Friday, September 30

Mean Girl in K 5

One good thing about my children attending different school that take in at different times is that I get to have breakfast with my little lady every single morning. I get to play around with the twins for an hour before we pick up Norah! Today we went to Starbucks instead of the Angel Food and had a Pumpkin Spice for me and a bagel with cream cheese and an Apple cider for Norah. Starbucks sent me a free bagel coupon so I just had to use it. So our conversation was centered on a little girl we will call Kayla and why my daughter and the others think she is a mean girl. Wow mean girls in kindergarten? I volunteer for the morning rush in Norah’s class so yes I have seen some of the mean girl attitude in this cute as button little girl, but already this early. I am sure my Norah will hold her own she is kind of shy but she has always been under our wings and has quickly became the wind so I know she will make it through this kindergarten tiff . I was overjoyed  when we got to the school playground and she ran and found her friends and showed them her recess toys two wizard of OZ people, a blythe and a Mulan crown.She let everyone play along and made no notice of  the resident meanie,  who I might add was the first one to discover the Blythe doll was a Dorthy double. As I watched her the ten minutes before the bell rang I realized just how kind and sweet of a girl she is and how very lucky we are to have her in our lives.
Little Norah Style :  Norah is wearing Zara sweater , gap hand me down yoga pants , and yellow cord toms like the ones on the give away. It is hard to believe that in such a short time the ground where she stands will be covered in snow !

Thursday, September 29

All in a day's Thrift and my 100th post

This week’s all in a day’s thrift may be one of my favorite finds! I found two 1950s lithographs by the Artist by Maio who was popular for his beautiful paintings with girls and boys with huge lovely eyes. I bought them for Norah’s room to go with her other vintage big eyed prints that I now know are also works of Maio.  I love the prints that I found yesterday at this great thrift store in Chicago’s Roscoe Village because they were one  they were under four bucks and worth four times that and two so perfect for a little girl. I saw them out of the corner of my eye and just feel in instant love. I guess the 1950s and 1960s have become my daughter’s theme in her quaint little room. If had to do an art review of Maio’s work the first thing that comes to mind is that all of the paintings look like they are staring right at you!  I adore the colors and the clothing of the subjects as much as I enjoy the big old eyes. Truly one of the most unique finds I have made! 
xoxo, Jen 

p.s. this is my post number 100 !  

Tuesday, September 27

The Games we Play !

The twins looked so serious as they engaged in this game of Chess last weekend ! 

Monday, September 26

Just a Few Things !

It is raining cats and dogs today and my little girl loves a darn good splash! We know to enjoy these mild days because old man Winter is upon us soon ! That sweatshirt is won proudly by all my kids in honor of my dear friend Osh , art teacher turned Harvard grad school student ! 

My weekend was wonderful! I got to spend time with the kiddos, the mister, and had some time to myself. I bought Norah a great 1950s Litho Marx Dollhouse for twenty bucks at a garage sell.  I am beyond thrilled that it has all the awnings and is perfect for the three Blythe dolls that arrived for Norah’s holiday presents. The doll house is worth over $200 us dollars and seems to be a hot item one bay so I am thrilled with my amazing find. It is so cute the kind of house my mama would play with when she was a little girl. Mohammed was with me so I went ahead and gave her the doll house. Mohammed and Hamzah if you are reading this and you tell your sister you will get no holidays presents friends!  

Sunday, September 25

This is Sunday Morning Stroll

The twins wake me up every Sunday morning at 6 a.m., why you ask well they are only allowed to play Wii games on the weekend so let the games begin.  I had decided last week that everyone would be doing Sunday Morning stroll since usually I have one who refuses to go so off we the five of us went. The twins, I, Norah and my trusty sister who wishes not to be a part of this blog all set out for Sunday morning stroll.   We started the stroll down the street from the farmer’s market located in Chicago’s Logan Square. It was raining so I did not cheat a bit by driving to the market. The rain was drizzle so we walked around the two blocks that the market is located on ! Hamzah looks so innocent because he was the ring leader in this scaring of the sister. 

Hamzah spotted a very beautiful Honda passport scooter which I loved so I decided to share it with all of you.

As soon as we rounded the block to the market we were greeted with the colors of fall. Norah was attracted to a beautiful pumpkin and gourd display that include all the colors of fall foliage.  The some fresh flowers filled our eyes and the smell was wonderful.

