May 30, 2012

When In Need of a Reminder

I've made no secret how tough these last few months have been ... and I love the idea of having these simple, yet incredibly poignant reminders hung throughout my home. Not only do I appreciate their vintage flair, but also the fact you must take a mere moment to stop what you are doing in order to digest what they say.

Eva Juliet is the artist behind these Three Vintage Posters. How about taking a moment to go over to her Etsy shop and see what else she's created.

After all, the best is yet to come.

xx JN

May 29, 2012

Tiny Bubbles

Not a day goes by without consuming copious amounts of sparkling water in my house. When we were in the suburbs, no trip to Costco was complete without a case (or two) of San Pellegrino ... all to be consumed within a week or so. But in our quaint Brooklyn apartment, this mama does not have the room to store the beautiful bottles ... and besides, recycling only comes once a week!

When my hubby & I happily discovered that we could make our own sparkling water at home, we were thrilled. For a nominal cost (and minimal counter space), we could invest in the machine that turns our tap water into bubbles, and would no longer have to put bags full of bottles curbside on Sunday evenings. Save the planet & our wallets? Yes, please!

So what does this little miracle machine look like?

The Fountain Jet Starter Kit from SodaStream comes with a refillable carbonator (CO2 tank), two reusable bottles, and the soda maker. There are other fun styles available (and tons of flavored syrups), but this was what we chose for our counter space and budget.

When your carbonator is empty, simply take it to a local retailer and trade it in for a new one. We are so delighted with ours, and are happy to report several dear friends have these gracing their countertops, too!

xx JN

May 26, 2012

Oh, Sweet Memory Lane

I am smitten over these Time Capsules from Dylan's Candy Bar! Encompassing decade-specific sweets beginning with the 1920's, there is no question you have a certain someone who would love this as a gift!

With Father's Day just around the corner, you are sure to bring a smile to Dad's (or Grandpa's) face while he takes this nostalgic trip down sweet memory lane! Aren't they so much fun?!

And here's a really great treat: in honor of the holiday weekend, everything site-wide is 20% off!

How sweet is that?!

xx JN

May 25, 2012

Wise Words for the Weekend

{ image via tumblr }

If you embrace that statement as truth, are you pleased with your creation? Or is it time for some alterations?

xx JN

May 24, 2012

Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods, a Brooklyn-based online marketplace, is a fabulous resource for one-stop shopping! Here are just a few goodies I spied that may or may not need to come home and live with Team Newman. I don't know about you, but I think the Soup & Sandwich Tray Duo is literally beyond perfection. Love, love, love!

Do you have a favorite?

xx JN

May 22, 2012

Making a Statement

Now that I've regained my composure post-swoon, please feast your eyes on three perfectly stunning statement rings that are just the right size in my book:

Is it wrong that I must have all three?

Nah. I'd call that necessary!

xx JN

May 18, 2012

Pore Perfection!

If you're looking to treat yourself to a great (inexpensive) facial this weekend, I'd highly recommend my latest obsession: SEPHORA COLLECTION Pore Perfection Kit coupled with Neutrogena's Oil-Free Acne Wash in Pink Grapefruit! Team Newman has been using this combo for the last 10-days, and we are happy to report a noticeable difference in our complexions! 

The SEPHORA COLLECTION Pore Perfection Kit comes with a double-ended blemish extractor (oh, yes - and I'm obsessed), a face complexion brush, a silicon precision pore cleansing pad, and a travel case. When used in conjunction with Neutrogena's pink grapefruit foaming scrub ... ummmmm ... clean those pores out, y'all!

Trust me, your skin will thank you!

xx JN

May 16, 2012

Delightfully Dishy's Official Summer Cocktail!

I am smitten for anything grapefruit. So when introduced to San Pellegrino Pompelmo this weekend, I was incredibly inspired. 

My lovelies, I am happy to present:
{ San Pellegrino Pompelmo (Grapefruit) / Absolut Vodka }

Looking for a non-alcoholic option to suit your fancy? I promise you, San Pellegrino Pompelmo is flawless on its own, too! San Pellegrino presents other citrus options as well: Limonata (Lemon), Aranciata (Orange) & Aranciata Rossa (Blood Orange). They're all delightful!

Sincere thanks to my friend, Jason, for introducing me to Pompelmo last weekend!

xx JN

NYC'ers - have it delivered with Fresh Direct

May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend

My best girl.
Mother's Day weekend officially commenced when I received the handmade gift from my girl that she made at school: her hand print in plaster ... painted in rainbow colors! In her almost 8-years, that is my first hand-print-in-the-plaster gift, so needless to say, I was beside myself.

This year, as we honored all mothers, I was in continuous thought over my own. This was her first Mother's Day without my brother. So as a sibling, daughter and fellow mother, I was taken aback by the overwhelming emotions of it all. The wonderful news was that my little nephew ended up being with Grandma this weekend - so she got to wake up to his precious face (which is the spitting image of my brother's at that age). In the balance of life, we held both feelings in our hands: sadness & joy.

And this year, it reminded me that there are certain things in this world that are infinitely true: I will always be Lyla's mom, I will always be Annette's daughter, and I will always be Adam's sister. It's somewhat amazing how much of life can and will change, but those three things are for always.

