Friday, June 23, 2017

Having Fun In The Summer Sun

* I was compensated by the CHPA's Educational Foundation, KnowYourOTCs, but all opinions are my own

It's official! We are on summer vacation!! Whoo hoo! Well the kids are. I'm still working but with less ferocity as I have in previous months. Trying to really take time and enjoy the "lazy days" before they end. Summer is by far my favorite season. And not just because my birthday is at the beginning, I genuinely love being outdoors with the kids and enjoying the So Cal weather. However, I wouldn't say I'm outdoorsy. I just like being able to hang out in the back yard or take the kids swimming or to the beach and the weather be amazing. With those types of outdoor activities, on the horizon you better believe I check my stash of sunscreen to see what I've got on hand and what needs to be replenished. I've said it once and I'll say it again, no matter how much melanin you have in your skin you still need some kind of skin protection!

I'm adamant about putting sunscreen on the kids or sending them off with some tucked away in their bags whenever they go off without me and hoping that what ever adult is in charge sprays them. Because ideally, you want to put it on at least 30 minutes before exposure. Buuut it's not always easy to do that. Sometimes you're chasing them down by the side of the pool to get something on some part of their body. Tell me I'm not alone in this struggle? 

It also doesn't matter if it's overcast or not, as I proved to my husband last weekend at the beach. He was laughing that I text him a reminder to spray both kids before they arrived to the beach. When exposed to the powerful UVA and UVB rays you need to always protect yourself. 

To help us all out we're partnering with Know Your OTC's with in a short video with some reminders on sun protection this summer.

Look - I know how hard it is to not only get sunscreen on the kids (how do they manage to move so quickly and why do they always run??) let alone remember to re-apply every 2 hours.  But sunburns suck even more hence the video. And I implore you to go here and check out more information on sun care and protection to keep yourself and your family safe this summer!!

Do you have any fun tricks or tips for getting and keeping sunscreen on your kids? Tell me in the comments! 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Canned Wine In The Daytime

I partnered with West Side Wine Co. on this post but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Listen, I love day drinking okay? I’ll go right ahead and say it. I do. I like drinking in the middle of the day, particularly, outdoors on the patio in the summer time. What I don’t like is lugging a bottle around to an event or having to stock up on one variety or another trying to guess what everyone will be into when hosting friends over for some afternoon entertaining. This whole canned wine phenomenon is brilliant for these occasion’s. Guests have the option to drink their choice of Chardonnay or Cabernet and be done with it. There's no need to waste a bottle by opening something you might not have been ready to open, simply because a few folks aren't feelin' the lighter wines. No worries. 

There is also something slightly nostalgic about sipping a little something during the day time with my homegirl crew. Takes me back to a time before busy schedules and kids and adulting. 

However, our taste in snacks and choice of beverage has grown up over the years along with us.  Which is both a blessing and a curse. Cheese and crackers can be expensive y’all. But it’s totally worth it when you’re sitting around the patio with friends spending quality time on a sunny afternoon.

The weekend before my birthday I was able to do just that. I invited a few friends over to gather together for a little ‘canned wine in the daytime’. It was just the thing I needed to kick start a kick ass week. A variety of things to nosh on, some of my favorite ladies, and delicious libations. My day couldn’t get any better.

Everyone oohed and ahhed over the spread and then immediately inquired about our beverage of the day. I fully admit I totally out did myself. I couldn't help it. Y'all know how much I enjoy entertaining and sometimes it's just too easy to go overboard a bit. I couldn't help myself. I love any reason to hang out with girlfriends and sip some wine and eat some delicious food. 
Sunday Funday indeed!

The wines were cool and crisp resting in a bowl surrounded by ice and the ladies chose their Chardonnay and Cabernet’s. Fun fact, in the summer French red wines are also chilled? I did not know that. Nor was I aware that the cab had a slight effervescence since my previous experience with West Side Wine Co. was a can of the Chardonnay.

