Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Happy Hour: The "I Can't" Edition

Happy Friday y'all!  I feel like that although this week flew by it was pretty draining. I am still working at getting out of this summer haze I've been in for the last several weeks, hence the return of the Friday Happy Hour!! I have to make the effort if I want to reap the results (getting back to posting regularly) and writing everyday is a must. Even if it's not "perfect" which is what I think I've been struggling with. Creating perfect content, having just the right "look" for, well, everything. Home, work, physical appearance. It's been a total contradiction to my normal mindset and I've been deeply unsettled about this shift in consciousness.
But, taking action is the first step so that's what I'm doing. Starting today, with this post.

The Internets: Things have been a little heavy news wise the last few days to the point that it's almost been too much to handle. So I've been cruising the internet as I have work to do and thusly research for said work (and because social media) and I came across some ridiculously funny shit that I felt the need to share.

BaddieWinkle - Every once in awhile I come across something that just tickles me so and BaddieWinkle is exactly that. An FB friend shared the link and I was so intrigued I had to share as well. This octogenarian is trill for life and has no problem letting you know she's a bad granna. All I can say is; Get it girl. Enjoy.

Auntie Fee - Funniest thing I've seen ALL week. She cusses like a sailor and cooks like a college student  but y'all, like I mean, I HOLLERED for a good twenty minutes because I had to pause it several times to get it together. I watched the videos on Luvvie's page a couple of times and could not stop laughing. I had TEARS ya'll. like for real. Breathing hard and all that. I guarantee you will giggle at least once.  Sure you may be a little grossed out by what she's preparing but her earnest nature and overall tone are going to have you sucked in in no time! "This bitch is ready!"

man takes maternity photos for wife - I have so.many.questions. But this is hilarious. Maternity photos can be both absolutely lovely and ridiculously awkward so I kind of dug this take on them. I personally didn't take any with either pregnancy and while a small part of me wishes I had captured that moment in time, the other part is okay with not having had to stress about them. Because photo shoots are stressful and I'm a terrible model.

hair crushing:  I'm forever on the lookout for "the hairstyle" you know the one, that looks like you but is somewhat effortless while still allowing for versatility. Yeah that. And we know from past experience I love to switch up my hair often (thank you  Beyonce for worldwide weave acceptance)  so I've been gathering ideas for fall style and came across these two beauties and absolutely fell in love with their hair  vicky logann + taye hansberry Of course I realize my hair isn't the same length as theirs but it gives me a visual image to focus on and work towards. I basically just want to get the length in the front but these ladies give me such inspiration on colors and styles. oh and their personal style is kind of dope too.

images via +VICKYLOGAN 

Another libation loving friend sent me a Pin and I am bound and determined to recreate it this afternoon.  Frozen Vodka Lemonade Slush  in the heat of summer? Yes please and thank you!  Get you some today!! I know what I'll be making this weekend!

So what plans do y'all have for the weekend?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Back To School: Mama Style

September is just around the corner and many schools have already begun to get back under way while the rest of us are still grasping on to the last remaining bits of summer. It's been fun enjoying a more relaxed schedule, lazing about and not really having to get dressed beyond cut-offs, flowy tanks and flip flops. But the time is coming and pretty soon it will be back to homework, making lunches, carpools and putting on "real" clothes. And that doesn't apply only to the kids, us mamas have to get it back together too. Myself included. I've had a pretty good summer of not putting much effort into what I throw on each day unless we are going somewhere that doesn't require a bathing suit.

We start back in just two short weeks and I'm already anticipating all the fall kick-off and back to school events that will be happening. Now, don't think that it's all about what happens at school, no these looks are for day and night. Truly from carpool to cocktails - I've created some fun outfits to get you through those seemingly endless meet and greets that will have you feeling confident and fabulous!

Get out of those yoga pants (unless you're on your way to yoga) and get into something a little more back to school casual cool with these outfit ideas for your morning carpool and then post drop-off coffee meet up. Perfectly distressed boyfriend jeans, bright fun flats for a pop of color and a little cheekiness with a graphic tee. Cuz aren't we all 'bout that mom life? 
The little black dress isn't just for evening's out. A fitted tank style makes looking pulled together easy with some fun accessories and a chambray shirt  is the perfect layer when faced with the over active air conditioner at the local coffee shop or just to add dimension to an already killer outfit.

