Monday Musings

dreams dont work unless you do


Nothing like a good inspirational kick in the pants on a Monday morning.  As much as I like to think I’m a generally organized person, occasionally I feel like a soccer goalie letting ball after ball whiz past my face as I just stand there totally dumbfounded.  I think that’s the best way to describe my current state of clusterf*ck.  From unfortunate timing miscalculations, to proverbial “balls” that I’ve dropped, I have been floating in this temporary haze of “hot mess.” Time to get it together, Stella!  Starting NOW.

Nothing better than a good list to have me feeling productive again:

1) With the new school year right around the corner (OMG, August 20th is SO SOON!) the library was a good place to spend some good family time this weekend picking up some recommended kiddie summer reading.  Speaking of summer reading- anyone have any great books they want to recommend?  I’m due.



2)  August means our little-garden-that-could is now in full swing and we are deep in the heart of tomato season.  Is there anything better than a just picked, sun-ripened tomato?

heirloom tomato

This year’s harvest is a combination of 3 different heirloom varieties, all of which are as pretty to admire as they are delicious to eat.  Speaking of eating, I’ve been keeping it basic with these beauties and simply slicing, topping with fresh shaved parmesan cheese, some home grown basil, a drizzle of good quality olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  YUM.

tomato 2


3) The hubby and I got to enjoy a mellow Saturday date night: some drinks, some cheering for the Cleveland Indians (Go Tribe!), and obviously, a delicious dinner. This week’s spot: Lolita in the Tremont Neighborhood of Cleveland. Michael Symon gets a ton of press for his restaurant, “Lola” downtown, but my personal preference is definitely his smaller, more intimate, Mediterranean-inspired, Lolita.  I am still dreaming about the pork milanese my husband ordered.  So good.

Obligatory vodka rocks, with a splash of soda for me. Craft beer for the hubby.

The Treehouse Rebecca Minkoff

The ensemble for the night was my ode to an endless summer… light and bright neutrals and white. Oh, and obviously a little denim.

date night Giuseppe Zannoti Rebecca Minkoff James Perse Gap Nars


Ok, I feel a little better now.  Sorry to cut this “Monday Musings” a bit short, but the day is calling and it’s time to get after it! In the wise words of a certain Ms. Britney Spears, “You gotta work, b*tch.”

How to YOU rebound from a bad case of “hot mess?!”



A Peek Inside… What’s In My Bag

Humans by nature are nosy creatures which is why I think all of the tabloid fodder and reality shows have exploded in popularity. We all want a cushioned front row seat (with snacks) into the lives of OTHER people… perhaps as an escape from our own.  I’ll be the first to admit that I enjoy a good reality show train wreck from time to time.  Hello, Real Housewives of New York! I also have a thrice renewed subscription to US Weekly, the mecca of all things celebrity gossip related.  One of my favorite features in the magazine is called “What’s In My Bag” where celebrities dump out their designer purses and show us they are real people “JUST LIKE US!” with perfectly positioned sponsored goods for their perfectly edited lives.  Well, for all of you nosy people like me, here is my unedited version of “What’s in My Bag!” I swear none of these items were swapped in for editorial effect.  What you see is what you get if you ever steal my bag.  You just might score a few feminine products, used tissues and food crumbs, too.  Bonus.  Just sayin’…

Stella Compiseno The Hearts Delight

Let’s start with the most important item: the bag.  This bag was a HUGE T.J. Maxx score a few months ago.  My colorblocked baby was on the clearance rack for $119.99 marked down from an original $395!  The Pour La Victoire ‘Currie’ Satchel is no longer available in stores, but if you’re in the market, THIS or THIS bag is very similar.

1. Louis Vuitton Small Agenda Cover – I believe this was a gift I received when I graduated from college… 14 YEARS AGO!  While I no longer use the day-planner insert, I discovered it was the perfect size for business cards.

2. Rebecca Minkoff Python Embossed Zip Wallet – Love this guy!  It’s big, it’s roomy enough for all of my cards, bills, change and receipts and it has held up fabulously over the year.  I wasn’t sure about the zipper, but so far so good!  Inside you’ll find compulsively organized credit cards, IDs and occasionally, cash. My OCD kicks in on the paper bill front: all of my bills are lined up with the presidents facing the same direction.  Coo-coo for cocoa puffs.  Yes, I know.

