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. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Getting My Fashion Fix

*this post contains affiliate links that I may receive compensation for if utilized

I make no bones about the fact that I enjoy shopping. It is truly my form of therapy. I don't always buy what I see/ try on but there is something magical (for me) about the whole shopping experience. And when I am on the hunt for something I get a particular type of rush. The thrill of finding something I love and scouring the stores for my size and at just the right price makes me squeal with delight. I get a rush for sure.

 Enter Stitch Fix. Like most, I'd heard about the company but never really saw a "need" for myself. I enjoy shopping so why would I have someone pick stuff out for me? Buuuuut. I also have kids that are growing steadily and have activities and such so I'm not able to get out browse as much as I used to. Nor do I have the funds.

I've found that with my fixes I get the same rush as I do when I'm shopping on my own, except this time - I have the pieces in my house and can create outfits around the new items with stuff I already have on hand.
It's wicked fun y'all. 
My most recent box had all kinds of fabulous prints and bright pieces that included a maxi dress, laser cut scallop hem shorts and several tanks. I was unsure of them at first but after looking at the style card, I played around with some things I already had in my closet and the looks started to come together. 
The versatility of these shorts are making my heart do flips of some kind. Paired back to sneakers or sandals with a simple grey tank and a denim jacket I can go from errands to an afternoon date with my man or my girlfriends.

But wait there's more!  One of the tops was so bright and fun I couldn't resist pairing it with my favorite sandals and a simple fedora that screams summer. Perfect for an outdoor concert or even a day at the amusement park. Talk about mommy chic.

I also know that this top would look fabulous with faux leather leggings and stillettos for a night out on the town. Y'all know I'm all about that versatile style and this fits the bill to a T. 

Admittedly, the striped swing tank was a bit tricky for me upon seeing it. The colors are outside of what I'm normally drawn to and it just seemed so 'not me' but then I paired it back to my favorite boyfriend jeans and some perforated peep toe block heels and a cute clutch and bam - ensemble awesomeness.

StitchFix has made me re-think a lot of how I've been styling my clothes. I'm a simple girl even though I love the glam. My day to day existence isn't one that generally calls for next level fashion. But when it does - I know I can count on this service to help me get my fashion fix. Both literally and figuratively. 
That doesn't mean I'll stop shopping because duh. Shopping is my cardio, but that does mean it won't be so pressing to find just one item for an event or special occasion. I can simply place my order for my fix and let my stylist work her magic.

Have you tried Stitch Fix yet? What are you waiting for? Sign up for your first fix here. And then come back and let me know what you think! 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Margaritas Made Me Do It: Celebrating the Season With Fleming's

Disclosure: Thanks to The Network Niche, today's post is sponsored by Fleming's Steak House & Wine Bar

I make no bones about my love of cocktails. I mean, hello - check the blog name y'all. My margarita love runs deep so naturally, when I was offered the chance to go check out the latest offering from Fleming's Steakhouse, a $100 Margarita, I jumped at the chance. Because margarita's are always a good idea. 

First - I know what you're thinking, one hundred dollars????? What makes this drink so special? Well, I'll tell you, it all starts with premium liquor, including Tequila Herradura Selección Suprema, Grand Marnier Centenaire and topped with a gold sugar salt rim, it's served in Baccarat’s uniquely designed Diamant Highball, that restaurant guests are invited to take home the glass in Baccarat’s iconic red box. 

See? I told y'all it was fancy. Let's not talk about my secret fear of dropping that Baccarat glass mmkay? For now, let's concentrate on the cocktail. That's really what it's all about. 

Our lovely bartender was kind enough to pour a chance to sip on both the Anejo and Reposado variations and they are so smooth you don't even realize it's tequila. There is no burn or scratch as it glides down your throat. It made me all warm and tingly inside. Once we'd had a few sips of each, Colin showed us exactly how he makes this classic beverage and what makes it next level. 

Fresh lime juice y'all. It really is the key. So is the sugar salt rim. I could hardly contain my excitement when it came time to pass them around and finally taste them. It was so good y'all. Pretty sure my eyes rolled back in my head and since I did not have to worry about driving home (thanks public transportation!) I was more than happy to polish off the remainder of what was left in the shaker! I've had many a margarita in my day and while I enjoy most, I have come to learn that quality ingredients make my beverage that much better and this is one of the best I've ever had. Not too sweet, not too sour, it was.....just right. 