The first thing that caught my eye is how the industry of farming is a changing I see lot of young hipster type farmers who have left the hustle and bustle and decided to just farm. There was Posh Foods which included some favorite organic British sandwiches and one of the coolest booths that I have ever seen in a farmer’s market. Next there was the Gentleman Farmer who can be found at and believe me he was by far the hottest farmer I have seen in my whole life.  He had some absolutely beautiful kale that I almost bought but I would have had no idea where to start. It was just amazing how so many seem to care about sustaining healthy food that they can share with us city folks when just a decade ago this type of market would likely not exist in the middle of the city. My uncle down in my home is Alabama , had a good size farm so I tasted the sweetness of fresh vegetables, fruits and freshly slaughtered chicken. I would like to thank these farmers for bringing the country to the city each and every Sunday

Friday, September 23

Blissful Memories

My lovely Aunt way down in Albam has started taking the most whimsical photos of humming birds. I really enjoy looking at these photos and I thought that it may be fun to share them with all of you out there in the land of Blog. My aunt and I had a little unblissful tiff and I can swear I heard a little of my grandmother echo in her voice and in the words that she later wrote to me.  I discover that we all come by our spirits honestly all six of us girls who are her daughters, granddaughters and now great granddaughter. We are who we are because she lived, breathed, raised us and then said goodbye. My aunt has done the best job I have ever seen since her passing the share a passion of hers with us , hummingbirds. Each and every time I see a humming bird or anything to do with a humming bird I am reminded of her. I saw one in Anthropolgie the other day and instantly thought of her. I give my Aunt all the credit for taking these wonderful photos to remind us of our wonderful mother and grandmother. Thank you Aunt Brenda ! 
The old faded humming bird feeder belonged to one of the most interesting , spunky, exciting women I have ever know my grandmother. No question that I got the majority of my spunk, sass and pizazz from walking in her lovely path. My grandmother was not only beautiful she was fabulously exciting and had a keen sense of adventure. I learned my excellent skills of yard sailing from her, we would spend so many Saturdays put searching and just like me she would cause an accident to read the sign! The art of cooking terrific Southern food including fired shrimp, fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, corn bread, lima beans and good old southern iced tea were all taught to me homegrown in her bright green kitchen. I would die to show you a picture of the wall paper in the old laundry room that would marvel any paper that Anthropolgie or any other store claiming vintage carries.
I will never forget the thunder storm that arrived the morning of her death it was a typical Alabama thunder storm but I knew that she had always hated storms and that it was likely her time to say goodbye.  I do not want to go into the details of her illness because this is not who she was and certainly not who she would want to be remembered as.
Who she was she was Vivian , she was the girl from the cotton mill who made dresses out of flower sacks and only owned one doll a nurse that her little sister destroyed while trying to bathe. She grew up around the time of the great depression but as the country singer put it in Alabama wording they were likely to poor to care.  She learned to write well and she learned to read brilliantly. In second grade she started a pen pal ship with another girl in the Isle of Man, England. She was able to meet her friend of 50 years shortly before her death.
She was the crazy old woman the fed the alligator that the even crazier old man down the river shot with a shot gun and blew off half his face. She called him Bubba and loved him because he was a real survivor she fed him chicken necks everyday on boat hook from my grandfather’s boat yard for over a year.
She was the woman who would get angry and scare you to death then the same woman who would cuddle you late into the night and listen to the happening of the little city of Mobile on a bear cat scanner.  She wrote her thoughts in a small book with Chinese tapestry coverings.
She lost her only son twice once when she gave him up for adoption when he was born and the second time when he was tragically killed at age 19 on a motor cycle.
She was the woman who raised me as her own and until now age 36 I had no idea how many crosses she had to bear and how many hurdles she had to jump. She did it all with grace and never lost her beauty or her sense of splendid wonder for the world , nature, family and writing. It is uncanny how these photos reminded me of her and how much I miss her ! xoxoxo , Jen

Thursday, September 22

Toms Give Away Bliss

Fabulously Awesome Tom’s Give away! My first give away will be a size 1.5 pair of Tom’s shoes in golden rod corduroy this is a very cool color and it is pretty hard to find unless you order them from the Toms web site found here. They are unisex! So the contest begins now and ends October the 2nd 2011.
This is all that you have to do
  • 1. Leave a comment on this blog
  • 2. Leave a comment on Mohammed's blog canvaspaintingkid
  • 3. Leave a comment on Hamzah’s blog Nintendowizkid
  • 4. Tell us why you would like to get the shoes for example that they would be for.
  • 5. Finally tell us why you think the Tom’s idea was a good one.
This contest is open to everyone, friends, blog readers, teachers, family and whoever else wants the Toms and has a little one to give them too. I will ship international no problem at all. I will choose the winner from a random drawing and if you want two chances to win like me on Facebook. A free pair of cute yellow Toms in time for fall is definitely bliss!

