January 2, 2011
It really is the little things that make life wonderful. Such a trite phrase, I know. But I keep coming back to it. Perhaps I am particularly reflective this holiday season…with the good fortune of having a birthday (and a big one this year!) so close to January 1st. What I’ve been pondering most of all is how the little decisions, little details, little subtleties in life really do make a difference – and in some cases — add up to BIG consequences.
– Will I get up 3x/week for 6 AM bootcamp?
– If I actually sit down to practice piano with my 5 year old – what a difference it makes.
– Watching a husband grow into his own personal style is quite gratifying.
– Birthday celebrations don’t need to include elaborate parties.. a carefully planned barbie cake and a trip to the movies with our little family are just as magical.
– A new glimmery eyeshadow can make all the difference on an important evening.
– There is no good do-it-yourself substitute for a decent pedicure.
– The press conference will not be seamless if you fail to work back the timing and message of each individual component.
And on and on and on…..all relatively random. All little, yet not so.
In 2011 I will embark on uncovering, showcasing, and celebrating more Little Things in life…..with a few big &*@#^! deals thrown in along the way.
June 30, 2010
Every time I head to NYC (I am on the Acela as I type this), I fret over what to wear. My summer tendancy to only wear white suits battles with the practical and painful lessons I’ve learned over years of day trips — sensible shoes, black pants, carry only one bag. I stood half naked in my closet at 4:30 AM this morning for at least 10 minutes fretting over my (lack of) choices.
As such, in the last two months, a few things have made it clear how hopelessly safe I play it when it comes to fashion. First, the Couture for a Cure Fashion Show, of which Microsoft was a sponsor, had me salavating.. Here’s a quick look at the evening with some colleagues and new friends taking part in the fun..
And if there is anything that makes me want to go shopping, it’s a good Sex and the City episode — or in this case, movie. My SIL Robin, over at BigRedKitchen, hosted a Girls Night and we actually went out to the movie (you have to understand how rare this is for me!)
I know most critics panned it (Time called it gaudy and shallow), but I’m not sure what exactly they were expecting. It was gaudy… the palatial hotel, the 5 changes of clothing per scene. It was mostly shallow (e.g. Charlotte’s fretting over her ruined vintage Valentino white skirt), but isn’t a little mix of that really what we’re after in a chick flick. At least I was. At the moment in time. And Big was there in all his glory (and so finely dressed, I might add), so I couldn’t have been happier! For me, the movie was pure Eye Candy.
As far as my trip to NYC today. What am I wearing? The boring black “PR Girl” uniform/pant suit. Alas….
January 7, 2010
It’s funny. Mention Michelle Obama and it seems to me that you get either fawning adoration or back-handed compliments from those who don’t really like her but aren’t quite sure how vigorously to oppose her. As with most First Ladies, the majority of the U.S. public are indifferent; they are happy to see her stick to her “issue” whatever that might be, and don’t want her to ruffle too many feathers.
Sunday’s Style section had an odd piece on her — at once acknowledging the duty portion of her role as first lady in hosting more traditional “women’s issues” events — such as around Breast Cancer and mentoring — and simultaneously showing how much more effective and warm she is when she comes out from behind the podium. The Robin Givhan article suggested that Michelle’s first year lacked focus… I disagree…Yes, she tried to do a lot, and honestly, that is one thing I like about her. She’s not afraid to try a lot of new things as she finds her way as First Lady. Yet even her key ”pet” issue, promoting healthy childhood and family eating, got a TON of traction and attention.
It’s probably no big surprise that I often find myself on the opposing political side when she takes to the airwaves and whitehouse.gov videos in an attempt at amplifying her husband’s policy (read: healthcare) agenda. However, in most settings, she comes across to me as refreshing and fun. Here’s my top 4 list of things I love about Michelle:
4) Her honesty about finding balance in managing work and family — while always putting her family first. Sure, she now has a lot of help so probably no longer has to manage the tasks that many of us do, including laundry, makeup, packing lunches, errands, and shopping. However it wasn’t always this way for her. She often refers to times when her husband was off politicking and she was the one who had to find a way to manage the essential meeting at the office while tending to a sick child at home. It may be because she still has young children that she seems to “get” the tug-of-war struggle that most working parents feel.
3) Her kitchen garden! This has been an amazing hit — it almost seems crazy that the White House inhabitants haven’t created or magnified the benefits of a White House garden since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden plot during WWII! Not only does it tie nicely to Michelle’s platform on healthy eating, but it allows her to bring in everyone from local children to the Iron Chef America crew in order to get the message across. Her team has done an amazing job of creatively promoting the garden.
2) Her inclination to tease…starting with her husband. We first saw this right after Obama was elected and the incoming First Couple sat down with Barbara Walters. Babs asked then President-elect Obama what chores he did around the house. Obama started to wax poetic about finding relaxation in washing the dishes. Calling bull*&%@ on him for the world to see, Michelle said bluntly, “Really, when you have last washed dishes?” So busted. Of course she’s much more cautious now, as it seems people didn’t like how she would pick on him. I found some of her “he doesn’t pick up his socks” comments just plain real.
