May 30, 2008

Bird Dog Bay for Fathers' Day!

You all have heard me complain about how hard it can be to find my preppy favorites in Chicago (see, e.g., Cape Madras), so you can imagine how thrilled I am each time I discover homegrown preppy gear.

Bird Dog Bay Neckwear is based right here on the Third Coast, with studios near downtown Chicago . I love these ties, and I love that I have some great Fathers' Day gift ideas for the notoriously hard to shop for guys on my list.

Mr. TC is all about fly fishing these days, so he might like A Fly Tie in Green:

For my grandfather, the golfer, this Hazard on Eight in blue would be perfect:

Any Third Coast guy would look great in this Windy City tie in gold:

With Fathers' Day just around the corner, we're teaming up with Bird Dog Bay and giving away one of their gorgeous ties. Comment at this post with your favorite style and who you'd like to give it to (but don't fret--any guys reading can certainly enter themselves!) by midnight on Thursday, June 5, and I'll draw the winner out of hat on Friday morning!

Also, if you enter the code DADSDAY during the checkout process on the Bird Dog Bay website, you will receive 25% off your entire order!

TCP on Pop Culture

A few thoughts...

Did Angelina really have the twins? And if so, Island and Amelie? Hmm. Wonder which twin will grow up pissed off at her parents?

Apparently, I miss American Idol. Or David Cook, more specifically, because I have been listening to him via You Tube for much of the morning. He's so cute, even if my friend L has scarred me for life by referring to him as "The Rocker Comb-over."

And after watching Lost last night? Am even more firmly on Team Sawyer. Jack will never live up to Sawyer's heroics. Or his abs, quite frankly.

Only nine hours until I am ensconced in the theater, watching the SATC movie. Not that I'm counting down or anything.

We seem to be making some progress on Project Chez TCP, so I'll be back with a giveaway later this afternoon!

Need Tiny Polos?

CWD Kids is having a big sale on Lacoste...30% off for a limited time only!

May 29, 2008

Serenity Now

A word of advice, from me to you: do not buy and attempt to renovate an old house unless you are a glutton for punishment.

We are having some issues with Project Chez TCP at the moment. Please bear with me, as my Internet time is being taken up by home improvement stress. And send "get to work!" vibes to the contractors, if you have a moment!

May 28, 2008

Joules Clothing

Just discovered this UK the beachy summer looks.
And cute boys clothes that do not involve: (i) trucks; (ii) superheroes; or (iii) puppies. Huzzah!!

May 23, 2008

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

See you next Tuesday!

Friday Code Round-Up

Lots and lots of holiday weekend sales!

If you plan on going crazy at J.Crew (really, who among us hasn't at one time or another?) and spending more than $175, use the code SALESHHH for 20% now through Memorial Day.

Shopping for baby or maternity? Use the code SITEWIDE20 at for 20% your entire purchase, now through Memorial Day.

Tired of shopping for your kids and never shopping for yourself? The Gap is offering a discount-- $20 off a $100 or more purchase-- on adult clothing only with the code D19NPCB29B2T. Good until June 8.

Red Envelope is also offering 20% off everything, discount is taken automatically at checkout.

TCP fave Design Her Gals is offering 30% off any stationery printed product with the promo code TEACHER. And remember, 5% of every order goes directly to our Gal to Gal Foundation, dedicated to raising funds and awareness for Stage IV breast cancer. (This offer ends midnight, Monday, May 26.)

Spending your holiday weekend on home improvement projects, as we will be at Chez TCP? Ballard Designs has a Memorial Day sale with 20% off all outdoor furniture. Check out their selection of Adirondack chairs. We love 'em at chez TCP.

May 22, 2008


Confession: I have never owned a pair of clogs. Back in the day, I pined for a pair. But TCP Mom would not allow it...something about arch support and breaking my ankles. Whatever, mom. But I moved on to other shoes, some certainly more likely to result in broken ankles than a clog.