All in a day's Thrift

I cannot even believe that it is already Thursday this week has really flown by and I am ready for the weekend with the kiddos. I did do a bit of thrifting this week and found a couple of good scores. Ponchos have been the object of my desire as late and guess what I found a spiffy crochet black one with lovely gold buttons. The best find was a beautiful brand new poncho for Norah that is pack with style and quite similar to one I saw at Zara . I really love Zara for Norah I ordered her a chunky sweater and much need black cardi. I also found the coolest vintage thermos that always really matches fall and the colors that I have been wearing the most. I am about to take the boys to school Norah has a bit of a cold. I hope you all have a Happy, blissfully joyful Thursday  xoxoxo, Jen

Wednesday, September 21

Rustic Food Wednesday

The temperatures are dropping outside, we are enjoying some mighty cool mornings which works perfectly with the Pumpkin spice latte that I crave from Starbucks. Yes I am back on the bucks as much as I adore local coffee shops the green awnings are just far to convenient for me to pass up after I drop the twins off at school. One of the things that I love about fall in the Midwest is the brightly colored foliage, the leaves are just so perfect and crisp and they crunch under your feet when you walk upon them. I always feel like a child in the autumn running, dancing, whirling about in the leaves sometimes without a care in the world. The most relaxing and blissful part of fall are the yummy rustic soups and stews that I love to make because they take me back to coming in from school on a chilly 50 degrees day in Alabama. My grandmother Viviane (cool name) huh? Used to enjoy cooking rustic soups, stews and dumpling dishes in the fall months in Alabama which start in late October and never really end until spring because there is never a real winter in the heart of Dixie. Two of my favorite fall dishes are Northern Beans Moroccan style called lobbiah which is so yummy and packed with protein and Granny’s chicken and dumplings. Loobiah I pack of great Northern beans I can of tomato paste I use 365 brand from Whole Foods 2 punches of cilantro finely chopped 1 small onion finely chopped 2 garlic cloves minced A dash of salt to taste I like sea salt Pepper to taste For brave soul about two Spoons of Urban Accents Marrakech spice mix found at whole foods or goggled online.
Cook in a large pot of pressure cooked if you use the pot 3 hours watching water levels and if you use the pressure cooked about two hours opening every half hour to watch water levels. We enjoy with cornbread …………….. Yummy I use a Jiffy two for one dollar box mix and cook in a well-oiled cast Iron pan! Well a girl cannot be just like granny in these times now can she? Or for a more European twist get a French baguette! Not your Granny’s Chicken and Dumplins but still good ! 1 pack of chicken breast cut in small chucks 1 punch of parsley 1 can of cream of chickie soup I use Amy’s organic 1 chicken cube I use Maggi Brown in the bottom of the pan add 4 cups of water Dumplins 3 cups of Arrowhead 7 grain pancake mix 2 eggs 2 large tablespoons of butter , margarine , I use vegan butter ½ cup of milk Salt and Pepper to your liking Slowly add to boiling water your common sense will let you know when they are done or in about an hour ! So I food process the dough but you can beat and kneed if no processor is on hand or you are feeling like you want to experience some of the old ways of our ancestors.

Monday, September 19

I am digging it Anthropologie

A trip to Anthropolgie is always mind blowing and inspiring . I can remember my very first trip to what is now my favorite store back in 2000 in San Francisco and I was instantly in love with the charm of the place. I believe I saw the catalog sometime in 1999 , this of course was before vintage was so "cool" , so many of the products back then were very whimsical not unlike today , but they have really perfected their art since their early days and there are so many objects of my desire in that store let me show you a few that I think about long after I exit through the heavy wooden doors.
This vintage green leather couch will be in my dreams tonight.
This heavenly aroma is stuck in my nose I can imagine sitting on the green couch reading a few of these books for the 1,000 time by candlelight.
For those October night trips to Adler Planetarium and to the Art Institute of Chicago I can totally see myself wearing this lovely poncho with my Hunter wellies or My Kenneth Cole wedge boots.
So there ya'll have it up close and in your face. I usually google items that I love and place them in this blog but today I brought you the real dealio according to the i phone and insta of course. All of these items can be found in the Anthropologie store or on their online site.

