ice, then strain into an ice filled old fashioned glass.

Death by Chocolate No 1
1 oz Baileys Irish Cream
1 oz creme de cacao
1 oz Khalua
1 oz Tia Maria
2 oz heavy cream
grated chocolate as garnish.
Shake all the ingredients together with the ice and strain into a large chanpagne saucer. Granish with grated chocolate

and here is

Death by Chocolate No 2
1 oz Baileys Irish Cream
1 oz Kahlua
1 oz creme de cacao
1 oz chocolate liquer
3 oz heavy cream
grated chocolate as garnish
Shake all the ingredients together with ice and strain into a large chamlagne saucer. Garnich with grated chocolate.

Fragile Baby
1 oz Frangelico
2 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
2 tsp raw sugar
1 oz heavy cream
Pour all the Frangelico, Baileys Irish Cream and sugar into a coffee liqueur glass. Float the cream on top and then serve.

Goddess( Shots)
1 oz Pernod(absinthe flavored with star anise)
1 oz Amaretto
Blend the Pernod and amaretto in a shaker and strain into a shot glass.

Knee Breaker
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Parfait Amour (purple liqueur from a Curacao liqueur base)
1/2 oz cherry brandy
1/2 oz Frangelico
dash of grenadine.
Shake all the ingredients together, then strain into a martini glass and serve.

1 oz Grand Marnier
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
dash of Punt e Mes(Italian Vermouth, dark)
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Pour all the ingredients into an old fashioned glass and serve.

Parked Car
1 oz Campari
1/2 oz Cointreau
1 oz tequila
1 egg white
Mix all the ingredients together , then strain into a martini glass and serve.

Slippery Nipple(Shots)
2/3 oz butterscotch snapps
2/3 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
Pour Schnapps into a shot glass and then layer on the Bailey's.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake( shots)
1/2 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
1.2 oz vodka
1/2 oz butterscotch schnapps
1/2 oz pineapple juice
Stir all the ingredients together in a mixing glass and then strain into a shot glass.

Swamp Water
1 oz green creme de menthe
1 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
1 oz Cherry Brandy
Pour all the ingredients together into an ice filled brandy glass and then stir and serve.

2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz gin
2 dashes fresh lemon juice
1 dashes gomme syrup
lemon twist as garnish
Shake all the ingredients together, then strain into a martini glass and serve with a twist of lemon.

Sicilian Kiss
2/3 oz Amaretto
2/3 oz Southern Comfort
Layer over ice in an old fashioned glass.

Gone Troppo
11/2 oz peach liqueur
1 oz banana liqueur
3 strawberries
1 oz pineapple juice
pineapple wedge as garnish
2 pineapple leaves as garnish
Blean the strawberries, peach and banana liqueurs together until smooth, Pour into a wine glass and float the pineapple juice on top. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and pineapple leaves.

Please remember to drink responsibly!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

FashionMom: Afternoon Tea Delight!- Guest Blog From London!

FashionMom: Afternoon Tea Delight!- Guest Blog From London!: "Okay, so you've spent the day sight-seeing or shopping and are looking for somewhere to refresh yourself with a cooling drink and..."

Afternoon Tea Delight!- Guest Blog From London!

Okay, so you've spent the day sight-seeing or shopping and are looking for somewhere to refresh yourself with a cooling drink and something light and delectible to eat. Or maybe it's neither of the two, you're simply looking for somewhere to meet up with friends and don't fancy the pub or a restaurant. There's no better answer than the great British tradition of taking Afternoon Tea.

Afternoon Tea can be as simple or as adventurous as you'd like and most places offer the option of adding a glass of bubbly, thus meeting everyone's requirements. Traditional Afternoon Tea is comprised of savoury sandwiches, scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream and finally a cake or choice of cakes (depending on the where you take tea) and tea of course along with champagne if you choose. To add a final twist to Afternoon Tea is the fact that there are generally three different types - Traditional Afternoon Tea, Champagne Tea and High Tea.

Here, in no particular order, are five of my favourite places for taking Afternoon Tea in London.

Just St James - Located just off of Piccadilly, Just St James's is housed in an Edwardian banking hall and the first impression upon entering through the glass doors is one of space, space and more space. The setting is modern and the service is superb, not to mention the absolutely fragrant cakes and delicate sandwiches. Prices start at £23 / person.

