Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Years Resolution-- The Third Row Part 2

Another weekend and another car lot!  This weekend my husband and I started at the Mercedes dealership in Fairfield.  We took a look at the GL450
This is a lot like the ML that I currently drive.  In fact, the interior is basically the same.  This car obviously has a third row, which has enough space to accommodate an adult.  But here's the thing, if you are in the third row, it's no easy feat to move the seat forward and get out.  Which means one thing...lots of in-and-out for mama.  Like my current Mercedes, there isn't a ton of storage in the glove and center console and drink holders aren't super convenient.  While I do love my current car, the problem is that Mercedes never have a small problem, and there tends to be lots of maintenance.

We were off to Land Rover as planned, when I got a wild hair and suggested we run by Lexus in Westport.  This car has frankly not been on my radar, but considering how pleased I was with the Toyota, I thought I should check out their Luxury brand.  Well, lets start by saying I love the look of the LX570.  Our sales guy said the magic words, "this car is TREMENDOUSLY reduced because we didn't make a 2012 and the 2013 model has been released".   While this car is expensive-- the deal got pretty sweet after the sizable reduction, a better than average warranty, and the fact that we were looking at a demo with 1500 miles (read: not new).  This definitely entered my top 3.

The last stop was Nissan.  Several people recommended the Armada to me.  I wasn't familiar with this car...so, I figured it was worth a look.  While this car has a generous amount of room, I just don't feel like it was as luxurious as the Sequoia..and it's practically the same price point.  This car also felt like it had a rougher ride which I wasn't fond of.  Unfortunately, this wasn't the right fit for us, but it's plenty nice and depending on what people want, this would be an excellent car for anyone.

This whole process is starting to become exhausting, but before I am done I still have 7 more to shop
  1. Buick Enclave
  2. Ford Explorer
  3. Ford Expedition
  4. Chevrolet Tahoe 
  5. Chevrolet Traverse
  6. GMC Acadia 
  7. Land Rover LR4
As it stands now, my favorites are the Toyota Highlander, the Toyota Sequoia, and the Lexus LX570.  And the hubs, his top three are the Toyota Sequoia, the Mercedes GL450, and the  Lexus LX570.

Stay tuned for my exhaustive Spreadsheet to come!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

I had a great time celebrating my birthday this year.  My sweet husband was very generous.  Saturday he gave me a special gift...knowing that I would want to use it at Jackson's birthday party.  You guessed it, he gave me the Nikon Camera that I have had my eye on for years!  I just love it and even my first picture looked like it was out of a magazine (see below).  R took the one above with my new bubble necklace on.  I thought the color combo was cute...even if my facial expression wasn't
On my actual birthday, R brought out another gift--  the hydrangea Patagonia better sweater I wanted; and given the cold weather, I put it right on!  Truth be told, I've had it on for two days!  If you don't have a better sweater, I highly recommend getting one.  This is my first one and I do love it.

On Monday night, six of my girlfriends took me for a yummy dinner at Rowayton Seafood.  After one strong dirty martini, I completely forgot to snap a picture of the girls for the blog.  Rowayton is a quaint New England town that happens to be a stones throw from my house.  It is crammed with uber creative types which only feeds me more.  Here are some snaps of the restaurant and town.
Rowayton Seafood
Rowayton Seafood
Main Street of Rowayton
As always, my friends and family were so sweet and showered me with gifts.  One of my besties in Tokyo, sent me the lovliest set of Tea canisters-- all of which have my favorite color blue in them.  KF has already been skulking about the house trying to get her hands on just one.  And let me not forget to mention, that I got some much wanted/needed accessories that will certainly garner compliments this summer.  I'll save those goodies for another post.

Thanks to all for making this girl feel so special!  Darien is really starting to feel like home now that I have you all!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

J's Birthday Bash!

Although my baby turned 5 in February, we just had his party on Sunday.  The poor child is convinced that he is 6 because he thinks this is another birthday.  Pretty funny.

We had a great time with all his friends at the gymnastics center at Goodwives.  The party was definitely a hit.  Here are a few of my favorite shots

Friday, March 23, 2012

What's your Spring Scent?

As many of you know, I love a good bottle of perfume.  I don't buy many, but I do by good perfume.  I do abide by the "smell like a rose-- not a rose garden rule".  So, with Spring officially here, I have made my transition.  Here is what I am wearing now:
Aqua Universalis
I smelled this scent on my friend T and knew I had to have it.  I love love love it!  My husband got it for me for Christmas and I'll admit, I have worn this a few times over the winter.  MFK also makes travel roll-on sizes that are great for your purse or your luggage.
Chelsea Flowers

I have several of the Bond No.9  perfumes and I love them all.  This is one line that I could easily hoard!  I have a hard time picking just one.  For Spring, I am wearing Chelsea Flowers which is a light floral-- with hints of Hyacinth and Peony (two of my favorite flowers). And this past winter, I used Bleeker Street which is a unisex scent with notes of Violet leaf, cassis, jasmine, cinnamon, oakmoss-- none of which are things I thought I would be attracted to.  Definitely a sexy scent!
Bleeker Street
What are you wearing?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring has Sprung...I think!

