confessions of a wannabe domestic goddess

I am not what you would call "domestic," though I really do want to be.  After a lifetime of reading Martha Stewart Living, Pinterest finally saved me.  I can now search for easier methods, ingredient substitutes, and user-friendly shortcuts to becoming a domestic goddess.  I mean, don't we all want to be like Martha?  Minus the orange-is-the-new-black part, obvi.

One of my goals for the New Year is to become more organized.  Once upon a time, before my little Hs blessed my life and brought me from heels to flats, I was organized.  So. Very. Organized.  But I've gone a little by the wayside the last few years because, well... there are only so many hours in the day.  Anyway, I hope to return to a more organized state this year, for an increased wellness of body, mind, and spirit.  That might sound super lofty, but it breaks down to some really simple components--and meal planning is a big one.

As a working mom with two active little kids, meals are a major struggle for me, especially on the days that I work. The last thing I have the energy for after picking up the kids is make a sumptuous, Pinterest-worthy feast.  So we eat a lot of quesadillas.  It's really an organizational problem: I never do any meal planning for the week so I am perpetually winging it.  Isn't the first step admitting you have a problem?

Another problem is the giant bag of quinoa that has been sitting on my pantry shelf for basically a month now.  During an ill-fated Costco trip, I was overcome by the momentary domestic delusion that I am the person who has a million delicious quinoa recipes on hand and has mastered the art of clean living.  You and I both know that the only art I have mastered is how to cook one mean quesadilla (really, my quesadillas are that good).  So there the bag sits on the pantry shelf, the albatross around my wannabe domestic goddess neck.

Until this week.  I consulted Pinterest and pinned a handful of recipes to make.  From there, I put together my grocery list.  The key ingredient: quinoa.  After all, my intentions were good when I purchased it; Quinoa is SO GOOD FOR YOU!  It is protein rich, high in fiber, and contains all nine essential amino acids.  One of the other cool things about quinoa is that its basic flavor profile is pretty neutral so it lends itself well to both sweet and savory dishes.  

I decided to try lemon blueberry breakfast quinoa first, as an alternative to oatmeal, which I love.  It was super easy to make and a nice change of pace on a chilly winter morning.  The blueberries, which you fold in at the end, were the best addition; they popped just like when you eat a warm blueberry muffin.  Next time I make this, I think I will add in some steel cut oats as well for a more varied texture.

Up next on my list is quinoa spinach mac and cheese, because who doesn't need a guilt-free mac and cheese recipe in their culinary arsenal?  I haven't gotten to it yet because, of course, my littlest H came down with the flu this week, and we were all forced to eat quesadillas.   Que sera sera.


new year's resolutions

A new year means new resolutions.  I always have the best of intentions when January comes around, but gosh, isn't it hard to be the amazing, Insta-version of yourself every single day?  Sigh.  In an attempt not to overcommit this new year, I'm hoping to start small by returning to my long forgotten but much loved blog.  She's Come Unheeled started as a fashion blog but has changed countless times since, as my life has changed.  This year, I'm hoping my precious Unheeled can be less of a to-do list item and more of a guilty pleasure for me, a creative outlet, for body, mind, and spirit.

So, to start the new year off right, I thought why not accomplish one of the Pin-spirations I've been meaning to get around to basically forever.  I even bought the few supplies I needed...in September.  So hello (!) to a new year, a newer me, and a new home for the amazing succulent plant that even a black thumb like me has kept alive--for like three years.  May wonders never cease.

I found this sweet idea on Pinterest, of course: a how-to guide for planting kitchen succulents in the most adorable containers, like tea cups, vintage tins, or any other Anthopologie-esque containers your aesthetic little heart desires.  I actually already own a pair of the yellow floral teacups featured in this post so my first inclination was to use one.  Then I thought, how will I have a proper English tea  for two without my proper teacups?  Because even though I don't have a lot of proper grown-up time to sip tea, it's important to dream.  But I digress.

My little succulent, as it turns out, is too big for a teacup anyway.  I instead used one of my favorite mugs, a simple yet serene light blue ceramic one.  The project took a total of five minutes to complete, yet already my kitchen aesthetic has improved--and perhaps only in a tiny way, but improvement is improvement, n'est-ce pas?  I even added a few little seashells that we collected during our trip to the Outer Banks last summer.