Richoux, Piccadilly- No there isn't a trend here about Piccadilly! Richoux is akin to an oasis in the heart of the thoroughfare that is Piccadilly and so easy to overlook as you meander along. This Piccadilly location is a cafe / restaurant where one can rest one's weary feet and hopefully be seated in one of the enclaves off of the main dining area. The decor is dark and old fashioned which creates an ambiance that makes you feel as if you've stepped back in time. The scones, cakes and sandwiches are mouth watering and for those who may not be interested in afternoon tea, their desserts are equally fabulous. There are four other locations in London. Prices start at around £17 / person.

Claridge's - Heading across to Mayfair, one must consider taking afternoon tea at Claridge's if only as a special treat. Afterall, they do win awards for their afternoon tea. Is it really necessary to explain what it's like to have afternoon tea at this wonderful British institution whose name immediately conjures up elegance and luxury? Jeans and a T shirt will not cut it here... Prices start at £35 / person.

The Portrait Restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery - It's possible that one of the only reasons you might consider taking afternoon tea here is because you've been to the National Portrait Gallery or are in the general Trafalgar Square / Leicester Square area. However, once you've visited it's possible that you may consider making a return trip. Not only is their afternoon tea delightful, their view is amazing. Located on the top floor of the Gallery the restaurant offers views across Trafalgar Square to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster, including Big Ben. Prices start at £17 / person.

The Dorchester Hotel - Located in Mayfair on Park Lane, The Dorchester is another award winning location. Hat's off to The Dorchester for being very welcoming to families. Suffice to say that the delicacies are mouthwatering, sumptuous and "to die for." Ensure that you are very hungry before considering going here for tea since if memory serves your plates can be replenished, therefore there's no need to hurry. Don't forget the dress code. This is The Dorchester and in addition to the food it's also about the experience. Prices start at £37 / person.

If you're thinking that Afternoon Tea is too much of a girl-thing, think again! It is an activity that both sexes can engage in and enjoy to the fullest. However, if you think that the boy may prefer something a little more substantial, I have it on good recommendation (not having been there myself) that the Mandeville Hotel, London offers a Men's Tea. This offering includes steak sandwiches, potted shrimp and brownies. An upgrade from regular tea can be made to the 'whiskey afternoon tea'. Prices start from £24 / person.

With The Savoy having been reopened it's next on my agenda as is Pret-A-Porter at the Berkeley for its fashion forward Afternoon Tea where the delicacies are inspired by a catwalk design. Long may this tradition continue.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's That Time again! Summer Camp Prep!

Every year parents around the country go through the same routine, what type of day camp to choose this year ?  What are the kids top picks?  What would you like them to do?

I decided that this year I was going to prepare early because last year  we did not give ourselves enough time to make the right decision.

My daughter will continue at her usual school  for the entire summer because the camp is foreign language based. But for the two weeks off my top picks are

I would like her to learn something and have fun.

  1. Is the camp full time or half - day?
  2. Is extended day available?
  3. Is transportation provided?
  4. Where will the camp be held ?
  5. What is the cost per week? are field trips, arts and crafts project supplies and swimming lessons included?

  1. What is the total group size?
  2. What is the fee if parents are late picking up their child?
  3. What is the total group size?
  4. Are sleepovers available and do they cost extra?
  5. Is lunch provided? snacks? drinks?
  6. Is every minute of the day scheduled or is it flexible?
  7. What are the different age groupings of the children? Can siblings be put together? Ca an older sibling act as a junior counselor?

  1. How do counselors handle a child who does not want to participate in a particular activity?
  2. Does the camp schedule include a nap time or rest period? ( for younger campers)
  3. What are the bathroom facilities like?
  4. Are parents permitted to attend camp part of the day? Can parental time be bartered against tuition?
  5. Is recreational equipment safe and in good condition?

Happy Summer!!

Courtesy Atlanta Parent Magazine
Images courtesy istockphotos.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Get your Running Mojo!

I have many friends who run as a part of their exercise routines, they help to keep me motivated. I have been running, for fitness for the last 15 years. I have experienced highs and lows with running, but I have never given it up.
I have kept the same routine, winter, spring and summer, except for a family crisis or illness. 3 days a week, same routine, 3 miles at least.
I was not as consistent last year and I hope to resume my regular routine by Spring. Golf and  Running outdoors changed my life. It helped to keep my mind and body fit and healthy and I have had some of my best ideas while running or walking. It is the best way to clear your head and recharge your batteries.

