November 26, 2013


This morning, I intended to share this delicious Giada DeLaurentiis Eggplant Capanata recipe and sort of brag about the fact that I am "woman hear me roar" because I'm making an Thanksgiving appetizer that will also double as a fantastic leftover dish to add to pasta (okay, so I still kind of roared). But right as I started to craft the post and upload my ever so stylized and glamorous iPhone -push the mess aside so it looks just like Pinterest minus the blur photos, I remembered the date:  

Exactly one year ago today, I went to Haiti.

One year ago today, (which happened to be the week after Thanksgiving), I went to Haiti with Ladies' Home Journal and Crocs Cares to deliver 5000 shoes to school children. While a bountiful recipe can be a great reminder to give thanks for the luxuries in life we often take for granted, I have so much to be thankful for and my journey to Haiti is one of those blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving and Much love and peace.


Day 1

When I was first contacted by Susan Pocharski, Entertainment Director at Ladies' Home Journal, asking me if I’d like to join them, CrocsCares, and Feed the Children for a trip to Haiti to deliver shoes to school children, I was beyond honored and thrilled. Opportunities like these are rare and there wasn’t an ounce of hesitation when I leaped back with YES! In addition, I was going to be traveling with Real Housewife of New York, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps and mom bloggers, Nicole Feliciano and Catherine Connors, both whom I look up to and admire greatly. I could hardly contain my excitement.

Minutes later, of course, (being me), I was scouring the CDC and US Embassy websites for up-to-date info on all the shots I may need and the security precautions I should take.  After all, I thought, Haiti is the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere. Surely, there’s a lot to take into consideration. But in reality… there’s not much disease or security measures to take into consideration anymore than any other poverty-stricken and under-developed country.  A country lacking infrastructure means more than unsettled financials, it means unsettled people… and therefore, I’m assuming, unsettled tourists…

Once we got through customs and outside of the airport, it seemed like instant mayhem. While I certainly wasn’t expecting a JFK type arrival with a Carmel Car & Limo to greet me in a luxury sedan, I wasn’t necessarily expecting a mob, of what I think was mostly men, covering the walkway in which we had to walk through to get to our cars that would caravan us through Port Au Prince to our hotel. People were shoving, grabbing bags, even yanking us here and there to come with them. My travel companions, including the lovely Sally Lee, Editor in Chief of LHJ, however, seemed unfazed.  Though I did my best to cover it up, I knew she could tell I was nervous, and I definitely was embarrassed. Buck up, Jenny, buck up.  But, I felt so far from home… already. Perhaps it’s because Sally had visited Haiti before, I thought… and as an activist, many other third world countries, that this sort of chaos doesn’t penetrate anymore… This is Haiti, everyone kept saying. It’s just chaos. 

And it was. During the nearly 2.5 hour drive to our hotel in Petionville (which is approximately 5 miles away from the airport), it was instantly obvious that the devastation from the earthquake in 2010 is ever-present. Tents on the sides of the road, a completely non-existent National Palace and rubble… still… rubble and crumbled facades. What kind of state will these schools be in that we’re visiting? What kinds of needs will these children have that we’ll be delivering shoes to?

Oh, how I couldn’t wait to see the children. I realize it sounds dramatic and maybe a little cheesy, but truly: I needed to touch a child. I needed to see the one thing that I knew would calm me. Of course I was missing my son, but it wasn’t a homesickness that made me ache to get to these schools… It was a need to find a commonality. A need, for even if only an instant, to connect with a group of people whose lives are so different from mine, simply from a survival standpoint. The love of a child though, that binds us together. It really makes us the same. I’m not here to see the devastation and report back. I’m here to give something.


November 25, 2013


Thanks to Pinterest, I'm now well aware of the fact I'm not the only woman in the world who falls asleep at night dreaming of beautiful table-scapes, perfectly baked pies, and unbelievably organized pantries. Apparently, we all want things to look and taste just perfect.

While I had every intention on showing you one amazingly thought out and decorated Thanksgiving mantle and table display, the reality of time, a full time job, a child with green stuff oozing from his sinuses (TMI?) and what I think might be a broken thumb (mine, not his), set in. Things can only be so perfect for so long. Or at least close to perfect, kind of.

Still, with a very full plate, it was and is my mission to make my house presentable not just for the real life folk coming to give thanks on Thursday (and eat a 26 pound bird), but to show you, the people of the intra-world what you can do with scraps of burlap (from your kind of-sort of-organized craft closet) and foliage from your own back yard.

