Saturday, September 17, 2016

Midweek Mom's Night Out With Club Momme




Speaking of ladies night's, last week I went to a fun mom's night out with the lovely ladies at Club Momme. Like I said, I've been out on occasion but it's been a while since I've gotten all my ladies in one space. 


moms_night_out



Because I'm always down for a mom's night and I've low-key been wanting to check out the event's location it was a no brainer. The fact that I have a teenager available to baby sit her brother until her dad gets home made it a double win. 
Naturally I spent the days & hours leading up to it fretting about what I was going to wear and I shouldn't have even bothered because I threw on something different at the last minute. Of course by the time I reached the venue I wished I'd worn something else because hello wrinkles, but oh well. 


I've heard a lot about Au Fudge and was looking forward to seeing it for myself. And it's adorable. Like the space is very cute and I love the idea of a play/eat/chill space for moms and kids. There is a full bar so there were margaritas and sangria on deck (thanks Club Momme for knowing what mom's want!) as well as light snacks that were quite tasty and paired perfectly with the refreshing marg. 


Although my friend Maura (The Other Side Of The Tortilla) invited me, I was happy to bump into my friend Brooke of The Crazy Creole Mommy Chronicles and catch up for a bit with no kids running around. The last time we'd seen each other was at the last Club Momme Spring Fest event in April! So it made my heart happy to grab a few moments with her. 

There were a few other ladies that I've spied at past events and follow on social media so it was nice to see and chat with them as well in a more intimate setting. 




The Crown Collective setup a table to create beautiful custom floral arrangements on the spot which was fun as I have zero skills when it comes to flowers save for putting them in a vase. I discovered basil flower and spent the rest of the evening enamored with the smell and look. There was also a station with technicians from The Nail Garden to hook up our nails. I was super down for that as mine were hella ragged. (fact: I am long overdue for a mani/pedi)  



Of course the night wouldn't have been complete without a spin in the photo booth which Maura and I were happy to partake in. We got a little silly naturally, but it was just nice to be around such chill energy.  The overall vibe was very relaxed and the space was inviting and warm. Just what this mama needed.



And I'm pretty sure all the mama's in attendance were happy to have a brief break from bedtime for a night.  






 WE obviously enjoyed ourselves. Thanks Club Momme for a fun evening and I'm already looking forward to Fall Fest in October! 



*Images courtesy Katee Grace Photography 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

5 Signs You Need To Have A Ladies' Night ASAP






It’s no secret I’m a huge and longtime advocate of ladies’ nights, both in and out of the house. What is a bit of a secret is that it’s been a long time since I’ve had one. Sure I’ve spent time with friends here and there but going to or hosting a full on gathering of women? It’s been way longer than I care to admit. I’m also fully willing to admit that while I’ve wistfully written about how much I want to host one it just hasn’t been possible both financially and time wise. But looking around I thought about it and realized there is never going to be a “perfect” date/time/month that works for everyone. Nor will your home ever be exactly how you want it before you host. And sometimes you just need to throw caution to the wind and put it on the damn calendar. If you recognize any of these symptoms gather your girlfriends and get your giggle on STAT.

  1. You’ve forgotten what your friends look like IRL. Seriously. If you can “see” them via social media and that’s the only way you know what’s going on with them these days so it’s high time you had them over.
  2. You discovered a new wine, recipe, got bangs new patio furniture. WHATEVER.  But no one in your family can appreciate it the way the ladies will. The point is you really don’t need a reason. Just invent one.
  3. The holidays are coming and the only way to survive them and the required mingling with influx of in-laws and co-workers that comes with them, is to fortify yourself with quality girl time. Bring it Aunt Brenda.
  4. You find yourself lingering at pickup & drop-off for just “a few more minutes” of adult conversation with people who understand your struggle and concern for why no one in the house can find anything.
  5. Because it’s the freakin weekend and Mama needs a f*cking break.


Real talk – I sent out a slew of texts over the last week to let my ladies know it’s on come November. Yes, I know that sounds far away but it’s already mid-September and next month is BANANAS so November it is.



winethirty_fireside



Stay tuned next week for my personal guide to hosting a mom’s night in on a budget as well as some ideas on how to make it super cute and cozy. 