Cheers to a greener kitchen and a happier body, mind, spirit--and perhaps even to-do list--in this beautiful new year.  xo


phys ed

My name is Laura, and I am a Lululemon addict. Really. Why are workout clothes the best thing ever? From the amount of Lulu in my closet, you would think I could actually get into crow pose. I can't.  

But this month, I am dedicating myself to improving my physical fitness. Since my son was born in the fall, I have made a pretty poor showing of getting back in shape. You can only use the "But I have a new baby!" excuse for so long.  Now that he's getting closer to 1 (and I'm getting closer to bathing suit season--shudder), the time to hesitate is through.  

To give myself a much needed kick start, I signed up for a 5K at the end of the month with two of my friends.  The weather in Boston is beyond beautiful right now, and so it seemed like the perfect time to get outside and run.  Except that I wanted to die after my first run.  I tracked my route using my new favorite online tool: 1.77 miles.  For real?  I felt like I had been running for daaaays.  The good news is that my runs have been getting progressively better ever since.  This past weekend, I tracked my route: 3.38 miles.  Don't laugh, for me that is pretty major.  More importantly, I felt great when I was done.  How's that for phys ed.

It doesn't hurt that I have some pretty fabulous running shoes, which were a gift from my amazingly athletic mother-in-law (legit, she could run circles around me).  Dressing the part is maybe my favorite part.  Oh, and good health.  Obviously.  In fact, my sneakers are so cool that my sister copied me and got a pair.  And now the world (okay fine, maybe just my 37 followers) knows the truth.

The bad news: I can see how people become obsessed with sneakers.

Leopard print Nikes and fallen spring blossoms


what i love about mondays

What I love about Mondays?  Okay, not much.   But one of my personal goals at the moment is to feel more grateful, complain less, and generally be a more positive me.  So with that sentiment in mind, here are a five things that are making me happy on my least favorite day of the week:

1.  Boston Strong.  My limited edition Boston Strong bracelet arrived in the mail from Rue La La!  As a born and bred Boston girl, pride in my home town runs deep my blood.  Last year, after the tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon, Boston Strong took on new meaning for me--and the rest of this amazing city.  I was beyond excited when Rue La La (a Boston business, if you didn't know!) announced their partnership with Alex and Ani for this limited edition bracelet.  100% of the net proceeds from sales of this bracelet support the One Fund Boston.  Tough.  Proud.  Strong.  Love love love.

2.  Eat cookies for breakfast.  So what if another personal goal is to lose 5 pounds and tone my abs for beach season?  This chocolate oatmeal raisin cookie recipe from my girl Martha was too tempting to resist.  Harper and I baked yesterday afternoon, and we added a twist on the recipe by mixing butterscotch, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate chips into the batter instead of plain old semisweet.  I mean, you gotta live a little, am I right?  Which is why I also feel that it is okay to eat a cookie for breakfast.  Or four.

3.  Remember where you come from.  With Mother's Day approaching, my mother and the many women who inspire me have been on my mind.  My grandmother, who will turn 93 later this month, is one of the most amazing women I have ever known.  The things she has seen and done during her lifetime are enough to take your breath away.  Her example helps me realize that I have a long way to go, and I hope I can make the journey with the same grace, poise, and tenacity that she has.  She recently shared this photograph with me (she is the little girl in the center holding that precious little dog), and I fell in love with the snapshot of her life--and America--at a different time.

4.  I dream of Louis.  Earlier this year, when I had just returned to work after having my sweet baby boy, I was having a difficult time juggling the demands of work and home--and also trying to avoid feeling like a hot mess.  One of my coworkers challenged me to do something just for me--to settle on a goal I could work towards over time.  For some, this could be something heroic like trying to change the world.  But as a firm believer in and subscriber of retail therapy, this meant starting a bag fund.  So now I stuff wads of cash under my mattress and dream of Louis Vuitton.  Just kidding!!!  But I am saving my money instead of falling prey to little purchases here and there, in hopes that I will be able to buy myself a fabulous new handbag by the end of the year.  It is an exercising in saving, willpower, and--best of all--fashion.  I'm visualizing a classy future like this:

Of course, my reality will probably look more like this:

But a fabulous bag makes everything look good, right?  That's what I'm banking on.  

