September 28, 2012

Little Bird in the Big Apple: My trip to New York:)

Thanks to my wonderful, beloved husband, I went to NYC for 4 days last week... and it was fabulous! I return to my family a better wife and mother, rejuvenated and inspired by the life that is bursting out of New York.

I arrived on Thursday afternoon in Newark, NJ and took the train to Penn Station. Made a quick change in the Penn Station bathroom (very glamorous) from my traveling-prego-mom clothes (jean, sweater, sandals) to a great little green dress, black blazer and some killer heels that literally killed my feet after 1 night of walking in the city. I was happily welcomed by one of my longest (not oldest!) and dearest friends, my Connie:) She saved me from having to hail my first cab and sent me on my way. My first stop, the KiraKira shop in the Meatpacking District. So nice to see Suzanne in NY, just where her beautiful jewelry line should be located:) A little business, a lot of catching up and some fantastic food rounded out the evening. The only thing missing (other than M and the kids) was that glass of wine that would've gone perfectly with dinner. Baby #3, I hope you appreciate all that momma sacrifices for you:)

Friday I walked all over Manhattan... and it was fabulous! Perfect weather, bustling streets, it was just too good! A little place caught my eye that boasted Kobe beef burgers and truffle french fries - how could I refuse?! I almost began rationalizing moving the family to NYC when I saw a poor woman who looked miserable schlepping 2 kids in a stroller, who looked equally miserable, trying to make her way down the sidewalk with some groceries and her sanity. At that moment I felt very thankful for my big Texas house and yard and car! That night Connie and I went to the theater! (The last time I was in NY with Connie we were in high school on a school trip to see shows on Broadway - it was very nostalgic:) We ended the evening with a late but incredible dinner at a (very) little place called Saro. If you've never had Eastern European food, give it a try, you'll most likely be surprised. It was incredible! Warm, rich, comforting and absolutely delicious! The owner/chef Eran and his too-adorable-for-words wife were excellent hosts and really made you feel at home. It didn't hurt that they're friends of Connie, however, I think they're just that nice!

Saturday was for pampering:) With Connie I enjoyed some lovely cheese at 10 Degrees wine bar.... again, the wine I can't have! Visited the Bumble & Bumble salon for a much needed update to my do and caught up with another long lost friend. As I traveled back downtown I noticed my poor, neglected feet and stopped off for a mani/pedi before dinner. At dinner I realized the ease of life sans munchkins, but how superficial it all seemed too. For 3 days I only had to worry about myself and it was then that I realized how much these kiddos have enriched my life. Forget, if you can, the sleep deprivation, being constantly on-call, the diapers, the laundry, the "grind" of being a parent, and you're left with these amazing little beings and you are the center of their universe. Pretty humbling when you think about it.

On my flight home Sunday I tried to sleep, but all I could think about was those little faces I'd missed for 4 whole days. New York is amazing. The pace, the people, the life is unlike any place else in the world... but so is home. Dane, Isla, mommy loves you:)

I'll leave you with a few photos of my time in the big city. I loved every minute, but I'm so happy to be home!

KiraKira Meatpacking pop up! Yep, that's my logo design:)

Chrysler Building from Tudor City

Chrysler at dusk from around 40th
View from B&B salon
Japan? Nope. Chinatown:)

John Lennon pop art:)
More pop art inspired graphics... love the comeback!
Very suprised to the Iwo Jima photograph in the lobby of the Lever House!

The Freedom Tower, almost complete

September 15, 2012

Friday Favorites: Love where you are

First let me preface this entry with a little mom-guilt. Every single time I write a "Friday Favorites" or say anything about "things I love", I have overwhelming guilt that I don't list my kids. I realize that I would and could list them every week, which would make this blog more of a brag-fest about my beautiful, wonderful, incredible babies, but I'll spare you:)

Love where you are: Since I married M nearly 10 years ago we have moved 8 times, lived in 7 different states on 2 different continents and one thing I've learned is your life is what you make it - no matter where you are. Yes, it was far easier living in San Diego than a small town in North Carolina, but no matter where we live, we always manage to make it home... at least temporarily. I guess you could say what I've learned is to love where you are, wherever that may be. After spending the last 3 years in a 1950's cement bunker, loving our new place isn't so hard to do. 

