I noticed a lot of my youth is coming back in fashion. It’s so funny, when the “thing” leaves the fashion world because it has been deemed untrendy, or in my vernacular, “farty,” I can no longer even look at it. But when it resurrects, 20 or 30 years later, just like the seventies did, it’s hip and wearable yet again. The “Lazarus” phenomenon in fashion has awoken an eighties trend which even five years ago I would have deemed so “soccer mom…” the wrap dress.
Though now we have added a few frilly touches like ruffles, and a sexy stretch slip, this little number is no slouch.
It can be worn just about anywhere…dinner, the beach, a bridal shower, or in my case to pick up, lol, but it’s packable for anything especially vacation when you don’t want to drag around a gazillion tops and bottoms. Easy on, easy off.
“Wrapping up” the sexy yet modest combo is this stretchy slip from of course, Free People.
I have worn this under shirt dresses a zillion times and it does the job covering up the little hoochie area, and squeezing the figure just slightly for a feminine line. I love it for short slip dresses and letting it show is the whole point. Here, it works on the “v” neck, and takes care of the modesty if the wrap dress unwraps, which it will, unless you are a mannequin.
I’m short, so I only wear sandals (they are my version of flats)in the summer, usually with short shorts, so I wore this with a great Sam Edelman platform that I LOVE from year to year: https://poshmark.com/listing/Sam-Edelman-Marley-Clogs-58f8e6e7f092824ff20112bd?utm_source=gdm&gdm_bottom=false&campaign_id=731570126&utm_campaign=731570126&enable_guest_buy_flow=true&gclid=CjsKDwjw6qnJBRDpoonDwLSeZhIkAIpTR8KMpeegiSzZV--rHyPD83MR5Biuft4ufq8rQB12U0F8GgLAEfD_BwE (They have lasted me so long you can’t even buy them retail anymore!)
You can certainly do this with a gorgeous flat sandal or even, you guessed it, a gladiator.
Food Network magazine comes every month and I just can’t contain myself, and neither can my sous chef, Valentina. If you love to cook, this is the bible, the literary seduction that draws you closer and closer to lip locking with your grill. Nestled inside this adult version of Sixteen Magazine is a micro magazine entitled 50….and every month it’s 50 different ways to do something: make pasta, cupcakes, appetizers, etc. About four years ago, they published 50 Things to Cook in Foil, and although I have memorized most of the recipes, if I ever lost this culinary midget, I would be beside myself.
Cooking in foil is a way to neatly cook on the grill, while keeping the temperature in and cook evenly, not to mention, simple, simple and my favorite, QUICK! Last night I made Mexican Fish, and it was so easy and like a a jaunt to Acapulco.
You will need:
Turn your grill on HIGH. Place a piece of fish on a piece of tin foil big enough to fold into a packet. Top the fish with ½ cup salsa, some olives, a drizzle of lime juice, and a drizzle of olive oil.. Fold the foil around the fish, creating a packet. Repeat with as many filets as you have. Put the packet on the grill and cook for 10minutes.
OLE! You have a yummy dinner that took about 15 minutes to prepare.
I served this with yellow rice and a side salad.
HIP MOM HINT: Since I have a big crowd to serve, I put two filets in a packet to save time and space.
When it comes to food my family is like a bunch of little piggies heading to the slop tray…most of them will try just about anything. As avid Instagram followers, we creep on the most obscurely delicious delicacies, and made it our goal to eat at each one of them.
A recent trip to a tiny town not far from Freehold, NJ concluded with a well-awaited for trip to the famous Bagel Nook in Freehold. http://www.thebagelnook.com/ Dear God! Who the hell stays up at night coming up with these concoctions that will balloon you in your sleep, waking up fifty pounds heavier just from a dream? I ventured to try the ever popular Cheeto Bagel. When I asked what I should team it with, the obvious answer was “ranch cream cheese.” Of course, ranch cream cheese, what else. Richard Simmons, come out of hiding, please!!!!! This cannot be on Deal A Meal!
My usually cautious Federica did stick with the standard menu, and went for the basic, Oreo Overload: Oreo brownie stuffed to capacity with Oreo cream cheese. She now tells me she did something with Nutella mixed with the bagel. She had to mix it with Oreo? Eva, my creative little guru overloaded her ten year old jaw with a Fruity Pebbles Bagel injected with cookie dough cream cheese, because really, what else do you eat with a Fruity Pebbles bagel?