3. Plum Organics Go Bar (Chocolate Chip) – As a momma, it’s crucial to have snacks on hand at all times.  A well timed snack pulled out of my purse has prevented many a meltdown.  This chewy oat bar is a new find and a big hit among the kiddie set. Just don’t tell the youngins’ that the little bar has 25% less sugar than typical granola bars, provides 12 grams of fiber and is made out of a combo of 5 different fruits and veggies.  It will be our little secret.

4. Greenroom Monthly/Weekly Calendar – I know, I know… I am totally uncool and stuck in the 90’s for using a paper planner, but it works for me.  I have learned over the years that if I physically do not write it down, it will be forgotten.

5. Kikkerland “Pencil” Pen – I bought a 5 pack of these in a random stationary store 2 years ago and they are my most FAVORITE pens EVER.  Looks like a pencil, but push down on the eraser, and oila! You have yourself a ball point pen.  Kikkerland has a ton of modern and kitchy designs and turns the most mundane gadgets into works of art.  Worth checking out.

6. Coach Signature Picture Frame Key Chain– My hubby got this keychain for me as part of my first Mother’s Day Gift back in 2009!  It was nice to have my little babies with me at all times… especially when I went back to work. The pictures are ancient at this point, but I’m too sentimental to swap them out!

7. Rebecca Minkoff “Allowance” Pouch– I’m a HUGE fan of compartmentalizing everything in my bag.  Rather than digging endlessly in my bottomless bag, it’s much easier (and quicker) to just pull out my handy pouch and take care of business.  These Rebecca Minkoff pouches come in so many sizes, colors and cheeky styles I’m always tempted to add more to my collection.

8. & 9. Goody Ouchless Hair Elastics & Altoids Smalls– Both crucial.  Both under $3. ‘Nuff said.

10. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF15– You can read about my love for this balm HERE.  Months after buying it, I still love it.

11. Nylon Shopping Bag in a Pouch- I found this guy in the stationary aisle at my Target.  It’s come in handy more times than I would like to admit! While this particular bag is a no-name brand, BAGGU makes fabulous reusable, packable totes that are as adorable as they are useful. They are also under $10 and make great stocking stuffers when the holidays roll around.

12. Ray-Ban “Original” 58mm Aviator in Gold/Blue– Of course my new shades are front and center!  I wore them all day yesterday and they MUST look pretty good because I got hit on twice by sketchy old men!  Although I’m not sure that is a selling factor for Ray Ban!?  Whatever, I’ll take what I can get.

13. EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm– It’s small.  It’s a sphere.  It’s cute.  It’s in my bag.  My 3 year old seems to like it too, which is a bonus.  Any objects capable of child entertainment and/or distraction are bag V.I.P.s.

14. Purell Hand Wipes– Confession: those wipes were snagged during my last trip to Chick-Fil-A with the kids.  Purell disinfectant gel is great and all, but why not eliminate any bag-interior spillage potential if I can?  These wipes do the trick… and they were sort-of free?  Thank you Chick-Fil-A for your delicious nuggets AND your Purell wipes.

15. Trader Joe’s Nourish Shea Butter Hand Cream– While only available in Trader Joe’s stores, this cream is well worth the trip!  I consider myself a hand cream connoisseur and this cream blows all other hand creams out of the water.  It’s also under $4!  Trader Joe’s, my hands and cuticles thank you.

So there you have it.  Is it what you expected?  Well, now that you’ve seen mine, I’d love to see YOURS… or at least hear about it in the comments below!



The Leather Pouch

If you’ve been following this blog, you know I am a big advocate of multitasking products.  That, combined with my Type A uber-organized tendencies have led me to my new love: leather pouches.  I use them for holding makeup, for coupons, for pens/stationary, for jewelry and best of all, I also use them on occasion as a clutch for a night out.  Switching handbags is less of a pain during the week because all I need to do is grab the required pouch(es) from bag #1 and insert into bag #2.  Finding things (keys, toys, snacks, lip balm, etc.) in the dark depths of my handbags is also much speedier. Brilliant, right?

The Leather Pouch

Anya Hindmarch bag / Henri Bendel debutante clutch / Kate Spade New York Taxi Pouch / Comme des Garçons leather zipper pouch /  La Portegna blue pouch / Rebecca Minkoff “The Essentials” bag / Gap leather zip pouch / Marc Jacobs pouch / Pierre Hardy Cube Print Pouch