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"? 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Style Post: In Living Color

I've made no secret about my love for a good shift dress. It makes my life so much easier during the warm summer months and recently I've been stepping more and more out of my all black everything comfort zone and playing with bold colors. It felt weird at first but I'm really loving having more color options in my closet! Not to mention it makes it kind of fun to get dressed knowing I only need to think about my footwear.


So for SweetPea's graduation I figured a bright bold dress would be a distraction from the tears streaming down my face. I ordered the dress online and having never actually purchased anything from ZARA before I was hesitant about the sizing and was just praying it fit. I was also praying that it came on time as her graduation was on a Thursday and  her dress was in there too! They finally arrived in store the Tuesday morning before. Whew!
You can see her dress in a post later this week. But trust me when I say it was A-DORABLE.

But back to my dress. Now I get what all the hype with ZARA is all about. I love, love, love this dress!
It's so fun and cheery and I kind of want to wear it all the time. The lightweight material was ideal for the outdoor ceremony and it made it easy to camouflage the berry situation that was happening with Baby Ninja.

Dress: ZARA / Shoes: Sole Society (old) / Necklace: Stell&Dot / Bracelets: Stella & Dot / Bag: Steve Madden (old)

I love that I was able to pair it with heels for the graduation and then slipped into gladiator sandals for an event later that afternoon. Equally awesome was how fabulous my Sardinia pendant necklace looked with it. My first thought was to not wear a dangling necklace since the dress was so busy color wise but when I put it on it seemed to just make sense.  And while I could have probably ordered a size down n the dress, I kind of enjoy the looser fit. It also makes for a good look when stuffing one's face. No evidence of a food baby. I might still have the arms taken in a bit but the overall look is exactly what I hoped it would be. 

I was pretty impressed with myself as I've had my eye on this beauty for a few weeks and chose to wait it out instead of impulse buying. I'm trying to make smarter shopping decisions these days and this was definitely worth it. You can guarantee you'll be seeing a lot of me in this all summer long and well into 'fall'.

 Any new purchases you're really excited about lately?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What To Pack: 5 Days in NYC

Y'all, I'm so excited to be attending my first Blogging While Brown conference in a few weeks. Like over the moon , jump up and down excited. Not only do I get to network with other bloggers of color and learn more about this industry of mine, I get to go someplace by myself that isn't a Target or grocery store run. Yeah. I'm pumped!
I also get to spend some much needed quality time with three of my best friends. Two of which I haven't seen in a few years since I've been pregnant and quit the 9-5. They all live on the East Coast and I obviously don't get out that way much be we do try to squeeze in time when they come here to visit family but the last few times have just been super hectic so I'm very excited to be able to spend some one on one time with my ladies.
Of course, this means packing as much as we can into the 2.5 free days I'm not conferencing and this calls for some SERIOUS packing skills wardrobe wise. See, I don't really want to check a bag but then I wonder if I have conference swag, what will I do with it all?
So that might not be an option. Also, I don't want to over pack (which I am notorious for doing) as I always need options so that's something else I have to contend. And then there's the walking factor. I'm sure I'll be doing a ton of it so I know heels aren't really an option but of course I want to bring at least ONE pair because. duh.
5 Days in NYC

Naturally, I turned to Polyvore to help me gather all the items and outfit ideas I have in my head and narrow down what I want to bring. I'm thinking three pairs of shoes max (maybe four if I add some sneaks), a couple pair of loose pants, a few dresses that can go from day to night and of course, white tees and tanks. Because no packing is complete without those!
There will be two parties for the conference and my girlfriends and I plan on going out to dinner so everything I pack has to be super versatile and I have to be careful about the spill factor. So I'm thinking about 11 pieces in 5 days. Totally do-able right?

The black pants are perfect for the early morning plane ride as are the slip on sandals. Paired with a white tank, hat and denim jacket (maybe a lightweight scarf) I'm good to go! The dresses work for an evening out on the town as well as kick-off and closing parties for the conference and the pink loose pants are perfect for sitting in panels all day and networking. If I do bring heels they need to be super versatile so they can literally go with everything from the pants to the leather shorts and the dresses. These ZARA snake print ones are all that and a bag of chips. I feel like all these pieces work in harmony and will have me feeling put together no matter the occasion. Also, this way I don't have to worry about what to wear each day so long as I plan it out. And if push comes to shove, I can always borrow a top or two from my girls, I mean, that's what friends are for right?

Am I the only one who gets this crazy when packing? How do you plan for a trip away?

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