Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Free Family Fun

Are you looking for a free family activity? The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore is an excellent choice for a day of discovery, learning, and fun. Admission to the museum is free. The museum organizes family activities every weekend, offering hands on fun for children. On the day that we were at the museum, children could make a drum with seeds and other materials.

The incredible collection is made up of over 35,000 objects, the majority of which were collected by two local businessmen, William and Henry Walters.  Some of the highlights we discovered on our trip include suits of medieval armor and swords, sculptures, tapestries, and more.

The minnies also loved the mummies of an elderly woman and a young girl.  The canoptic jars fascinate them and we spent quite a lot of time exploring the art of ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt.  They even spelled their names in a cartouche, a hieroglyphic nameplate.

Art is everywhere at the Walters Art Museum.  From the gorgeous architecture of the building, to the medieval staircase, it's truly a unique building.  These gorgeous jars caught my eye even though they were shelved above an exit.

This map is probably one of my favorite spots at the museum.  Made up of incredibly small mosaic tiles, it occupies an entire wall!

We also visited the special exhibition with objects from Latin America.  Natalia loved this llama effigy from Peru.

Art Carts throughout the museum offer more fun for families!  The docents explain different items to children and allow them to "play" with certain objects like musical instruments.  There are also costumes for children to model and books to read.  The minnies signed out an art kit from the cart that included a sketch pad, colored pencils, erasers, and more.  As we explored the museum, they took notes and sketched some of their favorite pieces.

Here's some of their handiwork!

The family guides helped us tour the museum.  Each folder contains a map and cards with information about specific pieces.  The guides are geared toward children and help them to make connections to their prior knowledge.  We had some interesting conversations with the prompts and questions in the family guides.

If you're in Baltimore, be sure to visit this incredible gem in Charm City!

Practical Information:
Walters Art Museum Hours
Wednesday - Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Free General Admission

Located in Mount Vernon, about a mile north of the Inner Harbor. There's plenty of parking in the museum lot beside the museum or on the street.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shamrock Shortbread

St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner! I am so excited to try these shortbread shamrocks from O'Neills. Shortbread is so delicious and the shamrock shape is so much fun.


What special foods do you enjoy for St. Patrick's Day?


Monday, February 27, 2012

Smart Bargains Merges with Rue La La

Say good bye to Smart Bargains. Smart Bargains has been one of my favorite spots to find top brands at great prices for quite some time now. They're going to be closing and merging with parent company at Rue La La.  The sales at Smart Bargains have been pretty amazing in the past few weeks; it's very obvious that they are trying to get rid of their merchandise.


It used to be so predictable.  A certain brand would have a flash boutique on Rue La La and a few weeks later, the merchandise would show up on Smart Bargains, usually at a similar or slightly lower price than Rue La La.  Unlike Rue La La, Smart Bargains is not a members only site and is open to everyone.

So now that paradigm is changing.  I don't know about you, but I have noticed a huge change in Rue La La within the past month or so.  Although certain brands are featured in a dedicated boutique with only that brand; more and more the trend is shifting to boutiques with multiple brands.  Usually the boutique has a catchy name associated with a current trend, season, or event.  I saw one yesterday for Oscar night.  Here's one that has dresses...Frock On!

Then of course, there's the Sunday Night Styleathon.  This is a catch all boutique for things that have not sold out during a flash sale.  Items often sell out very quickly, which leads me to think that they were available in limited quantities at the beginning of the sale.  Some items are available in very limited sizes; for example I spied a Vineyard Vines jacket last night that was only available in a size 2, 4, or 10.

So what does mean for you, conscious consumer for all things chic?  Well, there's some good news and some bad news.  You'll be able to see some of your favorite brands on Rue La La on a more regular basis; you'll just have to search through every boutique to find them...quickly!  With Rue La La's 30 days of free shipping, it's easy to click the purchase button if you know that the shipping is free.

What's the bad news?  With Smart Bargains, you had time to ponder your purchase.  With Rue La La's flash sale format and limited quantities, you will need to make a purchasing decision within seconds of seeing the item.  Although it may seem like everyone is a member of Rue La La, the site does require you to sign in and join.  People could browse Smart Bargains, but may not want to join Rue La La.  I'll never forget one such experience.  My cousin's wedding china pattern was on RLL for a steal so my mother told my aunt about it and sent her an invite.  She never joined (or got the china) because she didn't want to be on another mailing list or join another site.

