Friday, May 27, 2011

FashionMom: It's Friday! Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Holiday ...

FashionMom: It's Friday! Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Holiday ...: "IStockphotos This weekend should be about easy entertaining. You want cocktails which are easy to make and offer enough portions for..."

It's Friday! Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Holiday Drinks Perfect for Pitchers!




IStockphotos


 This weekend should be about easy entertaining.  You want cocktails which are easy to make and offer enough portions for everyone.
 "Pitcher Style." Make one set and  " Self Serve " near the door for guests to pour, easy!! and forget about having to mix several different drinks, these will make entertaining a breeze...


Enjoy!  Happy Holidays!



Sangria Flora


1 bottle Sauvignon Blanc or Dry white wine

1 cup St-Germain

2 fresh peaches

5 - 6 fresh strawberries

6 fresh raspberries

1 bunch fresh grapes

Stir all ingredients in a pitcher or carafe. Soak for about 15 minutes
Serve in an ice filled glass.


Strawberry Pimm’s


3 to 4 Strawberries, roughly chopped

2 full Oz. Pimm’s Number 1 Cup

¾ Cup of Lemonade

Ice cubes

Orange, Lemon and Apple Slices

Extra whole strawberries

Cucumber Batons or strips of Peel

Fresh Mint Sprigs



Put the chopped strawberries in a pitcher and pour the Pimm’s over them. Crush the strawberries with a muddler or the back of a spoon. Add 4 to 5 ice cubes and top it off with the lemonade. Add the Add all of the other ingredients including the whole strawberries and the mint sprigs. Serve!


If you like, add a ½ oz. of Gin or Vodka, better yet Lime flavored Gin.


IStockphotos.


Spiked Arnold Palmer

Ice

2 cups Vodka

4 1/2 cups freshly brewed tea, chilled

3 cups water

1 cup lemon syrup

½ cup fresh lemon juice

10 sprigs of fresh mint

Combine the vodka, tea, water, and lemon syrup and lemon juice in a large pitcher and stir to mix well. Pout into glasses with ice and serve with mint springs.



Sangria Bonita

4 oz. Vodka

4 oz. Tuaca liqueur

8 oz. Cointreau

8 oz. white cranberry juice

1 bottle Prosecco

4 springs mint

12 fresh strawberries with tops cut off

8 star fruit / five finger slices

Combine Vodka, Tuaca, Cointreau and juice in a large glass pitcher. Chill for a few hours, allowing the flavors to marry. Add Prosecco and pour into red wine goblets. Garnish with mint sprigs, strawberries, star fruit and serve.



Cranberry Margaritas by The Pitcher

1 cup Tequila

1/3 cup triple sec

3/4 cup fresh lime juice

11/2 cups cranberry juice

11/2 cup frozen cranberries, rinsed

1/3 - 1/2 cup sugar

Mix all ingredients in a large measuring cup or bowl. Pour half of mixture into a blender and fill the blender with ice. Blend until slushy. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Serve with fresh lime wedges.



Artillery Punch..please ensure that there is a designated driver assigned, this one could knock you out!

1 quart Bourbon

1 quart red wine

1 quart strong black tea

2 cups dark rum

1 cup gin

1 cup apricot brandy

4 measures lemon juice

4 measures lime juice

4 tablespoons sugar syrup

large block of ice

orange slices

Pour all the liquid and sugar syrup into a large bowl and refigerate for 2 hours. Place a large block of ice in a punch bowl. Pour the punch over the ice and decorate with slices of orange. Serve in highball glasses!



Please remember to drink responsibly!
Have a wonderful weekend and holiday!!



Dedicated to the memory of our beloved cat Tigger who passed away a week ago, we miss you!


















Monday, May 23, 2011

Protect Me Please! Sunblocks for Kiddies!

.It is that time of year again, my daughter's school sent the sun protection notice last week, they will be tracking the heat index daily and  they requested that  parents apply sunscreen every day at home as a precaution, they will reapply during the day but they wanted the children to arrive at school sun ready.

I chose a spray from Aveeno, I like sprays but I am not sure the coverage is even.
Then, I saw these some great sunscreen suggestions in cream formulations in Lucky Kids Magazine and here are their suggestions for you. They promise that these creams are super absorbing, that is very important, no white residue please!


Here they are...

Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock

Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion SPF 60+ - 3 oz.

Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion, SPF 60, 3 Ounces (Pack of 3)

JR Watkins Natural Apothecary SPF 30 Sunscreen






Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block SPF 30 Sunblock






Aveeno Sun Natural Protection Baby SPF 50 Stick, 0.5Ounce

Sunbow Dora The Explorer Sunscreen SPF 30





Yes to Carrots Hydrating Body Lotion with SPF 30




Yes To SPF30 Body Lotion - 4.2 oz.


Please remember to reapply all day!

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's Friday! It's Aperol Cocktails! Cin Cin!

Aperol



A few weeks ago, it was France with the St Germain cocktails blog,  we have moved to Italy and Aperol cocktails. I love Campari and this liqueur is owned by the Campari group. The WSJ profiled this wonderful liqueur recently and it could become an instant favorite for our Fashionmom readers.




Campari








Padua, Italy


Aperol is an Italian aperitif originally produced by the Barbieri company in Padua Italy. It is now produced by the Campari Company. Now stay with me ...it is also the main ingredient in another aperitif popular in northern Italy in the Veneto region " Spritz'.  Spritz is a wine based cocktail produced by the Campari group. Spritz is usually mixed with a liqueur such as Aperol or Campari along with white wine, the name of the mix is Aperol Spritz ( It is the unofficial drink of Italy)  AperoSpitzCommercial.

Aperol was originally produced in 1919, but it did not become popular until after the second World War. The ingredients? Gentian, Rhubarb, Bitter Orange, Cinchona. It is very similar to Campari but it is slightly sweeter and the alcoholic content is a bit less than that of Campari. It is also lighter in color than Campari. It has a slightly sweet, bitter taste while Campari is more bitter. These drinks are perfect for hot days at the beach if you need something which is not too sweet, too sweet tends to make you more thirsty, the bitter helps to make the drink refreshing.  Perfect for summer cocktails!!!


Rhubarb


AperolSptiz commercial 2 The commercials are a bit addictive! :)



Aperol Spritz

3 ounces Prosecco
Splash of Soda Water or Seltzer
2 ounces Aperol
Wine glass or Champagne flutes are great choices.

Roman Holiday

11/2 ounces Orange Vodka
1/2 ounce Aperol
1/2 ounce orange juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
Tangelo Wedge

Strain with ice, pour into a Martini glass and then top with Prosecco!
Top with wedge.




Oranges

Apparent Sour - two greats together, this one has St Germain!

11/2 ounces Aperol
3/4 ounce St Germain
3/4 ounce lime juice
Rosemary Sprig

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Add sprig.


Aperol Betty

2 parts Aperol
1 part orange juice
1 part grapefruit juice
Add ice cubes, shake and serve in a cocktail glass




Gentian Flower



 Aperol Vodka

2 parts Aperol
1 part Vodka
Add Lots of ice cubes and serve in a cocktail glass.

Winter G "ubillee

2 parts Aperol
2 parts Gin
1 part lemon juice
1 part Pomme Wonderful
1 part pineapple juice
 1 part simple syrup

Shake all in a together and serve ( martini or cocktail glass)


Sauvecita

2 parts Aperol
Dash of Angostura Bitters
2 parts dry Vermouth
1 part Parita Reposado Tequila
3/4 sweet Vermouth

Shake all ingredients together and serve ( cocktail/martini glass)


Bois De Rose

2 parts Aperol
2 parts Champagne
1 part Gin
2 parts St Germain
Dash of lemon juice

Shake all together and serve over ice in a Collins glass. Stir well!




Have a fantastic weekend!

Please remember to drink responsibly!



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Kids are Lucky Too! Lucky Magazine for Kids Spring 2011!





Lucky is one of my favorite magazines and I am sure that it is one of yours too.


http://www.luckymag.com/

I have been a fan since the  first issue launched in 2000 under the Conde Nast masthead. It went on to become one of their most successful magazines in history.
Under the tutelage of Editor in Chief Kim France, who left a few months ago, some of my favorite features included a Andrea Linnett ( The fashion director)  feature about her fashion choices on the last page of the magazine. They were the first to do unique stories such as  "How I'm Wired" which was a page devoted to women and how they utilize technology in their daily lives. Lucky introduced us to many other firsts, June Godfrey's "The Beauty Closet, "What I Want Now" and  the "Shop by City " pages are now the stuff of legend, I would arrive at a new destination with the pages pulled, ready to shop. Lucky was my shopping bible, I could not travel without it.
The Lucky website is also a great destination with lots of tips on fashion, beauty and decorating.
The new Editor is Chief is Brandon Holly and while the magazine has changed the fashion features, some positive and  some not so positive,  but some of my favorite old standbys are still there and they have been transferred to the Lucky Kids brand.