Let's just say I gave my girl even more kisses than normal, held her even longer, trying to soak up all of yesterday's sweet nuances. Each night as I tuck her in I whisper, "I couldn't ask for a better girl."

And last night, the greatest gift I received on Mother's Day, "And I couldn't ask for a better mom."

xx JN

May 9, 2012

My Response to Amendment One

Our daughter loves weddings: the attire, the formality, the exchanging of vows, the magic ... the love.

She just received her second wedding invitation for this coming August, and is already planning her wardrobe, her dance moves, the logistics. Trust me when I say, our girl holds weddings in the highest esteem.

The first wedding she attended was a gay wedding.

And so will her second.

Yesterday, certain citizens of North Carolina showed the nation that what is "popular" is to legislate against those who are different in a hateful, destructive way. It directly effects two of my friends who live in the state. And I'm deeply saddened and outraged for them.

I also cannot help but think of the children of North Carolina - the children who have just heard that the only "right" way to be committed is "boy + girl." That's not the "majority," my friends. So how will Amendment One change their lives?

What does it say to the bigoted bullies - both young and old? Does it not send the message, "It's okay to hate because the law is behind my thoughts and actions?"

And what about the adults who have lived in silence - who thought, "If this Amendment doesn't pass, I will finally feel like I can tell the truth about who I am." What are they thinking this morning?

For those who voted in favor of the Amendment - especially those who cited religious reasons as the foundation for your choice - I ask you: why?

If you ascribe to the notion that not only is God love, but also that we are created in the likeness of God, does that not mean everyone? Not just you. Not just those at your church. Not just those who think and believe just as you do. But everyone.

Did you take a moment to consider that if there was a war in this country trying to take away your religious rights - your freedoms - the faith that you hold as the very truth of your soul - how that would make you feel? Your choices at the polls yesterday waged a war against the truth, rights and freedoms of those different than you. Sorry, but if that is "popular," then count me an outcast.

To my friends and family who are proud members of the LGBT community, I am your ally. I believe in you. I honor your personal truth. When given the chance, my vote is in your favor. Not just at the polls, but in every fiber of my being.

Prop 8 was overturned. Amendment One will be next. Just remember, you're not alone. You have the attention of the entire globe, and millions of us are outraged on your behalf. Do not accept this as a means of being marginalized. We know this is not the end answer. And we also know that you are asking to love and be loved with the equal rights you deserve. It may take more time, but together, we shall overcome.

xx JN

Join the movement:
Freedom to Marry
Human Rights Campaign
Marriage Equality USA
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

May 8, 2012

Simple Gifts for Mom

Mother's Day is Sunday! I'm in love with some of these DIY ideas - they offer not only a sweet sentiment, but the fact they are homemade makes them all the more charming to receive:

The Culinary Creator

We all know fresh herbs offer such depth of flavor in cooking. A small, indoor herb garden with Mom's favorite herbs will not only be beautiful, but will be a true treat when she's cooking (but, please ... take Mom out to eat on Sunday!) You can easily do this yourself with an organic potting soil, a few of her favorites (rosemary, English thyme, Italian parsley and mint are a great start!) and a lovely planter that suits her decor of choice:

{ image }

The Inner Aesthetician

If a spa gift certificate is not in your budget this year, treat Mom to some homemade treatments such as these deliciously smelling body scrubs courtesy of Martha Stewart Living:
{ image }
The Family Art Curator:

A perfect gift for any age to make! Purchase a simple black frame/white mat combo and you can quickly turn it into a child's masterpiece! Use the mat as a "canvas" and the little ones can decorate it (colored pencils or markers work GREAT!) and then simply sign the bottom right-hand corner "Happy Mother's Day 2012." Frame one of your favorite candids of the kids or grandkids and voila! It also is a great way to start a memory wall and you can make it an annual tradition!

{ image }

The Purposeful Poet

Whether she writes for leisure, for gratitude, for therapy ... a homemade journal is sure to be meaningful for Mom:

{ image }

No matter what you decide, honoring Mom this weekend will be most meaningful with your own touches and traditions. Remember, it's not about the most fancy or the most expensive ways to celebrate her - it's about the personal sentiment. That's what she'll remember (and love) most.

xx JN

May 7, 2012

Monday Mantra: Be You

"When you don't show up as who you are, people fall in love with who you aren't."
-- Iyanla Vanzant

Oh, my lovelies. If that isn't the truth, I don't know what is!

Right now as I process so much of my past after losing my brother, I am constantly reminded of how easy it is to be trapped in the story we create for ourselves because we are afraid of  becoming and existing in the greatness of our true self. Of all the fears we conjure and rely upon, living in the greatness and overcoming the lies of inadequacy (because after all, we are not inadequate) is far more scary than the blame game ... or the fear factor.

Who would you be if you took away all of the limitations you put on yourself? Do you not feel the warmth of the light that shines when you close your eyes and put yourself in that mind space? That space where you know without a shadow of a doubt that who you are is limitless.