When I saw these shoes the other day, I started to think about finally getting myself a pair...

Monogrammed clogs from The Pink Monogram, for $130 . Now, you could get them sans monogram. But why? The deprived eight year old in me still really wants clogs. I just may have to indulge my inner child and buy a pair.

May 21, 2008

Delicious Discovery of the Day

Whitman's English Toffee Squares. Apparently, they are only one point. I don't profess to know anything about Weight Watchers, but I think this can only be a good thing, right? This was the only toffee I could find at Walgreen's yesterday, so I picked it up even though I wasn't sure about the "diet" aspect. (Not that I have anything against WW, I just generally don't like "fake" food--I'd rather have a smaller portion of the full-fat and sugar version, you know?) But it is so good. Love it.

May 20, 2008

I am the champion!

First, let me tell you that I never win anything. Ever. Not a raffle, not a scratch-off lottery ticket.

But today? Today all that changed! I was the big winner of Monogram Momma's tiny prints giveaway!! And that has been the highlight of my day.

Speaking of MM, you all should go check out her new etsy shop. I've ordered things from her Monogram Marketplace before, and they are fabulous. Specifically, I have this lobster tee (in the long sleeved version):

I love it. An additional benefit to this design? Because of the placement of the letters, it's perfect if your initials spell out something unfortunate when placed in the traditional manner. Luckily, I don't have this problem. But a few of my monogram-loving friends do, and they were thrilled with this design.

One caveat: the shirts do seem to run a tad on the small size. For example, I ordered a tee for TCP Toddler last summer in a 2T, thinking he'd be able to wear it a bit last fall and then this summer too. Well, he wore it to the zoo on Saturday, and while it still fit, it was a bit rough going over his head! And he's pretty solidly in 18-24 mo. sizes these days. So you might want to order up.

May 19, 2008

Two (completely unnecessary) things that I want to buy today:

1. A monogram for my cell phone:

$12 at Isn't it cute? I have a banged up old cell that was Mr. TC's phone until he upgraded to a Blackberry. I think it could use a little spiffing up.

2. Melamine lobster plates (avec monogram, of course) from Kate's Plates:

Actually, I want a boatload of Kate's plates, but that design was my favorite. Doesn't it just scream summertime? And as she says, using these is much more green than going through tons of paper plates!

May 16, 2008

Four Things I'm Loving Right Now

This is the "thank you, Internet" version of FTILRN, because I found out about all of them thanks to my fellow bloggers. They will not lead you astray, people.

1. Solar Oil.

The Pink Totebag told me about this when I complained about the sorry state of my cuticles. And OMG, do I love it!! It smells heavenly and works great. I found mine at Macy's, but you can buy it online here.

I can't remember for sure where I read about this one, but it is great. It doesn't have that "hey, everyone within smelling distance, I just applied self-tanner!!" odor that so many others do. And this pale girl needs all the help she can get.

3. Pantene Blonde Expressions Shampoo and Conditioner

The beauty expert Traci at Hello Darling! raved about this and convinced me to give it a try. I've given up my all time fave Kerastase because it is just too expensive for someone who goes through shampoo and conditioner as quickly as I do. Pantene owns Kerastase, so I had high hopes. It did not disappoint. Very moisturizing and smells nice, but not strong. Get it at any drugstore or Tarjay.

I found out about this one on The reviews there were spot on...this is a great sunscreen to wear every day, under your makeup, without looking shiny and smelling like you should be at the beach (not that there's anything wrong with that). This is now a staple!

Boatman Geller Junkie

There are some things that I just cannot get enough of... lobster, lemonade on a hot day, madras, the smell of TCP Toddler's head right after his bath. Apparently, stationery must be added to the list. Because I seem to always think that I *need* more. And more.

I recently received the cutest things from Boatman Geller. And you guessed it, I already want more!

I'm having a hard time using it though. Because I want to keep it all for myself. I'm selfish like that. How can any preppy girl resist this stuff? The quality is great and the designs are adorable.