Here are some tips from Runners magazine to help get your Running Mojo back!
FashionMom would like to give thumbs up to all of my friends and women everywhere who continue to inspire all of us to keep going! You know who you are!

How Do You Start?
Start Slowly. If you have not run in the last six months, first build up to walking continuously for 30 minutes. Then add running for 10 to 20 seconds every minute, walking the balance, for a total of 30 minutes. Run every other day, gradually adding five to 10 seconds to your run time.

Won't I Be Sore?
Not excessively. It's common to "earn" a bit of muscle soreness in the beginning. But there is not need to feel pain, especially if you start with short slow periods of running, take plenty of walk breaks, and gradually increase your run time.

What If I Don't Have Much Time?
Even a 10 to 15 minute run will improve your vitality, boost your mood and maintain your physiological adaptions.

How Much I Know I'm Getting Better?
You'll notice that you' re huffing and puffing less. You' ll experience more days each month when you want to go farther and faster- and your can! You may even want to enter a race.

Must I Purchase Specials Gear?
A Good pair of Running shoes that will protect your feet against the terrain and reduce the risk of blisters is essential. Otherwise wear comfortable clothes.

From FashionMom Team

We suggest that you get fitted for a proper pair of  running shoes at a  Running store(not your local Dicks).
They are located in states all over the country. It may take some time, but it is well worth the investment and your experience will be 100% better, trust us!
Plus, most fitness magazines have reviews but you will still need to have your feet checked and sized. The biggest issue often is that you are running in a size too small for your feet!

Try to find a running group in your town, FashionMom is going to be joining one this Spring. It always helps to have other people with you during your training.
Road Runners Club of America
Run The Planet

Pilates or Yoga are perfect compliments to running. Pilates helps to strengthen your core which is so essential during running. You are stronger and more flexible for your runs.

Happy Running! 

Happy Valentine's Day from the FashionMom Team!

Image courtesy of Istockphotos.

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's Friday! All Bourbonites Stand up! It's Bourbon!

It 's Bourbon!

We did not provide the recipe for Mint Julep. 
There are many other fabulous cocktails made with Bourbon as the main ingredient.
Here are a few of our picks…and these are all Bourbon, not Southern Comfort (not Bourbon) or any type of Whiskey.

Bourbon Milk Punch
2 oz Bourbon Milk Punch
3 oz half and half
1 tsp superfine sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp grated nutmeg to garnish.
Shake all the ingredients with the ice cubes and strain into an old fashioned glass. Garnish with nutmeg on top.

Admiral Cannon
1 ½ oz Bourbon
1 tsp Maple syrup
½ oz Lemon Juice
1 oz White Rum
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

1 oz Bourbon
1 oz amaretto
2 wedges of lime to garnish
Build bourbon and amaretto in an ice filled glass old fashioned glass.
Top with lime wedges. Pretty!

Louisville Cooler
2 oz Bourbon
1 oz orange juice
½ oz lime juice
1 tsp superfine sugar
Slice of orange garnish
Shake all ingredients with ice cubes and strain into an old fashioned glass over ice. Garnish with an orange juice.

Kentucky Apple
2-3 chunks of apple
½ oz elderflower cordial
11/2 oz bourbon
½ oz green apple liqueur
1/1/2 oz apple juice
Wedge of apple to garnish
Muddle apple and elderflower cordial. Shake with remaining ingredients. Strain over ice- ½ cubed, ½ crushed into a highball glass.
Garnish with an apple wedge.

American Sweetheart
1oz bourbon
1 oz Southern Comfort
Dash of dry vermouth
Splash of sweet and sour mix.
Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into a tumbler.

5 chunks of pineapple
1.2 orange peeled and quartered
1 tsp vanilla sugar
4 dashes of Angostura Bitters
11/2 oz bourbon
2 tsp lemon juice
Dash of Grand Marnier
Sprig of mint to garnish
Muddle fruit, sugar and bitters.Add bourbon. Fill ½ a highball glass with crushed ice.
Stir and top with fresh ice.
Float Grand Marnier on top and garnish with a mint sprig.

Wow! Can we say Caribbean breezes please!

