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The Big Reveal

22 Jul

Next to the delicious “duckie” cupcakes at our couples’ shower in Murray to celebrate Baby Hutch. Thank you to our amazing hosts!

As I am sure I have mentioned before – one negative of living 6,800 miles away from family and friends back in the States is not celebrating the “big moments” of life with those who we love most.  So when we had the opportunity to reveal our little one’s gender with our nearest and dearest in person…we could not pass up the opportunity!

I cannot take any credit for how fun and creative the “Big Reveal” turned out to be.  Leave it to Kim Willson and Mary Kay Bowden, my best friends since we met as teeny little girls on Olive Street, to create the perfect “Margarita Mama” baby shower complete with a baby carriage piñata busting to announce GIRL or BOY!  I think you will see in the short video clip below that we were completely SURPRISED!

It’s a GIRL!!

Well…in case you couldn’t see clearly enough – all the candy inside the piñata was PINK – revealing that we are in fact having a baby GIRL.  And although Mary Kay and Kim obviously knew what we were having (as they filled the piñata themselves) they were totally shocked that we had not tried to milk it out of our mothers  – who were with us the day before at the ultrasound when the doctors determined that our little bun-in-the-oven is of the female variety.  To be fair – Donna (my mother-in-law) should also be given credit.  She read the ultrasound herself!

Brett busted it open with one swing! What a big strong baby daddy!

Honestly, it was a bit of a risk to do a big reveal so early in the pregnancy.  I was only 4 months at the time…which is still a little early to be 100% sure – but it was our only chance as it is not permitted to learn the baby’s sex here in China.  At 6 months in – we are 100% that Brett has his hands full with another “little me” on the way.  I believe my father’s words were “good luck with that”.  I am thrilled to continue on with the pink parade…and I feel confident that Brett is too!

Excited and totally surprised! Full disclosure…we had taken the “Intelligender” test (an over-the-counter pee stick type thingy” while we were in New Orleans a few days before, and it said BOY! Well…that was fifty bucks down the toilet – literally.

Our sweet guests watching Brett bust the piñata. The joy of growing up in a community like Murray, Kentucky (officially American’s friendliest small town) never fades. Thank you to all of you for celebrating this moment with us!

Hugging my mom. As her side of family only seems to produce little girls – I think she was a bit relieved. I did overhear her telling Brett’s mom – “I don’t think I would have known what to do with a boy!”  Mom…I have no doubt you would have figured it out!

Getting parenting tips from my dad. With my little brother, Bailey, having just turned six…his experience is not as dated as one might think!

With my sweet Mary Kay. Thank you to you and Kimmy for all the amazing details. What a treat to share this moment with you!  I can’t wait to watch Annabelle, Drewsie, and Olive tell Sanders and Russell that “NO BOYS” are allowed just like we told Robert!

Drew, Kimmy, and Mary Kay enjoying some tasty treats!

“Baby Girl Talk” with the ladies of the family. My mother-in-law Donna, My Aunts Jane, Lorna, & Cindy, and My Grandmothers Bettie and Jean.

Admiring the gift from Nanny, my maternal grandmother, a necklace given to her when she was five by my great-grandparents. So precious! Can’t wait to give it to our little Olive Bee when she turns five.

Chatting with some of my favorite humans on the earth!

What a special day for our family of 2.5!  Thank you again to our hosts and guests who made the day even more memorable for us.  We are so blessed!

A big thank you to Tara Dennison for capturing this moment for us on video!  It is such a treasure.

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Through the Seasons: Florals

20 Jul

It seems that in the very fast paced world of today, some fashion trends come and go before they even hit the store shelves.   On the flip side, some looks seem to find a more permanent place in our hearts and on our runways.  I thought it might be fun to highlight some of these “trends with staying power” with a Through the Seasons Lookblog.