Here's what I did:

To make the burlap sign, I cut some pieces of burlap, and used my sons marker to write "Give Thanks." Placed it in an inexpensive frame.

To get the fall foliage thing, I climbed on to my patio, and using kitchen shears (only the best), chopped down some branches. (Jonah was the photographer to document the "mom in the wild" journey).

Using the freshly cut leaves and leftover pumpkins and gourds from Halloween, I draped them across the mantle and used a few pieces of clear scotch tape to keep the leaves in place. And voila!

24 hours later.... Dried leaves. If only every Pinterest sequence revealed the "what really happens moments after perfection (kind of)."

Good news. There's more leaves where this came from. Bad news, the backside of the pumpkins are now basically covered in mold. Now worries, turn those bad boys around for the next round of Pinterest perfection photos...  Shhhh.....

November 21, 2013


Is this fancy iPhone work, or what?!
As if life isn’t hectic enough, (and that doesn’t include wedding planning), I’m hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year for 23 people. Thankfully, everyone is bringing a dish, so all I have to do is cook the turkey (hi, mom), and make the table look pretty (hi, Pinterest). Needless to say, this past week has been a little crazy.

In an effort to stay sane (and healthy) during “go, go, go time,” I’ve been leaning on some “go to” recipes that I know I can whip up easily.  Some of my go-tos are meatloaf, crockpot turkey chili, shredded chicken tacos and takeout (hey, if we’re being honest).  Another Fall favorite is Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce.

There are two things, okay, actually three things, I can do well: 1) Roast Squash, 2) Make Turkey Bolognese, and 3) Remember lines from “Friends.” (That has absolutely nothing to do with cooking. But it’s just a great trait that I thought you should know about).

Here’s how to make this super simple, go-to meal.

This serves about 3 (that is 2 adults and 1 child. Make 2 squashes if you’ve got a bigger brood).

-1 Large Spaghetti Squash
-1.25- 1.5 lbs of Lean Ground Turkey
-Your Favorite Tomato Marina Sauce
-Fresh Mushrooms
-Fresh Basil
-Fresh Garlic
-Grated Parmesan Cheese
-Olive Oil
-Salt & Pepper
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2) Slice spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. You can opt to drizzle insides with olive oil, salt andpepper, or just leave plain. (This time, I did the drizzle…)
3) Place squash, cut side down, on an oiled or olive oiled sprayed baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes until squash is tender. (For 2 squash, bake 1 – 1 ½ hours).

4) As the squash is cooking, heat two table spoons of olive oil in a sauté pan. Once heated, at crushed fresh garlic.
5) Add mushrooms and sauté until cooked. In a separate pan, brown your ground turkey. Once browned and cooked through, add to the mushrooms and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and 5-10 pieces of chopped up basil depending on your preference. Add the tomato sauce and simmer.
6) Once squash is done, remove it and let it cool.  Shred the inside of the squash with a fork to create a spaghetti type consistency.  You can add olive oil and Parmesan here... but I did not. Instead I served it with a big heap of the sauce and topped with more fresh basil and Parmesan.

What are your weeknight go-to meals?

November 19, 2013


It seems like every Monday, I'm on a hunt for a recipe that is sort of a one stop shop-- a recipe that I can get all the ingredients literally in one shop, put them all in one pot, and walk away. However, not only is this crock pot-codependent relationship hurting the feelings of my 5qt Le Creuset pot (I'm not bragging, I'm just saying it's really pretty), but it's starting to bore Jonah and Peter to tears: There's only so much shredded chicken tacos and turkey chili a man/boy can take.

Luckily, a few months ago, I went to New York and had the opportunity to cook with the very talented Tamara Reynolds for Lifetime Moms. One of the recipes we made was Chicken Tagine. This two-pot Mediterranean dish may sound challenging, but let me tell you it's super simple, flavorful, and is a perfect dish to satisfy my Le Creuset calling. The best part: it's a batch recipe. With batch recipes, you can make a large portion and save/freeze it for another meal or, as Tamara suggests, swap half with a neighbor or friend that is making another batch of something delicious. (Though, good luck trying to match my batch, she says mockingly).

Happy batch cooking!

November 18, 2013


This year, Thanksgiving and Chanukah are sharing the spotlight. For my family, this means that at 5 o'clock when the turkey coma usually sets in, we're going to have to rally for a little dreidel and gift exchanging action. This also means that as the Thanksgiving host, (I must be out of my mind to take this on this year), in addition to getting my menu prepped and table decor in line, I'm going to have to going to have to think about gifts about a month sooner than I normally would!