Bagel Nook’s Instagram tells the real story @the_bagel_nook. I took a gander today and didn’t get passed the overloaded Cheeetos Flamin’Hot bagel, Fruity Pebbles bagel with cotton candy cream cheese, or my midnight snack fantasy, French Toast Bagel draped in s’mores cream cheese. Wait…if that doesn’t do it for you, and you find these entrees too boring, reach over the counter for a Dorito bagel with jalapeno cheddar cream cheese, stuffed with Doritos. Then for a little something sweet after you scarf that down, try the Cap’n Crunch bagel with salted caramel and chocolate chip cream cheese. Make sure you accompany your overdone, seriously WTF are you doing bagel with water..it’s much healthier.
Truth be told, I wish they were closer. MMMMM….maybe not. The staff here works harder than Lucy and Ethel on the chocolate candy conveyor belt, and the line may look like it’s dragging, but it moves along, and is worth the wait. The Nook’s online menu is way too average for me. Check out their Instagram or take a ride in a vehicle you can still fit on on the way home. Worth every single unwanted calorie.
My babysitter, Vivian, has been with me since Vale was born, and that was over 14 years ago. What I learned from Vivian is that Filippinos are very respectful, and everyone has a title … be it a nickname or term of endearment that sticks for life. She has taught my kids a lot of Visayan dialect, which is really cute coming from a three-year-old who has a total Jersey accent, and there is a word thrown in in total Filippino cadence that is nothing I understood. Federica had a Fillipino accent for a few toddler years till she went to Kindergarten. LOL
Although Vivian has known me almost 15 years, she still calls me very respectfully, Mam Lin. (Like Miss Linda). So since my kids all love my chicken cutlets and beg me once a week to make them, I have given them the respect they deserve and named them Mam Lin’s chicken cutlets. I refuse to repeat a recipe each week, but I will do it once a month for sure. These are Albert’s favorite!
THESE ARE APPROXIMATE MEASURES…I measure nothing when I cook…but this gives you an estimate. And you may need more or less depending on how much you cook.
Take your cutlets out of the fridge about ½ hour before you are ready to use them. They are easier to work with at room temperature. Start heating up your olive oil on medium heat to get really hot, but not burning.
Salt and pepper both sides of your cutlet. HIP MOM HINT: It’s actually easier if you make a mixture of s/p and put it on a plate and “dip” the chicken in the mixture once on each side.
Dredge or dip the cutlet in flour, shaking off the excess over a plate, and leaving a coating. Dip the floured cutlet in egg, letting the excess drip off, but making sure the cutlet is evenly covered. Coat the cutlet in the plate of breadcrumbs, pressing the cutlet into the crumbs so they adhere.
Put your cutlet in the hot oil and cook on each side until golden brown.
You should know by sight if the cutlet is cooked on either side. If your oil is too hot, the pan will scorch and the cutlet will be brown. You might need more oil.
Repeat this with each cutlet until ready to serve.
I serve my chicken at room temp (because I make them in the morning, usually), which is totally acceptable, and a major time saver. Lemon and parsley are great condiments here.
As a side dish, I do a version of Giada’s Little Stars with Parmigiano. So easy:
Salt your water and let it come to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook to desired consistency (I am an al dente girl). But, I sometimes let these baby pastas cook in the water similar to rice, and the water absorbs for a creamy texture and voluminous consistency.
When the pasta is cooked, coat with cheese FIRST.
Once the pasta is coated, add the butter to coat but don’t over do it.
ABONDANZA! This is one of the home run dinners in my house. So basic, but comfort food always is.
HIP MOM HINT: When breading the cutlets, I use paper plates for each ingredient (except the eggs). When you’re done, just chuck them in the garbage. I love anything disposable.
I met Mona Rai through my best friend, Julie Remo, twenty years my junior, and my go-to for all that is hip. She sets me straight every time, and if you love your friend, “honesty is the best policy.” It’s a hard pill to swallow, but from Julie, I know it’s from the heart. The take home here? When Julie gives you a recommendation, it’s good, and one of the best was the makeup wizard who did Julie’s wedding day look.
