New York: U.S. Open Tennis

September 4th, 2013 by sandrascai
The sun sets on the fifth day at the 2013 US Open.
image via USOpen.org

U.S.Open Tennis in New York City, a time for sophisticated fun on warm, sunny days and under the lights on humid nights.  It’s one of my favorite events to happen all year.  It embodies sport, fashion, and tradition. It’s a time to kick back and enjoy the weather and scenery.

My tickets this year were for a day session.  A perfect end of Summer day to see the stars on the court.  The Tennis Center in Queens has a wonderful set up where you can stroll from court to court watching different matches, dine in restaurant or on amazing concession foods (Hill Country BBQ, savory/sweet crepes, etc.), and drink while lazing the day away.  Once inside, there really is no pressure.  I was psyched that my seats for the popular Serena Williams match were in the shade.  Note: buy tickets in the 300-303 sections for Ashe Stadium.  A break from the sun is really a happy thing.

The U.S. Open brings a fun energy to the city and the courts.  Celebs attend and can be found flirting and goofing, like Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde. Or just sitting and next to you like Leo DiCaprio and Ben Stiller. Fan fashions are relaxed and sun-kissed and a little preppy, of course. Player fashion has evolved from totally classic to Rafael Nadal style, “I like the bright colors. I like the powerful colors on court.”  Except for night play, where he loves the power of black!

The matches are exciting with upsets by up & coming players and familiar favorites showing off their best.  Check out the latest of what is happening at the U.S. Open website.  And get yourself and your honey some tickets.  There is still an entire week of play to be had.  Leave the kids at home and bring them back souvenir giant tennis balls.  It’s a perfect ‘Love’ day/night.

 

The Coolest Way To Display Your Photos

August 21st, 2013 by sandrascai
polaroid-wall-stickers
image via Paper Culture

I am forever trying to find ways to display my favorite family photos around the house.  With two little ones, I’ve given up on frames on tables.  Although I do have a ‘photo wall’ on my stairs, it’s not that innovative and a little too classic for what my modern style really is.  This is why I absolutely popped when I saw the latest release from Paper Culture, vinyl decal wall photos!

Loving this concept for so many reasons.  The designs are modern, you can add your own photos or text, the decals are repositionable, and are made from a “beautiful fabric based material that contain no phthalates or PVC’s”.  Photo decals take your images out of traditional frames and create personalized art.  I am already thinking how cool it would be to stick one of these on the fridge, bye-bye plastic, magnetic frames that children love to toss.

Check out the gallery of decal options.  And save 20% with code NEWWD.  If you order, do share your creations on our FB page.  I’m torn between the Honeycomb design and Bubble Up.  One will donning my walls soon.

Products We Love: Ice Pops

August 14th, 2013 by sandrascai
pops
images via Zoku & Study New York

Two-thirds though the season and I have yet to rave about my “Mini Pop” Summer.  I am loving this new take on the ice pop mold. It’s pop size and shape are perfect for little hands to hold and just enough for little mouths to tackle. Made from silicone, frozen pops slip right out – no sticky paper to peel off – and easily rinse out to clean.  The best part though is filling these little pop cups with a fresh and healthy items of your choice.  I’m a big fan of using organic juice boxes to create a quick icy pop.  One juice box fills a whole tray plus…  When my kids ask for multiple pops in one day, I totally oblige knowing a few pops is only a third of a juice box!

Ice pops are a fun Summer treat to make with kids.  Some of our friends have spent a lot of time dreaming up ways to freeze your fun this Summer.  Check out these delectable ideas. I just want to go on the record as saying a breakfast Mango Lassi popsicle is a brilliant idea.  When you are controlling the ingredients – fruits, yogurt, etc.- a morning pop is totally healthy.  I have also frozen my smoothies & green smoothies for this same reason.  For a little more sophisticated taste, try these pops by Tara at Study New York.  Adding ground black pepper and balsamic vinegar are sure to awaken your senses while sitting on the porch.

No popsicle list would be complete without highlighting a few “Poptails”.  Go ahead and freeze your cocktails for your next get together.  Here is a list that will get your thinking and licking.  Up our alley is the French 75, a champagne, gin, & lemon frozen treat.  As well as the blood orange margarita pops.  I suggest you skip the mini pop maker for these and go full-size.  Enjoy!

Art: Fallen Princesses

August 7th, 2013 by sandrascai
snowwhite
image via DinaGoldstein.com

I call my little daughter “Princess”.  I’m not really a Princess type of person but for some reason this name just rolls out of my mouth.  There has been a lot of talk lately about the names we call our daughters and how that shapes them as they grow.  I’m down with wanting my daughter to be strong as she grows, but right now, she is just my perfect, little princess.  It’s funny because she doesn’t even know what a princess is yet.  To her a princess is strong, is active, she runs, climbs, and jumps, and has all the bruises to prove it.  I spend time telling my daughter that she is so smart, creative, and very funny – so my little name of “Princess” just keeps coming out now.