Ad pages are populated by Gap, H&M among other big names, they have lots of high profile support already.



Lucky Kids.jpg

This magazine has some of the great stories similar to Mommy Lucky,  including  the " Mini Spy "  feature which covers trench coats, exciting finds from Etsy and websites for great shopping. The "What We Want Now" feature copies the grown up version from Lucky with three of the editors detailing their picks for their own kids based on current fashion trends.

Another favorite was the first story "Boxing Lessons" which details lunch kits along with packing suggestions. Prices throughout the magazine range from low to high with something in the middle for everyone.
"All About You" has tips just for moms about makeup, travel packing and even teacher gift suggestions.
This magazine is not about the everyday, may I say,  sometimes mundane trials of moms but it is offers fashion for children, shopping and beauty stories, something moms need to give them a much needed perk up at the end of the day. And keep the phone handy you can use your phone to make purchases direct from the bed, thanks to all of the Lucky App available for IPhone.

Happy Shopping!

Friday, May 13, 2011

FashionMom: It's Friday!! Samba, Calypso, Jazz ......Cocktail...

FashionMom: It's Friday!! Samba, Calypso, Jazz ......Cocktail...: "Drums ( Brazil) I know, this happens to everyone...well almost everyone.. you are hosting a cocktail party and at the last minute you have ..."

It's Friday!! Samba, Calypso, Jazz ......Cocktail Music Time!

Drums ( Brazil)
I know, this happens to everyone...well almost everyone.. you are hosting a cocktail party and at the last minute you have no music.... "cocktail" music. I have loads of choices at home but sometimes I want something that is quintessentially "cocktail" party music, you know that sound..... a jazz, Latin, fusion with smoky voiced singers floating in the background. The sounds of maracas, drums.... it conjures up images of canapes, The South of France, Ipanema, and drinks with cherries and oranges.
Here are some amazing picks for music at your next shindig!



Enjoy!


Mambo Cocktails


Stereophonics- Performance and Cocktails

Performance and Cocktails


Space Age, Cocktail Lounge

Space-Age Cocktail Lounge

Cocktail Capers

Cocktail Capers: Ultra Lounge 8









George Arvanitas Trio- Cocktails at 3am.

3 A.m + Cocktail For Three

Guantanamera
Guantanamera - A Spicy Cocktail Mix

Cocktail a Soundtrack

Cocktail Mix, Vol.4: Soundtracks With A Twist



Tasty Sound Collection- Cocktails and Guitars

Tasty Sound Collection: Cocktails & Guitars




Celia Cruz- Hits Mix- No one else like her, ever.

Hits Mix


The Cocktail tribute to Nirvana


The Cocktail Tribute To Nirvana


Seriously Good Music- Cocktail

Seriously Good Music: Lounge


Buena Vista Social Club- The original and this stuff never gets old, it is amazing, truly a gift.



Buena Vista Social Club

Tito Puente

Latin Jazz All-Stars Live at the Village Gate


Calypso by Josepine Premice


Calypso


Essential Byron Lee- 50th Anniversary Celebration.  This is a must have, all of the great songs and hits from the late Soca legend Byron Lee, from his earliest days in Ska to the greatest hits of the nineties.  A Must Have!

The following 4 albums are all available via MP3 on Amazon. Enjoy!

Essential Byron Lee - 50th Anniversary Celebration









Soca Engine
Soca Engine


Soca Royal

Soca Royal


Dancehall Soca

Dance Hall Soca

The Best!


King of Kings: The Very Best of












Cocktail Party

Jazz Moods: Cocktail Party

Hotel Costes

Hotel Costes 14



Sade, The Ulitmate Collection

The Ultimate Collection


Vintage stuff, Miles Davis Sketches of Spain

Sketches of Spain




Enjoy!!



 For future reference- This blog  is saved under "Drinks" on FashionMom blog.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Workout Solutions for Busy Moms! Motivators and Mood boosters





My friends and I have the same conversation often…how to fit a workout into a full time family schedule. A full time schedule which consists of work, spouse, children, school drops and activities, homework for one or multiple kids, your own studies and other family duties including taking care of aging parents, did I mention cooking and cleaning? It is a challenging act to juggle that is certain and requires some measure of discipline. Personally, if I could plan exercise into my weekly schedule with some consistency it would be the ultimate achievement. I recently switched from morning or day workouts with my daughter to late afternoon walks after school. It is not easy but as women need to ensure that we exercise for many reasons including more energy (to keep up with the children), longevity and to ensure and maintain overall mental health.