Sunday, September 18

Tears and Memories and a kind of Bliss

ThiI have a hard time comprehending that this young man was once not so long ago suckling my breast , watching lion King and Hercules and Kissing My Hand when I cried. I just wanted to share my oldest son's homecoming pictures. XOXO, Jen P.S memo to all new mommies it all happens like this sooner than you think you blink they are walking blink again driving !

A Lil' Bit of Everything: Saturday's are meant for shopping . . .

A Lil' Bit of Everything: Saturday's are meant for shopping . . .:

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An old friend from home has a new blog :) A real Southern Belle she is and so is her lovely sister :) ya'll check her out

Blythe | Junie Moon - International online shop

Blythe | Junie Moon - International online shop:

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A new discovery

This is Sunday Morning Stroll

This is Sunday Morning Stroll ........ which was spent at the Vintage Bazaar and Flea Market at the Congress in our artsy district. I took along Norah who hoped to see a real life Blythe doll and Mohammed who just wanted to say "Look a Kenner Blythe ", every five seconds.I took a photo of a sweet picture which was the closet thing that I found to a Blythe doll . It was a picture of one big brown eyed girl which was no sweeter than our own French pixie prints. There were granny square galore but I get those for $5 a thrift so they were over priced. I was impressed with the scenery which was perfect absolutely perfect for the event. I also enjoyed the donation booth for animals and we met a pretty cool doggy and his hipster owner with her coolio Hunters. The kids did not love the place at all and I was frankly worried by their boredom because a bunch of old pyrex grossly overpriced and two bored kids do not jive at all. Alas Norah and I found a few treasures 1920 print books which we love to collect ! So we were happy in the end , as for all my Sunday strolls we walked to the bus stop and took the bus since the stroll has to be done on foot. So the flea market not so impressive but ok fun I give it a five out of ten and did I mention that it was raining another bummer. For the most part anytime spent with my children who will remember being shuffled around these events and sit around and laugh after I am dead and gone is priceless right ?

Saturday, September 17

All My Lovin !

Mohammed asked me for a space a studio to paint without the worry of mess so I made him a place out on the fire escape and he is loving it ! We sat out there an hour painting talking and listening to the Beatles on Pandora. Here are a few photos from our evening ! This is " A Fire Breathing Dragon on a Draw Bridge " oil on canvas.
I am thrilled ! Looking forward to a huge vintage flea market tomorrow with Mohammed since no one else was biting on the invite.

Playdate Bliss or No Bliss ? Overbearing Crazy Creepy Mama !

So this morning the twins has their first official play date in almost three years. Once they arrived from Morocco the moms of Norah's friends were eager to get them in the loop with their older sons. Did not work out so well the communication barrier was horrid and no one ever called back. It was rejection , the boys never knew but I knew and I wanted to shelter them from that rejection so if the kids were not bigger brats than them they did not go simple. I also got them involved in baseball so they learned some comradery from the team. Also I am not native to Chicago so anyone reading this from home and saying bless your heart trust me you would not have invited them back wither and you would still be blessing my heart behind my back. People from the North are very straight forward which I kinda dig ! So back to this morning we headed out stopped at the market for Krispy Kremes not fresh at all ! I knew we could tell a great story of how my mom always takes them and buys them hot ones or how I used to get to go in the Middle of the night and get them with my grandparents. I picked up some Organic Apple juice , just to care about health a bit and packed it in my favorite picnic basket and across town we sailed in the big as a whale red Volvo ! We discussed the ground rules the wanna be Bill Gates Hamzah would not dare ask for video games , Mohammed would be content to build legos or dram pictures but Not tech geek ! They would clean their messes and make sure they said please and thank you and addressed the mom with Miss so and so ! The addresses adults by the first name in a long time pet peeve of mine and despite not being a part of yank culture it is mine ! We arrived at the play date five minutes late and the host was happy to see my masters. Then they headed in his beautiful home we were greeted with some of the host's fab art work made from recycled stuff , oh yea kid I already adore you . I really have to work on my crazy not everyone can deal with my crazy and I may seem like a flake or very over protective. The neighborhood must be pretty darn safe because a three year old wandered over from the back yard next door and the hostess said she can let the boys walk to the corner store. I would die for that security truly. So the playdate went well and we said our goodbyes after a couple of hours. I likely talked way to much by I liked the Mom , she is not a hippie like me but she reached out to me and my boys and I am so thankful to her for that chance. The boys will be making thank you notes on cute up pieces of paper bag for their friend and giving him a sticker or something. Are any of you anxious about play dates ? Worried your kids will be rejected ? Or I am just the only loon out there ! I am not one of those hipister moms obsessed with pushing my own values on my kids by the way I just want them to be polite and have social skills. Is that so much to ask ?