The Live Your Style blog, that I mentioned recently? Does nothing to help me fight my addiction, either, as it keeps me informed on the latest designs AND celebrity gossip. I have a slightly embarrassing reputation amongst my friends for always being up on the minutiae of the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Clearly I need to know about what stationery they order.
Does the Betty have a paper goods program? The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

Looking to get involved?

The Chicago Non-Profit Volunteer Fair is for those looking to strengthen local charities beyond writing a check. Discover how to efficiently volunteer your time, donate your company's resources to a non-profit and/or maximize the difference you make by serving on a board of a non-profit. Nearly 50 Chicagoland non-profits will be on site to provide information and answer questions on how you can get involved with their causes. Additionally, Lisa Dietlin of Lisa M. Dietlin and Associates will be giving tips on how to choose the right charitable board on which to serve and Kevin Carty of The Back Office Cooperative will be sharing some innovative practices being developed in Chicago's charitable community.
I'll be there May 30. Will you?

May 15, 2008

Last Minute Deals on Ralph

Not much shopping time left today, but Ralph Lauren is offering an additional 20% off already reduced prices with the code MAY15. But it's only good today, so hurry over!


They call it a blush "ombre shaded" flat, but do you know what I see?

Tortoise shell ballet flats. By Vince Camuto. $109 at, but $20 off right now. I've been in the market for a brown ballet flat...

May 14, 2008

Exciting Coincidence

The colors look wonky due to the flash, but my new french purse from Rita Wilcox? Matches my fave DVF wrap dress perfectly. Sometimes it's the little things.

Nautical Nursery

I've been asked about TCP Toddler's room a couple of times recently. And because I finally thought to grab the camera while he was awake, I snapped a few shots to share. A caveat: I did not clean up or straighten the room at all prior to taking these pictures. So yeah, there are toys all over and the crib is a bit messy. (Also, forgive the terrible photography. I know I have no skill.) Most of what you see is Pottery Barn Kids, circa 2006. A little Land of Nod, a little TCP hand-me-down action. The walls are Behr Saltwater Blue. (No, I did not choose it based on the name. But I won't lie, the name sure didn't hurt.) The roman shade is from Smith + Noble...with the key blackout lining.

I have to say that I love his room. I'm really happy with how it all turned out, and I especially love the madras on his crib bumpers and quilt (PBK, but has since been discontinued). I'm going to be despondent when he outgrows the crib because I love it so. But I'm already scheming about how to turn the bumpers into pillows. It must be possible, yes?

Mom x 2 specifically asked about the nautical flags that I used to spell out TCP Toddler's monogram. I bought the signal flags shown below here. It was a little difficult to find a smaller size, given that the flags are generally displayed on a large boat, rather than a tiny bedroom wall. Also, I wanted them to lie flat on the wall, rather than stringing them on a line. (Because to my hormone-addled pregnant mind, stringing flags = strangulation of the baby. Because the thing would jump right off the wall and get him. Of course it would.) Of course, now that I already have them, I keep seeing them everywhere...lots of children's stores seem to be carrying paraphernalia for a nautical look. Where were you people in the summer and fall of '06?

Of course, even though I am (and have been for quite some time) officially "done" with his room, I just saw these Regatta toss pillows on The Preppy Princess's them! At $65 a pop, they may need to wait until TCP Toddler is slightly less prone to spilling things. Although given his father's habits, this might mean waiting until his mid 30s...

If your feet are too tiny for flip flops... can wear them on your onesie instead:

How cute is that?It's even pink and green! Anna's Flip Flop Onesie, $22 at

May 13, 2008

A Haiku for Mom x 2...

late to the party
was not ignoring my tag
toddler still sick

And I've been tagged by Prep in the Country for another meme...
1. Link the person who tagged you in your post
2. List the rules in the post
3. List 6 quirky things about you
4.Tag 6 other bloggers by linking to them
5.Leave a comment on each person's blog telling them you tagged them.

