Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kicking off the Christmas Season with a French Flair ...

Crepes at RavenousCrepes and pomme frites after church at Ravenous 21 Phila Street.

Santa on BroadwayAnticipating Santa's arrival.
Give him your wish list on Wednesday December 3rd, 7:00 p.m. when he arrives at his home on Broadway (directly across from Caroline Street).

Window at G. Williker's Toy Shop in SaratogaG. Willikers window.
In keeping with my euro day - this store never disappoints. Wooden toys, games, dolls, puzzles from Europe, train sets, trucks, stuffed animals, beautiful dolls and accessories, animal figures, tea sets, jewelry boxes (can you tell I have girls), model cars, animal figurines and much much more. If you are looking for a shopping experience that will leave you feeling like you are giving a unique high quality gift as well as a toy that will last a life time - it's worth a stop here for your little ones.

Mrs. London's Bakery on Broadway Saratoga SpringsAfter strolling Broadway enjoying the real first snow fall of the season and the Christmas decorations, I treated my daughter (and myself) to a hot drink and an irresistible french pastry at Mrs. London's 464 Broadway. A taste (a delicious one at that) of Paris on Broadway.

Hot Cafe at Mrs. LondonsCafe et chocolat chaud.

Joyeux Noel!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Black Friday Deals Downtown ...

Shopping Bags from Downtown Saratoga BusinessesPaperDolls of Saratoga 80 Henry Street: 20% off all week end if you tell them DownTownSusieBrown sent you!

80 West 80 West Circular: Open 9 am to 6 pm. 15% off jewelry, 20% off shoes and bags, 30% off clothing and 40% off sale items.

Violet's of Saratoga 482 Broadway: 50% off on items in the store from 6 am to 7 am, 40% off from 7 am to 8 am, 30% off from 8 am to 9 am, 20% off from 9 am on.

G. Willikers: 10% off all week end

Down Street Market Place (Aggie's, Lucia, Pomega, etc) 454 Broadway: sales going on all weekend.

Speck Boutique 353 Broadway: 30% off from 8 am to 9 am, 20% off from 9 am to close. Additional secret savings of up to 50% in the store!

Mimosa Gallery 70c Beekman Street: 20% off all week end.

Have fun getting into the spirit of the season!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Laura Moss Photography - ThanksgivingDon't think for one minute that my Thanksgiving will be this serene and picture perfect.
No, no.
But, we will try our best.
It will be filled with love, laughter, kids running around grandma, cocktail hour(s) that go too long (we never learn), a few political disagreements, a puppy's first time visit, and everyone truly happy to have 3 generations together again to give thanks for faith, family and good health.
Thank you to all of you who have supported me these past few months and for your continued support. I can't tell you how much fun I'm having. Embrace life and all it has to offer and see beauty every day!
Happy Thanksgiving!
{photo found on Eddie Ross by laura moss photography}

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shop for a Good Cause

Martha Stewart Christmas StockingThanks to Martha Stewart we have had a resurgence of do-it yourselfers. These talented and creative people knit, sew, and quilt. They make hand made jewelry, ornaments, pottery, handbags, doll clothes, and much much more. Where do they find the time? Then there are people like me. Love those handmade items. Love the quality, craftsmanship and creativity. Love giving (or receiving) a one-of-a-kind item. It means so much. If you are looking for these types of gifts this holiday season and don't have the time to make them yourself, check out the 33rd Annual Holiday Craft Fair, Saturday, November 29, 2008 at the Saratoga Springs City Center, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. $2.00 entrance fee. All proceeds help the Saratoga Center of The Family's battle against child abuse and neglect.
Now that's guilt-free shopping!

{Looking for your own holiday craft ideas? Check out Martha Stewart for the above Felt Stocking craft and a lot more inspirational ideas!}

Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Outfit #1 ...

Feeling 1950's Glam for this Holiday look ...

Pink and White BroochesAbove brooches were both gifts for my birthday.
The pink beauty is from my classy and 50's NYC era in-laws - love hearing their stories about scooter rides on Park Avenue, martini lunches and Lower East Side apartments. The rhinestone knock out is from a vintage loving friend, Tiffany (not the legendary Manhattan store - but a legend in her own right!) - how perfect is that name for her? She's classy, stylish and my favorite Recessionista. She loves hunting down the vintage stores for great finds (I feel a guest blogger coming).