Here are some great motivators to help you get out there and stay the course.

  1. It’s All In Your Mind - Surround yourself with visual reminders of your goals, which counteract inertia by keeping your game plan top of the mind, dumbbells, running shoes, and a yoga mat.
  2. Your Long Term Health – I think that I want to improve on the examples set by my parents times five. Your parents are active, but we must continue to build on their experiences as information and research become available.
  3. What a Feeling! - Think about how great you will feel post exercise. If I have not had the opportunity to exercise for a few days my mental health starts a downward slide to zero and I remember that I may not have had my exercise fix. Exercise is the best mood lifter. It also helps to give added mental clarity, many of your problems may be resolved post exercise and it does help to clear up those pesky winter blues!
  4. Get Them Involved- Incorporate your children and spouse if their schedules allow into your exercise routine. My daughter is still utilizing her jogging stroller which allows us to take the 50 minute round trip walk to the park at least 3 afternoons a week especially in the summer months. As she ages, we may add the bike for her, we jog or bikes for everyone at the park. I have a friend who would drop her son at music lessons; while we waited for our children she would lace up her sneakers and take a brisk walk in the area surrounding the school. Great idea!
  5. It’s Not Too Late, Be Role Model – Be a role model for your children, they will follow. Always make it fun, involve them in outdoor activities, like swimming, gymnastics, tennis early and no pressure to be a super athlete please! This is for health nothing else!
  6. Let Others Motivate You – Find a mommy exercise group for mothers and tots or gather a group of friends and pay for a personal trainer for workouts at a local park, or join a running club. Exercising with other people especially friends is a great motivator to help you stick with your routine and you will really push, you will not want to the slacker in the group. You will be surprised at how fast your fitness level will tick upward.
  7. Weekends Are Not Just for Laundry- Use that weekend time wisely and try to ensure that at least one day of the weekend involves outdoor activities for the entire family.
  8. Train for a 5 K- With or without a group, training for a 5 K is one of the best motivators for getting into shape within a specific time. Marathons can come later, take it slowly and get lots of advice, you will have at least one friend who has either run a 5 K or more, their advice and counsel will be invaluable. It may take a couple of months; choose something at least six months ahead. It will be worth it at the finish line where your biggest fans your family will be cheering and waiting for you. Choose something that also benefits a worthy cause.
  9. Online Aids – Utilize online exercise plans and apps to help you plan a fitness regimen suited to your needs and track your efforts with daily updates and motivational tips.
  10. Winter Tips- Switch your routine at the gym; try a different class to help keep you motivated during the long winter months. Be warned…. The gym should always be very close to your home, anything more than 20 minutes, you will be a no show all winter.

Last but not least, a 15 minute run or brisk walk will help to keep those blood vessels flowing, and boost your vitality. It does not have to be long, just 15 minutes.


Why we must continue to exercise……

Immunity – People who worked out five or more times a week recovered more quickly from colds than people who were not active. I can testify to that one!

Sleep Quality- Compared with women who avoid workouts, those who exercise tend to fall asleep faster and snooze more deeply once they do.

Energy- On average, sedentary people reported 20 percent less daytime fatigue when they started exercising regularly.

Risks of Depression- Physically active people were half as likely as their sedentary counterparts to develop symptoms of depression.

Risk of Breast Cancer- Women who were active are 40 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than women who seldom exercised independent of their family history.

Risk of Type 2 Diabetes – People with elevated blood sugar (pre diabetes) can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 59 percent with daily physical activity and modest weight loss (American Diabetes Association)



We would love to get your feedback, how do you keep yourself motivated?



Better Homes and Gardens
Runner’s World
FashionMom
istockphotos








Friday, May 6, 2011

It's Friday! Happy Mother's Day! The FashionMom Bar!






Happy Mother's Day to everyone!


Home Bars and bar areas are some of my favorite places in homes. Not because I am a lush,  I barely have one or two drinks every other week but because it seems so glamorous and it reminds me of  parties, cocktails, fun times. Bars are a great way to meet new people and I have lots of new neighbors to meet this summer. So with that in mind my bar setup has to be super! We have a covered deck in our home so my bar area will go there for guests.

Trolleys and Trays
 I have a trolley which was purchased on Amazon.com and there are several different styles Trolleys to choose from in varying prices and styles. I have wonderful memories of the trolley used by my parents when I was growing up, their friends would visit and my dad would set trolley with an ice bucket and all of his favorite drinks and liqueurs. My Mom would bring out her famous punch bowl and  her best glasses from England, it was a wonderful time. Happy Mother's Day Mom!