1. I hate lilies. (The flower, not the clothing. Obvs.) They remind me of funerals. I spent half of Saturday digging them out of my yard because the previous owner did not share my feelings. They are everywhere.

2. I am inappropriately excited by list making. Today's exciting list-making tool is, recommended by my friend K, an online shopping guru if there ever was one. This is where I will be spending the afternoon.

3. I like to watch certain movies at certain times of the year only. For example, I love to watch Steel Magnolias in the spring, When Harry Met Sally in the fall, and Beautiful Girls in the winter. Don't ask me why.

4. I am a little addicted to post it notes. This could be related to #2.

5. It makes me happy when TCP Toddler likes the same things I like, particularly when it is something Mr. TC does not like. So now I have an excuse to put olives in things and make potatoes more often.

6. I keep a stash of emergency chocolate in my desk at work. This is more essential to a productive work day than anything else in my desk. I might be eating some right now!

May 09, 2008

Feel like shopping today?

Babystyle: Take an extra 25% off sale and outlet items with the code 25EXTRA.

Brooks Brothers: Take 25% off with the code friend51 (good through Monday, May 12).

In the Pink: Take 20% off clearance items with the code 0507 (ends Sunday, May 11).

Tervis Tumbler has shipping deals now through May 11.

May 08, 2008

The Contents of My Cart

Picture it... 11 a.m., a lovely Jewel grocery store on the north side of Chicago:

4 two-liter bottles of ginger ale
10 cans of Campbell's chicken soup
2 bottles of Pedialyte, orange and clear
1 package of Pedialyte pops
2 boxes of "anti-viral" tissues
2 packages of jello, red and green
2 bottles of hand sanitizer
1 box of saltine crackers

Yes, we have the Plague at Chez TCP. Or, as we like to call it, "What Happens When Your Toddler Is a Make-out Bandit and Brings Home Every Disease Under the Sun."

I hope to be back to my regularly scheduled blogging soon!

May 05, 2008

Calling Madras-aholics

We all know that I'm ready for a 12-step program when it comes to madras. The new madras line at Three Chickadees is doing nothing to help my problem...and it's at 20% off right now. Plus, they have a sale running--take 20% off with the discount code "Mom" at checkout (offer ends May 11, 2008). My mom would want me to have this skirt, right?

May 03, 2008

R.I.P. Eight Belles

I have a confession to make: I love betting on the ponies. It's the only thing that makes trips to Vegas bearable to me--I spend all my time in the sports book, watching race after race. I am a fully irrational bettor, choosing my horses based on whether they are pretty or have a fun name (sometimes with great success, see, e.g., Lemon Drop Kid, aka my biggest win ever). I am going to be that crazy little old lady who hangs out at the track. I had come to terms with that.

So for this year's Derby, I picked Eight Belles. A gorgeous filly, the only girl running with the big boys at Churchill Downs. And damned if she didn't run her heart out, coming in second. I was so excited that my "scientific method" of betting had paid off! I had to leave the Derby party we attended this year to head to (yet another) baby shower and rushed off literally right after the race ended. So I didn't realize what happened until I came home a few hours later.

Just after crossing the finish, Eight Belles broke both front ankles and was euthanized on the track. I'm literally in tears that such a beautiful, graceful animal is gone. Barbaro's saga nearly did me in, and now this. It's a high price to pay for entertainment, and I'm not sure I can handle it anymore.

May 02, 2008

TCP Rave: BB Beach

I am in heaven right now...whilst running errands like a crazy person over lunch, I spritzed some Bobbi Brown Beach perfume on my wrist. It smells so yummy, like summer and Coppertone. Love.

Blogs I'm reading this morning

Just a quick post to share two blogs that are entertaining me today:

Bunny Tomerlin's blog. Love the visuals. Great taste.

Boatman Geller's new blog. More to come on them.

Throwing a baby shower for my dear friend S tomorrow and have slacked on the preparations. Much to get done between now and 10 a.m. tomorrow!