As adults we can see both sides of the princess coin:  The lovely fantasy life of a princess and the fact that a princess life is totally fantasy.  Photographer Dina Goldstein has done a series called “Fallen Princesses” addressing the ideas of “happily ever after that we are spoon fed from childhood”.  The images depict our favorite characters portrayed as more real life women in a modern world. This photo series is thought provoking as the subject bubbles at the surface.  The images are beautiful with their “Disney color” as is her series on Barbie and Ken.

I get what the hooplah is all about with Mother’s and artists breaking the princess fantasy.  For me, I’m not going to over princess my daughter and not going to deny her of princess things either.  We’ll let her gravitate toward whatever toys/trends she chooses and continue to reinforce all of the wonderful traits she possesses no matter the toys she plays with.  Are you pro-princess?

 

 

Fashion Pick Me Up: VF’s Best Dressed List 2013

July 31st, 2013 by sandrascai

Nothing can pick up the dog days of July like Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed List 2013.  Love that the list is international and not everyone is a Hollywood star.  This year’s list includes the top of pop culture, a number of handsome Euro men, the President of China, and a few royals.  Our favorites making the list this year are:  Kerry Washington, yes, everyone is talking about her, she is looking fabulous.  Justin Timberlake, we are suckers for that cabaret tux look.  LeBron James, his style is sharp and colorful, a wonderful break from same old, same old.  And fashion designer Alice Temperley, who makes us think we can be best dressed too.  Check out the full list and scroll to the bottom for more Best Dressed slideshows.

Perusing these images has our mouth watering for the big Fall Fashion books to hit the mailbox.  Be sure to read the side captions for each list honorees favorite places to shop revealing little nuggets of brands & style to be on the look for.

 

A Prince Is Born!

July 23rd, 2013 by sandrascai
itsaboy

The “Kate waiting” is over.  Prince William & the Dutchess of Cambridge are the proud parents of a little boy.

This younger generation of royals have really made American’s care more about the royal heritage.  (That and our love for Downton Abbey.)  So we share in Britain’s celebration that the next in line has been born.  Cheers to the new parents.  We look forward to watching this family grow and experience life like ourselves as well as like no others.

It is just fascinating to think about being born a royal.  What does that mean in this day?  There is much talk in the media about the young royals wanting to live a semi-normal existence and raise their family that way, much like Diana did.  I hope though that tradition and pageantry do live on in their lives.  That is what being royal means to me.  Royals are the keepers of a culture, of tradition.  Assimilating into our modern society does make the royals more relatable, but if they become too normal, they become just another celebrity family.  I love that the birth took place at the same hospital as William was born and that the placement of the birth announcement on the easel at the Buckingham Palace officially let the world know of the birth.  Keep on young royals.  I want to see the little prince dressed in fru fru outfits and photos of the family in the countryside.

Now we await the next piece of tradition, for William & Kate to present their baby to the world on the steps of St. Mary’s Hospital.  Again, just as Diana & Charles did.  Oh and that little detail of the name… you’ve had plenty of time to think about it.  We want to know.  I’m going with George.

 

 

Want To Sell Your Designer Goods?

July 17th, 2013 by sandrascai
materialwrld
image via Material Wrld

We’re always talking about lightening the load, organizing the closets, and making room for the things you absolutely love.  This means ridding your space of those things that you have grown weary of, out grown, or were never really a “good fit” to begin with.  I personally have shoe issue, where I think they fit in the store and then can never wear them once I am home…

With the heat wave raging across 90% of the country, it’s the perfect time for some indoor closet clearing activity.  Plus, new Fall items are hitting stores now, ha ha.  We’ve found some great new resources for you sell your good condition, designer wares at.  We know you’ll be rummaging the house for more items to sell.

Sold. is a new app/website that sells designer accessories as well as electronics.  I loved the super easy experience of using their service.  Download the app to your phone and start listing items.  You take 4 photos of what you’d like to sell, give a detailed description and upload.  Sold. scans the web for a buyer and sends you updates along the way.  I used Sold. to sell an old computer I had.  I was told there was a buyer, and then waited a few days for the price.  Once a price was set I had 24 hrs to accept or reject it. A buyer was found for the agreed upon price and Sold. sent a box with packing materials to my house for me to ship off via a UPS pick up.  This was so easy.  I loved that the details were taken care of for me and I didn’t have to deal with Craigslist buyers or have an ebay account.  I think I got a little less for my item with Sold., but I was ok with that.  Plus the money is direct deposited into you bank account.  Seriously, you don’t have to leave the AC for this one.