Some will say the PTA is right up there with the mafia with their gangster like intimidation tactics and -oft times over the top personalities.  I fully admit to being overwhelmed by them when I first began my journey as a school mom, but now, I like to think of them as a crafty gang committed to making my kids school year fun. It helps I've made friends since my first foray into school mom life but no matter how you feel about them, you still want to put your best foot forward for parent related school functions right?  Simple dresses with eye catching accessories are the keys to all three of these looks. Stripes are always in style and add a touch of refinement no matter how they're done.
Not overly fussy or too casual these stylish frocks will have you looking fresh and ready for what ever volunteer project is thrown your way!

It's not just about looking great during school hours, we all know a mama's day isn't done once school lets out. There are after school practices and let's not forget that all important cocktail catch up session with girlfriends! Keep it cute with a graphic tee, jeans and sneakers for your role as team mom or just sitting and cheering along. Get even cuter with a bright lace skirt and floral heels for post dinner/bedtime drinks with the girls. Catch up on  all the great back to school drama and dish about everyone's first day back while looking super mom cool.

These are just a few ideas for the many school related events that may crop up these first few weeks back. Heck, you can pretty much use this as a template for the entire year!  No matter your personal style, be it a bit more polished and preppy or more relaxed and boho, I offer these outfits up as inspiration to kick off the school year in something a little snazzier than cut-offs or sweatpants.

What's your go to school mama style?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

On The Black List

I've decided to take on another shopping challenge. Similar to last fall's no shop September, I'm going to see if I can take it a step further and just not shop for the entire season. Yes. A whole season of fall /winter fashion and I won't be partaking in any of it. It both scares and excites me. When I really think about it I don't really need anything. I mean sure I can rationalize just about any purchase but the reality is there isn't much that I don't already own when it comes to a functional wardrobe.
The only things I would need (read:still a want) to add are staple pieces like torn black skinny jeans and a slightly over-size black / grey sweater, perhaps a good black winter hat, definitely some black chucks and I'm still in search of a black romper. Weather be damned. I've got boots up the wazoo so the only thing I really think I'm "lacking" (for "lack" of a beter word) is in the accessories department. I really just want to focus on streamlining the closet I have and working on actually wearing all the pieces in as many different ways as I can imagine. Obviously jewelry helps because it changes the feel of an ensemble so I can easily see mixing casual clothes with more elegant styled pieces. And I love that. Being that my whole life is circus of motherhood, wifedom, freelancing and friendship I need maximum versatility from everything I wear.

Fall's Black List
The only way I'm breaking my shopping ban is if I stumble across any of these pieces at a great price and the timing is right. Clearly, this doesn't mean I can't look, or go shopping for other people, I do like to be inspired by what's out there. It just means that I won't necessarily be purchasing a whole lot for myself. Makes me a little sad thinking about it already but I know my bank account (and husband) will be a whole lot happier if I save a few dollars in the clothing department. Maybe that will inspire me to spend a little on organizing my closet a little better. So yeah, no shopping for me for awhile. Part of me wants to put it out there and say for three months beginning September 1st but the other part of me says just commit to a month and then see how it goes.  Wish me luck?

Is there anything on your fall fashion wish list?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

In the Meantime in Between time

"Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well." George R.R. Martin

I've been on an unintentional hiatus from here for quite some time. It all started back in June with me fretting about Sweet Pea's graduation and my impending milestone birthday and then just snowballed from there. Somehow things got away from me and posts got written but never edited. Photos got taken but never uploaded and then it was just so nice to be still and not a slave to the computer (a bit), to really enjoy the (sometimes) lazy summer days and play with the kids. I know this is probably the last summer that Sweet Pea will want to hang out with us like this so I'm making it a point to disconnect a bit from the hustle and bustle of social media to hang with my tiny folk.

Not to say that we've just been sitting around blowing bubbles and dandelions. No, we've been busy. (sort of). Birthday parties, trips to the park and local splash pad. Afternoon ice cream treats, mornings at the by and family shenanigans have been abundant and I'm making it a point to be more present and really soak up these experiences with them. In the last 12 years I've seen time literally fly before me and it does go by so quickly before they're driving, going on a date and then college. I've never really been much on wanting time to slow down and I still don't, I just don't want to look back and say yeah I remember that summer I was too busy to play/ spend time with the kids thinking I had more time with them. And I'm not apologizing for it either. We're not cramming our days filled with FUN but instead settling into the slower days and looser schedule. I think we're all thrilled about it too. So I'll be here intermittently until the beginning of September as it's currently too hot in my office and our A/C is out. Yay. If you need me, I'll be the one in the frozen section at Target in attempts to try to stay cool and keep my kids from eating me out of house and home. 