As a curator for eBay's new collections program, I've gotten a head start on all the things I want to get for family and friends... and of course, the things that if anyone happens to want to get me something, well, they'll know just where to find it.  Ahem, ahem.

No seriously, while a Chanel clutch might be a liiiittle out of the budget this Chanukah, I've found that putting these Collections together have been a great way for me to keep track of not only the things that I'm coveting, but ideas and inspirations for projects I want to tackle, like organizing my office and closets.

Here are some of my collections that I've created that are completely inspired by what's going on in my

The point is, eBay Collections is a great way to store ideas and inspirations, watch sellers and newly listed items, AND find items just in time for the holidays and of course, all year round. Speaking of which, with just over week until 8 nights of festive lights and a big turkey dinner, I need to get cracking!  First stop. Kid + Easy Gift = Legos! Done! 

Join me and be sure to use #eBayCollection & #FollowItFindIt

This is a sponsored post. #ad

November 8, 2013


What post plastic perfection seeking looks like.
This past year, I've had the privilege of working with some incredible brands and partners on various campaigns. While a lot of my editorial content has been tied up in these various campaigns, this blog is still very much dedicated to telling candid stories, sharing ideas for DIY projects, fashion favorites, recipes, and more. By the end of the year, I plan to give this blog a complete face lift and makeover (if only under-eye cream worked that fast), which I'm super excited about and very much ready for.

When I speak with web designers and marketing teams, or am out and meet new people (or my family for the ninety thousandth time), I often find myself trying to come up with a log line that describes my blog in a nutshell. It's pretty easy to wrap it up in a nice presentable package from a business perspective. But the content and essence of my blog, ironically, is always more than a sentence.

It occurred to me this morning that what happened was ENTIRELY the heart of "Perfectly Disheveled:"

It was a typical rush of "get dressed, brush your teeth, where's my shoes, I can't wear dirty Lululemons to drop off again," kind of morning. After finishing packing Jonah's lunch, I "remembered" (and by remember I mean, I knew all along) how hard the school (and everyone else in the world) was trying to be "green." I "remembered" that they even give out coupons for prizes when children bring a lunch that is entirely trash free. SO, feeling completely guilty and not wanting my kid to be the "tsk, tsk, tsk"example of the day because of his lazy, rushed, asshole mom, I completely UNPACKED his lunch. I moved all items OUT of the bags and into the BPA-see-I-can-be-a-good-mom-too containers.

And then... (wait for it)... I THREW OUT the plastic bags.

Because they were dirty at that point. Duh.

Yes, folks, right there... that is what Perfectly Disheveled is about. A deliberate, unhealthy, and unbalanced pile of perfectionism that thrives on coffee, great manicures, a clean house with messy piles, and buckets of hummus for too many meals.

On that note, it's time to go make myself a smoothie that promises to make me thin, do work that will hopefully make me rich, and wash my hair that will hopefully not turn gray. Happy Friday.

November 7, 2013


A couple weeks ago, Peter and I took Jonah to Disneyland for his 6th birthday. In a recent post for Babble, I shared how this trip made me realize I don't always need to be the Fairy Godmother of Fun...
“Mom, pleeeeeease can we play? Can we do something fun? This is so boooring. Monday is soooooo boring,” my 6-year-old whined to me as I sat at my desk.
Nine times out of ten, I would have called in the circus and pulled out my “let me entertain you” hat. Instead of letting him be bored and then sitting with my own guilt about having to work, steam broccoli, fold laundry, and basically not be the world’s most fun mommy EVER, I’d typically offer him a slew of suggestions of things we could do. I’d create an itinerary of all the amazing things to do in our home. First, we could bake. Then we’d play Legos, and then we’d do a science experiment. We could make LAVA. If we had time, we’d watch a movie — a super-long “NOT BABY” one. Then, we’d read, hunt for bugs, and eat candy … IN MY BED.
And the mother of the year award goes to … the crowd goes wild!
As a single mom, there were many weekends when our days were just that, and I didn’t stop until he was satiated. But as he gets older, I see that if I don’t set up an afternoon of “WOW,” he won’t “just go build a fort” or go outside and play kick the can (please tell me you’re familiar with this hilarious scene in This is 40?). This was a problem, and it needed to stop.
Well believe it or not, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago at Disneyland, the mecca of all things jazz hands, that I realized he didn’t actually need to be entertained.