The creamy cheeses, savory meats paired back to the bright, refreshing wine was a huge hit and my girlfriends peppered me with questions on how they could get their hot little hands on a 4-pack for themselves. They were thrilled to find out West Side Wine cans could be purchased at their local Whole Foods as they each had one within at least 15 minutes of their homes.

All of us raved about how perfect the size was (oz.) and how easily they slip into a beach bag or tote for a long day at the sports complex (judge your mom). I'm excited to take them everywhere this summer. No picnic, jazz festival, beach bonfire or backyard bbq will be free of these cute cans. First of all, it's WEST SIDE Wine Co. Hello? As a California native, naturally I was drawn in by the name and fell further in love with the taste. 

The timing couldn’t have been better in some ways and in others it could have. Several of my girlfriends had previous and last minute engagements that didn’t allow them to make it by the house but, the ones that were able to attend were exactly who needed to be there. Vacations, sports, work and family commitments seem to go full throttle in the summer and who knows when we’ll get a chance to kick back sans kids, eat snacks to our hearts content and sip on a little canned wine in the daytime?

Gotta take advantage of these moments when they come, however fleeting they may be.

As we parted ways and the ladies excitedly took home their goody bags while trying to figure out how soon they could get to a Whole Foods and stock up on more cans of their favorite variety, my heart was so happy.

Clean up was a breeze as I didn’t have to worry about how to store a bunch of opened and unfinished bottles but simply tossed the empty cans into the recycling bin! Done and done!
Looks like summer is going to be that much more exciting. I’m ready and stocked with West Side Wine Co. and you should be too!! You can thank me later. I accept wine. 

It's going to be a party at my house all summer long!! 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Celebrating Summer With Macys

 “This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own."

Food is one of my love languages. I use it to show and feel love and as much of a "picky eater" as I am, I still like to try new foods and styles of cooking. Naturally, when I found out Macy's was bringing their Culinary Council to Del Amo Fashion Center the day after my birthday it felt a bit like a present to me! 

I love the culinary council events that Macy's puts together they make me feel so fancy and cultured. A chance to meet world renowned chefs and try some of their favorite dishes while they talk about their careers is like a dream come true for someone like me. I watch cooking shows pretty religiously and it always inspires me to see the same techniques shown on television in real life. 

On June 10th at 3pm , Chef Tim Hollingsworth will be on hand at the Macy's Del Amo Fashion Center to share some of his favorite cooking techniques, tell stories about his experiences and culinary secrets. Sounds fun right? 

Wait, it gets better still, not only is he sharing all this info,  but there will be plenty of food and drinks to sip and snack on while he does so! So come on out and celebrate Summer with me! 

Personally I'm really hoping he makes this delicious looking grilled corn salad! It sort of looks like a deconstructed upscale elote and I am HERE for that! 

RSVP here and receive a $10 Macy's gift card when you check in. Oh and did I mention the event is FREE? Yeah. Double win.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Getting Flirty With Skirtsy

*I received a complimentary SkirtsyBox in exchange for my review but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Bold bright and fun is pretty much how I describe my personal style in the summer. As much as I love black, white, grey and denim, it's far too hot for all that and I adore rocking more statement pieces during the warmer months. 
So when I had the opportunity to try out the new Skirtsy Box I jumped at it. 
I went to the website and filled out a short style profile and let them know my color and length preferences clicked on the image that looked similar to what I was requesting and then it was time to play the waiting game while it was made and then shipped out.

I was excited to open my door and see the bright box on my doorstep. I love getting happy mail and when it comes in a pretty package it's all the more exciting to come home to. 
Also can we talk about how we all shop w/ our eyes  and are ultimately drawn to pretty boxes?
I pretty much didn't even want to open it. But alas I did and was delighted to find the unexpected treats like a fun bath bomb, some "purse candy", a sticker/pin combo and coordinating choker and earrings to compliment the skirt! Extra win for my team!! 

While I knew I was going to get a midi skirt, per my request, I had no idea if the pattern or color family was going to work for me. Admittedly I was surprised by the orange and shades of blues but once I put it on it was a whole new thing. I've never owned anything like this and now I'm smitten. 