Some catch all boutiques this week include Spring Awakening: Breezy Dresses, Doing A Little Good: A Curated Boutique by Busy Philipps, and Off Road Adventures. Wonder if any of my favorite designers will be included in any of those?

What do you think about the closing of Smart Bargains? Do you like a site that is open to anyone or do you prefer a flash sale?


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spring is (Almost) Here!

Signs of spring are popping up everywhere and Mother Nature has cooperated quite well this (mild) winter.  It's fun to shop for spring clothing and accessories.  The colors are so happy and bright.

Look at this pink and green beauty from Kate Spade that I spied in Nordstrom yesterday.  So pretty and it would match my wardrobe where pink is practically a neutral color.

What have you seen in stores that you like for spring? 


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Grosgrain Inspiration

Although stain and organza are beautiful, I love grosgrain ribbon.  Characterized by it's ribbed appearance, grosgrain ribbon is beautiful and strong.  It's strength makes it resilient enough to be used in belts, bags, household items, and clothing.

Here are some of my favorite grosgrain finds...

Grosgrain ribbon I saw at the Offray Ribbon Outlet

Pink Striped Grosgrain Ribbon Napkin Rings from Social Couture add a casual preppy flair to any table scape. I actually purchased mine a while back on One Kings Lane during a Social Couture flash sale.

grosgrain ribbon napkin ring

The Grosgrain Shower Curtain from PB Teen is a fun pop of color.  I love the crisp white fabric against the turquoise ribbon.

pb teen shower curtain grosgrain

The Jonathan Adler Positano pillows in crisp linen and bright grosgrain ribbon add a pop of color.  I love the idea of mixing and matching the different colors of the pillows.  Using all of the colors is a great way to tie a color story together or add detail to a beige or neutral colored room.

jonathan adler pillow preppy

Although nothing can top my ribbon dress or skirt from last year's collection at J. McLaughlin, Anthropologie's Grosgrain Trimmed Button Down Shirt is an excellent choice for every day.  Wouldn't this look fantastic paired with white jeans?

Grosgrain is everywhere in my minnies' wardrobe!  They both adore grosgrain headbands, but these J. Crew Double Stripe Flats for girls are the current grosgrain favorite.  The delicate flats are oh so ladylike and oh so grown up for my young ladies.  I love children's clothing that is elegant yet classic, and age appropriate.  These shoes fit the bill perfectly!

j crew crewcuts grosgrain ribbon flats

My first grosgrain was a D-ring grosgrain ribbon belt a long, long time ago.  It's good to see that good style never goes out of style.  Here's the latest in grosgrain belts from J. Press.  The polka dots are perfect!

preppy ribbon belt j press polka dot

What are your favorite finds with grosgrain ribbon?


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Healthy Greens

"Don't worry, blondie, it's all greens," said the waiter.  When I ordered a salad before my main course in Mexico City, I expected a small side salad.  What I got was a long rectangular plate full of delicious field greens.  It was huge and the waiter must have seen my reaction when he placed the large plate in front of me.  The salad was so delicious that I finished Every.  Single.  Bite.  But the best part about the salad was the cheese.  

Where's the cheese, you ask?  Well the cheese is little square covered in what looks like seeds.  Panela cheese is a soft cheese that is also called basket cheese because it takes the shape of the woven baskets where it is stored.  It's similar to Indian cheese paneer.

The panela cheese was breaded with sesame seeds and amaranth.  The texture and flavor is unforgettably delicious and I'm hoping to recreate the same taste sensation this weekend.  It has not been an easy salad to recreate.  I have finally located the cheese and am still looking for the amaranth.  The dressing is a hibiscus infused vinaigrette.

I'll let you know how this goes!

Have you ever tried (with or without success) to try to recreate an amazing dish you had in a restaurant?