I urge you to live within that vision this week. To tell the truth about yourself to those you encounter. To not apologize for who you are.

For me, that means getting up each morning knowing that what I do each workday serves as a vehicle toward my goals, my vision. I recently said that I am driving a proverbial energy-efficient vehicle so that I can use the energy saved towards what I ultimately know I was put on this earth to do. And that is, to use my voice. I use my voice here as I write, as I prepare for my work on stage, when I perform, as I contemplate my next CD, as I work on the outline for my book. However, I am learning that when I am not doing those things, I must embody that vision in all that I do. Because when I do not, I am not living my truth. And that's a quick ride to Scary Town when we turn away from our truth.

Shed the limitations. Feel the power within you. And remember, who you are is revolutionary. I promise you that. If you can put yourself in that mind space every morning this week, your life's-a-gonna-change, lovelies. Because after all, the Universe says yes - so allow it to say yes to your truth.

xx JN

May 4, 2012

It's Cosmo's Moon!

Taking inspiration from the impending "supermoon" scheduled to rise tomorrow evening, here are a few of my favorite things:

Margaret Wise Brown's infamous children's book Goodnight Moon:

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney:

An adorable print from Etsy quoting the end of that precious book:

A clip from one of Team Newman's fave movies of all time (and most quoted in our house):

Two magical tunes ... one Classical, and one Classic:

Dvorak's "Song to the Moon" from his opera, Rusalka, as sung by Renee Fleming:

and Henry Mancini's Academy Award winning "Moon River" from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's:

Hoping to snap some pics of Cosmo's moon tomorrow night from our Brooklyn rooftop ... so stay tuned!

Here's to an incredible weekend!

xx JN

May 3, 2012

What an Inspiration: Caitlin McGauley

I was introduced to the illustrations of Caitlin McGauley and felt truly connected to her work. Her illustrations are simply divine - full of color, dimension, detail - I could frame them all and never tire of a single one. No matter the season, or the occasion, her work will perfectly encapsulate it!

How you must hop over and see her prints for purchase. Can we discuss what a treasure one will be to give for Mother's Day?

xx JN

May 2, 2012

In the Crock-Pot: Mexican Shredded Chicken

There is nothing overrated about walking in the front door after a long day to the aroma of dinner simmering in the Crock-Pot.

Maybe it's all those years living in the Southwest, but there is nothing more comforting to me than Mexican food. And among my favorites, shredded chicken tacos. With Cinco de Mayo just a few days away, I couldn't help but be inspired for a new Mexican dish!

Recently while spending the afternoon with a friend of mine, he introduced me to his newest obsession: the Crock-Pot he received from his sister as a birthday gift. Now let me tell you, this guy can cook (yes, we have hosted dinner cook-offs with friends and competed against each other ... that's how much we love to play in the kitchen!) So when Jason says, "You have to try this ..." I know I"m going to be beside myself in short order. He introduced me to slow cooker chicken. Ummmmm.

I have always associated my Crock-Pot with pot roast, my mother's (infamous) shredded beef, and my homemade 3-bean chili (before the days I introduced Le Creuset in my kitchen.) Shredded chicken? Why hadn't I thought of that?? Thanks to Jason, I started researching recipes online, merged a few together, and this is what I came up with:

Mexican Shredded Chicken*
serves 6-8

2-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (either frozen or thawed)
1 packet taco or fajita seasoning (I prefer the gluten-free varieties)
1 12-oz. jar of salsa or 1 can enchilada sauce (I prefer green sauce, but red is totally great, too)
1-1/2 cups chicken stock

*You can purchase all your ingredients for about $13 at Trader Joe's

Place all of the ingredients in the Crock-Pot - no need to stir. Cook on low for 6-hours (if thawed) or 9-hours (if frozen). Cooking times with Crock-Pots vary, so the true test is once the chicken falls apart when pierced with a fork. Shred the chicken directly in the Crock-Pot. Serve with flour or corn tortillas accompanied with shredded cheese, black olives, cilantro, lime wedges and sour cream.

Time crunch? Cook the chicken on high for 4-hours if you're home and can keep an eye on it.

xx JN

May 1, 2012

Thought for You

While LG whizzed back and forth on her scooter, I happened to notice this lovely wish staring at me.

As we start this beautiful new month of May, consider this my wish for you!

Pass it on!

xx JN

Beauty ... at the Bodega

I am always fascinated by the "it's such a dirty city" stereotype New York City gets flack for. Granted, if your only exposure to the Big Apple is a crime scene on Law & Order or a snapshot of someone passed out on a bench in a subway station, you're likely to believe that depiction.

But it's the simple things ... like the man who walks up and down Broadway in NoHo with multiple wands of incense burning, making his little bubble of the world smell lovely. Or strolling by Ladurée on Madison Ave on a gorgeous spring day and seeing the rows of French macarons in their myriad of colors.

For me, it's the juxtaposition that always takes my breath away - because you may have just passed a dog doing its "business" on a pile of trash, but yet, right in front of you is a bodega full of splendor such as this:

I find it a lovely reminder to appreciate beauty everywhere.

Because after all. Beauty is everywhere. Even Especially in New York.

xx JN