My daughter, Brynn uses Mona whenever she needs to put on her face for a special occasion, and when she comes home, every time, I wish I were twenty again. (I wish I were twenty anyway, lol) Mona also did my over forty visage for my first blog photo shoot, and she can glam up just about anybody and make them look like the cover of Cosmo.
Since not every mom can take the time I do, because I am totally out of my mind with make up, we can focus here on a more natural, quick look that will get you from drop off to pick up, including a cup of coffee. Check out Mona’s blush tutorial here, set to music for that feel good blushing feeling. Lol
This Jersey girl will not disappoint, and her signature full lip has me begging for Restalayne …but all she needs is a pencil and lip color.
Check out Mona at www.monasmakerie.com. You won’t regret looking this good.
I don’t like to bring anybody’s business down, but as we know, blogging and the written word are indelible. You can’t take it back. Even if you take down the piece you wrote, someone has it screenshot and forwarded to their entire list of contacts. So, I decided to keep this store anonymous, but my irritation every time I shop here needed a voice, so that it might become better for fellow shoppers. The “potties” are to make shopping life safer and less treacherous where we spend our precious dollars.
New Jersey is the mall capital of the world, and traffic capital on any road that houses a mall. Let’s say that’s most of our highways. So, I think staff in a major department store should be used to the hustle and bustle of demanding clientele on any given day of the week. We do get a Bergen County reprieve on Sunday thanks to our beloved Blue Laws.
But Rose, out of desperation for her true love, finds her way back onto the sinking ship, risking her life, only to make out with Jack in the main vestibule of the ship, as it faded away into the icy cold waters of the Atlantic whild other passengers were whizzing about, grasping at a chance to live.
This is what it is like to find a salesperson and purchase a pair of shoes in a local major department store’s shoe department. (Nameless). First you are in a literal sea of shoes, with other shoppers looking for the perfect pair. Then, the search for the captain, or salesperson, with some answers begins. If you find one who isn’t overwrought, breathing normally and not carrying a tower of shoes as high as Dolly Parton’s hair, you may have a chance at “sole survival.” This takes much time and skill, and if you are seated, or sitting in steerage, nobody will help you.
Tripping over boxes of a either a non survivor or a survivor’s unwanted footwear is a major hazard, and sitting on a stiletto or block heel because you didn’t see it amidst the other crap on your seat is also possible.
As Rose so passionately took Jack’s face and planted one on his lips, once you find a sales person who is available to find your size and width, without any remorse, you may want to make out with them too, because at last, a chance for survival, possibly emerging from the stock room with your stilettos in another half an hour has come to fruition. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ASK FOR MORE THAN THREE PAIRS OF SHOES at a time. Your lifeline will be cut short, and you may perish amongst the unwanted flats and ugly sneakers.
Once you have the shoes in hand, it is now time to get on your life boat and check out. Imagine the cashier is the life boat being lowered to safety, and the check out line, the sinking ship. Each passenger, clinging to their most beloved belongings, a child, a spouse, or in this case a pair of gladiators or a Steve Madden wedge are now vying for position to pay. There is no line. Just a few deckhands telling you to now come forth and claim your salvation as you wait behind droves of other shoppers claiming their 20% off and paying, or getting on the lifeboat and floating away. Once you have your items in a bag, dry throat, car keys in hand, you have earned your safety, your car, your refuge, because the desire to go back on board, and shop in any department has diminished and sunk away into iceberg-like nothingness.
The shoes here have become more “WENDY’s EVENING WEAR” commercial-ish, and certainly not worth the Titanic similarities just to buy shoes. Maybe take a tip from another luxury shopping oasis whose staff is awaiting you like the former staff for Louis XIV at Versailles … and yes, they do sell normal shoes as well, with the same kind of service you find in the foo-foo section.
Sorry, local department store, your on the floor service has completely bombed over the years, but the shoe department takes the cake here. Not a life vest in sight..it’s every foot for themselves.
“Mom always said, don’t play ball in the house.” Poor Bobby Brady. Those words triple repeated every 10 seconds for that entire half hour episode of the Brady Bunch. For those of you who have no idea who the Brady’s are, we middle agers who grew up with the Brady’s know them as our tv neighbors.
It was Florence Henderson’s portrayal of Carole Brady that brainwashed us into painting the portrait of what mom should be: cool, calm, collected, always dressed in polyester pant suits and always having time for her kids at the kitchen table, snack in hand.