Next month we have plans to drive up to San Francisco as a family and that should be an adventure. We watch a lot of Food Network and The Cooking Channel and have mapped out places we want to try and sights we want to see. Not sure how it'll go with a toddler in tow (he didn't too bad in San Diego last summer) but San Fran has way more walking required so we'll see. We're all REALLY excited about it. I took a similar summer road trip with my mom, brother and his best friend when I was about Sweet Pea's age so it'll be fun to see how much has changed in the 30 years since. 

I'm going to try and document as much as possible on Instagram (prepare for photo overload) but I wouldn't bet on my blogging consistently the last two weeks of August. Hopefully I can get my shit together as there are some post ideas in the works that I'm hoping you'll enjoy and I definitely plan on getting some style photos while we're on the road (hello road trippin' mama style) as well as perhaps a guide/tips on road tripping with an age gap? Like I said, tons of ideas and thought........not a whole lot of follow through because......summer. 

How is your summer going so far?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Daily Style: Sunday Brunch NYC Edition

Have I  mentioned what a blast I had in New York three weeks ago and I'm still on somewhat of a 'post vacation high' from it? Just as exciting as the conference and as much fun as hanging with friends was all the fabulous fashion I saw. Talk about inspiration! Every single style of dress was/is represented on the streets and subway platforms and I almost broke my neck (or got punched in the face) trying to see it all! I loved being around it all and truly felt inspired. My "vacation" style is really simple and I chose not to stray too far from my tried and true packing ideas (keep it simple but mix+match) while I was there. But traveling to the East Coast and deciding what to wear can be tricky for a California native, especially one who is so entrenched in her West Coast style, so I figured if there was ever a time to push boundaries on my ensembles it was then. Not that sneakers and a dress is ground breaking, but for me, it's a little different.

 On Sunday my friend Christina checked out my leopard kicks paired with my bright scarf and bold printed dress and commented "I am LOVING your New York style! It's very boho casual but doesn't scream HIPSTER" ha! Thanks Tina! She totally gets it! She knew (without me telling her) that I was rocking a bit of a different vibe than I do on the West Coast. It wasn't even planned really but it just seemed like pairing leopard sneaks with a printed dress was very "I'm spending the day in the Village and walking around DUMBO" appropriate. The contrasted prints, the bright colors on the dress combined with the pop of color on the scarf and bag made me feel a bit like the boho gypsy I feel lives inside. I kind of loved it.

I snagged this dress a few weeks back while searching for some cute workout wear at Nordstrom Rack.Y'all know I can't pass up a good deal and how I love a simple summer dress so that workout gear never stood a chance. I then wandered over to the shoe section because duh, and there they were, the leopard sneakers of wish lists pasts. Of course I've been crushing on these kicks ever since they first hit the scene but was hesitant to pay full price. Luckily for me, they went on sale just in time for my birthday (obviously) and they were the second to last pair. Clearly it was a sign and I was all too happy to scoop them  up.

They were the perfect last minute addition to my suitcase as I knew I would soon grow tired of walking around in my sandals. I can't front though,  I felt pretty "cool" (in the young effortless hipster style sort of way) about my sneaks + dress + hair scarf combo. I had it in my head what I wanted to look like and it actually came together, which is awesome because it's rare that the visual in my head adds up to the reality. It's not a style I usually rock but I felt good as soon as I put it on and it made my day that much better because of it. I've learned, that if I'm not satisfied with my outfit or hair then I'm slightly distracted all day because I'm fidgeting/fussing with the things I'm not thrilled about and therefore not at all in the moment. Sunday, I was totally in the moment.

Laughing hysterically at a sidewalk cafe over breakfast with my three best friends in a city that I don't call home was the perfect way to end my weekend. Feeling confident in my ensemble and where I am in life. Sharing ideas for the future while giggling about the passersby.  It was both refreshing and rejuvenating in that I got to play around with some styles, escape from the cut-offs + tank tops way of life that is my summer uniform and be inspired by what I saw. Spending time with women who know me inside and out was tantamount to a weekend at the spa. Sort of.

Does your fashion style change depending on the city your in? Have you ever been influenced by street style while on vacation?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Afternoon Fancies With N7 Creamery

On Friday I was invited to a private event at N7 Creamery in honor of their first ever retail store at the Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga. Best known for their unique handcrafted ice cream made using a liquid nitrogen process, they specialize in using local ingredients in a dreamy environment that encourages socialization and community. We had passed by the location a few weeks prior when visiting the area and I recall telling Sweet Pea that it seemed like someplace she would enjoy and we must make a note to visit at some point. Lucky for her, I, along with a few other bloggers were invited to take a tour of the new space, ask questions of the staff and sample some of the coffee, ice cream and other delicious baked goods. It was heavenly.