So let's talk about the skirt shall we? For starters it has pockets. Yes, y'all, quality pockets that allowed me to put actual things inside and not worry about them falling out. Truthfully, I had no idea how /if the outfit was going to even come together. I pretty much thought, I'd throw a black tank or tee on and some sandals and call it a day right? But nope, this skirt calls for a tad more drama. But still simple and chic. As I was standing in my closet trying to put it together in my head, I spied my new navy clutch and then all the bells went off as the outfit totally came together.  I did a quick flatlay to make sure it didn't just look good in my mind and then threw it on to double check.

When I showed my husband he whistled in appreciation, which is saying a lot for him and I totally blushed. Flirty wife badge unlocked!

This was my first single item subscription box and I was happy with my overall experience. I was a little surprised at the fit, I may or may not have gained a few pounds since I place my initial request so I'd suggest maybe sizing up if you're unsure. The skirt fits fabulously but it's definitely snug. But on the flip side, it does give me much more of a figure than my usual straight up and down shape.

My friends keep asking me when and where they can get one for themselves and as always, I'm happy to give that information up. Check out TheSkirtsyBox and see for yourself what all the fuss is about! 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Getting More Out Of My Morning

I am a firm proponent of the meme "first I drink the coffee, then I do the things". 
I've said it before but I am not a morning person. Sure, once I'm up, I'm all the way up. But that doesn't mean I like it. After almost seven years of marriage my husband, bless his heart, is still trying to get me to chat and answer questions first thing in the morning. The most he gets is a head nod and a request to talk later. Chatting it up right after falling out of bed is just not my thing. 

Last year I attempted to become an early riser and I was doing pretty well until everything went pear shaped and sleep began to be more and more elusive, but when it came, it hit hard and fast. So I caved and begin to hit that snooze button again. In recent weeks I've been trying to get better about it but it's still a struggle when the sandman won't let me out of his grip. 
I also noticed how much time I was spending on social media in the morning. My phone rests on my nightstand each night and is the first thing I grab as I roll out of bed and it's been killing me time wise. 
I need to do better. I want to do better. 
It's a bit of a struggle as this is a huge part of my career but I don't want to be completely overcome by it. So, I'm making small steps. The last few weeks I've been doing  better by starting my day with a nice hot cup of green tea and a little quiet meditation before I hop in the shower and begin the frantic pace of getting Baby Ninja off to school.

When I return home I might do a quick session on IG stories finding out what everyone is getting into and sharing my unbalanced breakfasts but then I plug my phone into the charger and walk away. Yes, you read that right; I walk AWAY. Crazy, I know. 

I sit down either at my desk or the dining table, pull out my planner and get to organizing my day while I sip my coffee.
It sort of grounds me and keeps me from getting too distracted or feeling like the morning has slipped by and I haven't "done" a single thing. I hate feeling like that. 
But there is something about jotting things down in my Organizada planner and getting a handle on my lists that soothes my soul and frantic mind. I only recently added this partner into my routine and it has been a serious game changer for me. The long list/ short list concept has taken me from being overwhelmed by my to-do list to taking it one task at a time.  I love checking things off and then looking back over the week to see all that I've accomplished. Tell me it doesn't feel great to cross things off and kick some ass? I also love how it helps me stay organized and on task each day. I have a tendency to get distracted so this systems keeps me accountable and on task. I was already going to order one so I was hella jazzed when we got these as gifts at We All Grow Summit.  It's cute, it's fun and it helps me get stuff done. What's not to love?

How do y'all stay organized and tackle your lists? 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sunny Daze Ahead

Shopping my closet has turned out to be more fun that I thought. Especially as I'm finding items with the tags still on them. 
I know - some of y'all are like "HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW YOU HAVE STUFF?" and I understand the confusion, but I tend to hoard things until 'just the right time' and then the window / season I envisioned wearing it in passes and I still have not worn said item.

That is for sure the case with this lovely dress. I found it on a whim at Forever 21 while looking for something for my daughter. Saw it on the rack, decided to try it on and I kind of fell in love with the color against my skin tone.