Up First: FLORALS – they seem to be having a moment in the sun…

Temperley Spring 2012 RTW

Costume National Spring 2012 RTW

Isaac Mizrahi Spring 2012 RTW

Valentino Couture Spring 2012

Elie Saab Couture Spring 2012

Bibhu Mohapatra Fall 2012 RTW

Chadwick Bell Fall 2012 RTW

Jenni Kayne Fall 2012 RTW

Alexander McQueen Resort 2013

J. Mendel Resort 2013

Jill Stuart Resort 2013

Stella McCartney Resort 2013 *This look is a double winner for longevity. Florals + Tuxedo Pants = Separates to Transcend the Seasons.

Images courtesy of http://www.style.com.

Beach Babymoon

20 Jul

While the word itself…”babymoon” seemed to turn my husband’s stomach – he had absolutely no problem with the concept of actually taking a fabulous trip before our little munchkin arrives.  Personally – I don’t care what you call it.  I will take a romantic get-away with my husband any chance I get!  So off to the Maldives we went to celebrate the upcoming arrival of Baby Hutch.

After rave reviews from my sweet friend and newlywed, Brandace Wilson, (who just returned from her honeymoon) we knew we must take advantage of the direct flight from Beijing to Malé while we still had the chance.  And while it was difficult to choose a resort (because they are all quite amazing) – in the end we went with the W Resort & Spa on Fesdu Island…just 1 of the 1,200 that make up this beautiful island nation situated in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

On the W Jetty waiting for our seaplane take-off. The W has its own lounge full of cool drinks and tasty treats while you wait for “fins up”.

The sign of a good trip…the seaplane had my monogram.

The vast majority of our time in the Maldives was spent in our own little ocean oasis.  When your “hut” has everything you need including direct ocean access, a plunge pool, a well stocked snack station and minibar, and the best in-room service…why leave?  So – we basically didn’t.  Except for breakfast.  This preggers couldn’t resist the delicious spread of the buffet and the “fruit man” who created custom fruit plate masterpieces to suit one’s individual tastes.

Outdoor space on our Ocean Oasis. The W also offers beautiful beach bungalows – but I think the over-the-water option (with glass bottom floors inside) is the more interesting and fun of the two.

Brett’s backflip into the ocean off the deck. Reminding me that I was truly not cut out to be a “boy-mom”!

In-Water Dining! Even if it is a bit warm outside…the W makes sure that your feet are cool by allowing you to give them a dip while enjoying your morning meal.

One of many “bump” pictures…

One perk of traveling to a Muslim country while pregnant…the “mocktail” list is almost as long as the “cocktail” list!

The bird and the bump!

We decided to do a little photo shoot after breakfast one morning (mainly because I had finally washed my hair for real in a legitimate shower…as opposed to an ocean one!)

One night we decided to take advantage of the W’s In-Room BBQ Service.  They provide all the “fixings”  and you can choose between American or Asian style.  Clearly, with the current lack of American BBQ in our lives …we opted for the potato salad and grilled corn-on-the-cob option.  All that was left for us to do (after they delivered the spread and set-up the grill for us) was to actually throw the meat (ribs, burgers, and wings) on the grill and eat it!

My Grill Master!

Great food. Great view. Extra great company.

The proximity to China and the lack of visa issues for mainland Chinese makes the Maldives a great destination for Chinese honeymooners.  Here were some of our favorites…

This couple wore matching outfits everyday. Not your typical “trousseau” to say the least!

Although we only caught a quick glimpse of their husbands, these ladies went all out for a not-so-impromptu photo shoot around the tiny island wearing formal gowns. We see this constantly in the Mainland!

On our last day at the resort, before heading back to Malé for a quick tour of the world’s smallest capital city and then back to Beijing, we decided to allow ourselves the ultimate cliché in destination drinking…Pina Coladas!  (A virgin one for me of course!)  But who could resist this packaging??

Puckering up for his Pineapple! His was much better than mine…I did have a tiny sip!

Until next time beautiful blue water and soft silky sand!

A parting message in honor of our little beach-bun-in-the-oven!