50s Glam Holiday Outfit

The brooches inspired this Holiday outfit.

1 LBD * + Sparkle + Color = One Fabulous Retro Holiday Look

* {LBD little black dress}

dress from Violets Boutique on Broadway, rhinestone brooch from a local antique store, wrap from Trappings (remember that great store) and shoes by J.Crew

Sunday, November 23, 2008

'Tis the season... To Shop!

Smudge Ink ShopperBest to embrace the season and make the most of it.
I'll help.
My first great gift idea is this pretty shopper by Smudge Ink sold at PaperDolls, 80 Henry Street ; $10.00.
With so much food and gift shopping to do the next couple of weeks - why not do it in style with these tasteful totes? Or give them as gifts - wouldn't your child's teacher love this filled with some local seasonal items?
It's green and it won't put you in the red!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Finished Product!

Thanksgiving Tablescape

IMG_0543.jpgI hope you are inspired ...

Have a great week end preparing for next weeks feast!
For more ideas check out

More inspiration for the Thanksgiving Table ...

Birds from Saratoga Shoe DepotLove these sweet birds from the Saratoga Shoe Depot. I plan on using them all through the Christmas season. Saratoga Shoe Depot, 385 Broadway; $5.95.

Twig PumpkinsThese twig pumpkins and pear that I got last year will add texture. They play well with my new plates, especially the bowls that have a bird nest look to them. Accents at Allerdice Division and Walworth Streets.

Acorns from Shoe Depot in Saratoga SpringsThese polished but slightly worn acorns will go well with the sophisticated rustic table setting I have in mind. Saratoga Shoe Depot, 385 Broadway; $11.95.

PumpkinsBring a little of the outdoors inside! These pumpkins will replace flowers and bring "life" to the table.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Table Inspirations ...

Schuyler PondI made the short and pretty trip out to Schuyler Pond 727 Route 29 East. I love the drive. The view of the Vermont Green Mountains is breathtaking. Ending my short trip at Schuyler Pond is such a treat. I can't help but be inspired by all their beautiful and eclectic items. They have everything from outdoor accessories, fine soaps and candles, gorgeous table top items, exquisite bedding and pillows, unique furniture and home accessories, and much more. I went looking for some inspiration for the Thanksgiving table. They did not disappoint.

Twig PlatesI found these beautiful plates, bowls, and coffee cups by Jeremie at Schuyler Pond. I'm loving the robins egg blue. I have been all year! The color along with the rustic twig details really spoke to me and I knew would work well in my dining room. Don't you think this blue with the pop of orange (thanks to pumpkins), classic white linens and polished silver will give this years table a more unexpected, but sophisticated look? I'm going to try it and see!
Stay tuned...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Monday

Reusable Shopping BagsMondays... Back to school and work! Time to get organized and ready for the week ahead which always means a stop at the grocery store for me. The next couple of weeks as I am preparing for the holidays I am going to remember the local food pantries. Franklin Community Center 10 Franklin Street is asking for help in providing food for local families. This year is going to be an especially tough one for some families, so if you can help - please join me in making a donation to either Franklin Community Center or any food pantry of your choice. They are requesting the following items to help local families celebrate the feast of giving thanks: instant potatoes, stuffing mix, canned pumpkin, canned veggies, chicken broth, canned sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, rice, packaged gravy or anything else you are willing to donate!
Thank you!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Born and Bred Saratoga Girl

GingerHappy 1st Birthday, Ginger!
Kicked off her day with lots of love and birthday wishes from my three girls who love her so.
Then off to Pampered Pooch Rt. 50 Ballston Spa for some play time with her pals. Ended the day with a trip to Sloppy Kisses 493 Broadway for some birthday treats and Dawgdom 441A Broadway to pick out her new bed!
Ahhhh... The life of a dog!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A rainy cold November day

Saratoga Reads

Secret Life of Bees Book

Loving FrankA perfect day to take some time and read.
Just indulge yourself in an hour or two - while the kids are napping or at school. Put off the laundry, the phone calls, or the e-mails. Turn the TV off and grab a cup of tea and a good book!
Saratoga Reads has selected their book, "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd. There will be tons of community activities going on all year based on the book. Check out Saratoga Reads for more information on upcoming events. I read it and really enjoyed it. I look forward to seeing the movie when it comes out this month, but everyone knows the book is always better than the movie!
In case you are like me and have already read "The Secret Life of Bees" and need a suggestion on another book - "Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan is my book club's (more about those crazy ladies later!) pick this month and I am loving it! It is about Frank Lloyd Wright and his mistress Mamah Cheney's love affair. But, it is soooo much more. Written as historical fiction (which I love) through Mamah's diary. As I read on the book's website, "Mamah is a woman trying to find her own place, her own creative calling in the world." Now that is something I can relate to! I'm sure it will make for another interesting discussion and evening when my 8 (+?) year old book club meets next week. Uh ohhh I better....
Get Reading!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

things that make my KIDS happy...