It was soft and flowy and giving me "they call me mellow yellow, Amber is the color of your energy" vibes. This was all before Beyonce came out with Lemonade and everyone and their mama was on the hunt for yellow dresses. The best part- the dress was a steal at approximately $20. In my mind it was going to be a great dress for summer. Date nights, long lunches with my friends. I had plans y'all. 
But then I got lazy and didn't want to "waste" it on a do nothing day so I held on to it. Tags and all. 
I even went so far as to take it with us to Palm Springs last summer for our anniversary get-away and it STILL didn't get worn. I lived in my bathing suit and the rompers I brought.  There was also the issue of what bra to wear with it. See the back is completely out and no one has time or the desire to rock one of those wrap-around contraptions in the hot sweaty summer. So, I just let it sit. 

So while rifling through my closet looking for ensembles to pair my pom pom sandals with, I found it again. Tucked in between one of my other favorite summer go-to's again, with the tags still on.

At that point I was determined to find a reason to wear it and after shooting a few flat lays, it renewed my urge to wear more of what I already had versus coveting that which I did not.

I blame Instagram for a lot of that. There's something about seeing some cute new top, shoes, sunglasses, something that makes you want to run out and grab it. Particularly if it's well styled. So while I do pretty well resisting the urge to purchase, when I do buy, it sometimes takes me forever to wear it out. 

But those days are over. No more letting awesome pieces go to waste just sitting in my closet for season after season, waiting for that ever elusive perfect occasion. Nope - from now on, I wear what I got with wild abandon. No matter what.

How long does it take you to wear something new?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pass The Tissue Please - Allergy Season is HERE

* I was compensated by the CHPA's Educational Foundation, KnowYourOTCs, but all opinions are my own.

The abundance of tissue strewn about the house is a clear sign that allergy season is in full affect. Did y'all know that allergies are the third most common chronic disease among kids 18 and under? I didn't either but it seems legit. Both of my kids suffer from allergy type symptoms thanks to my awesome genes. 

Earlier this Spring most of Southern California was raving about the super bloom and sharing photos waxing poetic about wanting to get out into nature and go see it in person. Not me. All I saw was a field full of allergens and I immediately checked my pockets and purse for tissue. It's a lifestyle y'all. 

Having allergies means I sometimes miss out on a lot. Like field trips to the strawberry farm with my preschooler because while picking mounds of strawberries with a ton of 5 year-olds is tempting. I like being able to breathe clearly better so I just stay away. My poor kids. But hey, I like to breathe and give my nose a break so I'm doing what's best for all of us really. 

Did you know that Hay fever is the most common allergy in Americans? It represents the allergic reaction to pollen's in the air and environment. Most of us who suffer from seasonal allergies experience symptoms during certain times of the year when specific triggers circulate - think grass (looking at you gardener who makes me sneeze) or tree pollen. On the flip side, some parents and kids can have allergies to more than one pollen or trigger thus experiencing symptoms at various times throughout the year. Lucky us. Also, allergies do tend to run in families. If one parent has allergies, there’s a 25% chance a child will too! Just ask my kids! 
Shout out to Seattle Mama Doc for those fun tidbits of information, you can find more here.

Below I've got a few fun KnowYourOTCs tips on how to handle allergy season if you or your children suffer like we do. And no the answer is not- buy more tissue. If I did that my nose would fall off.
  • Some OTC oral allergy meds are available in different dosage strengths. Be sure to read the drug facts label carefully for appropriate child dosing information and contact a healthcare provider as directed. 
  • Some oral allergy meds may cause excitability or nervousness, especially in children and if you have any questions you should contact your child's healthcare provider.
  • Never use any allergy medicine to sedate or make a child sleepy.

Listen, nobody loathes allergy season more than I. For real, I spend most of the early parts of Spring with my nose dripping like a faucet and wanting to peel my face off. And when my kids begin to suffer then I hate it even more, however, I feel a little bit better knowing a few causes and that there is a way to help my kids and myself ease our way through the season. Without buying a ton of tissue. 


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