Because it's a limited time kind of thing I highly suggest a ladies night out this weekend to celebrate the season. The weather is warming up, school's almost out and time is speeding by.  And let's be honest, a margarita really is the cure for whatever ails you or the perfect compliment to whatever you're celebrating. 


Y'all - you don't want to miss out on this drink. Trust me on this one. 

Be sure to visit Fleming's Steakhouse from May 4-6 to experience this $100 Margarita.  

Cheers y'all. 

*photos provided by A Cocktail of Two Cities 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Fresh Faced & Fabulous

I am a self-described product junkie. I full admit it. I am a sucker for awesome packaging, pretty bottles and labels make me swoon and a quality product will have me shouting from the hillside. True story.

So last year when I discovered Neutrogena's Hydro-Boost line while attending We All Grow I was instantly intrigued. I am sort of obsessed with facial creams and have been searching for just the perfect one since an old favorite was discontinued back in the early 00's. Seriously. I have been on a mission. It also has to be affordable because with two growing kids, my beauty budget is almost nil. Oh and don't forget one of those kids is now a teenager with her own beauty wish list. More on that later.

The makeup artist did a FULL  face beat on me using all Neutrogena products and I was kind of in love. They were gracious enough to give me an extra jar and I hoarded it for as long as I could. Right before this year's conference I ran out of said cream, but I was happy to hear they were back as a title sponsor. Naturally I made it a point to visit the suite and see what new and exciting things they had up their sleeve this year. I was not disappointed y'all. 
Aside from the champagne bar on the patio (all praises be to Manuel, as he was doing the Lord's work with those pours) the artists and dermatologist on site were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful.  They recommended a regimen for me for day and evening and then sent me over to the makeup artist to get 
I scored not only the Hydro-Boost gel cream but the cleanser, gel with SPF and a eye cream to boot. They also hooked me up with some fabulous foundation that makes my skin look photoshopped at all times. I kind of love it.

As I've gotten older, I realize less is more when it comes to my makeup and I also want products that do double duty. 

I want the moisturizing foundation that doesn't dry out my skin and the softer blushes and bronzers. I actually look younger now than I did probably ten years ago thanks to taking better care of my skin, drinking a ton of water and focusing on the types of products I use and how they affect me. 

I admit, I can be a product snob and was sort of skeptical about Neutrogena for awhile but as I've gotten to use it more and more over the past year, I've realized that I was dead wrong and am loving the overall results I've experienced. I mean who doesn't want flawless looking skin? 

What's your current beauty obsession? Do you have a brand/ product you swear by?
Tell me in the comments! 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Living That Seventies Life

I always joke that I was born in the best year. 1979.  I got the best of of both worlds - all the crazy sexy cool of the 70's and all the fun and eccentricity of the 80's. It really was a great a time to be alive and I've always had a thing for the fashion of those times. In particular one of my style "icons" was Mrs. Roper from 



Y'all remember her from Three's Company?  She was the QUEEN Of the mumu / caftan and ridiculously over-sized baubles. She basically personified my entire lady of leisure dreams.  She still does to be honest. 

So a few weeks back I was minding my business when a few dresses caught my eye and I just KNEW they would be perfect for brunch or something summery. They screamed ' glam day drinking". Wrap front with kind of slit and just California casual cool right? But a few were also over my $50 budget and I was low-key waiting for them to go on sale. 
Then while cruising H&M 's site later that day I found this glam number and knew I had to make it mine. 

I went to a few stores to see if they had it in my size but alas, it was on sale so it was only available on the website. I threw caution to the wind and placed my order hoping it would it fit. Naturally I stalked my mailbox waiting for it to arrive and when it did I couldn't wait to try it on. 
I am head over heels in love y'all. It's everything I dreamed it would be and then some. 

If we're talking #summergoals - this is it y'all. Easy breezy style with a little bit of glam thrown in by way of golden threading weaved into the fabric. I mean! 
And the pom pom sandals were just a fun addition to my wardrobe. It's like a party on my feet!! Who doesn't love that?

One of my favorite things about this dress....mumu....caftan....whatever - is that I can wear it with or without the shift underneath. I simply cut the little loops it was attached to for added versatility and voila! It's suddenly a cover-up as well! It makes me feel hella stylish without even trying and I am 100% here for that. 

I may need to hem it a smidge as I am only so tall and I don't want anyone to step on (by anyone I mean me) I could totally see myself falling because a] I am clumsy as all get out and b} it's on the longer side, but the way it flows when I walk? Yes, ma'am!!

What have you bought recently that's got you excited for summer?


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