 We were lucky enough to sample pretty much every thing they serve on a daily basis (cinnamon rolls, peach hand pie, mini fruit tart with crumbled pistachios, oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate tart with salted chocolate caramel ganache) and were happy to do so! Bakery Chef Joshua Hager was more than willing to answer any and all questions about their farm to table concept and menu offerings.

Upon entering the store you're automatically intrigued by the billows of liquid smoke coming from behind the ice cream counter while being aromatically led toward the delectable display of baked goods in the front case. The tin ceiling and wire light fixtures evoke a warm and inviting atmosphere that make you want to pull up a chair and kick back with your sweet treat.

where the magic happens

fabulous art to kick off their Art Walk opening party

Everything is handmade from scratch daily so it's all fresh , delicious and locally sourced making N7 Creamery a great place to indulge your sweet tooth.  A little while after we had gorged ourselves on the baked goods they brought out fresh made ice cream. IN-SANE. They use a liquid nitrogen process to create the ice cream and it was pretty fun to see it all happening right in front of us! The kids were impressed as they've only ever seen that similar process used on TV so that made for an interesting viewing session!

what was left of the salted caramel

The first ice cream batch was salted caramel and I think my eyes my have rolled back inside my head. It was covered with a lattice of warm caramel and I was just in flavor heaven. Then came fresh strawberry, green tea and orange creme. I'm not generally a fan of strawberry ice cream but this was so scrumptious! You could taste (and see) the fresh strawberries inside the ice cream and it wasn't sickeningly sweet either.

strawberry ice cream

green tea ice cream

The fresh flavors were bursting from each delightful mouthful and I was pleasantly surprised. We were also able to try their green tea and orange cream ice cream as well. I enjoyed the green tea much more than the kids but the Baby Ninja really liked the orange cream. It was a great way to cool off on such a hot day and try a fun new place!

I loved that it is a family business and was born out of a love of flavors, creating and can say without a doubt that N7 Creamery is the next "big thing" for the I.E. Sustainable sourced ingredients, great taste high quality and a relaxed family atmosphere is definitely the type of place we like to see last around these parts!! And who thinks to mix a creamery, bakery and a cafe? It's all of our favorite things rolled into one sweet location!

it's a family business

If you're local,  I highly recommend you get yourself to N7 Creamery and try out all they have to offer. You're guaranteed to find a treat for the whole family and what a fun way to spend an afternoon!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Think Like A Man Too

*I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post about Macy's and Think Like A Man Too. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

When the book "Think Like A Man , Act Like A Lady" first hit shelves I was a bit dubious about the contents and the author but when presented with a chance to read it, I did. It wasn't terrible. A far cry from "The Rules" of yesteryear.  And then it was turned into a movie and my eyebrows pretty much disappeared into my hairline for all the questions I had. But then I saw the movie and I kind of loved it. It was funny, endearing and in many ways quite relateable. So when I heard they were making a sequel I was definitely intrigued. And then I was offered the chance to attend a press event with Terrence J and Jerry Ferrera to which I quickly agreed. I mean, let's be honest, both of them are pretty easy on the eyes so it wasn't exactly a sacrifice on my part.

In conjucntion with Papi brand underwear and as part of Macy's 'American Icons' summer events I was able to meet and grab a photo with the two stars at the Macy's Men's store in the Beverly Center.
The fellas were really personable and happily posed for all the fan photos even after the press had their turn shouting directions on which way to turn and in what light to stand.
A few of my fellow bloggers AlyssaJen and Dani , who I met that day, and I took the time to wait with other fans for our photo op. And once they found out about the promotion with Papi (make any purchase of $25 or more in Papi underwear and receive a movie certificate to see Think Like A Man Too ) Terrence J quickly whipped out his wallet and offered to pay for the next two fans purchases. I thought that was not only brilliant but also very kind as not everyone in line was able to make purchases at that moment.

In the highly anticipated sequel the couples are reunited in Vegas to celebrate an upcoming wedding and attempt to one up each other's bachelor / bachelorette shenganigans. Watch the trailer to see hilarity ensue.
Makes me want to go Vegas with our friends now!

When it was my turn for a photo of course I hammed it up because when else am I going to get a chance to kick it with Terrence and Jerry? I mean, you gotta make every moment count right? So I was determined to do that. From what I've seen of the movie it's going to be pretty funny and I am going to try my hardest to get a date with my husband and go see it. A lot of my favorite female actors (Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good,Gabrielle Union etc.) are in it and the man candy is pretty prevalent (Michael Ealy, Romany Malco) on this as well so it's a win/ win in my opinion.

Tell me, will you be seeing "Think Like A Man Too"? 


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