Cotton Candy at Circus Cafe

Blue Cotton Candy....birthday parties, visits from cousins, days off from school, and a heaping plate of cotton candy with sprinkles on top!

The Circus Cafe' 392 Broadway is a great choice for families. They offer coloring for the kids, a childrens menu, covered kiddie cups (we all know how important that is), and yeeessss, good wine (and we really know how important that is!).

Mom and Dad can actually carry on a conversation, have a very adult and delicious dinner (I especially like the comfort food selections) while the kids are busy coloring, eating the popcorn they bring before you order and checking out the cool Big Top decor. Think retro Barnum & Bailey.

Check it out and satisfy your kids and your inner child!

Oh, and for you singletons.... It transforms into a hip bar scene at night - it's Saratoga's taste of the French Quarter with live music (jazz, or rock or Karaoke - depending on the night), and hip drinks. Cheers to Christel and Colin MacLean who have savvy restaurant style and satisfy so many!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why it's OK to be 40

Birthday Cake1.) A loving, supportive, incredibly generous, devout and handsome husband.

2.) 3 beautiful girls who dressed their best just to make me happy for my celebration and their beautifully homemade cards and poster.

3.) Sisters (& Mike!)

4.) Nieces who could make it, brothers who couldn't but sent their love, flowers, a special dinner and cards.

4.) Surprises

5.) Old friends

6.) New friends

7.) Champagne

8.) Candice and Crew at the Prime Restaurant at Saratoga National (458 Union Ave) who made the evening elegant, relaxing and fun. The food was delicious and the atmosphere perfect! The fireplace was roaring, big cozy chairs in the bar, a small back room to ourselves with impeccable service. The Sea Bass was mouth watering and you should have seen the size of the steaks! Cooked to perfection. Everyone was happy!

9.) Great dresses at Violet's that made picking one very hard to do but I managed! You really should go check it out - think of all the Holiday parties coming up!

10.) New opportunities through DownTownSusieBrown.

I also have to thank my Mom. Who through her faith and love of family had her 8th baby at 42 and allowed me to follow all my dreams to become who I am today. I love you!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Seeking refuge...

I escaped this.....

Basket of Laundry

For some pampering....

Cheese and CrackersRelaxing......

Couch at Sanctuary SpaAnd pretty toes....

PedicureNeeded to get the nails done for the big 4-0, so I treated myself to Sanctuary Spa's signature manicure (60 min $40) and pedicure (60 min $65) by MiMi (highly recommend her!). My hands and feet went from feeling like sandpaper to a baby's backside. Enter their doors on 72 Railroad Place and you feel like you have entered an oasis. It was hard to leave (you saw what I had waiting for me at home - that's not even the half of it!).
Lush and comfortable interior, soft music, friendly accommodating staff, and top notch service.
It was like taking a mini - staycation!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's finally time to VOTE!

Obama Button

Starbucks Logo

It's historic no matter how you look at it.
Be a part of the history. Vote.
In case you need another reason - Starbucks will give you a free tall coffee - just for doing your civic duty.
What are you waiting for?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Count Down to 40....

IMG_0244.jpgOne week and counting until the big day.
In the last month I relived my high school days with the "cool chicks of '86" (it was high school - what can I say?), went back to my husband's college and attempted to fathom that college was 20 years ago! Visited NYC - where I spent my 20's and where so much of who I am was molded. Well, it's time to put those times behind me and embrace the 40's. But, before I do so - I need to look fabulous!! I'm ready mentally - but it's time to get there physically! Gym classes to suffer through, nails to be done, facials, eye-brow's to be waxed, and of course a great outfit to be found! Lot's to do - but I'm sure I'll be able to get it all done downtown!
(above glasses found at the loose-caboose at Saratoga Shoe Depot. Painting on the base done at Creative Sparks on Phila Street)