Flowers and Trees are blooming and I am ready for Spring to get here and stay.

The change of the seasons always kicks me into high gear.  So much to do.  I started yesterday by changing the kids closets over to their Spring wardrobes.  Its like seeing old friends when I pull out their clothes from LY.  I am a great end of season shopper...So, its always a treat to some new clothes mixed in with the old.  I just started to get my own wardrobe in line.  Here were a few of the new things I found in my off season closet

Lilly "Fallin in Love" print tunic dress
J. Crew Rugby Stripe.  This is still on-line, but it's just gotten warm enough to wear it here

Kate Spade ruffle wrap.  This may be my Spring Fling dress!
I did manage to hit the Elizabeth McKay sample sale in the city week before last.  I sent my husband in advance to see if it was worth my while.  I thought he was going to groan, but when I told him he could pick anything he liked-- he was on board.  It didn't hurt that upon arrival, every woman there told him how great he was.  Here are just a few things he picked up for me at a STEAL!

This afternoon, I'll have the kids go through their try-on pile and then I can figure out what I am missing.  This always seems like a chore, but I am always pleased when I have it all settled!  Do you have any tactics to share on the topic?  I always love a good tip!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rowayton Pizza

In the summer, our family hits Rowayton Pizza ever Friday night.  It's nothing special, but that's exactly what we like about it.  We usually sit out side, enjoy the band, and bring a good bottle of wine.  Afterwards, we always hit Brennens 101, across the street,  for an ice cream and a beautiful view of the water. 

Last week was our "first of the season" visit to Rowayton Pizza.  We went with our good friends. Somehow, it signaled that Spring was in the air.

Me and Sarah pre wine
KF and E
KF and L

Sunday, March 18, 2012


In an effort to get those Darien 10 off, I have started a fitness challenge with a group of friends here in town.  I have to say, this has been a huge motivator for me.  Not only have I been diligent about tracking my food, I have also picked up my old sport of jogging. 

Pre-kids, jogging was something I did everyday in NYC.  I would get up at 5:30 and run two loops around the reservoir or the lower loop in Central Park before I headed into the office.  I probably did this for 5 years.  But after KF, I just didn't get my running confidence back.  I was happy to fast walk, but I only broke a run on July 4th for the Peachtree Road Race.

So, for the first couple of weeks of this challenge, I hit the gym and got my feet under me using the treadmill and Stairmaster.  In week three, I hit the actual pavement moving between fast walks and runs.  Finally, this past week, I hit the road running...Yah! 

On Thursday, I was invited on a running date with Fiona and Caroline.  I was a little nervous .   Fiona is training for her 4th Marathon and Caroline is a veteran runner herself.  I almost bailed at the last minute, but agreed to go that with the provision that I may not run the entire 4 mile loop. Well, It's true, I didn't run the entire 4 miles-- I did complete about 3.  I was so proud of myself!

NYC was always a great place to run, the rising sun shining on the West Side buildings made them look like they were made of liquid gold.  While Darien's scenery couldn't be more different, it fills me with that same sense of serenity.  As always, these beautifuls runs (no matter where I am) offer me time to be inside my own head..to think things through, to work things out.  With three kids, this is something I don't get very often.  I guess this is why I enjoy going at it alone.

Here are some of the beautiful shots I have taken on my runs--most within a mile or two of our house:
Pip's Path-- one of my favorite Darien finds!

New Years Resolution-- The Third Row

We have finally started the REAL hunt for a car with a third row.

We started by hitting the Volvo dealership in Stamford. To be honest, I have so many friends with Volvo XC90s that I thought this was going to be "the one".  I think, If you have kids under 8 this is a great car.  It's a small SUV (which makes the jump from a sporty car much more palatable) and it offers additional seating for toddler play dates.  But, Mr. D and I are looking for a car that I'll have for the next 5 years when my oldest will be a 6th grader and  my youngest will be in 3rd grade.  At which point, my kids won't be under 4 foot, they'll probably be closer to 5'5"-- making the third row not even usable.  It's kind of like asking my 8 year old to sit in the backseat of my old Alfa Romeo!

Next up was the Toyota dealership.  We had three cars to look at there-- The Land Cruiser, The Sequoia, and the Highlander.  For starters, there were no Land Cruisers available new or used.  Word of the Darien street is that you almost can't even find one of these to even test drive.  After talking to the sales guy, the LC is a great truck for serious off roading types-- you can adjust the height of the vehicle, move from 2 wheel to 4 wheel drive, etc.  BUT, for your average driver (like me), it really isn't much more than a status statement.  Who knew that a Toyota was a status statement-- not me!
Next, we looked at the Sequoia-- which I loved.  This car offered the roominess that R was looking for, but it wasn't quite the bus that the suburban was.  It was comfy and offered plenty of room in the third row.  It is on a truck chassis...so, it sits high and feels sturdy-- which I like.  This would be a great car for the next 5 years and it would we awesome for our summer roadtrips.