When was your last ladies night? Do you host or go out? Tell me in the comments!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Movie Night Going UP On A Tuesday


*I was compensated by 3ChickenConsulting to attend a screening but all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*


According to my teen, occasionally, I’m a semi fun mom, and sometimes that fun happens when I get to take Sweet Pea with me to cool work events. Sometimes these events happen in the middle of the week. Which is no big deal in the summertime but once school starts, I’m sort of stringent about our evening routines. School, homework, dinner, chill and then bed. She has to get up wayyyy to early to be staying up too late on a weeknight. However, when I got invited to a screening for Kevin Smith’s new movie Yoga Hosers and watched the trailer; I knew I wanted to take her with me.
Being that she’s just started high school and is a bit overwhelmed by it all, I thought I’d take the opportunity to chill out with her and my niece and check in to see how they’re adjusting to school. Whenever we get the opportunity to hang out, I try not to pry too much into their lives and just drive and listen to them talk and catch up while giggling about memes on their phones. It reminds me of when I was that age and there was nothing in the world but me and my friends.  





About the movie: Yoga Hosers is the tale of two girls both named Colleen who save their town (and the world) from these Bratzi’s (tiny natzi’s made from Bratwurst- which were hilariously absurd) using their wicked yoga skills.
I kind of loved the idea of two otherwise basic teenage girls, so basic they have the same name, being these unwitting saviors.  Also – Canada. Trust when I say Sweet Pea and I will be saying “aboot” to everyone while cracking up in the process. It’s fun to have these times to hang with her and my niece with inside jokes and shared new experiences. Movies are kind of our thang and it’s always fun to check in when it’s over and see what they thought.






Similar to the girls in the movie (and teenagers the world over), Sweet Pea and my niece pretty much stay with their faces in their phones while being SO over everyone and everything. Their inability to can is epic. But the fact that things that they get ragged on for were the very things that saved them in the end? Talk about sweet justice.
Can I also just tell y’all how freaking funny Kevin Smith is off the cuff? He told the story of how Yoga Hosers came to be and at one point it seemed he was rabbit trailing a bit, but then he honed on a very key point: he made a movie his daughter would want to see where the girls were the ones who saved the day and then got the brilliant idea to cast his own daughter and her bestie (who just happens to be Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis’s offspring Lily Rose, NBD) to star in the movie. Which might make you side him because nepotism in Hollywood? Noooo?  But here's the trip part - the girls were actually really good and...for lack of a better word, natural. Like it didn't seem forced or like they were acting. I would have never known this was Lily Rose's first full length film.It's crazy that she looks familiar but then at the same time like a fresh faced ingenue. I fully believe she does yoga as well. At the end of the film the girls sing O'Canada and were surprisingly good. I spied my teens rocking out a bit as the credits rolled. 

And then he had a little 9 year-old girl come up to him and say how much she liked the movie and her FAVORITE part was when the girls were “……like hitting them with like, stick things….” That was dope.



As a mother of girl I am always on the lookout for movies that show girls doing more than being mean, chasing after a boy or falling apart over nothing and this movie did just that.
There were a lot of good one liners in there that I just KNOW Sweet Pea will be using on her friends and I am here for it. On the way home she randomly thanked me for taking her to the screening. A rarity for her. #bloggerkidproblems
I asked if she liked it and she said she thought it was interesting and funny. And she’d most definitely watch it again as she thinks her other friends would like it too.
And just like that I got a fabulous idea for a backyard evening screening once it’s released digitally.


So if you appreciate comedy, a little random weirdness, a WHOLE lot of Canadian jokes, and seeing girls win, go see Yoga Hosers ‘eh?







Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Because School Means Sickness At Some Point


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



No sooner than I start seeing Back to School signs do I hear/see parents complain about the shopping they must do for the dreaded ‘class list’. When your kid is in elementary (particularly if they attend public school) you as a parent are tasked with supplying not only your kid but the entire class with the basics. Tissue, hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes are the biggest concerns and requests. I don’t get it. I happily supply those items because I don’t MY kid coming home with the back to school seasonal cooties. Kids have the most virulent germs and what takes them a few days to have hit and recover will take us over a week. It’s awful. So, yeah, no thanks. This is why shortly after, the “Back to school” shopping, photos and general hub-ub die down you start seeing mama’s all over the web posting; “Mom down!” messages and inquiring about symptoms for some peculiar strain of virus that their child has brought into their home.
A return to school means an increase in being indoors and decrease of their immune systems as Brad who they haven’t seen all summer long brings back his virulent germs from his summer travels. Yay. Thanks Brad.