1) Her style!! Yes, I said it. I am always looking to see what she is wearing!! Very shallow yes — that is if you think fashion is shallow – - I actually don’t. Like no First Lady since Jackie Kennedy has one taken such an interest in fashion (publicly). Although she has some misses and people make fun of the JCrew get-ups as if JCrew precludes her form truly being a fashion diva, I actually think this all makes it more real. What woman doesn’t hit and miss sometimes if they are truly adventurous with fashion? Yes Jackie had the storied relationship with Oleg Cassini. Yes, Laura Bush stuck pretty much with Oscar de la Renta. All perfectly fine, perhaps wise and safe. You could argue that these women knew what worked for them and didn’t drift far from their ”uniform.” But, Michelle is young enough and her personality vivacious enough that she’s willing to explore. In in the process, she’s given new life to the State Dinner Red carpets…. and, since Inauguration, kept us guessing as to ”who” she’d wear next. One need only to read Robin Givhan’s 2009 summary on fashion hits and misses to see that Michelle is all over the BEST of the year.
So, we’ll see what 2010 brings…My vote is for less of the President and more of his wife!
May 2, 2009
So, even though my Sweetie was born in Boston, he’s not really a true New Englander. Rob certainly has the “no r” Rivere accent down (“Pahk the cah”)… The whole Italian thing…ok. Although not quite to the level of ”The Depahted,” I think we can check that box, thank you Cannarozzos, Lussos. But when all is said and done, we just don’t get there often enough…
So it has been fun recently as I have begun to follow again one of my favorite Boston gals, Christine DiCarlo on Daily Cookie. Have you ever met one of those Force of Nature sort of people? Well, Christine is all that. I first met her when we began Microsoft Federal’s Salute to Our Troops program. Christine ran the last two events and has got to be the best events planner in the U.S. ..hands down..
Ever since I met Christine and learned she has a blog, I’ve gone to her for any fashion insight I can find. She probably finds me to be the “poor soul” and has charity on me, telling me what boyfriend jeans are, taking me to Barneys for the first time, scolding me for rookie spa mistakes… stuff like that! But she knows a ton.
I am not at all surprised the the Newbury street Boston hangout has one of their “famous” local drinks named after her, the “Christini.” I’m gonna try it….
Kurant Vodka (made from a black currant berry)
Fresh lime juice
Shake all above ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass
Add a champagne topper and garnish with edible flowers or a lime wheel
January 20, 2009
Of course, that was the song today, the one they danced to over and over at the balls. But the real two words we’ve really been waiting to hear are those that reveal the name of the designer of Michelle Obama’s dress. I was wrong about when it would be revealed. We had to wait til today, tonight even, to hear: Jason Wu.
Not al all what I expected, but i thought she looked beautiful. This dress, by a young, relative newcoming to the fashion world, Wu, may be nothing like the sketches that have been circulating in Womens Wear Daily for the last month. However, it really managed to convey a sweetness, softness that contrasted her otherwise potentially powerful and strong features (her height, shiny/straight dark hair, toned arms). Already her spokesperson has said it is headed to the Smithsonian — hooray!!!!
I was equally struck and in probably more in awe of the gorgeous ensemble she wore all day today. The golden dress and matching coat just sparkled. In some ways, as Laura Bush did 4 years ago, choosing a color so neutral (not the traditional black/blue/red) helped her stand above the fray, stand out and look fantastic.
I love the way Robyn Givhan of the Post put it: “The easy shift between price points has captivated observers who are so accustomed to recent first ladies who have dressed in either pricey designer fashions by Seventh Avenue heavyweight Oscar de la Renta or nondescript blahness. Obama dresses the way contemporary women do, mixing J. Crew with the splurges in their closet. They combine pragmatism with polish. And for this inauguration, despite the dire shape of the economy, they also brought glamour.”
December 26, 2008
Happy New Year! It’s the day after Christmas and for me that is New Years day. My birthday. The day that feels less like a birthday and more like starting fresh day, cleaning up from the Holiday (even though it is still the height of the season) and taking stock in my last year of life, planning for the next. This year i turn 38. That is officially late 30ths; certainly not early and no longer borderline mid-30ths. Late 30ths. Big deal? No, just a fact.
So, let’s get right to the point…Why a TonyaKlause.com? Probably a bit narcassistic? Perhaps…But how is this really different from a Facebook page? If you already know me, you’ve probably followed House of Klause, launched in 1999 long before more people knew the meaning of the word blog….as our family has grown, it turned into something much different than my personal blog — it now, rightly, feels more like a family album/documentation of growing kids. TonyaKlause.com — a more well-suited forum for my expertise and interests. In these pages you won’t get away from the occasional kid picture — but you’ll hear ad naseum about the other loves of my life – God, Rob, Graham, Mia, coffee, Louis Vuitton (read: style search), all things digital, girlfriends, work, and whatever else might emerge through our conversation…