Bourbon Collins
2 oz Bourbon
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz sugar syrup
Splash of soda water
Cherry and slice of orange to garnish.
Fill two thirds of a Collins glass with ice and pour ingredients over it. Garnish with a cherry and a slice of orange.

Always remember to drink responsibly!
Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

FashionMom: FashionMom Feature - "Things I Treasure" - Shelley...

FashionMom: FashionMom Feature - "Things I Treasure" - Shelley...: "This is the first of our 'Things I Treasure' series. We wanted to feature women who are inspirations to us, their fami..."

FashionMom Feature - "Things I Treasure" - Shelley Seabra McCray

This is the first of our "Things I Treasure"  series.  We wanted to feature women who are inspirations to us, their families and friends. These are women who work hard every day to make a difference in the lives of people everywhere. They agreed to share with us the things they treasure in their everyday lives,  including their favourite fashion pieces and their must-have beauty product.

These women are our treasures.

Thank you!  Enjoy!

Deb, I would love to be featured.  I think I would also like to include my profession if possible:  Marketing Consultant

Favourite beauty product: Cargo bronzer for that sun-kissed look year round
Favourite fashion piece:  Halston heritage dress

Hope this image uploaded properly...let me know if you need anything else.

Hugs, Shelley

Shelley Seabra McCray
Marketing Consultant

1. My Schatz - it's my favourite word in German which means my treasure or the love of my life - my husband Brian who is my everything

2. My Family - especially my nieces and nephews who I love and miss dearly and who give me the best hugs ever.

3. My Friends - who are essentially like family and offer me support, love, honesty and integrity.

4. My Memories - of the finer things in life like travel to Europe, the USA and the Caribbean. Top 3: Spain, Italy, France. Top 3 American cities: NYC, Chicago, San Fran
Top 3 Caribbean: Grenada, Barbados, St. Kitts
Honourable Mentions: London, Miami, Antigua, Munich

5. My Creativity - I feel blessed that I have an appreciation of reading and writing which has essentially led me to a career and passion for Marketing. This is a gift that I do not treat lightly and was instilled in me by my teachers. My top 3 influencers: teacher Noreen of Stella Maris; Ms Edwards from Bishops High School and Mrs. Skinner of George S. Henry.

Favourite beauty product: Cargo bronzer for that sun-kissed look year round

Cargo Bronzing Powder Bronzer, Medium, .31 oz

Favourite fashion piece: Halston Heritage dress

All Images(except Cargo and Halston) Courtesy of

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Yoga - An Aid for Infertility?

This was one of the most popular stories in the New York Times on Sunday Feb 6th.

Infertility is something that millions of women in the United States and around the world struggle with daily. It is often a very quiet and lonely struggle. Infertility and its issues are rarely discussed publicly amongst women. A visit to a fertility clinic or even acupuncturist often changes that. The sight of a room full of women experiencing the same issues is often a watershed moment for many women. You are not the only one.

While it may seem that everyone around you has an "easy" time getting pregnant, there are just as many women out there who are fighting some type of infertility  issue. Stress is often cited as a factor associated with infertility, and getting your stress level to a manageable level is critical.

I hope that our readers find this article helpful. Please suggest it to your friends.

Thank you.

Excerpted below from The New York Times.

Please find attached link.

Yoga As an Aid for Infertility

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thrift Stores and Antiques Malls - 4th Edition Southwest

This is the 4th  installment of our  series.

Las Vegas, NV
St Vincent DePaul- 702- 547-4429
It is Vegas, lots of gowns and glitter.
Antiques on the Market- 702-307-3960
Boulder City Antique Mall, Boulder City- 702-294-3996
The Red Rooster Antique and Gift Mall- 702-382-5253
Antiques Mall of America, las Vegas Blvd- 702-933-2791

Los Angeles, CA
St Vincent's - they sell furniture, cars and boats, yes boats.
Children's Hospital Thrift Shop- The Beverly Hills set. Check out the designer section.
Wasteland- Good, basic thrift stuff-affordable and groovy 60's, 70's contemporary clothes.
Gilroy, CA Outlets- 800-866-5900
Oakland, CA Flea - 510-534-0325
Pasadena, CA- Rose Bowl Flea market- 213-560-7469
Ventura Flea market- 323-560-7469
Lake Forest Antiques,lake Forest- 949-597-1189

Tuscon, AZ
Buffalo Exchange -520-795-0508
Casa de Los Ninos - 520-325- 2573
Everything is 50 cents except for the better items boutique in the back.
Salvation Army- 520-624-1741
Rillito Park Antique Fair,Tuscon- 520-481-7275

Fort Worth ,TX
McCart Thrift Center- 817-921-9971
St incent DePaul- 817-927-1778
Thrift Country- 817-589-1061
San Marcus Outlet- 512-396-7183

Happy Shopping!