But not to worry because I’m #MomAF and have been doing this keeping a human alive thing for 14 years so I’ve got a whole arsenal at my disposal right?



sick_kit_backtoschool



Until we had Baby Ninja we never really thought twice about the Drug Facts label on most of the OTC’s we’d purchased over the years to ease whatever ailment Sweet Pea, or even ourselves, might have had.
But then when he was about a year-old Baby Ninja came down with a wicked cold/ fever. So I asked D to run out and get a fever reducer. I assumed he was going to pick up acetaminophen because that’s what I would have grabbed and is a generally KNOWN fever reducer, particularly among young children, but he didn’t. He grabbed ibuprofen. And while I was using the restroom he gave him some, and he promptly began to break out and seem to have trouble breathing. My mama heart fully stopped for a bit and I had a hard time not breaking out into a full on panic.
Apparently he has a slight allergy to ibuprofen. Who knew? Not us for sure, as the only pain/fever relief OTC I’d purchased for the kids had always been of the acetaminophen variety or something prescribed by their doctors. It was a #realmommoment for sure and one that I’ll never forget. As the daughter of medical professionals I’ve always thought I was well versed in the different ingredients of my “standard” OTC’s but I never thought about if my husband was or not.




cough_medicine_drugfacts



When Sweet Pea took a Safe Sitter class with our city one of the things they required was that they know and were aware to ask about any potential allergies the child they were watching might have as well as medication they might be on.  Trust when I say I never, thought to ask that when I babysit.

And don’t get me started on what to take when you / they have multiple symptoms. I have been known to park myself on the floor of many a medicine aisle trying to find just the right thing to treat my family but not cause them undue harm (via an allergic reaction or worse).  WHYYYY are there so many different ingredients? 
We were truly lucky that Baby Ninja only had a mild reaction and we reacted quickly, but have been vigilant about what OTC’s we keep in the house and how we use them ever since.  I also make sure to keep all meds up high and out of reach and eyesight of the toddler set, because you know if it looks any kind of interesting, they’ll be all up in it.

Pro tip: If you are ever concerned that a child has gotten into an OTC medication accidentally, call poison control immediately: 1-800-222-1222




_drugfacts_sick_kids




So mama’s and caretakers of young people, I implore y’all to take a gander at the Drug Facts label on any OTC’s you or your family might be taking. Because you never know how certain ingredients will affect you and you don’t want that late night dose of cough medicine to counteract with a mid-morning pain reliever. It could make things a little bit awkward during drop-off.

Just saying.  


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sweet Pea's Ice Cream Dream




Naturally we wanted to celebrate Sweet Pea's graduation and she wanted to do something with her friends but because  we are (as always) on a budget we were at a loss on what we could really pull off.
And then I was scrolling Pinterest late one night and came across the "ice cream party/ social" theme and my wheels started turning.  I knew we could make it cool and I quickly started pinning ideas and Sweet Pea was fully on board because ice cream. 


graduation_party

Even better for me, Dryer's/Edy's was one of the sponsors at Mom 2.0 and they handed out coupons for free gallons! Say what? Done and done. My girlfriends were kind enough to score me a few to add to my pile and by the end of it, we cleaned up. It wasn't that hard to determine which flavors to choose, the obvious choices being chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry and cookies n' cream as a "wild card".  





However, trying to narrow down toppings proved to be a little more difficult than I imagined. Because OPTIONS.



But somehow we did it and got it all set up in time for the party. 


party_graduation


There were ice cream cones galore (regular, sugar and waffle cones and bowls) for guests to choose from as well as regular ice cream bowls for those who weren't that into it. 



As for toppings we went with crunchy, chewy, and chocolatey as a "theme" and it worked out well as I happily scored some clear trays I'd envisioned at the Dollar Tree! Talk about a come up! 










My husband  and brother-in-law did a particularly great jobs in creating their sundaes and made quick work of them. It was nice to see all of our hard work enjoyed by my people.





Because we're into Pinterest like that, we found a cute way to decorate ice cream sandwiches and made our own versions for a fun introductory treat for the older kids and a pre-dinner treat for the littles. 







* this post was not sponsored although I did make use of the coupons received via Dryer's/Edy's at Mom 2.0 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mixing Things Up For Back To School: BabyNinja Style


“This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of OshKosh ; however, all content contained wherein are my own."



Back to school in Southern California always happens during some crazy 'last chance at summer' heat-wave and leaves everyone melting and miserable. Yes, well into September, it's stupid hot here. While the rest of y'all are all about the Fall life we're still melting. Not to worry though, I've become a pro at mixing up my own closet for this transitional season and by extension that of my kids. 


boysclothes_oshkosh




As Baby Ninja is getting older, and growing at a rapid pace, but still very much having strong opinions about what he wears, I'm all about mixing and matching. With him, less is more and the more outfits I can get out of a few pieces of clothing the better. I went to OshKosh to check what they had that might be able to handle Baby Ninja's hardcore playtime activities. I've been a fan of the brand since I was a child, with their classic striped overalls being a favorite and I also enjoyed the way "oshkoshb'gosh" rolled off my tongue. It made me happy and so did their clothes. 
The current versions also make my kid happy. 