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sparkly Preppy

A classic is fabulous, but a classic with sparkle is amazing! Alexia has been begging me for a pair of Sperry Top Siders so I finally caved this weekend and treated her to a pair of new shoes. Of course, she chose the most girly-girl, sparkly pair of Sperrys in the store, the Authentic Original Glitter Boat Shoe.  I've loved Sperry Top Siders for years and love the colors, textures, and styles that are available now.  Purists insist on the old school brown leather Sperry boat shoes, but for a 10 year old girl, sparkles are the magic ticket.

Isn't everything better with a little bit of glitter?  She's thrilled with her purchase and I'm thrilled that she is making fashion choices that are acceptable to me!  I spent probably the better part of an hour after the purchase talking about how I wore Sperry Top Siders when I was her age and that good style never goes out of style, blah, blah, blah.  It was a nice dose of nostalgia for me, even though she declined my offer to tie the laces into the beehives.  She didn't think that it would be so cool.

Here's Alexia's outfit for today.  She's very particular about what she wears to school, so she carefully selects her complete outfit including accessories and shoes every night before going to bed.  She couldn't wear her new Sperry Top Siders yesterday because she was on an all day field trip on Sugarloaf Mountain and didn't want to risk getting mud on her shoes!

What trends or styles does your child like the most?  

In case you were wondering, Sperry Top Siders are on my list this spring, too.  The Sperry collaboration with Milly is amazing.  I have my eye on these Canvas Pumps in Navy.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fornash Closes Georgetown Store

Fornash will be closing its Georgetown Park location on February 26th after ten years in Georgetown. Yesterday, I visited their Georgetown store for the last time. It's exciting to hear about the new plans for Fornash.
Owner Stephanie Fornash Kennedy commented, “I am forever grateful to my loyal customers, The Shops at Georgetown Park, and the three managements I have worked with over the past ten years. The Shops at Georgetown Park gave me the opportunity with very low risk to take a dream and turn it into a thriving business. With the pending renovation of The Shops at Georgetown Park and our continual growth, we had to make the difficult decision to relocate. We are excited for our new location and the opportunities it is going to provide us. We look forward to expanding the Fornash brand and continuing to provide affordable and fashionable accessories. We hope our dedicated Georgetown customers will drive over the bridge to visit us in our new location in Arlington, Virginia.”

The colors of the bamboo bangles match everything in my wardrobe!

Fornash will be relocating to the Ballston Common Mall in Arlington, Virginia. They will open mid-March on the second floor, adjacent to Victoria’s Secret. Yesterday, Courtney told me that the new store is going to be gorgeous, with lots of blue and orange.  I am so eager to see the new store!

This bracelet matches the earrings I already have!

To mark the end to an era, Fornash will be hosting a Goodbye Soiree on Wednesday, February 22nd from 5 pm – 8 pm in their Georgetown store.

All inventory will be 60% off and food and beverages will be served. All attendees will be entered to win a $100 gift card to Fornash’s new location.  There is a ton of inventory at the Georgetown store including necklaces, bangles, earrings, and more!  I even saw some gorgeous purses and tunics at the store yesterday.

These bamboo bangles can be yours for only $1.  

Stop by to say hello to the lovely Fornash ladies tomorrow night while saying goodbye to the Georgetown store and get some fantastic new pieces, too! Be sure to view all their complete collection online at 


Monday, February 20, 2012

Ice Cream Worth The Experience

Although my daughter referred to me as a dieter this past weekend, I certainly was not worrying about the calories today! My sweet friend Charity and I took our girls for a special lunch at Serendipity 3, located at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street in Georgetown since school was closed today. If you know me at all by now, you know that I’ll give you the full truth, not embellishing, or exaggerating the experience. So you may be surprised to read what I have to say about Serendipity 3.

The ice cream made the whole experience worth it.

We had an early reservation and were seated immediately. The d├ęcor is almost like a fantasy or fairy tale. It's part Alice in Wonderland meets Disney meets Willy Wonka with a dash of Lilly Pulitzer color thrown in for good measure.

Our real food was good and cleverly presented. Five year old Molly loved the triangular shaped striped paper that held the fries so much that she wanted to use it as a party hat! It really did look like a party hat. The popcorn shrimp came with real popcorn and each dish was something to admire. But the service was seriously lacking. At one point, we had to send one of our 10 year olds to get some dessert menus and find someone to take our order after we had finished our meal about 20 minutes earlier! In Serendipity’s defense, it was a holiday and the place was packed, but they certainly didn’t wow me with the service.