Have a great week, friends!


watch me!

Cartel in Rose Gold
by Rockwell Watches
Never say that guys can't teach you anything about fashion.  I'm relatively new to the world of watches, but I have come to appreciate the watch as a valuable accessory, thanks to a few of my more fashion forward male colleagues.  You see, men have far fewer options when it comes to accessorizing in the corporate environment.  After all, one suit looks like the next--but ties, socks, and especially watches really set a guy apart. In fact, one of my best guy friends has a dozen statement watches, and by example has taught me that the right timepiece can totally complete a look.  

As a woman, of course, I don't lack for options when it comes to accessories, but a watch is something different.  As a piece of jewelry that serves fashion and function, it has become a valuable part of my arm candy and overall look too.  Oh, and it tells time--added bonus.

My new favorite: the Cartel by Rockwell Watches in rose gold.  Seriously, I'm obsessed.  If you're not familiar with Rockwell, you should be.  I personally love large face watches for their statement power, and Rockwell takes it to the next level.  You should see some of the huge watches they have for the guys in your life!  But I digress...  The Cartel is one of their medium styles, which is more than enough on a woman's arm.  It is available in a number of styles, but I especially love the rose gold for its versatility.  As a self-proclaimed fashionista, turned working mama, versatility is mandatory.  If I am going to invest in an outfit or an accessory, my rule of thumb is that it needs to work in a range of settings; this watch does just that.  Watch me:

1.  Dressed down mama: Marathon Monday was the most gorgeous day of the year so far here in Boston, and so I simply had to get the littles out of the house to enjoy the sun and fresh air.  We decided on a picnic at the sculpture park with some friends, and our artsy field trip called for a boho chic outfit, of course. Clothes: orange denim, a chambray shirt, a hair scarf, and flip flops (hallelujah for nice weather!).  Arm candy: the Cartel, lotus seed mala beads, and a DIY Burberry fabric wrap bracelet.  I love mixing materials and textures, and so the combination of metal, wood, and fabric creates a softer, funky look that I love for casual days.

2.  Corporette: I work in finance, and since our clients are typically more conservative, so is our office dress code.  But I love a challenge.  A pop of color or a bold pattern (preferably both!) make my army of pencil skirts, Tippy sweaters, and Reva flats far more interesting--as do my carefully selected accessories.  Clothes: patterned pencil skirt, black sweater, and black patent leather flats.  Arm candy: the Cartel.  Some opt to remove a link or two from their watch band to make it fit just right, but I like mine worn loose so that it's more like a bracelet than an ordinary watch.  Can we call it a watchlet??  Is that a thing???  Whatever the case, this watch is cool enough to be worn all by itself.

Photograph by Peter Frailey

3.  Girl on the go: Like many working moms out there, I wear a lot of hats.  Okay, so maybe not hats so much, but definitely shoes!  Many days, I go from work to home, and then sometimes out again; I love that my new watch can go with me!  Last weekend, after a family Easter egg hunt on Saturday morning, I waved goodbye to my husband and kids and dashed out the door for some much needed girl time: mani/pedis, a late lunch, and a little shopping with one of my favorite fashionista friends.  Clothes: distressed denim, white tee, and grey Toms.  Arm candy: the Cartel and a mix of silver and gold Alex and Ani bangles.  The rose gold watch works perfectly if you like mixing metals (I do)--and as it turns out, looks amazing with white Shellac polish too. 

One watch, three ways--and counting...  Watch me!


the summer report

Happy 30th birthday to me!
And goodbye to summer...

