Monthly Archives: March 2017

C is for Cookie…

Is cookie for me?

C is for cookie

Living with a 3 year old certainly has its ups and downs. Really living with any child of any age has its ups and downs. But lately we are dealing consequences. If she does A then B happens. This works for both good and bad. If she goes two weeks with no accidents then we get to go to the museum. If she doesn’t clean up her toys with me then every toy mommy touches, mommy gets to keep for 24 hours. Luckily I have a very quick learner. Bribery works best and it’s rare these days that I take something for 24 hours. I attempt to make the bribe or punishment match the issue at hand. And given that she is 3 I try my best not to bribe with food. I succeed in this maybe 25% of the time. The problem, with bribing with food, besides nutritionally for her, is then that food is in the house. My husband and I end up eating her candy, cookies, cake, you name it. I think I’ve put on more weight during potty training than I ever did being pregnant with her.

My cousin is the one who has guided me on much of my parenting learning curve. She has two kids. One is 8 years older and the other is 3 years older than my munchkin. She is a great mom, a great chef, a great business owner, and a great woman. She shares my love of food, and also shares a want and a need to be healthy given our genes or jeans if you prefer.

So the other day she tells me that Saturday morning she got up and went for her usual work out. a balanced dietIn the afternoon her kids had all of our cousins over who are similar ages to her kids. (They live in Fl. so we weren’t able to participate) It was time to rally the motley crew of 6 kids all under the age of 11 to go do something so she offered them all a cookie if they would do such and such. As she’s handing out the cookies all but one says thank you. Love it. We have polite kids who are listening. There is a reason I look to her to set my parenting learning curve. Then one kid doesn’t say thank you.

So she says “Do you have something to say after I hand you a cookie?”

The smart ass (and I mean that in the most loving way) that he is replies “nah.”

“Are you sure, all the other kids said thank you.”

“Nope, I’m good.”

So she takes his cookie and eats it right there.

She is my hero! She went on to tell me that in that moment she really didn’t even want the freaking cookie either. It wasn’t worth the calories. I mean it was a good cookie, but not what she wanted to spend the calories on especially after working out that morning.

This story is resonating with me as I look at the sacrifices, big and small, that we, as moms, make for our children. Not only do we give our bodies over to them to have them, but also in the little stuff we do daily to chase them around the house, us skipping a shower so that we can spend 15 extra minutes with them, or eating the cookie so that we can instill good behavior into our children. And in the end it’s worth it. Or at least that is what I tell myself every night when I go to bed.

But I really do think it’s worth it. My husband thinks I need to let go of control a bit, and some might see the cookie story as harsh. But I will tell you when I offer my child a big toy or special time with her family at the museum she chooses the museum. She says thank you and you’re welcome (granted I have to give Maui from Moana some credit for that). You're WelcomeShe cleans up after herself and yet still believes in being a super hero or a princess and dances and plays.

So with that in mind C is for cookie and cookie is for me if I get to continue to watch my daughter’s smile light up a room.



Form vs. Function vs. Maternity

AKA 5 Ways to Handle Form and Function and Maternity

This week I had two revelations that I knew were brewing in the back of my head but I didn’t want to admit to.

  1. I am really freaking sick of wearing the same five things over and over again
  2. I really, really, really need to dedicate more time to myself for getting ready

I have been working with a life coach to prepare for the world of career vs. two kids. Rosie is amazing and if you need anything from career vs. family, meeting a partner to career help check her out at Anyway one of the things I looked at was how I spend my time. In one week I spent a total of 3.5 hours grooming. This includes showers, hair, make up, dressing for the day. This boils down to well less than 30 minutes a day. Now I know I can get ready faster than my husband, and I don’t put in nearly the effort that my beautiful friend Bess does (and she does it with twins and a pre-schooler-my hero!) But come on, don’t I deserve more than 3.5 hours a week. Showers and baths are restorative. Looking good is the easiest step to take to feel good. And trust me being this pregnant I really want to feel good.

