Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Pirate Birthday Barbeque

My handsome little fella just turned four, how that happened I'm not sure. He went from this sweet little munckin to a little guy always on the run exploring the world with great enthusiasm.
Given that he has an August birthday, we decided that two little celebrations, one in the Hamptons  and one in Westchester with his neighborhood and preschool friends is how we will celebrate while he is young.

We brought together our close friends at the beach, their kiddies who are close to our kiddies, and sprinkled in a few grandparents for a fun summer gathering on our deck and in our yard. Basically, a BBQ that we enhanced with lots of outdoor pirate fun for his celebration.

We had a pirate treasure hunt where each child carried their bucket while searching for loot. The kiddies "walked the plank" on my daughter's low to the ground balance beam. They sported pirate head gear, hook hands, eye patches, big hoop earrings, and mustaches.

The menu allowed for us to spend the day at the beach and come home 1 1/2 hours prior to the 5pm gathering of 26 people. My goal for the menu was good food that required little prep time or could be done in advance. 

The Menu:
Farmstand local tomatoes with "made fresh daily" mozzarella from Villa Italia Specialties (my absolute favorite mozzarella!) 
Farmstand local corn on the cob 
Greek salad
Bread basket of Ciabatta and baguette slices
Easy to prepare and aways a huge success, shrimp with feta, by Barefoot Contessa
Grilled barbeque chicken
Grilled chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper
Haricot vert with sauteed shallots (image not shown)
Does your child have an August birthday when many seem to be traveling? How do you handle the birthday celebration? I've worked out having him celebrate on his birthday and then a few weeks later with his classmates and neighborhood buddies. What I really miss is that we don't get to do storytime in his class to celebrate the special day, like I've done the past three years for my daughter's March birthday. The little issues of parenting (wink, wink!) Happy entertaining!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Q & A with Painted Bird

It is rare that I find a summer shoe that makes me consider wearing anything to cover my Hamptontoes! I thought I was happiest wearing my Havaianas flip flops during the warmer months. Several weeks ago I was introduced to Painted Bird sandals via Tiptoe Butterfly. I was instantly smitten with the colorful options and eye catching designs. 
I had no idea that these shoes would become conversation starters. Every single time I have worn my sandals I have been stopped by many admirers of the shoes!

Painted Bird just launched this summer with "deleting the inventory and waiting to be replinished" type of success! I jumped at the opportunity to interview one of the two owners/designers, Nicole Halpern.
Hamptontoes: Painted Bird is the creation of you and your business partner, Jennifer Samson. You ladies have very impressive backgrounds in design, fashion, and public relations with such companies as Style Network and Ferragamo. How did you conceive the idea to create your own shoe line?
Painted Bird, Nicole: It is an idea that we had been marinating since having kids. We combined our experiences and expertise to follow our passion for creating stylish shoes that are vibrant, comfortable, and easy to wear. As beach gals, we needed shoes that would tolerate sand being shaken out of them and look chic enough to wear on outings day or night.
Hamptontoes: How did you come up with your company name and logo of a peacock?
Painted Bird, Nicole: Jennifer and I have a love of birds. The peacock is the bird of India, where our shoes are hand crafted.

Hamptontoes: Wow, I love that your shoes are handmade and not machine produced. Can you tell me more about this process?
Painted Bird, Nicole: Our shoes are created by a group of female artisans in a small community in India. Each pair is hand crocheted. These shoes are like indivdual jewels, every pair is one of a kind. Each artisan makes about two pair per day using pesticide free dyes.
Hamptontoes: Where can Painted Bird sandals be purchased?
Painted Bird, Nicole: At this juncture in our endeavor, we are primarily online. We do have a few shops in our town of Laguna Beach, California that are carrying the shoes and one shop in Los Angeles.

Hamptontoes: How did you come up fun shoe names such as Zell, Chickadee, Ruby, etc?
Painted Bird, Nicole: Jennifer and I, along with our families, reside in Laguna Beach, California and decided to name the collection after local street names.

Hamptontoes: Will you be adding a Fall lineup to your collection?
Painted Bird, Nicole: We plan to do a limited edition utilizing metallics. 

Hamptontoes: Right now there is a sale going on, I bet the shoes are selling like hotcakes!  
Painted Bird, Nicole: Yes!
All images were used with permission by Nicole of Painted Bird.
Hamptontoes: What does the future hold for Painted Bird? I bet stylish moms are begging you to produce a children's line?
Painted Bird, Nicole: We will continue to focus on our shoes. Perhaps, adding a children's line next Spring? 

Hamptontoes: How can Painted Bird enthusiasts keep up to date with your happenings?
Painted Bird, Nicole: Like us on Facebook , follow us on Twitter, view our Instagram and Pinterest pages too! 

Need inspiration for pulling together a color palette for a room? Check out their collection, these shoes offer many ideas.

Kudos to the Painted Bird ladies! Who is off to look at their website and perhaps, add to their shoe collection?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hamptons Magazine - the Saturday Morning Dash

Truth be told, I had never been to a yard/tag/estate sale until three years after having a home in the Hamptons. I had the mindset that it was someone else's junk. Little did I know that everyone who told me that "treasures" were to be found was right, so right! I'm still not a hard core treasure seeker, however if I'm driving down the road and pass a sale I will usually pull over to peruse the offerings.

The headboard in my header is a "gem" of a find from former Domino Magazine's Hamptons yard sale in Amagansett several years ago.

Check out my most recent article for Hamptons Magazine online! Let me know which of the treasures I featured is your favorite? Do you yard/tag/estate sale shop?