Bump Nest Body Pillow Cures Pregnancy Sleeping Woes

When I was pregnant with Ilana, last year, I slept with four to six different pillows. One pillow went under my belly, one or two went behind my back, and the rest were placed under my feet. I refused to get a body pillow because everything I saw was ugly and didn’t prevent me from rolling onto my back. This year, as I await the birth of my son, mama found a better way to sleep

Bump Nest body pillow in Peacock Blue.
Scraps caps from each pillow are made into soft baby beanies,
donated to The Hope Venture and Stitches From The Heart. 

Bump Nest is a body pillow I can actually mold and wrap around my body, so I no longer have to bug my husband to be my wall. The machine-washable case is very soft, which was a concern given that I’m obsessed with sleeping on my uber-lux, Sferra pillow cases. (Beauty sleep is so important; a gal needs all the help she can get to preserve her skin!) In the week since I’ve started using this pillow, I’ve had much better sleep and far less complaints about restless legs. Also, my husband, Steve, is VERY happy about being off of pile-on-the-pillows duty.

PS I thought this was also a great time to share my bedroom decor. More details to come later in the week including how you can replicate what I refer to as “modern, soothing, spa style” for the home. 

Unique Hostess Gift Ideas from UncoomonGoods

Can you believe Monday is Columbus Day? Before you can blink the holiday season will be upon us. In an effort to calm myself (not going to lie, I’ve had crazy anxiety over the past two weeks – and I’ll blame it on the baby because she’ll blame everything on me for the rest of my life!) I thought it would be wise to start thinking about hostess gifts. To quote my lovely sister “just have it ready!”  UncommonGoods is a great destinations for quirky gifts that always get the “where-did-you-get-that” comment. 

P2 Home – hostess gifts from UncommonGoods.com
 
Rainbow Hors d’oeurves Set $44 — I already own this and it’s fabulous for fruits, cheese and non-drip appetizers. I’m stressing the obvious “non drip”, but I made that new housewives mistake two years ago. 
Slate Cheese Boards with Soapstone Chalk $29  — Don’t you just hate when you don’t know what cheese you’re about to try? As a hostess, I also sometimes forget what I’ve places on the plate in my haste to prep and throw away all wrapping. 
Footed Bowl $28 — With this bowl, everyone will forget you didn’t pick up the cake and are just serving fruits.  
 

WTF I Need Folders ASAP, BTW I’m Organizationally Challenged TMI

Right before the baby was born, my husband and I gave up our city pad and permanently relocation to our home in the burbs. With that, I lost my city office and tons of space that was all about me and my business. It’s been seven months and my home office is still, well, a work in progress. 
 
To fully explain the situation, let’s just say my desk overflows onto my sister’s desk (she’s my Event Director) and onto the floor. I have a “Tweet This” table that looks more like a fashion war zone. Personal files, bills, baby paperwork, magazine, business cards, look books …. Arggggggggggggggg. So, you can image why I placed multiple orders for these folders, and other Knock-Knock items. Is it wishful thinking to believe they’ll help?
 
Reluctantly, and with great shame, I’m posting images of my office, because aside from these folders, I believe the first step is admitting I have a problem … I NEED TO ORGANIZE THIS SPACE … ideally before my five-month-old daughter goes to college.
P2 Lifestyle – my office needs help
Wait, first I think I need to go on ShopBop.com and see if they got in any new headbands … Wait, I also want to go check on the baby and give her a big kiss before her evening walk … Hold up, the phone just rang. It’s my publicist calling to discuss post-Emmys TV opportunities. I gotta take that one. And so it goes …
 
Are you organizationally challenged, but willing to change? Let’s try to get help together. I’ll keep you updated on my progress, no matter how slow it is :). I’m committed to getting my pretty office out of my head and into reality. 
P2 Lifestyle _ Honest Acronym Folders, Knock-Knock

Tea Time Equals Meaningful Me Moments

Whether you celebrated Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement/ culmination of Jewish New Year) this weekend or not, allow me to wish you a happy rebirth. Fall is the perfect time to reprogram, recharge and re-position your life. Take this seasonal opportunity to realign, commit to always being your best you and seek to create beauty in every aspect of your life.

On the latter, I’m a pro. For instance, I make tea drinking a divine experience, in my home, because it brings me so much joy. I collect beautiful tea pots, each of which is used for a specific tea, at a specific time of day/week, and even with specific guests. Last night, I enjoyed a light white tea with lavender in a simple white pot, accompanied by rose biscuits from Fortum and Mason. Tasting the tea while looking at the elegant tea pot is a small token of love I give myself.