With Labor Day now behind us, as far as my calendar is concerned, summer is over.  True, the autumnal equinox isn't for a few more weeks, but doesn't it just feel like fall?  And with that sentiment in mind, it's time for me to disclose the outcome of my summer to-do list...
1.  Reread The Great Gatsby (my favorite summer book) 

Done!  No matter how many times I reread this story, I love it all over again.  It is always makes me feel a little nostalgic, perhaps because I was in high school when I read it for the very first time, and I can't help but feel reminded of the passage of time--which is, of course, is a central theme in the novel.  The tale of Nick, Daisy, and Gatsby is yet tragic, yet beautiful, and it will always remain my favorite summer book.

2.  Finally complete Harper's baby book

Speaking of the passage of time...  It was quite something to relive the first year of Harper's life through photographs, as a story in pictures--particularly, as we approach the arrival of her baby brother--and shortly thereafter, her second birthday.The finished baby book is simple, but I'm so happy with how it turned out and to have the ability to look back through something tangible, rather than scrolling through the photos on my iPhone.    

3.  Make s'mores around an outdoor fire

Done--and yum!

4.  Redo my bedroom décor

While I sincerely wish I could say that this task was completed in its entirety, it remains a work-in-progress.  However, I still feel excited about the progress being made.  My devoted husband is hard at work on our space-saving bed, and the rest of the room will come together around this central piece.  It was my hope (okay, demand) that all of this be finished before the arrival of our baby in a couple of weeks.  Alas, the bed will be completed by this time (demand), but the full redo will likely continue on well into the fall.  Isn't that just the nature of home projects--particularly when the demanding one is too pregnant to do much about it!  Shrug.

5.  Explore a New England beach I haven't been to before

My amazing friends helped me check this one off the list with the incredible beach day they planned in honor of my birthday.  And this wasn't your run-of-the-mill tote bag and towel beach experience either.  Rather, my kind and creative friends created a luxe cabana area for us to lounge for lunch, including the fixings for beach-inspired mocktails, homemade lobster rolls, and lots of time for gossip and conversation.  After a few hours in the sun, we showered, changed and dashed off  for birthday cupcakes and shopping in the quaint, seaside town where my darling friend, T, lives with her boyfriend.  And I even bought a jacket for fall!  Perfection.

6.  Finally have a picnic with my amazing cousin before she moves 

Technically, this is a FAIL--and now she is gone (tear).  But what we lacked in picnic time, we made up for with a fun, family walk to our local ice cream parlor on the night before she left town.  What better way to say, not goodbye, but see you later?

7.  Go for long summer walks (a favorite pastime)

Maybe "long" is a bit of a stretch, but lately Harper and I have been enjoying strolls through our neighborhood, along with purposeful treks to Starbucks for cool refreshments. It is either really wrong or totally amazing that she can recognize the Starbucks logo on the cup.  Either way, we have been trying to get out and enjoy the fresh air during these late summer and early fall days.  Soon the leaves will be changing, the temperatures dropping, and we will be wishing for the chance to do so again.

8.  Do more yoga 

Do my amazing new hot pink Wunder Under Crops from Lululemon count?  My attendance in yoga class this summer has been embarrassing.  I can only hope (pray) that my postnatal practice will be far better, especially if I'm motivated by those extra lbs...

9.  Eat fiddleheads while they're in season

Sadly, another fail.  But next year I will be sure to remember that fiddlehead season is in MAY.   This year, it's crossed off the list as an impossibility due to my poor time management.  I used to be an organized person.  That was before I (literally and figuratively) came unheeled.

10.  Plan my perfect 30th birthday in the absence of Chanel (tick tock!)

Hello, 30!  I had a truly amazing birthday, thanks entirely to my amazing family and friends.  Following my indulgent spa date with my sister, I enjoyed: a beach day equipped with homemade lobster rolls and time to read FIVE magazines in the sun with some of my dearest friends; a birthday weekend out at my family's home in the Berkshires, complete with a family trek to the county fair; AND finally a lavish gold-themed surprise celebration with some fabulously golden girl friends.  Do I sound spoiled yet?  While my list may have suggested that I be the one to plan my perfect 30th, this was far, far greater.