Now: 



backtoschool_oshkosh_boys

For the record D was a little skeptical about rocking shorts with long sleeves both as a layer and main tee but once I showed him how fresh the boy would look, he was all in. 


backtoschool_oshkosh




I did pretty well for the boy with two pairs of pants, two long sleeve shirts (one flannel, one cotton) and two t-shirts (one short, one long sleeve) all for roughly $50 because they were having a sale and I was able to use a coupon  (use CODE: OKBG3136 ) for 25% off my total purchase! 




Y'all KNOW how I feel about a double discount.  I'm jazzed because I didn't spend a million dollars on clothes as he continues to grow and he's stoked because he's got "cool space clothes" to wear to school. He's also actually looking forward to his haircut now and showing off his whole look like his sister did when she started school. 

What's even better is that what I got pairs so well with what's already in his closet and it just makes me all happy inside to know that his wardrobe is shaping up to be just as functional and fun as the rest of ours. Which, maybe is silly to some but for me, streamlining things is key. If I can make our lives simpler by purchasing pieces that pair well together and last, well then, I win. The end. 


Wear it later: 







It helps the boy likes what he picked out and it's even better that so does D. I made sure to show them how he can wear everything from Summer to Fall because for some reason my husband seems skeptical about my shopping skills for Baby Ninja. Whatevs. I knocked it out of the park if I do say so myself. 
Layers are essential as the days can go from cool, to warm, to warm-er to warm, cool, and cool-er as we get further into Fall and all these pieces make choosing outfits each morning super easy. When dealing with a four year-old, easy is best. 





It seems like we just perfected our summertime fly and now we're anticipating the start of the school year. Because Baby Ninja doesn't "officially" start back until September 1st we're in no rush and have plenty of time to prepare for Pre-K! But at least we got the clothes portion out of the way.  








Have y'all done all your back to school shopping yet? 

And because I want y'all to win like I did, so I'm giving away a $50 gift card to OshKosh to help you out with your own back to school shopping!  

Enter the form below for a chance to win!





Find a store closest to you here


  





Monday, August 15, 2016

P.S. I Love You - The Anniversary Getaway

anniversary_vacay

Back in June, I talked about how good a family vacation can be and it was truly a good time and did my heart so good.  Something about checking out from the norm tends to change everyone's mood and improve all around attitudes. The same can be said for relationships. Particularly if you have children and busy schedules. Of which we have both.  We still had some time available with our timeshare so last month, D and I celebrated 6 years of marriage with a trip for two to Palm Springs. The last time the two of us went away together overnight was just before Baby Ninja was born. I think. 
So when it came time to plan our anniversary celebration I was thrilled when he suggested we head to Palm Springs for a "staycation" of sorts. I have a long history of loving the desert city and it's been on my list of places to hit up for awhile. 



We knew it was going to be hot, it is the desert, so we weren't too concerned about the fact that it was July. However, as the heatwave increased relatives inquired if we were still going and we said "for sure." We committed this time away to be with each other, so 117 degrees be damned. We're heading out. 
The drive down was smooth sailing save for some typical midday So Cal traffic and we cruised along the 10 East heading to our kid free oasis in the desert. 






People keep asking how it was and if we had a good time. And here's the thing, we could have stayed down the street and had a ball, it wasn't about where we were and what we did but that we were hanging out together.





We slept in, had real uninterrupted conversations over breakfast, lunch AND dinner. We took naps. We played Jenga and caught up on all the TV we have to wait to watch until after the kids go to bed. There was a LOT of HGTV / Food Network happening too. We slept in, drank too many margaritas and I lazed about the pool and people watched. 




In short - heaven. 





It was good for us as well. The break from the day-to-day grind of living, loving and raising a family in this current socio-economic climate can take a toll on a soul. Being able to connect in a way that we hadn't in a while was both enlightening and encouraging. 
We also ate some really good food. Because that is equally important. 



date_romper_mamastyle

We also noted how many couples we saw and loved the fact that while Palm Springs isn't exactly a "party town" it's perfect for our personalities. You can stroll the main drag and find all sorts of shops, bars and places to eat. The prices aren't ridiculously over the top and the vibe is relaxed and chill. It's basically everything Vegas is not. And at this stage in our lives, it really suits us. 



Palm Springs is for lovers, it's warm out 90% of the time, thusly forcing you to either stay indoors or brave the heat and test your relationship and patience. But if you're cooped up indoors until it cools off, you have the opportunity to spend time with your partner in a way you most likely wouldn't at home. And that's pretty much what we did. It was almost like we were back in college again until our kids called to check in and break the reverie. It was all good and totally worth it. 

Adventures and daredevil activities are dope but sometimes, you gotsta' chill. 






Have you ever been to Palm Springs? What's your favorite way to get downtime with your partner? 














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