Friday, September 16

Hospital Shopping Spree Who says you can not shop on your death bed ?

Ok so I have been M.I.A since surgery I am gonna shoot you a quick post ! I was on pain meds hours after my surgery and UPS has started arriving wow the things I wanted to buy my kids ! I remember buying a couple of things before surgery so that they would remember I thought of them in case I died but my oh my I bought a ton of hoodies , flannels , moccassins and a whole bunch of stuff from tea collection yea PAY PAL ! I am digging my Vintage Style High waist jeans from American Eagle in three shades ! looooooooool . Norah's Minnetonka's quiet cute ! I know Hamzah will want some too but they are for girls ! Here is a couple of the many things I purchased laid up in the hospital bed . In between night night time from the dope !

How to wrap a headscarf | Bangstyle :: The Hair Industry's Definitive Lifestyle Website

How to wrap a headscarf | Bangstyle :: The Hair Industry's Definitive Lifestyle Website:

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I am a headscarf junkie !

Thursday, September 15

Current Issue | la petite magazine

Current Issue | la petite magazine:

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This is my beautiful inspiration for Norah's room

Wednesday, September 14

Kenner Blythe 1972 Blonde In Box Extremely Rare Kenner Products Canada | eBay

Kenner Blythe 1972 Blonde In Box Extremely Rare Kenner Products Canada | eBay:

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Norah if I had a million dollars ! I would buy you this doll and not one from the lITTLEST PET shop !

Tata Harper Bliss

After two days in the hospital and an emergency surgery the one thing that really cheered me up and got me out of bed this morning was the Tata Harper give away beauty products that came during my illness. There are not enough good things to be said about these products the touch , the smell the wonderful feeling on my face. And I am not one to go on about products my dear granny said good skin is mostly genetic but if anything on earth can help it is certainly going to be Tata ! I did a little marketing for Tata outside the school on the playground wall. Great place to write the message if I do say so myself. So thanks Mel and Tata for the huge pick me up after surgery and did I mention buy this stuff I am so serious.

Sunday, September 11

Not so Bliss Sunday Morning Stroll !

This Sunday morning stroll is a bit different because I am in the hospital awaiting surgery to have my gall bladder removed. Pain started late last night as I was making cup cakes with my kids. The cup cakes are so cute we used Whole Foods bags as the cup cake holders and made home made icing in vanilla and strawberry flavor . We decorated adorable little faces , peace signs and even an Eiffel tower. So I am doped up on pain meds so I will leave you with the cute pictures of the cup cakes. Please keep my little ones in your thoughts as I am sure that they are worried about mommy . I did do some shopping from my hospital bed I got Norah some adorable little moccasins , a pain of yellow cord Toms and Hamzah a pair of plaid Toms and some flannels . I purchased myself some vintage flares and a new Maxi from American Eagle . When I am feeling better we will look at my purchases from this morning's stroll. I also strolled on over to Finland, the UK and NYC on my blog. I must say reading blogs is very uplifting and takes away the pain from this annoying gall bladder .Have a bliss day ! XOXOXO, I love you all !

Saturday, September 10

Renegade Bliss !

I am so exhausted ! We took the train in so we left at 9 a.m I took Mohammed and Norah and the tech geek Hamzah stayed home and played video games. Norah wore her adorable Brownie uniforms vintage from the 70s and Mohammed was a cute little hipster with my vintage Hard Rock London pin. There were surprises everywhere. We got to say hi to Elsie from A Beautiful Mess and Rachel from Smile and Wave. They are just as lovely and beautiful in person , I had no idea who they were until I was eating in the park with the kiddos, then it hit me. I ran into them at a vintage dress sidewalk sale and confirmed that it was in fact them. Can you say wooooooooooow ! We made buttons , took photos and were amazed at every turn . I have read reviews of people complaining about how expensive things are and I was kinda mad at my son for speaking his mind about a price many times , but people's time is priceless. These people spend hours on their crafts so who are we to say how much it is worth to them ? Really are you kidding me my time is the most important thing in my life and when I write something for some one I certainly charge for it ! Over all the I loved the fair , it was pretty amazing to take my two children to a place where we could all share our love for art !