After looking at the XC90, I thought the Highlander would be out of the question, but I actually loved this one too and the price was a huge draw.  The best feature in this car was the middle row...you can configure it into 2 captain seats (making the 3rd row easily accessible by kids) or you can add the insert and make it into a bench seat-- fitting three kids.  This insert fits into a compartment inside the car...so, it's not in your garage taking up space and out of pocket when you need it.

Next weekend is Mercedes GL and Land Rover LR4!

Four Down-- Sixteen to go!

And another bites the dust!  Chomps in no longer very chompy!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patty's Day!

It was a beautiful day to celebrate St. Patty's Day in the Northeast.  Blue skies and crisp spring weather.  Our intentions were to head into NYC for the parade, but a birthday party through a wrench in things.  We took the kids to our favorite diner for lunch and then had a walk through downtown Stamford.  That's when we came upon the green fondue.  Boy did the kids love that.

Speaking of all things Irish.  Katie Faye has been begging to take Irish step dance for over a month now.  Since we are not Irish, I kind of ignored the requests-- wrongly assuming that we couldn't/ shouldn't take the class.  Well, two weeks ago, our home office became a riverdance studio as KF began teaching herself reels and steps off of u-tube.  Quite entertaining.  The next riverdance phase included KF agreeing to only wear green and preferably shorter skirts (with cartwheel shorts underneath) to school so she could teach her friends these moves.  So, last week, in an effort to regain my dance studio...I mean office...I signed her up for a test class at Pender- Keady and she LOVED it.  The founders of the studio performed in the Broadway Cast of "Riverdance" and one also performed in the original cast of "Lord of the Dance" -- one of the perks of living so close to NYC.  So, suffice to say, we have just purchased KF her black slippers and she'll start her new class next week.

Erin go Bragh!

PS:  When we got home, our funny friends on Red Rose left us a goodie bag of Irish treats...whistles, green tape, note pads, Stickers, Play Doh.  This was a great play on the "boos" that we got at Halloween.  Thank you K's!!!!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Three down-- seventeen to go

Chomps tooth was very loose Thursday night.  He insisted on waiting for Daddy to pull it, but R was at a scotch tasting in Rowayton that night.  Friday morning, Ric left for work before Chomps was awake.  I asked if he wanted me to give it a tug, but he said he was going to wait for Daddy.  Chomps, who is usually my best eater, had slowed way down.  I guess by lunch time he was famished because down went the PB&J and down went the tooth.  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Birthday wishes

As my Birthday gets closer, my family always requests a Birthday List.  This year I thought I would share some with with you!

The Hermes tray has easily been on my list for 10 years.  I first saw one in NYC at a cute shop on 73rd btw lex and 3rd-- I should have bought it then.  They are hard to come by, but there is currently one in the Hamptons and occasionally one can be found on 1st dibs.  Just gorgeous in my book and perfect for a coffee table. And should I mention, these are a nice nod to my fashion background?

Patagonia + Purple = Love.  Since 2nd grade I have loved purple-- so, this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me.    For $129, I would wear this all year long!

Fornash has such cute items, but this boa scarf that made the O list is fabulous.  The colors are great, but I love the aqua and the coral best.  So lovely for summer paired with just a simple tee shirt or sundress!  This is a great buy for $38.00

Boulevard's Sunday Tote is my "my now" bag.  I love it.  I love that the monogram is in gold.  I love that it is huge.  I love that it's leather and canvas.  It's just perfect.  While this bag comes in a dozen colors...it's all about orange for me. It's just $143 on Ladybird.

The Nikon D7000, is another item on my list this year.  With my Photoshop lessons under way, and the kids getting bigger, I would love to upgrade the actual shots that I take.  I have been afraid to commit to such a camera because of the size, but I consistently feel like I miss those evening shots with my iPhone.

Kiel James Patrick's Cape knot stitch is a great jewelry addition for the summer.  While it is fashioned after the traditional sailor bracelet that we all wore in our teens, this one can be taken off with ease!  Although it comes in a load of great colors, the neutral will pair with everything ($38.00).  To the right is the Obedaggett Docks in Peri ($40.00)...so cute with that Patagonia, right?

Ahhhh the Goyard St. Louis tote.  I may have to wait a bit for this, but boy is it a beauty.  They come in several colors,but blue is definitely for me.  I will absolutely have to pimp it out with a monogram and a stripe...most likely in orange.  One can dream right?  Until then, Iomoi does a great knockoff of the strip and monogram combo for a tenth of the price...seriously.  The hardest decision would be which combination...they are all so beautiful.

And last...the grand finale...the cigar band.  Found at one of my favorite new and estate jewelry shops in Atlanta, Laura Pearce.  Hello Lover!