My mother has a friend who says that you need to color in your life. I agree! How do you color your life and make magical moments of beauty?

my beautiful tea pots create beautiful moments

Top left going clockwise – Richard Ginori Missoni Margherita Teapot; White Elephant-Looking Teapot, HomeGoods; Butterfly Meadow Teapot, Lenox; Bohemian Paisley Teapot, Caskata

Energy Boosting Fig Pomegranate Salad Recipe

I’ve been feeling really tired the past few days; the kind of dragged-through-the-mud-by-a-truck-after-running-a-10k-marathon tired I felt when I was still pumping milk. Granted, I only closed the Milk Factory about two weeks ago, so my body is still adjusting. After days of falling asleep right before dinner, not being able to walk my daughter, Ms. Ilana Rose, in the morning, and moped around this house in a robe without any makeup, I decided to take action and jump back on the ultra-healthy bandwagon I jumped on when Ilana was born. I also needed to jump back on the Always Be Your Best You bandwagon!
 
On Tuesday morning, after a motivating chat with my mother I got out of bed, washed my face with my beloved Naturopathica Aloe Cleaning Gel, and put on It Cosmetics’ Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer in Light, Hello Lashes Mascara in black, and their new Lip/Cheek stain which is still not for sale.  Mentally, I felt a pinch better, and, I STRONGLY believe mental health feeds into physical health! Next step: have lunch.
 
I wanted to make something with the fresh figs our neighbors gave us on Sunday, because they are an excellent source of fiber (aka energy boost). Figs are also fat, sodium and cholesterol free.  

I hope you try my yummy salad in your kitchen and commit to living your best life. Remember, we can all fall off the wagon. Only the ones that really love themselves and want to live with a Never Surrender mojo, jump back on wearing coral lipstick and killer riding boots!

Figetaboutit Pom Salad
P2 Wellness: Figetaboutit Pom Salad 
4 fresh figs  
1 cup spinach leaves (or as much as you can grab with both hands)
2 tablespoons of crumbled goat cheese
½ avocado
½ pomegranate
¼ cup of crushed walnuts (or pistachio nuts)
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of pomegranate juice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
 
1.      Dice up the figs and avocado.
2.      Cut the pomegranate and take out the juicy pits. Careful to not stain your outfit!
3.      Crush the walnuts in your hand. Smaller pieces taste better in the salad.
4.      Mix the spinach, figs, avocado, pomegranate seeds, 1 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese and crushed walnuts in a bowl.
5.      Pour extra virgin olive oil and pomegranate juice into the bowl. Add salt and pepper. Mix.
6.      Place the salad on a pretty plate. How you eat is as important as what you eat, so I’m all about elevating ambiance to enhance the culinary experience. It also puts on smile on your face!
7.      Finish off my sprinkling the remaining 1 tablespoon of crumbled goat cheese on top of your salad. 
 
P2 Wellness: Figetaboutit Pom Salad, ingredients

 

Michael Aram Enchanted Forest Candle Sticks

A journalism professor once told me, that you should always have one amazing line in your article that you absolutely refuse to edit. Well, I believe that tip applies to decorating your home. There should always be one piece that you absolutely have to have in your living space, regardless of the ebbs and flows of style or the physical location and size of your home. For me, that one piece is my Michael Aram Enchanted Forest candle sticks. I find myself moving them to new locations in my living/dining room depending on the season. Each migration gives them, and our home, new life. For the fall season, I’ve places them on a mirrored tray on top of my class coffee table.

What’s your must-have décor item? Is it a new creation or a antique piece from your mother or grandmother? Leave me a comment below and let’s talk home décor.

Thymes Kimono Rose Candle

Yes, I’m not sticking with my noon posting commitment, but if you ONLY knew the type of week I’m having … Perhaps, someday, I’ll be brave enough to share the story. For now, let me just share today’s Pam’s Pick, which is a perfect way to end an emotional, only-a-mother-could-understand day.

Candles are one of my favorite ways to calm down, because scents can transport your mind to that happy place – we all have that happy place, where no one can touch us. They are also an easy way to make your home feel like a luxury hotel or spa … something every mother needs. Thymes’ Kimono Rose is my current go-to scent. Prior to that, it was their Mandarin Coriander candle. This company just knows how to do fragrance right! Plus, there candles come in beautiful glass containers adding to that hotel feel.

Enjoy and relax!

PS Did I mention candles are also ideal for baby making? Proceed with caution … and/or protection!
Pam’s Pick: Thymes Kimono Rose Candle, July 31, 2013
 

Obsessing over L’Objet Fall 2013 Collection

Some things are just better in Beverly Hills – like diamonds, Botox, front lawns and interior design. On that note, allow me to share my latest home décor obsession: L’Objet. This is the creative concoction of former interior designer to Beverly Hills’ elite, Elad Yifrach. Elad’s global influences are felt throughout the Fall 2013 collection dubbed Cabinet de Curiosites. Hints of Asian, Egyptian and Mediterranean style meld into a truly luxurious assortment of art for the home. In an age when the word “luxury” has been corrupted, L’Objet deserves the moniker. For more on the 24 karat gold-plated, individually crystalized, artistically molded offerings, visit L-objet.com.

L’Objet Fall 2013 Beaded Coral Bookend (L) Two-tier 24 Karat Server (R)
L’Objet Fall 2013 Malachite

Blinged Out at Home, Jeweladi Wrap Bracelets

Just because I’m working from home doesn’t mean I allow myself to sit in front on my computer without makeup, in a robe and fuzzy slippers. Quite the contrary, my darlings. I’m well coiffed, well accessorized and clinging to my Never Surrender mantra.