When I met with Rosie today we talked clothing for a minute, as I was terrified that I wore the exact same outfit last week. I literally am down to five outfits that look passable on me that fit. I’m so sick of them. I loved them when I bought them but at that point I fit into some of my regular clothes too. I’m due soon, so I am not going to buy more maternity clothes. And this leaves us with my form (being clean, feeling pretty, my pregnant belly) vs. function (I need to feel good , I don’t have a ton of time, I don’t want to spend more money) vs. maternity (ummm the pregnant belly)

So what is a empowered stylist to do? No, seriously what am I to do? Bess? Courtney? Anyone out there? I know the answer is either spend more time or spend more money, but those aren’t completely logical fixes for me.  The function part gets in the way. But there is some balance here.

  1. I do need to dedicate a little more time to my routine in the morning to feel better. I can get up earlier- not likely as I am exhausted but it might work for you. But it is okay to take more time to shower. It’s okay to take a few extra minutes with makeup or hair. I can give my pre-schooler a special toy while I get ready or I can give the two of us more time as we get ready together. That way when she spends 10 minutes pulling on one sock I can take those ten minutes to do my make up. We are women, we are the masters at multi-tasking. So let’s multi-task this.
  2. I lie in bed for endless hours. I am not a sleeper to begin with but really not now. So one of the things I can think about is new ways to wear these same five fitting outfits. Not a ton I can do, but all my cardigans still fit, if I add those or jewelry or accessories in I won’t feel nearly as repetitive. More on maternity fashion next week.
  3. I can cut myself some serious slack. I’m a working mom with another on the way. It’s okay if I don’t look like Kate Hudson. But if I’m feeling good about myself that day then who cares if I don’t look the part. My whole thing about looking good is so I can feel better. If I already feel better, than problem solved. OHHHH and remember if you are pregnant you are creating life and give yourself some serious credit for that.
  4. I can remember that I am a role model for my daughter. If I can feel good about myself, then she will. My daughter learns about how to value herself from how I value myself. Yes I need time to shower, yes I need time for myself and I need time for her. But I want her to see what I value. And if my bun-tastic greasy hair is working for me, then why am I going to change it. Actually lately she loves wearing her bun bun. I’m calling that a win.
  5. I can remind myself that each day it is ever changing. Some days form will come first and I will finally give up and go buy a new outfit. This is how I got the maternity clothes I currently have. Some days function wins out and I don’t care if I haven’t gotten out of my jammies and some days maternity wins out and I realize that I am creating life and that is pretty awesome and only is happening twice for me so I am going to enjoy it. Let it evolve. Things change minute to minute and day by day and as long as we are honoring ourselves as best we can then it’s okay to have it change.

When Whine Takes over? WINE!

Last week I posted one my favorite, easy, go to recipes that will even get the kids to eat vegetables. Yay for a mom win! But what about the days we aren’t winning, and everyone is WHINING? What then? I’m guessing the answer might be WINE!

Well I don’t know how many of you know, but I used to work in the world of wine in a past life. And I don’t mean past life as in I was Cleopatra in a past life. I mean I’ve managed a wine bar and store and I’ve been a market manager for a wine supplier. So I figured if I’m going to share favorite family hacks, the most I can do for you is also share my favorite go to wines for days when everyone is whining.

Pintrest Making Wine

I will start out by saying I am a very seasonal drinker. When the weather is warm I want white and when it’s cold I want red, and I always want bubbles. I can pair wine with food, but I don’t. In other words although I know the secrets of sommeliers, I abide by what I want, when I want it, not their secrets. I will also warn that because my husband works in the wine world my tastes can be super pricey. BUT I also love a great “Tuesday-Night” wine that retails for under $20, and ideally under $15 and even better if it can handle being open for a day or so.   Finally always, always, always drink what you want and what you like. Don’t worry about what is trendy in the wine world and what you should drink with something.

One more thing I should note, I’m not doing much drinking at all lately as we are expecting our second child in the next few months. But that didn’t stop me from just returning from a wine tasting trip to France where I had full permission from my doctor to do some tasting.