But the desserts. Oh, the desserts.

Everyone at the table ordered something different for dessert. The best part was seeing and sharing all of the treats. Our selection included, the traditional Frozen Hot Chocolate, Frozen Oreo Hot Chocolate, Frozen Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate, an Oreo Express, and my selection, the Cookie Dough Sundae. Natalia said that her frozen hot chocolate was the best dessert of her entire life!

Serendipity 3 is a perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth and carb cravings, but be prepared for a crowd. Visit for dessert and share a signature frozen hot chocolate with someone special and share a's oh so romantic!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

For the One Year Anniversary

Look what I found on the Barbie Collector website...the "Royal Wedding® Gift Set includes exquisite portrait dolls of the bride and groom now bestowed with the titles, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge."

Catherine's dress is gorgeous and the details are impeccably recreated with the set of collectible dolls. 

These commemorative set will arrive just in time to celebrate William and Catherine's one year anniversary in April.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lilly Pulitzer Wedding

Brides to be are thrilled to hear about the release of the Lilly Pulitzer Wedding Invitation Collection. The stunning collection includes some of the most beautiful and popular Lilly Pulitzer prints, extending this pop of color to an entire suite of paper goods and stationery from invitations to save the date cards and more.

Although the collection is designed for wedding invitations, the invitations are suitable for any celebration and come in a colorful array of options with many colors and fonts. You can personalize the stationery with your text, return address and opt to add a colorful lining to the envelope.

You can see the entire collection at The Paper Cottage. The Paper Cottage has great customer service and will take care of all of your party needs.  The Reef Raf Blue is a gorgeous print option for a summer wedding. 

The high quality paper is 100 lb. card stock. Your order includes complimentary proofs, too. Havana Good Time is a gorgeous pink and green option.  The Paper Cottage suggests font and envelope colors that complement each design, but you can also make your own choice. 

My favorite choice for a wedding would the the Private Property. So elegant, yet modern, and fun.

Although I was thinking about going on a trip to celebrate my 40th birthday later this summer, now I'm wondering if a party might be more fun! 

The Paper Cottage is extending a 15% discount to Maryland Pink and Green readers.  Please use the code LoveLilly and let Beth know that you saw the invitations in this post.  If you decide to order these invitations for your next party or for your wedding, I'd love to see what you choose!  Please do share!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Uber Cool Boutique Hotel

Distrito Capital is an uber cool boutique hotel located in Santa Fe, one of Mexico City’s most prestigious neighborhoods. The small hotel occupies the top floors of a modern skyscraper and offers a commanding view of the city from one of the highest vantage points in the capital.

The entrance is discrete and almost hidden. You’ll be escorted to the lobby in a dedicated elevator that opens to the 5th floor. The lobby is a cool waiting area with a modern minimalist style and has a library of books in several languages.

The restaurant is calm by day, and quite lively at night.  Chef Enrique Olvera delights both hotel guest and chic local residents with his unique creations.  I enjoyed breakfast and dinner here and loved everything I tried.  The best was a salad with tons of greens and panela cheese breaded with amaranth and sesame seeds.  Yum!

The bar offers a covered, open air space and is packed to the gills at night with beautiful people from one of the world's largest cities. 

The pool parties are pretty fabulous, too, although you could take a dip in the heated pool if you wanted some exercise at any time.  Check out the cool bed/lounges at the far end of the pool.  Love!

The hotel rooms are amazing and offer every comfort imaginable. My room was on the 44th floor.   The smart room is completely controlled by remote, from the blackout curtain to the music that is piped into the room.  My picture is terrible and you can't fully appreciate how cool the room is.  There's a sitting area with a sofa for three people, a desk, and well stocked mini-bar. 

The city view is quite impressive. 

But the best part of all is the bathroom, complete with plush towels, a bathrobe, and yummy amenities from Malin and Goetz. You must try the Rum Body Wash. It's wonderful.

Although I was not compensated for this post, I'd certainly love to be a guest at another hotel from the Habita group if they'll have me!  :)



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