While I didn't finish every single item on my list, I have to say that it was really helpful to have made one.  It made me feel accountable for how I spent (or didn't spend) my time.  I should say that there were things NOT on my list that ended up being fun summer activities too--like splashing in the pool with Harper, mani/pedi dates to blessedly air-conditioned nail salons with friends, trips to the farmers market, and trying delicious new recipes from Pinterest.  I have to say that it has certainly been a productive summer, but I couldn't be more ready for fall.  It feels only right to end summer the way we started, with F. Scott Fitzgerald:

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

I couldn't be more ready for those crisp fall days.


au revoir twenty-something

Once upon a time...

Today is major, as I say goodbye to my 20s and prepare to join the ranks of a new decade.  I have been having issues about this milestone.  When I was little and played with Barbies, I would make Barbie's mom 30; it seemed old, very adult-like and serious.  So I was shocked when it came upon me so quickly.  I thought I would own my own home by now, or at least my own Chanel handbag!  But...

I like to think that what I lack in status symbols, I make up for in other ways.  While there is actually a lot that I don't remember about the last decade of my life, I have experienced the utmost in triumphs and tragedies--but have so much to be grateful for today.   Namely I am thankful to be standing on the brink of a new age bracket with outstanding friends and an amazing family by my side, all of whom have made my birthday month ridiculously special so far--and it's not even my birthday yet!

I have had this week off work, which may be one of the very best ways to celebrate any birthday.  So today, while Harper did a half-day at school, I took the opportunity to run some errands AND treat myself to the obligatory mani/pedi so that I could feel truly ready to be a grown-up tomorrow.  While my tootsies were being polished and pampered, I caught up on the September issue of Glamour, which must have been fate since one of the featured articles was Olivia Wilde's "Advice for Turning 30."  

Unlike my husband, Olivia Wilde has never exactly been on my radar, but it turns out the girl can write!  As a fellow almost-30-year-old, she calls our impending milestone the "Cut the Bullsh-t and Go Be Awesome stage," which is definitely something I can get down with. I mean, please, I'm already awesome! Of her list of dos and don'ts for thirty-somethings out there, here are my three favorites--which made me laugh so I had to include them in their entirety rather than paraphrasing (I might be awesome, but I'm not exactly what you would call funny):

DON'T freak out about all the brilliant people who accomplished more than you by 30.
Yes, Einstein had discovered the theory of relativity by your age, and Emily Brontë had written Wutheringfu*#ing Heights, but honestly, what you achieve is far less important than what kind of human being you are. What do you want people to say at your funeral: "Olivia may have cured HIV, but she ran over my cat and drove away laughing"? No, thanks! I'd rather be a good person who makes people happy than a dick who wins a Nobel by 32.

DO reap the benefits of your accumulated wisdom.
You're 30: You know stuff now. Your twenties were for "ducking up," as my auto-correct would say, and learning from those mistakes. (For instance, never again will I convince myself that sleep is for sissies and go straight from a party to the airport. You will not "sleep on the plane"; you'll vomit in the security line. Go to bed.) Now you get to live with that knowledge under your belt. Also, make it a nice belt. You're 30. Stop dressing like a hobo.

And DON'T be bogged down by your past.
Saturn has now orbited the sun once since you've been alive; make this next go-round whatever you want it to be. Consider your baggage (bad boyfriends, job setbacks, body issues) lost by the airline of life, leaving you empty-handed at your new destination with only one choice: Go shopping.

That's it. Now go—be awesome.

The reality is that 30 is upon me, whether I'm "ready" for it or not. So what choice do I have but to boldly go where everyone 30+ has gone before?

I may not have discovered the theory of relativity or even invented Post-Its, but I feel like I'm doing okay nonetheless and have left some room for growth too... I have become a little bit more domestic (thank you, Pinterest!); learned how to say no when I'm feeling stretched too thin; embraced flats; have started my own little family with my amazing and ridiculously tall husband; refuse to paint my own toes but can totally handle a DIY mani; stopped apologizing for my taste in bad tween TV; love where I work; have some seriously fabulous friends; and feel anchored by my faith.  I told you I was already awesome!  So 30 years old?  Maybe I can handle this after all.

  • To read Olivia Wilde's "Advice for Turning 30" in its entirety, click here--and enjoy!
  • Harper and I were photographed by the talented Miss Emma Taylor in Fall 2012; check out her blog here!