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How-To: Prep for Your Sibling’s Offspring

Brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first child, a girl, and she could arrive ANY. DAY. NOW.

I won’t even attempt to understand the range of emotions they’re experiencing.

Instead, I’ve got an incredibly helpful how-to guide for us aunts- and uncles-to-be — you’re welcome in advance.

Step 1: Get a Kick-Ass Shower Gift

Courtesy of Francescas.com

Thanks to Pinterest, this one is pretty easy to execute. Good thing, since it’s one of your first tests as an Aunt or Uncle. No pressure.

I used a combination of my friends’ creativity and my knack for rhyming one-syllable words to give Brother and SIL a clothesline of onesies, bibs and pacifiers.

They passed it around the room for everyone to see. Each clothespin had a verse that coordinated with its attached item, and the clothespins together formed this poem:

 She’ll steal your heart,
she’ll make a splash,
add sunshine to your days
& take Daddy’s cash!

You’ll both be suckers
for this precious child,
& she’ll always love you …
even when she’s wild! 

When life gets messy,
you know who to call.
I’m just a plane ride away —
parenthood will be a ball!

Oh, and don’t forget to remind your sibling how great you are with some aunt- or uncle-specific onesies. My favorite? That little number from Francesca’s.

Step 2: Learn How to Babysit

Courtesy of Hairpin.com

I discovered these Six Guaranteed Low-Effort Toddler Games just a few weeks before I found out about my SIL’s pregnancy. While I still have a couple years to practice, I feel a little bit better knowing I can entertain my niece with a piece of toast. No, really.

Step 3: Study Up!

Courtesy of George Hodan for PublicDomain.net

My blogger friend from the kuhniverse is a founder of this awesome magazine for nannies. It has tons of tips and tricks for caretakers (read: Aunt or Uncle YOU), and it validates that there is not one right way to raise a kid.

I can’t wait for their first hardcopy issue to come out in January. Till then, Like them on Facebook for entertaining updates.

Step 4: Pray. A Lot.

Courtesy of someecards.com

To be completely honest, I am terrified for my niece to come into this world. I really, really, really don’t want to screw her up.

What if I bump her fragile elbows into furniture? What if she hates visiting me in New York? What if — God forbid — she CRIES during my watch?

I’m leaving a lot of it up to faith on the good ol’ trial and error method. And, I’m eternally grateful that I can give her back after any traumatic time with me.

So, there you have it. Just a few simple steps to ensure you get Aunt/Uncle of the Year and totally keep your family from questioning how you’ve made it this far in life without a helmet.

Please, hold your applause.

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Breaking News

Ladies and gentlemen, can I please have your attention. I’ve just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. I need all of you to stop what you’re doing and listen. CANNONBALL!!

 

… Except this is even more exciting than a sweet jump from Ron Burgundy.

Francesca’s, love of my life, is opening a store within walking distance of my apartment. That’s all.

 

Hello, fabulous. Goodbye, paycheck.

My Best Frand

It’s no secret that I have a love affair with Francesca’s Collections, a nationwide boutique with eclectic fashions and everyday classics. I managed to find one in New Orleans. I received four Fran’s gift cards for my birthday. I’m on a first-name basis with the store, for chrissake.

So, imagine my delight when this lovely little email dropped in my inbox:

I was never great at SAT analogies, but let’s just say
BOGO : Me :: Florida : Stupidity … it comes naturally.

No matter the trend or need, Francesca’s has something for everyone. A few drool-worthy pieces:

Neon is having a major moment.

 

This sweet yellow pairs perfectly with any neutral.

 

Need, want, must have it all

 

Choose from four shades of this blazer? Don’t need to tell me twice.

 

Glitzed-up ballet flats are too cute to pass up.

 

I moustache you a question, but I’ll shave it for later.

Now go forth and shop, my friends! Francesca’s offers a $5 flat rate for standard shipping on any order.

WO: Weekly Obsessions

In exactly one week, I’ll be packing for a trip to Chicago (my first). In order to hold off my excitement and focus on all that needs to get done before then, I present this week’s distractions. Makes perfect sense, I swear.

This Necklace: I’m a fan of sparkly things, especially when they’re dripping in jewel tones and add drama to an otherwise basic outfit. This pretty little thing has graced my neck a few times recently, and I always receive compliments for its stunning design. Side note: Francesca’s Collections is deserving of its own WO post. Just ask The Budget Babe!

ANIMALS TALKING IN ALL CAPS!: A dear co-worker of mine shared this site with me recently, and I have fallen in love. What’s more precious than cuddly animals?* Cuddly animals TALKING AT YOU IN ALL CAPS! The captions are hysterical, although sometimes graphic. And if you don’t understand this one, watch this.

Dine Tampa Bay’s Restaurant Week: Between Aug. 19 (so, now) and Sept. 2, Tampa Bay-ians can enjoy specially priced three (or more) course meals from area restaurants. You can reserve through the site or on your own, but anything with a foolproof process that leads to fine dining is right up my alley. I enjoyed the deal at Bella’s Italian Café tonight — mangia!

Back-to-School Commercials: Although my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been flooded with BTS messages, I’m still smiling. The commercials from Target are fantastic, especially when one of my cubemates insists on singing the Art Teacher song all day long. Special shout-out to my many family members (I think 11?) and friends (hundreds?) who are educators. Without you, nothing is possible.

*Not all animals featured are in fact, cuddly. Please don’t think the stingray is cuddly, kids — lest we forget Steve Irwin’s untimely demise. Too soon?

All that Glitters

Even though I’m a beer- and sports-obsessed chick, I still have my moments of girlishness where I freak over sparkly things. Yes, glitter is the herpes of craft supplies. But, it makes everything so pretty. Imagine my delight when I found these:

Wish I had $94 lying around for this guy.

These mini cuppycakes look almost too good to eat. Almost.

If you know me, you know I can’t resist a one-shoulder piece.

Add shimmer to your eyes for instant drama.

I just saw “Mamma Mia!” live, and I am in love with this Dancing Queen Bolero.

In the words of the great lyricist Lil’ Weezy, “Get your shine on.” Just refrain from overdoing it … only GaGa can pull off head-to-toe glitter.

And for the love of God, do not come in contact with this “Glitter.” Yikes, bikes.