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's Friday! Tequila Time!

Happy Friday! Tequila is the ultimate knock out spirit, beware!
Please remember to drink responsibly, especially with Tequila.  

Enjoy, whooo!

Tequila Mockingbird.
2 oz Tequila
1 o Triple Sec
3 oz pineapple juice
maraschino cherry to garnish
Shake Ingredients with ice and strain into a Collins galss.
Garnish with a cherry.

Watermelon Smash
11/2 oz Tequila
2/3 oz limoncello
dash of basil syrup
1/4 slice watermelon
ginger beer to fill
Pour all the ingredients, except the ginger beer, into a shaker and shake.
Strain into a highball glass fileed with cie. Top with the ginger beer.

To Kill a Rose
11/2 oz raspberry puree
11/2 oz heavy cream
1.2 oz creme de framboise
4 tsp superfine sugar
2 o rose and berry- infused Tequila
dash of rose syrup
rose petals to garnish.

Heat puree, cream and creme de frambiose with sugar in a frying pan for 30 seconds on a high flame. Add tequila and stir. Pour into a martini glass, add rose syrup and garnish with two rose petals.

1 oz Tequila
1 oz triple sec or Cointreau
2 oz cranberry juice
2 oz pineapple juice
Shake all the ingredients together and strain into a highball glass filled with ice.

1/3 Asian pear
2 tsp lemon juice
1 oz Tequila
1/2 oz chamomile liqueur
2tsp green apple liqueur
1 tsp cinnamon syrup
slice of asian pear to garnish
Muddle pear and lemon juice in a mixing glass. Combine with other ingredients and ice and shake.
Double strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with a slice of Asian pear.

Rude Cosmopolitan.
2 oz gold Tequila
2/3 oz triple sec
1 oz cranberry juice
1/2 lime, freshly squeezed
orange twist to garnish
Shake all the liquid ingredients together and strain into a cocktail glass.Add a twist of orange.

Short Fuse
2 oz gold Tequila
2/3 oz apricot brandy
1.3 oz maraschino cherry juice
1 lime freshly squeezed
3 oz fresh grapefruit juice
lime wedge to garnish
Shake all the liquid ingredients together and strain into a ice filled highball glass.
Add a lime wedge.

Astro Lime Ricky
3 oz Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila
1 oz agave nectar
muddled mint
star as garnish
Blend ingredients with ice, and pour into a highball glass. Garnish with a star fruit.

1 oz gold Tequila
1 oz gold rum
2 oz grapefruit juice
3 oz pineapple juice
pineapple wedge as garnish
Shake all the liquid ingredients and strain into a highball filled with ice. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Blackberry Margarita
1 2/3 oz silver Tequila
1/2 oz blackberry liquer
1/2 lime, freshly squeezed
10 blackberries
Put all ingredients into a blender filled with crushed ice. Blend, then pour into a margarita glass. Add the blackberries on a cocktail stick set across the glass. Serve with a straw.

Have a fantastico Fin de Semana !

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valentine's Day Gifts- Your Wish List

Happy Valentine's Day in advance to all of our readers. Valentine's Day is Monday February 14th.

Every year women and men go through the same stress and agony, what to get for that special someone.

Here a few online or store options. These are some of the gifts the FashionMom crew would love to receive on V day. This goes both ways, there are options for men on this list.

Restaurant reservations- My number one request is always a nice dinner and it does not have to be something upscale, the quality of the food is much more important. I always refer to

Lingerie - our picks are and and
Nancy Meyer sells divine pieces from venerable lingerie lines like La Perla, Eres lingerie and  Eres swimwear.

Macaroons and Starry Nights ( like a baked truffle)- Try Gesine Prado Bullock (Sandra's sister)
The Starry Nights are excellent.