A dear friend recently introduced me to the concept of "throw out 50 things" (from the Gail Blanke book Throw Out 50 Things). Sounds scary, but considering half of our belongings have been in storage for almost 4 years, there are far more than 50 things I can live without. The criteria for ditching your stuff (beyond essentials) is to keep only what brings you happiness. I love this concept! Why have junk hanging around that serves no purpose just because you feel obligated to have it?! If it doesn't make you happy, throw it out, sell it, gift it, re-purpose it! I'm attempting to embrace this idea even though every time I start to toss something M looks at me like, "what are you doing?! we paid for that!" His judgmental looks are justified, but I can't stand the clutter we've accumulated over the years. And with this in mind I have done some serious purging and now looking around my new home I see only things that bring me happiness - and it is so refreshing! I'd like to share a few with you:)

1. Cyan Chinese Lions (not the Bombshell Manuel of Style -
even though I love this book!)

As is customary, there are 2 lions, but only one resides in my office:) The other takes his place on a beautiful vintage sideboard in the living room. These guys were a gift from said friend who planted the "throw 50 things away" seed. I love the color and the style it brings into a room. Such a great addition. Will NEVER part with these! This also may be inspiration for a future thank you card....hmm....

2. Woodblock prints by Teruhide Kato
I almost left Japan without snagging these prints. Art is always an interesting purchase. Even though I claim to be the art authority in the house, I do like for M to actually like what will soon be hanging in our house. I was so relieved when he came back from a business trip, post-purchase, and LOVED the prints as much as I do:) Phew! Beautiful, structured and timeless. Love!


3. My giant Little Bird tea mug:)
Sometimes it's the little things that I enjoy the most - like all my dishes being white and matching (after years of multi-colored stoneware) or the plethora of pens on my desk - that all work:) I ran across this mug at Pier 1 Imports and I had to have it... it makes me happy! The large plate of oatmeal craisin cookies behind my enormous mug also make me very, very happy:)

With all the moving and craziness of our lives, I really like that these pieces will travel with us and become a part of our homes for, hopefully, many years to come. Take a look around your home and see what brings you happiness:)

Leaving you with just a simple little note card I've had in mind for a while. Enjoy:)

September 10, 2012

Hello from a long lost Little Bird:)

Two full months have passed and there is much to report! We've been busy feathering the nest and I'm almost happy enough with the results to post some photos of the new place:) We have had our hands full with renovations (new carpet and hardwoods... yay!), unpacking and making Texas our new home... oh, and those two little angels (devils) running around here making life crazy, but oh so entertaining. On top of this my dear husband is returning to flying after a 5 year hiatis as I am continuing my work as art director for Kira Kira Jewelry in NYC. I had to take a little break from Little Bird while trying to get some semblance of normalcy back, but I'm happy to say the shop is open for business again! My "studio" was less than accommodating while we waited for our shipments from Japan.... you'll see what I mean in the photo below:) 

Oh, and did I mention that we'll soon be welcoming a new little birdie to the nest? No, no pets for me just yet:) I'm about 6 months pregnant with another little boy! Japan's last farewell gift to us:) Unexpected, but what a great parting gift! We're very excited/anxious/terrified of what life will be like once we're outnumbered.

Considering my "condition", I'm taking full advantage of NOT being responsible for repainting the entire house. We bought a house with beautiful 20 ft ceilings in the main living area. Me + big baby belly + scary tall ladder + attempting to paint....... you can see this is not a wise plan! We have hired painters, a first for us, so after next week when all the old, yucky, way too dark paint has been covered with fresh, clean loveliness I'll share wonderful before and afters!

Working Phase... actual "After" in 2 weeks!

For anyone who's wondering, I do not own a stetson, none of us are wearing cowboy boots (although Dane is asking!) and my hair is the same size it was before moving to TX.

A few fun facts about our new home:

1. Daily we see cows, horses and camels. Yes, camels... in Texas. Who knew?! The kids love it.  

2. EVERYONE has a truck here. I actually saw a Prius the other day and thought I was hallucinating. I then saw a mom and 3 kids pile in and thought, "how?!?!". Surely a prego induced hallucination.

3. The Sweet Tea flow-ith and it is GOOD! I love the South:) I've had to switch to decaf-sweet tea, but it is a heavenly drink. It's my answer to a nice chilled martini these days.

4. Bows are BIG in Texas! I haven't given in yet, Isla still wears dainty, little clips or pigtails. We have seen some very little girls with some very large bows atop their heads. Apparently it's "in"!

5. Fort Worth has an absolute abundance of museums and cultural attractions - another thing I really didn't expect to find. Very much looking forward to the art museum:)

6. Fire ants are the devil and they are everywhere! A fire ant bite is a lasting, itchy pain that I can't even describe. Avoid at all cost!

7. Texans are some of the nicest people we've met in the continental U.S.! We're so thankful to live around friendly, smiley, polite people:)

This month's Kira Kira Splash Page - New location in the Meatpacking District!!