Another website/reseller is Material Wrld.  This combines the best of social media with designer resale.  You create a closet online and can showcase the favorite items you own – this is really about sharing your style.  Then you can list items you want to sell and they will be available to the Material Wrld community.  You set your price for the item and Material Wrld takes a 15% fee.  What is cool is that photos of things you buy from others on the site are held in your account so when you want to resell them, you are all set to go.  There is also a “Groups” feature where you can follow and check out the style (and items for sale) by groups such as Fashion PR women, Lucky Magazine Editors, and Fashion Bloggers.  It’s a cool peak inside some very fashionable closets.

 

Casting Call: What’s Your Parenting Style?

July 10th, 2013 by sandrascai

We all watch so much reality TV and secretly (or not so) want to be on one.  That’s why we love to share the castings we hear about.  How you act on screen is all up to you…

What’s your parenting style?

You could be in a new cable series.

Are you an attachment parent?  Or Tiger Mom?  A green parent?  A spoiler?  Authoritative?  Permissive?  Or have a style that’s all your own?  We’re looking for moms and dads with unique perspectives on parenting for a new series on a top-rated national cable network.  Please send your name, phone number, a description of your family/parenting style and a photo to casting@punchedinthehead.com

 

Royal Baby Preparation

July 3rd, 2013 by sandrascai
essie
image via Stylecaster

Loving all the buzz about the royal baby to be.  Kate Middleton is coming up on her publicized due date of July 13th and has all the preparations complete of the royal nursery, which happens to be at her parents house.  Being at the end of your first pregnancy is crazy enough, but add the royal elements to it and life must be quite stressful as the due date nears.

Preparations for this baby’s arrival are a huge undertaking.  First, they’ve got to announce the due date.  Do they announce the actual date or a fictitious one?  Reservations are set for the St. Mary’s hospital suite where Kate will give birth.  It is the same hospital where Diana birthed William – quite lovely and British in its brick facade.  The media are already staking out the hospital. William and Kate have announced they will pose for a photo with the new baby outside the hospital so as to reduce the paparazzi need to chase them on their way home.  It’s hard enough driving home with your first baby in the car, let alone worrying about photographers on motorcycles wrecklessly descending upon your vehicle.  My husband, a total NY driver, drove home with the hazard lights on.

Kate will be breaking from tradition and staying at her parents house once the baby arrives. Think of all the security preparation that is going into that “coming home”.  She has spared no expense in the decorating of the nursery, all done herself as well.  Who wouldn’t love a sneak peak into that room?  Then there is the baby naming.  It is sure to be something traditionally regal, no Blue Ivy or Ace Knute, for certain.  The ears of the world await hearing the announcement of the name.

It is reported that the British economy will get a $376 million boost during the months of July and August due to the excitement of the royal baby.  Those Brits do love their royals and it is “estimated that Brits will spend an extra £62 million ($94 million) on alcohol and £80 million ($121 million) on souvenirs and toys in two months.”  Ha, $94 million on alcohol!  The souvenirs run the gamut from traditional china to handmade baby shoes to Essie’s release of it’s “Baby Duo” polish kit at Boots. It is funny to think of all the money to be made on this event.

We are obviously caught up in the excitement of the royal baby.  May the family enjoy this precious time together, while the world watches and waits.

Be Healthy and Skinny

June 26th, 2013 by sandrascai
smoothie

Be healthy and skinny this Summer, and all year round for that matter, by drinking green smoothies. I bounce back and forth between smoothies and juicing, each having their own benefits. When the Summer temps get hot though, nothing beats a cool, vitamin packed green smoothie for breakfast or lunch.
I have been on the bandwagon with recipes from friends at Simple Green Smoothies. These ladies have created recipes that mix up the fruit, the liquid, and throw in add-ons to keep you from launching into smoothie boredom. The basic recipe calls for 2 cups of spinach, 1 cup of pineapple, 1 cup of mango (frozen), 2 bananas, and water. That’s it! It will fill you up and help you slim down help you easily say bye-bye to that oversized bagel and cream cheese.

Now is the perfect time to check this out because Simple Green Smoothies are starting a month long Green Smoothie Challenge. It’s always motivating to make healthy changes with others and have things all laid out for you. Sign up for the Challenge, I did one in April, and you’ll be sent recipes, shopping lists, and all the info you need to get yourself going.

Reasons to do it: 1. You will feel good overall and happy after a few days of gulping down your fruits and veggies. (Better to deal with babes when it is hot). These smoothies do not taste “vegetably”, so you will want to keep drinking. 2. All this healthy intake helps with the bloat you may feel during the Summer’s heat 3. Drinking smoothies fills you up and keeps you skinny, and keeps you from eating other food that is fattening. Oh and 4. You may even get your kids to drink them (my 1 and half year old loves them).