April 7, 2017

Packing For Cuba: What We Wore

 

If you follow me on IG (@shanachristine), you know that we recently returned from an amazing trip to Cuba.  I have so much more to say on that topic (hopefully next week??), but so many of you were asking for outfit / packing details that I wanted to crank this one out.

We visited Cuba at the end of March, which is technically considered their cold season, but…it was glorious.  Hot during the day, yet cool enough in the evenings to need a light jacket or sweater.  It did rain once, but blew in/out so quickly that the net result was wandering into the bar for one more mojito.  #twistmyarm

As I mentioned in the Kid’s Cuba Packing List article, we brought only carry-ons to avoid the long luggage line at the Havana airport.  Made extra tricky by the fact that one can’t easily run out for, say, forgotten sunscreen in Cuba.  Cuba is not a shopping destination (to put it mildly), so you’re more likely to do without rather than replace it.

A few things I learned:

  • In the off season, Cuba does get cool at night.  Especially when there’s a breeze.  (And when walking along the Malecon, there was always a breeze.)
  • Cubans have style.  It’s more of a Miami vibe than an East-Coast hipster vibe, but grown men do not seem to wear shorts at night, and the women dress sexy.
  • On that note….I thought, for a hot second, that Cuba might be conservatively dressed.  HELLS NO.  Even the Cuban TSA agents wore short, tight skirts with fishnet tights.  I am not making this up.  It was amazing.
  • Old Havana has lots of cobblestones.  I didn’t bother with heels once the entire trip.

Here’s what worked for me:

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By April 7, 2017 14 No tags Permalink
March 5, 2017

Hot Eats & Cool Shops in Portland, Maine

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 Portland Trading Company

A few weeks ago the hubs and I escaped for our first weekend away since kids. Hallelujah! We spent a day exploring Portland, Maine – or as I like to call it, Brooklyn North. There are some seriously cool shops and amazing restaurants packed into this little city, not to mention the quaint cobblestone side streets (incredibly slippery in winter, FYI) and stunning views of Casco Bay. I kept thinking how much the kids would love to visit even though we were supposed to be off-duty! It’s such a unique place. The wharfs in the old, still-working port are fascinating, and there’s a strong arts culture that has fun events year round. For older kids and adults, there’s an incredible music sceneLake Street Dive was in town that weekend for a sold-out show. I was admittedly surprised at how much the city has going on and wished we had more time to explore. Note – it’s not a definitive city guide, just our picks from shops and food we found when wandering around. Think mashed potato donuts (oh, yes), a gorgeous kid’s boutique, Scandinavian heaven and lots more. Let’s go!

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By March 5, 2017 16 No tags Permalink
February 11, 2017

Valentine’s Movie Night Ideas – Unromantic + Unfiltered

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In our annual tradition of non-romantic-movie themed Valentine’s date nights, I polled the Mom Edit team for their faves and whipped up some really fun ideas if you’re staying in this year. Because it’s February and no one wants to leave the house – hot popcorn & warm couch > fancy dinner & unsensible shoes.

Grab the remote and your bae: we’ll tell you what to watch, wear, drink and give for a low-key but awesome Tuesday night.

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By February 11, 2017 3 No tags Permalink
January 27, 2017

Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve

 

Whether you do it up for Valentine’s Day or whether you just chill, PJs or a tee or a little something festive is always fun. I’m pretty picky about my clothing, of course, and especially holiday themed clothing, but the simplicity of a heart print (like this amazing slouchy tee) I can really go for. And little kids in heart-donned clothing? Staaaaaahp. I would put Sienna in all the tiny heart prints if I could.

As you can see below, I lean towards the graphic black and white with a pop of red choices, but I think there’s something here for everyone…even tasteful options for your guys. And the bonus with this stuff unlike other holidays? You can always sport a heart on your shirt, no matter the time of year. Love rules, after all.

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January 20, 2017

What To Buy At J.Crew’s Extra 40% Off Sale-On-Sale

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My birthday coincides with the end-of-January sales, so I always indulge a little.  I know it’s juuuust after Christmas but the deals, you guys.  One of the best sales right now is J.Crew – they’re offering an additional 40% off of already reduced prices.  I rounded up my favs for us, the guys, and the kids.  Happy shopping!

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By January 20, 2017 0 No tags Permalink
December 19, 2016

Last-Minute Gifts for the Cook


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If you follow me on Instagram stories at all (@elletrain) you know I love to cook and bake. My grandmother was an amazing Southern food cook and baked the most delicious desserts. My stepmother is half Italian and has always cooked and baked fabulous holiday treats and special birthday meals. My youngest brother works in the food industry and is an avid fan and tester of all Alton Brown’s recipes. My mom is an incredible cook who has hosted international dinners in her home where she’s researched traditional foods from various countries to serve to complete strangers. (#brave) I think it’s in my blood.

I didn’t use to love to cook, but being surrounded by such wonderful foodies in my life, I had no choice but to take up interest. Once you spend a little time trying out recipes and building your repertoire of kitchen tools you learn the genuine satisfaction that comes with making a delicious meal or treat. I know many of you out there probably share my interest or know someone who does. For you or them, a great kitchen tool is really a priceless gift that will be used again and again.

Here, I’ve tried to gather useful, beautiful kitchen gifts that I would absolutely love to receive this Christmas. They’re also all available with Amazon Prime shipping, so you have time to get them ordered before next weekend. From mixers to cookbooks, there’s a little something here for every price point and every cook.

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September 8, 2016

Foolproof Shirt & Tie Combinations for Fall

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“A well-tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men.”

I don’t know who said that, but I whole-heartedly agree.  There’s just something about a man in a suit, right?  Not only do they look good, but all of a sudden they have this swagger that comes from putting it on (like my husband Zack and his BFF Chris in the pic above).  You can tell they feel good when wearing a nice suit.

Choosing a suit is the (somewhat) easy part:  Invest in one that fits really well and wear it for years (our favs are linked below).  The hard part, however, is finding inspired shirt & tie combinations.  So we sat Zack down (he has an seriously uncanny knack) and had him pull his favorite shirt-and-tie combos for navy, black, and gray suits from the insanely huge shirt-and-tie collection at Nordstrom.

Here are our favs…..

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By September 8, 2016 3 No tags Permalink
July 28, 2016

The Best of The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale…For MEN

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The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is good on so many levels:  the insane discounts on upcoming Fall merchandise, the boots, the bags, the baby stuff….but (and this is a bold statement) it might be even better for guys.  Work clothes and shoes?  Yup.  The best of the best.  Man-denim (not too tight, not too baggy)?  There are ton of options.  And this year’s sale has some statement-making jackets and sweaters to completely amp his weekend (or date night) look.  Add to this mix some perfectly cut tees, sweatshirts and a shoe selection that has rivals the women’s?  MAN.

You lucky guys.

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By July 28, 2016 19 No tags Permalink