So what have I been drinking? Despite the fact that the weather has been bi-polar and that I’m not drinking much I actually still have something that has been a go to. I highly recommend you try 2009 Bodega Benegas Cabernet from Argentina! It’s an awesome value for a wine that way over delivers for it’s price point. Check it out here:

Benegas Cab

I love wine from South America. There is so much value there and the wines are so good. For a while everyone got on the Malbec kick from South America, but there is so much more coming out of there. To me this cab brings some rusticness of cab that is typical of old world cabs and yet is certainly new world without being super Napa-ish. And certainly doesn’t carry a Napa price tag. I used to have this on my list when I was managing the bar and recently rediscovered it. It also pairs great with food. Because we aren’t managing to go through a bottle in one sitting anymore we have discovered it holds easily through the next day when we put it in the fridge for the night.  The perfect wine for whining or wine-ing or just Tuesday night drinking!



My New Diet…

I eat everything and hope for a miracle.

Okay not really. I’m not on a diet at all. In fact I don’t believe in that word, but that is another discussion for another day.

And although I do eat whatever I want right now, I’m pregnant after all, I do try and come up with meals that are balanced. If not for me, and my unborn child, then for my 3 year old. I’m still hoping that one day she will have healthier eating habits for me.


So every night around six I’m staring at the fridge thinking what in the ever-loving world am I going to serve my daughter that is balanced and healthy. Now I know I’m a lucky one. My kid will try anything and will eat most everything. HOWEVER she’s still a kid and would prefer candy, sugar, chocolate, more sugar, snacks, pizza, cheese, peanut butter, did I mention sugar. You get the idea, although I’m guessing many of you have experienced it often between the time you wake up and the time your kiddos go to bed.

As I stare at my fridge getting ready for dinner tonight I thought I’d share what I’ve decided to serve. Because it’s easy, and it’s yummy and my kid actually loves it, and it’s healthy. And there is a high likelihood that your little will like it, and I’m sure you will like it.


1 head of broccoli

1 box of pasta

3-4 cloves of garlic

Olive Oil

Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: Red Chili flakes

Optional: protean- I like chicken sausage, chicken, pork or shrimp cooked

Clean head of broccoli and cut off major part of the stem. Feel free to break into florets if easier. Boil in salt water for about 3-5 minutes, until soft/fork tender.

While this is cooking, chop and sauté garlic. Add uncooked shrimp now if you are using shrimp.

Place cooked broccoli into the sauté pan. Add cooked meat if you are doing so.

Add pasta into the boiling water and cook until al dente.

Break up head or florets of broccoli until it is falling apart completely/disintegrating.

Put cooked pasta into the sauté pan with 1 cup of pasta water.

Add Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste.

Serve a healthy meal full of broccoli that feels like it’s just pasta with pesto.

See told you- EASY!

broccoli pasta

Pretty Woman

Hello my name is Brooklyn Gundlach and I don’t read fashion magazines.

Ohh yay that is finally off my chest. I’ve been caring around this weight for far too long.

Okay while I’m at it, here’s another thing, I don’t like shopping for myself most days. I much prefer to do it for you ladies!


Okay, okay, one more….

I sometimes look like I’m completely falling apart. Think of me dressed in my brother’s nasty old sweat pants, my husband’s old long sleeve shirt, underwear that is older than my child, and I haven’t showered in four days. Pretty image isn’t it.

This feels so good to get off my chest. I bet you are dying to hire me now huh?

But this is exactly why you should want to work with me. For starters how can the image above be intimidating? I mean I am as big of a mess as most of us woman.

There’s more though. For years I’ve been on here and talked about fashion. I will tell you I’m great at dressing women of all sizes. I’m great at fit, and I’m great at helping you find a style that works for you. But I don’t think it HAS to do with fashion. Fashion is part of it, but it’s not why I do what I do, and I’m guessing if you are anything like me, it’s not what you are thinking about when you are getting ready in the morning.

I do what I do because I want you to feel empowered to be the best version of you you can be. It breaks my heart that women have so much trouble talking about what is beautiful about them inside and out. To quote Pretty Woman “The bad things are easier to believe. Haven’t you noticed that?!” It really is. Not only what you hear, but what we think of ourselves, and what we focus on ourselves.

Pretty Woman

I want to help you perpetuate the positive. It is really hard work to switch our way of thinking. Sometimes it’s easier to switch the outside stuff before we work on the inside stuff. So that is why I think about style and fashion.