Sunday, March 27, 2011

Breakfast Cookies - Lemon Ricotta & Gluten-Free

Photo credit:

It's another rainy day. We've been looking for rainbows and splashing in puddles for weeks...and although it's always hilarious watching my kiddos get soaked and is a perfect day to stay inside...we're ready to make a different kind of mess. A baking mess! I started researching some fun new healthy recipes to make with the kiddos today and I love this idea of breakfast cookies. We're going to bake up some batches and see how they freeze as well.  Do you have any ideas to make these healthier or more freeze-friendly? Huge caveat...they have to stay as delicious!

One of my new favorite food bloggers is Family Fresh Cooking Check out her recipe for lemon ricotta gluten-free breakfast cookies. Will your lil' chefs like this recipe?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kid Craft, Candy Topiary 4 Easter Tablescape

Photo credit:

How fabulous are these topiaries by Crafty Sisters? I can't wait to share this project with my kiddos - it's going to be a gooey-ooey mess of laughter and Picasso-inspired topiaries. Happiness is your kid's interpretation, right? I might have to keep these up all summer!

Do you think your kiddos will like making these?

Here's the link: with more photos and a step-by-step guide. They've done a fantastic job of making it look very easy.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Katharine Hepburn

She said it so simply... "Never complain. Never explain." - Katharine Hepburn

If you're a fan of Positively Positive...then you're already enjoying these FB posts as much as I am. Otherwise, check it out. I love these reminders throughout the rays of sunshine!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Day of Spring Giveaway!

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At 4 young designs we're celebrating with a special giveaway!
Five lucky readers will be sent complementary samples from Natural Magic's Eco-Herbal skincare line by sending an email to:

Magazine's in-the-know have been giving this organic product line rave reviews. Organic Spa, Spa Today, and Skin Inc. are claiming NM as one of the best products on the market(

Don't you want to show off your pearl-like glow this spring?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kid Art Springs Flowers

Looking for a crazy-fun craft to do with the kiddos during spring break? This art project is the ideal "pop" that'll make your decor evoke blossoming happiness. It'll keep the kiddos busy as they grow their bouquets and there's so many ways you can show off their creations. I chose various different colors to mix-and-match with our tablescapes throughout spring and summer. My designers are anxious to get started!

Photo credit:

Check out how easy it is in this step-by-step diy guide by Intimate Weddings. She's a genius!

Do you think your kids will like this project?

Tory Burch Spring Collection 2011

I love Tory Burch!

Photo credit:
Her designs remind me of chic, vacation living...just fabulous. Browsing through her new Spring Collection I started daydreaming...and these shoes definitely made my wish list!

Check out Tory Burch's Behind-the-Scenes Spring 2011 Fashion Show and find out her favorite styles.

What would be on your wish list?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Raise Your Glass!

Happy Friday!

Interview 2: If you were told you were going to die, how would you live?

I'm so excited to share this next interview with you. It's my second interview in the Celebration series. A snapshot into the lives of other women. And this snapshot...even the whole photo album, it's an awesome journey...enjoy! 

InterviewIf you were given a second chance at life, what would you with it? Meet Julie Wilkes, her medical chart reads: miracle.

She’s also in the running for covergirl for Fitness Magazine, a fitness entrepreneur (, and the founder of Julie’s Wish Charity.

As a child Julie always knew that she was born with an under-developed heart. Not expected to live past childhood, she beat the odds, and then again living past adolescence.

So with a new lease of life and an enlightened perspective, what’s a girl to do but follow Oprah’s advice, read The Secret, and put her wishes out into the universe.

Q. How did your hugest obstacle become your passion?
A teacher showed me how to think of my heart as a muscle and to strengthen it with exercise. And that empowered me. Teachers can make a difference. This teacher became my coach. That was my "Aha Moment" and I was only in fifth grade. 

Q. I know The Secret inspired you? What did you put out into the universe?
A.   I knew that I was given the gift of a second chance at life – and that a gift is only as good as what you do with it.  I wanted to be able to pay forward and inspire the world through my work, but wasn’t sure how to take that first step.  The Secret says to ‘give your dreams, hopes and desires to The Universe’ – and so I wrote down on a piece of paper what I wanted to happen in my life –  what doors would need to open in order for me to go in that direction (i.e. finances, opportunities, etc).  Within two weeks, all of the things I put down on paper became a reality – and I knew I was on the right track!  I spoke to ‘The Universe’ and it spoke right back!

Q. Were there any other books that inspired you?
A. Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. If you haven't read it, you'll love it. It's an amazing book that taught me about living life authentically and passionately.

Q. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, what’s your anchor?
A. My mom always told me “there are no ordinary moments” and that’s how I choose to live my life, trying to focus on the extra-ordinary moments. And some of those moments that are closest to my heart are the children I work with through my foundation, they're facing life-threatening diseases. To be a part of their lives is a gift and a daily validation.

Q. What is your mantra?
A. Life is meant for living. Carpe Diem – seize the day – make your life extraordinary!

Q. Speaking of living...can you recommend a realistic workout for busy women?
Absolutely! I hope your readers are ready to get in shape for summer. Here's one of my workout videos.

Monday, March 14, 2011

sssshhhhhh! It's a secret...

It's our first time! And I can't wait!

The little green Irish fairy is inspiring mommy's mischievous list...
- Gold-coined treats 
- Green-dye in toilet
- Pull toilet paper into bathroom streamers
- Turn furniture upside down
- Make a trap

What am I missing???