When it comes to bling, I seek items that aren’t fussy and will allow me to pick up Ms. Ilana Rose, aka my baby girl, without worrying if I’ll poke her precious skin. Currently, I’m loving wrap bracelets of all kind, including this leather and glass bead number from jeweladi. Do support this fabulous, young designer. She’s a mommy, as well!

Jeweladi bracelets, spring/summer 2013

Cook For Your Man, Homemade Gyoza Recipe from Candice Kumai Pretty Delicious

Cooking for your man is just one of the many ways you can show him how much you love him, how much you appreciate him, and, therefore, how essential the relationship is in the hierarchy of your life.

Cooking Gyozas at Home

From the preparation to the plating, I love to cook. Aside from the health benefits of knowing what goes into my meal, and of course the economic perks, it’s important for me to show my hubby that I value him and that I’m putting in the time to make his dinner or breakfast special. This is just one of the many baby steps that keep a marriage sizzling and fresh.
 
How many of you cooked for your significant other when you were in the early stages of your relationship? Have you stopped doing it over the months, years? You need to carve out the time to work your magic with the mixer, go wild with the wok or simply scramble and sizzle in the pan.
 
I’ll be honest, during my first trimester, I couldn’t stand most smells; my wonderful husband, along with the help of our moms, maned the kitchen. In my second trimester, we evacuated our home due to Sandy and couldn’t return until late December. Now, back in my own kitchen and approaching seven months, I’m thrilled to put on the apron. I don’t cook every night. I’m slower, when I do, and I need to be seated when doing the initial cutting/mixing/peeling etc. Nevertheless, I’m putting in the effort. In the same way I’m not surrendering my sexiness while pregnant, I’m not surrendering my spatial. Case in point, this week’s gyoza. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen the images. Here’s the recipe, courtesy of . It’s easy, healthy and husband-approved.  Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I’ve been know to cook in my sexy skivvies! Food+lingerie=marriage magic.

Mom’s Homemade Gyoza Pretty Delicious by Candice Kumai
Chef Candice Kumai Makes her Mom’s Homemade Gyoza
Dipping Sauce:
~ 1/4 Cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
~ 1/4 cup rice vinegar
~ scallions sliced on the diagonal
Gyoza:
~ 1 lb 96% Lean Ground Beef
~ 5 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 5min, drained & chopped
~ 5 scallions, finely chopped
~ 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
~ 3 large green cabbage leaves, finely chopped
~ 4 garlic cloves, minced
~ 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
~ 2 Tb Dark Sesame Oil
~ 1 tsp sugar
~ 1 tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
~ Flour for dusting surface
~ 30 Round Wonton Skins – about 1/2 the package
~ 6 tsp Veg oil
Chef Candice Kumai’s Homemade Gyoza from Pretty Delicious
To make the sauce: Whisk the soy sauce and vinegar together in a small dish. Add the scallions and set aside.
To make the gyoza: Mix the ground beef, mushrooms, scallions, onion, cabbage, and garlic together in a large bowl.  Whisk the soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and sugar together in a small bowl. Add the soy sauce mixture to the beef mixture and stir together until combined.
Sprinkle a work surface with some flour. Place a small bowl of warm water next to your work area. Place a wonton wrapper on the floured area and place 2 teaspoons of the beef mixture in the center. (Depending on your wontons, you may only get in 1 teaspoon. No worries, I figured out what to do with the excess meat mix.**) Dip a finger in the warm water and moisten the edges of the wrapper, then fold the wrapper over the filling as if you were making a turnover. Press the edges together. Use your index finger and thumb to pinch the edges so they have a cute ruffled look like the edge of a pie crust. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the filling and wrappers.
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of veg oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add about 10 gyoza to the pan and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 1-2 min. When peaking under the gyoza to check for browning, be gentle! They are very fragile. Add 1/4 cup of water to the skillet, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook without turning until the wrappers are translucent, about 2 min. Uncover and cook until the water has evaporated and the filling is cooked through, about 2-3 min longer.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour any liquid remaining in the pan into a bowl. Place a large plate over the skillet, the plate should be larger than the skillet, and flip the pan over. The gyoza should effortlessly fall from pan to plate revealing their gorgeous, golden brown skins. Gyoza taste best when hot, so serve immediately with the dipping sauce as you cook up the next batch. Cook 2 more batches, adding a tiny bit more oil as needed and 1/4 cup water for each batch. Wipe out the skillet between batches if necessary.

Celeb Chef Candice Kumai’s debut book Pretty Delicious

**Drizzle sesame oil into wok and pre-heat at medium/high for 1 minute. Throw excess meat/veggie mix into the wok and cook for about 2-3minutes. Throw in rice or noodles, as well as some of the dipping sauce from gyoza. Cook for another minute. Meal number 2 ready for the rest of the week.
ALSO, if you make a ton of gyoza you can freeze it. I usually make about 50 from the above recipe because my wontons are clearly smaller than what Candice buys.

Watch Candice make her gyozas.