Chocolates- Fran's chocolates artisan chocolates, continue to be unrivaled for their sea salt caramels and truffles. I have not tasted a better sea salt caramel anywhere else, yet. Also available on
 Locations in Seattle.

Jewelry- for those who love silver. Balinese jewelry using artisan techniques, on site in workshops in Bali. Exquisite unique designs are the hallmark of John Hardy jewelry (earrings, necklaces and rings).

A friend recently stayed at this resort for a girls weekend and gave it top marks for everything!
Save $300 on Valentine's day specials.
Top rated by Conde Nast Traveller two months ago.

Cleaners for home- Wouldn't it be really great?
For details in your area.

Beauty- and Stock up on your more expensive products. For first timers, Laura Mercier(primer and secret camoflauge)  and Francois Nars (multiple stick) are my two main brand picks.

Red Velvet Cupcakes(shipping)- These guys ship to your door.
 Elegant Cakery
Crumbs Bakery
Agave Sweetened or Gluten Free wow, this is great,  Baby Cakes in NYC

Spring wardrobes- would love to have the Champs Elysee Skirt from Talbots,  Champs Elysee Skirt- Valentine's Wish List
to wear with Lulu Jaquard Ballet Flat from J Crew and The Heritage Boatneck Tee in Gray from Land's End Canvas and topped off with the Heritage Pea Coat in Persimmon from Lands End Canvas.

Mac Face and Body Foundation - Mac face and body Foundation.  is amazing, go light for clean and fresh or heavier for a movie star glossy gleam. I swear this is the best foundation on the market right now. Only available at Mac Stores.  You must purchase a brush for application, they last up to 10 years.

Flowers- Always nice at any time, but especially at this time of year. These are some great ones.

Wines- I love sweet wines and syrahs. and

Perfume- no other place in the world has a collection like this. MaƮtre Parfumeur et Gantier Paris perfumes are wonderful.

Red Roses from Jo Malone- I don't love rose scented colognes or perfumes this is one of the few I can wear. Clean and subtle, only from Jo Malone. Jo Malone
also at Nordstrom,Saks and Neiman Marcus.


Adventures-Pura Vida Adventures(surfing school and yoga retreat) - Mal Pais Costa Rica. would love to go to Costa Rica!
This is a great story, Pura Vida Adventures was started in 2004 by Tierza Davis Eichner after a visit to Costa Rica in 2001 left her wanting more. She invested $50,000 from savings and with the help of her mother, family and friends and started a surf and yoga retreat, Pura Vida Adventures. Packages cover a six day, seven night beachfront accommodations, surf instruction,yoga, massage all meals, equipment and off site activities.
Mal Pais is a small coastal community on the southeastern tip of Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula.
(More magazine)

Cambria Cove- Check out all of their Valentine's specials, great gifts! Unique gifts for her and him.

Red Flower- organic oils and gorgeous petal topped candles.

I hope that you like our picks.
Happy Love Day Everyone!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Top 10 Board Games for Children

Top 10 games for children

There are many new games on store shelves along with the favorites you played with your family and friends. Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders and Chinese Checkers were the favorites in my home. Being the youngest in a family of five often meant I was often the first person to lose!
Competitive and cooperative games have many benefits for children, see below:

Basic language, math and memory skills improve.
They help a child’s ability to concentrate, reason, think critically or creatively.
Social interaction with family and friends helps with bonding.
Helps children to improve communication skills.
Children learn to use words of encouragement from parents modeling.

I hope that the list below is helpful for future picks.
Here are the top 10 games as researched by

10.  Chutes and Ladders- Perfect for younger children who may not be able to grasp more complicated games. 

9.      Life- teaches many life lessons including the importance of going to college and saving money.
8.      Apples to Apples – Game of hilarious comparisons


7.  Clue- encourages skills like critical thinking and logic.  Figuring out the mystery is only half the fun.


6. Risk- The board game equivalent of playing catch.
5. Cranium- like Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit ,Charades and a spelling bee all rolled into one.


4. Scattergories – great for developing a strong vocabulary, encourages quick thinking.


3. Yahtzee- Basic math is great for kids and they have a chance at winning which is great!


2. Sorry – Classic game of luck and strategy. Comes in Disney and Sponge Bob editions. Ages 6 up 
1.      Monopoly- The best selling board game anywhere and the favorite of families all over the world. It brings out the competitive spirit in every member of the family and boy what a ride!


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