Maybe she isn’t Carole, but we all have some frame of reference of what a mom should be, based on our own experience. We all have a mother. And, although we may not always admit it, we mother the way our mothers did. If your fairy godmother appeared when you were seventeen and told you would be just like mom, you would cringe with complete disgust while pointing your finger down your throat. “Oh, gag me with a spoon,” you might retort.
My perspective is poignant, but different. I loved my mother. She was as close to a soul mate as I could have, better than any spouse, friend or sibling. But, in a sick twist of fate, she died after a second bout of breast cancer when I was 28, and my first child, Devin was 6 weeks old. My world crumbled. Dreams left unfulfilled. Visions I had since I was six of being a mommy with her would never be realized. I would never go out to lunch with her and my baby, stroll the mall with her, or ask her to pick the kids up from school or babysit. I spent most of my pregnancy taking her to radiation and chemo, never thinking the final equalizer would mar this amazing time in my life, or more so, the physical bond with this amazing woman I simply called, mom.
As a woman, raising a child without your mother can be a daunting task. As my wonderful friend Chris who shares this dubious distinction with me calls us, “motherless mothers.” My human reference book was gone. What did I do when I was two? How quickly did I potty train? Did I have a lisp when I was three? Were my tantrums embarrassing like all get-out? I was on my own. I had to figure it all out without the baby coach on call 24-7. I prayed for spiritual enlightenment from her thrown in heaven, begging her to send signs, like huge flashes of light on my front lawn or that annoying “this is only a test,” tv signal to let me know I was doing ok, the baby was swaddled correctly, and you are a good mom.
But now, after having 8 children of my own, ranging from 17 years to 4 months, I realized, she was there. Even when she was gone, she was there. She taught me how to mother when I didn’t even know she was doing it. All the subliminal absorption was now coming to the forefront. All that she said, even if I found it annoying or monotonous, or “give me a break,” was now part of my routine with my own children. Her love of cooking and bring her family to the table each night was now my routine. Her desire to keep up with fashion turned me into a clothes horse. She kept me in Catholic school my entire school career, and that is where all my kids are. The list goes on, and all without any physical direction. It just happened. She gave all to her family, and she taught me to do the same, without ever telling me, in words how to do it.
So, if Bobby Brady were real, and Carole Brady moved on to hipper clothes, and ditched the station wagon with the wood paneling, he would always remember her words of wisdom about playing ball in the house. He would remember her after his darlings shattered his flat screen tv instead of the vase he broke. But, she would always be there, as any good mother would be, even just as a figment.
I thank you, mom, for teaching me the ropes, even though I didn’t realize I was your student. Thank you for teaching me how to love a child, accept their faults, and have patience even when I didn’t think I had any left. You taught me that there is no job that requires more loyalty, more hands on and less sleep than a medical resident in his first year. You have, and always will be my virtual guide for all mothering past, present and to come.
This Sunday ... yes ... Mother's Day, Linda will be on Sunday Night Live. Be sure to check the details of how to listen in on www.sundaynightlive.com from 9 till 10pm!
Don't miss The Real Hip Mom being the hippest mom on her first Mother's Day radio interview!
One of my most beloved “go-tos” for summer lovin’ is the short-short and sleeved, usually flowy top. I saw this pair at South Moon Under and it was love at first sight…for them, and me.
This navy top from Heartloom is what I call summer dark: not as dark and gloomy as wintry black, and gorgeous paired with white or cream, so it’s the perfect mate for this cutsie-petutsie tweed short by Drew.
I generally like my shorts shorter, not that I love my legs at all, but I think the almost to your calf, full thigh length is just a little too nineties soccer mom for me. They show these shorts on a very skinny unrealistic model, and I noticed there is not a lot of “give” to them at all, so recommendation is to go up a size.
If you know me, you know how much I love chokers, and even with the cold shoulder and flirty embroidery of the top, it’s a great accessory, here. I would lighten it up with a nudie or even white.
A great shoe…my go to forever and ever is a gladiator…I would opt for ankle length here, or even something like this Steve Madden cute nude called IRENEE. This cute nude is great here. This shoe comes in a host of other colors and a gorgeous print that can get along with your ankle quite well.
Time to show off those legs, mom!
Knock knock … who is it … it’s SUMMER!