Why I love Jake and the Never Land Pirates

There's no rushing the chemistry that may ultimately bring some boys and girls together, but for right now, at a young age, girls and boys often have different passions. My boys are always concerned when they get invited to a girl birthday party, worrying that it'll be Princess or Barbie themed... - but if you love cars, trains, superheroes, getting dirty, and being "fast" - yes, a trait hugely important to young boys, then you're their kind of girl. Otherwise, it'll take some coaching to find common ground.

Photo credit:

Disney Jr's new show, Jake and the Never Land Pirates couldn't have come to our home at a better time.

Pirates - that's definitely a topic that perks my boys' interest. This show is about three pirate playmates, two of which (Jake and Cubby) look so much like my kiddos it's hilarious. And then there's the girl, Izzy, who's equipped with pixie dust and she's so cool. Really cool. She's shattering that preschool glass ceiling of 'boys rule', and making her presence known in all her pink and pirate accessorized glory. And my boys love her. They can see firsthand, episode by episode, how girls can be incorporated into their imagination play. So much so, that now we prepare before "girl playdates" reviewing how awesome Izzy is, emphasizing that girls and boys are equals, although sometimes different playmates. So before last week's "girl playdate" we discussed that we're going to a "girl's home", so she's the host. Manners and compromise dahlings! I'm sure we can find some common ground.

Off we went to try out our new approach and the playdate was a huge success. I actually had a blast hanging with one of my bestie mom friends, and the kids had a blast getting dirty riding their bikes through puddles and climbing and sliding down muddy hills. She definitely proved to be their kind of girl, their very own Izzy.

On our drive back to our home the boys were excitedly talking over each other explaining all the cool things they did in "Izzy's room" - exploring the world of Polly Pockets, glitter, and...
D: "Mommy! Her pants were dirty, so she took them off and she showed us her pink princess underwear".
G: :"Yeah, so we took our pants off and showed her our cool superhero underwear".

After a few leading looks like their undies stayed on. Innocent enough...for now! Phew! But most importantly, my dirt-lovin' boys found common ground...with a GIRL!

What are some of your recent adventures in mommyland? Do share!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

See you at the bar

Photo credit:

I savor the wisdom you gain with age, but I loathe the gravity our once perky bodies endure. So earlier this year I started going to a Barre Fusion class. Some gyms offer classes, there are also Bar Method studios popping up all over the country, celebrating this trend as the hottest new workout for 2011. It's a fusion of Pilates and ballet, also incorporating cardio, light weights and exercises at the ballet barre. I'm sure Black Swan's Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis' stunning physiques helped fuel the excitement. And for that, I'm deliriously grateful. To me, the traditional gym workout is a hard pill to swallow. It just feels wrong. But dancing on the other hand, that feels all kinds of right. Dancing can lift your spirit and feed your soul. That's the kind of nurturing my body needs - and if you get a little leaner in the process...then that's a beautiful bonus!

See you at the barre!

Stunning Doorscape

Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

Itty Bitty Plain Jane hits NY

Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

I was at my girlfriend's home, curled up by the fireplace - kids playing, dinner cooking, and we were flipping through magazines for design ideas we love - and I couldn't believe my eyes!!! Surreal. The itty bitty plain jane wreaths. The December 2010 issue of Better Homes & Gardens featured a prominent East Coast designer's home...and check out his shelves. Love it!

If you love it too check out my etsy page:
My spring promotion goes through March 20, promotional code: spring.

Delicious news!

WoW! My first Q&A featuring Erin (the vagina monologist!) had a huge response and is still growing exponentially! Suhweet!

And even better… a new blogger is born! Get a front row seat to Erin’s Sublime Speaks at: or find her on FB, search Sublime Speaks.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pancakes! It's what's for dinner!

Image credit: Good Food, BBC

I love Pancake Day! Whether you call it Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday, it's traditionally a time to use up rich food such as sugar, fat and eggs before the 40 day fasting period of Lent. It's always the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and whether you follow this custom or not, pancakes for dinner makes everyone happy.

Try this recipe from Delia Smith. It's the British crepe style of pancakes, and a delicious tradition to adopt for dinner tonight. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Vagina Monologues, Interview

Disclaimer: This content may be considered sexually explicit. Not for the faint-of-heart, prude or frigid.

Eve Ensler, through her episodic play featuring monologists such as Oprah, Susan Sarandon and Cyndi Lauper, and a growing number of college students from campuses worldwide, has helped make it empowering and liberating for women to say VAGINA! These monologues, translated and performed in more than 130 countries, share women's stories from sex and birthing to rape and incest. 

Eve Ensler, collaborating both The Vagina Monologues and V-Day, a global non-profit movement, helped raised over $75 million for women's anti-violence groups. And the movement is still growing!

As an audience member the experience is powerful. But as a monologist, the experience is...well..., you can read about it in Erin's words. Enjoy!  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Baby, you're a firework!

I’ve spent this week speaking with wonderfully inspiring women. I can’t wait to tell you all about it.  I'll be unveiling a collection of Q&As featuring women - beautiful women - and a snapshot into their lives.

Stay might just be someone you know!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Your Legacy Gig

Positive parenting. Buzz, buzz, right? Everyone's talking about it. And so it should be. We wouldn’t want to be negatively parenting. But the rules have evolved. Really evolved. Especially if you want to avoid future therapy bills. Parenting now is about being a role model. My childhood was old-school: "Children are to be seen and not heard", "Do as I say not as I do". Yes, being a role model is hugely more challenging. I'm constanting trying to resolve sibling situations with communication and lessons learned. Parenthood. It's a tough gig. But, it goes without saying, if it's your gig, it's your legacy gig. The role of a lifetime. So often I wonder (usually during those not-so-proud mommy moments), how will my kids remember their childhood? I don’t want my legacy to be a dictatorship…(for obvious reasons…Eygpt…Libya - clearly it's frowned upon). It was time to look at our family politics.