 

True Resort

10 Jul

Originally resort wear (as indicated by its name) was created by high-end designer labels for their customers that were expected to “holiday” in warmer climates after the cooler Christmas and New Year’s Holidays.  Fast forward many moons and the resort collections have adapted to reach a broader audience and provide year-round looks to accommodate a variety of lifestyles.  As I type – Brett and I are T minus 15 hours away from our departure from Beijing to the Maldives.  So naturally…with thoughts of the crystal clear Indian Ocean on the brain,  I would like to focus on the “True Resort” looks that graced the runways during Resort 2013.  While they are not available yet – I did find inspiration in every look as I packed this morning.  (And to answer any questions…YES  – being almost 6 months pregnant created quite a few “packing challenges”.)   Only time and pictures will tell…

Collette Dinnigan Resort 2013

Collette Dinnigan Resort 2013

Issa Resort 2013

This looks is just begging for a giant sun hat! Rachel Roy Resort 2013

Where else can you wear a turquoise sequined jumpsuit other than a tropical holiday? Chado Ralph Rucci Resort 2013

Bibhu Mohapatra Resort 2013

Gucci Resort 2013

Naeem Kahn Resort 2013

BCBG by Max Azria Resort 2013

Giambattista Valli Resort 2013

So this is goodbye to you until next week and hello to the W Retreat & Spa Maldives!   再见我的朋友! (See you soon my friends!)

Crazy for Couture: Days 3 & 4

9 Jul

The final two days of Paris Couture were filled with sparkles at Elie Saab, drama at Jean Paul Gaultier, classic colors at Valentino, and a bit of whimsy at Ulyana Sergeenko.  Each collection provided its fair share of eye candy.  Let’s have a taste.

Elie Saab Couture Fall 2012

Elie Saab Couture Fall 2012

Elie Saab Couture Fall 2012

Elie Saab Couture Fall 2012

Jean Paul Gaultier Couture Fall 2012

Jean Paul Gaultier Couture Fall 2012

Valentino Couture Fall 2012

Valentino Couture Fall 2012

Valentino Couture Fall 2012

Ulyana Sergeenko Couture Fall 2012

Ulyana Sergeenko Couture Fall 2012

Do you have a favorite?

I have a tie between Valentino’s classic red gown and Sergeenko’s snow bunny bride!

Better Late Than NEVER: Grease is the Word…

9 Jul

Due to my unfortunate procrastination – I think it is high time that I start a category of posts called “Better Late Than NEVER”.  This will give me the opportunity to write about things that happened weeks ago (or most likely months ago) whenever the “blog bug” hits me.  So let’s start with a fun one….Grease is the Word!

Morgan & Brett channelling Sandra Dee & Danny Zuko

Back in December, The Red Headed Sisters – Megan & KC Connolly, threw a bowling birthday bash in Beijing to celebrate KC’s big 3-0.  And what better theme for a bowling bash than GREASE!  Every single guest came in full on Grease-worthy gear.  A custom soundtrack not only blasted through the overhead speakers to set the perfect tone, but also went home with each guest as a party favor on individual CD’s.  From cheeseburger shaped cupcakes to french fry cookies with red icing “ketchup” – these pink ladies thought of everything!

BOWL OFF: Sexy Sandy VS Not-So-Sexy Sandra Dee

Look at those amazing forms! Morgan Hutchinson with Birthday Girl KC Connolly

Sandra Dee & Rizzo: Morgan Hutchinson & Megan Connolly

Eating one of the delicious “burger” cupcakes!

Sandra Dee & Danny. Doesn’t Brett has the perfect “Zuko” Hair!?

Cutest cupcakes and french fry cookies ever!!

Those cute Connolly’s really know how to show their guests a good time!  Thank you for the wonderful memories!

Rydell High forever.

Styled by Lady Liberty

4 Jul

Happy Fourth of July!  A wonderful day to be an American…and yet, a rather sad day to be an expat (especially when it falls on a Wednesday!).  But not to worry – we will listen to God Bless America as many times as we can stand it while eating as much American junk food as we can get our hands on.  For those of you celebrating in the land of red, white, and blue (not just RED) – I hope that you channeled your own inner Lady Liberty to dress the part of America’s independence celebration!  In case you need help – here are a few festive looks for the fourth:

For the Lady Liberty in All of Us

Andrew Gn Resort 2013

Carlos Miele Resort 2013

For the Hipsters Watching Fireworks on Brooklyn Rooftops

Isabel Marant

For the Lady Liberties Who Beach

Norma Kamali Resort 2013

Michael Kors Resort 2013

For a Picnic in the Park

Antonio Marras

Oscar de la Renta Resort 2013

For a Fancy Fireworks Fête

Prabal Gurung Resort 2013

Rachel Zoe Resort 2013

Christian Dior Resort 2013

MY PERSONAL FAVORITE!! L’wren Scott Resort 2013

 

Crazy for Couture – Day 2

4 Jul

For me – the highlights of today’s couture shows in Paris were the milky whites of Chanel and the furry embellishments of Givenchy. Now all I need is a slew of special occasions in a snow dusted locale, either Karl or Riccardo to design me “bump-friendly” versions of these looks, and a money tree with which to buy them.  Not looking so good really…

Chanel Haute Couture Fall 2012

Chanel Haute Couture Fall 2012

Chanel Haute Couture Fall 2012

Chanel Haute Couture Fall 2012

Givenchy Couture Fall 2012

Givenchy Couture Fall 2012

Givenchy Couture Fall 2012

All images courtesy of http://www.style.com

 

Crazy for Couture – Day 1

3 Jul

The Paris Haute Couture shows have started, and the collections shown on day one were all about volume and/or color.  Here are my favorite over-the-top looks of the day:

I mean who doesn’t need a tu-tu cape? Alexis Mabille Couture Fall 2012

Or a giant tu-tu collar? This would have been perfect for our Circus of Love last August. A day late…and a lot of tulle short. Alexis Mabille Couture Fall 2012

Pretty-in-Pink. How very Enchanted Evening Barbie! Christian Dior Couture Fall 2012

Hello Neon! Christian Dior Couture Fall 2012

You know I love a hoop skirt. Christian Dior Couture Fall 2012.

Peplum Perfection! Christian Dior Couture Fall 2012

Giambattista Valli Couture Fall 2012

Perfect for hiding a very flat chest. Giambattista Valli Couture Fall 2012

Giambattista Valli Couture Fall 2012

All images courtesy of http://www.style.com.

 

“Sorry – I Can’t…I Am Knocked Up!”

3 Jul

Last week Beijing celebrated Roberto Cavalli’s new fragrance at the Legendale Hotel with champagne, martinis, and one crazy Eastern European exotic dancer (i.e. – her full time job is most likely a stripper at Chocolate…click to read about this Beijing “treasure”).  I, on the other hand, celebrated with sparkling water and a headache from the strobe lights and the massive amounts of perfume being pumped through the vents.  Don’t get me wrong – I had a great time…but it turns out that some parties are less preggers friendly than others.

Brett & Morgan Hutchinson – Roberto Cavalli Fragrance Launch Beijing 2012

Sarah Wilson & Morgan Hutchinson – Roberto Cavalli Fragrance Launch Beijing 2012

One thing I certainly do love about being pregnant in China is that the local ladies praise you for the smallest of accomplishments.  Case in point – the mere fact that I was wearing heels awarded me many an admiring word.  But the highlight of my night came just moments after the “dancer” finished her routine and left the stage (more of a life-size trophy stand really).

“Exotic dancer” and an admiring male model at the Cavalli Fragrance Launch

As I stood there watching and chatting with Brett and Sarah, one of the local PR girls responsible for the event approached me and asked if I would like a “go”.

 “A go?  A go… at what, Miss?”  I quite confusedly asked her.
“Would you like to go next?” She responded, pointing to the trophy stand.
After my initial shock and short, yet warranted bout of laughter – I said to her, “Sorry, I can’t – I am knocked up!”
This of course was a bit lost in translation, so I quickly added, “I mean – I really shouldn’t,  I am 5 months pregnant”.  And then guess what happened?  That’s right – more praise for the high heels.  Fabulous.

I must be honest though – I was tempted.  If only the “stage” had been a little larger (and safer).  What a great story it could have been to tell the little one some day…  But alas – I guess I will just have to stick to the legendary tale of how her grandmother, Momo, beat out scores of 18-year olds at age 37 to win a HOT LEG’S CONTEST.  Not even an official mother yet – and I am already a disappointment  to our family’s legacy ♥

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