Rita Konig
Rita Konig  Rita Konig is an English designer and writer for the Home in the NY Times and she  is now doing the same for The Wall Street Journal. She is English and is the daughter of the famous interior designer Nina Campbell, but she has a voice and style all her own. Her quirky sensibility appeals to me because a lot of what she does speaks to her English background.  She has done several stories on home bars Rita Konig Bar 1 and they have included the must have in any home "The trolley" . When it was time for me to do a set-up I modeled mine on Ms Konig's stories Rita Bar 2
My trolley is located in a corner of  our deck and it is wheeled out when guests arrive.
It makes everything much easier, I would love to have a second one just for a punch bowl set and and ice bucket for extra ice cubes.







 Along with the trolley I have a rolling metal office cart, which I purchased years ago from Office Depot. It holds tiny sodas, Angostura bitters, and bar napkins, shot glasses, straws and other tiny accessories all of which help to improve the drinking experience.






Waiting for guests or....just us


Our little stash!

Trays
Wood Trays from West Elm.

I love trays, modern and traditional, West Elm has some of the best ones right now( see link)

Carmen Tray from Crate and Barrell

bdjeffries.com





Cocktail Napkins
Cocktail Napkins also add a certain cache to any event, Target has an excellent selection in their stores and I got some additional ones at a local  boutique Festivity Festivity here in Atlanta. The paper coasters from Iomoi are divine, you must try these, simply gorgeous! Paper Coasters
Fabric Napkins are another beautiful option.
Fabric Napkins from Shopgramercy.com
Vintage Napkins are always a great option if you really want one of kind napkins.
Vintage 50's barware from Etsy.com

Another great addition would be bottle tags Bottle tags from Paper Jane.




Paper Cocktail Napkins


Paper Cocktail Napkins

So what is standard on our trolley?

  • Malibu any flavor - on the rocks or chased with Cola.
  • Goshlings Rum from Bermuda- Makes a great Dark and Stormy
  • XM Rum from Guyana- Excellent for a Cuba Libre or  just on the rocks.
  • Campari
  • Pimm's
  • Cointreau for sipping
  • Ten Cane Rum from Trinidad and Tobago- Makes a mean Mojito.
  • Demerara Golden Rum Creme Liqueur ( similar to Bailey's)
  • Claytons Kola Tonic from Barbados - non alcoholic beverage made from the Kola Nut from South Africa ( can be drank on the rocks, or as a chaser for gin or with lemon lime soda.
  • St Germain- best with Champagne or Prosecco and club soda with lots of lemons and ice.
  • Vodka- no preference.
  • Wray and Nephew overproof White Rum from Jamaica
  • Kahlua - Kahlua is a favorite.
  • Bitter Lemon
  • Lemon Lime Soda
  • Coke
  • San Pellegrino Aranciata ( bitter orange soda from Italy)
  • Fanta Orange Soda
  • Lemons/Limes/Oranges/Cherries/Mint
  • A Sparkling Red wine, my favorite is a Shiraz by Paringa, full bodied and potent.
  • If not Champagne, a Prosecco and a Moscato or Reisling ( all German fan).





Glasses
I love Tom Collins glasses, they are simple, anything looks wonderful in a Tom Collins glass. My current favorites are from Martha Stewart and available at Macy's Stores. The ones below scream Vintage!









There is an astounding amount of inventory for glasses also at Etsy.com at for every price range. Glasses at Etsy.com


I wanted to share three of my favorite recipes with you, they are simple to mix and that is why I love them so much.


 In a Cocktail or Old Fashioned glass, mix one part Kahlua with 3 parts Club Soda (chilled). Add a cherry and go. One of the best!

St Germain ( Collins Glass) - Mix one part St Germain, with 2 parts Prosecco or dry Champagne and 1 part Club Soda. Add 2 lemon slices at the top. Mix thoroughly!








Cuba Libre ( Old fashioned)  - One part Rum (my preference is El Dorado or XM Rum preferably 10 year old from Guyana)  and 3 parts Coke.

To wrap up....

As you all know,  I did a story two weeks ago about Pottery Barn and their barware promotion. Pottery Barn is one my favorite destination for ideas on entertaining. They have a wonderful entertainment section on line and it includes this video from master Mixologist Manny Hinojosa.




Manny Hinojosa video courtesy of YouTube


I would like to wish all of our mothers Happy Mother's Day. Enjoy your special day!


Please remember to drink responsibly!















































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