Friday, October 20, 2017

Tacos And Sunshine

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I feel like I'm always talking about my love of graphic tees. For me, they are just as good a plain white or black tee and make even more sense as focal points of my ensemble.

When this particular tee arrived in my September Stitch Fix box I may or may not have squealed in excitement. Okay, so I totally squealed. Because OMG, THIS IS SO ME!!
Tacos are a long time love and as a native Californian, tacos & sunshine go hand in hand. As does a margarita but more on that another time. 

Naturally my first inclination was to pair the tee with my favorite distressed denim, some boots (ankle, peep toe, OTK it didn't even matter) and go about my business. But then when I was digging in my closet for pieces for another outfit, I re-discovered my metallic gold pleated skirt I ordered awhile back from ASOS.

Y'all - I have this really bad habit of obsessing about a piece, waiting until it goes on sale, snagging it and then subsequently putting it in my closet for a special moment and forgetting about it. 

News flash Amb: THERE IS NO "SPECIAL" MOMENT. The moment is here, the moment is NOW. Why am I hoarding all these cute pieces? 

So with that in mind, I paired it back to this cute tee. But something was missing. None of the shoes I pulled felt "right" until I found my black patent leather oxfords. Pulling them out of the shoe bin they live in, I was reminded of the randomness of finding them and my good fortune in their price & my gift card hoarding. Bless up. 

After I flat-layed it all out, I was still a little hesitant to try it on as I didn't really know how it would look on me. That can be a struggle with flat lays. Some things look better on the ground and in my head than they do in real life. But, that is also the point of doing them. How will I know how it looks if I don't lay it out first? However, this ensemble had me from jump, I put it on and fell hard for the look. There was something so simple about it all but it still had that wow factor that I love in a 'simple' outfit. 

What are some pieces you have in your closet that you've forgotten about?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Easy Fall Work From Home Style

Working from home often goes one of two ways: you either relish the idea that you don't have to "get dressed" on the daily because most times no one sees you or you miss the fact that you don't have a "reason" to get dressed each day. 
I sort of fall into the middle of these two realms. I enjoy picking out clothes each day and am not generally the mom who shows up to drop off in pajamas or something. I DO rock work out or 'atheleisure' gear but that's generally because I am going to work out at some point. 

I have been writing for years about easy outfits for women who work from home so they can easily go from sitting in front of their computer, to the grocery store, pick-up line without having to miss a beat or stress about putting something together. But as my schedule gets tighter each day, I lack the time to get out to the shops as often as I used to and discover new things. Hence why I was down to try out StitchFix.

Because I'm still trying to make Fall happen (it's currently 85 degrees in Southern California) I thought I'd show you how I made my latest Stitch Fix box worked for me and my work at home life. 

Plaid is sort of synonomous with "autumn" as they like to refer to it back east, and I was smitten with this top as soon as I opened the box. Naturally, I gravitated towards pairing it with the distressed denim and the peep toe booties. 

It's one of those perfectly imperfect style looks for running errands and getting work done.  Bad hair day? Toss on a fedora and knock out that to do list. 

Top it off with a red lip for an added punch of color and badassery. Seriously, if you feel like you need a pick me up red lipstick (or any bold lip to be honest) is the way to go.

Most of us who work from home need outfits that not only allow us to feel comfortable but also look good in case we need to actually leave the house or have to get on a Skype call.

Having a few items in your closet that fit your lifestyle and you feel good in can change how you feel about yourself and your personal style. It really is a simple as having one or two staples to get you through each season. 

Over the next few weeks I'll be detailing that more but for now, I have a question for you: What do you wear to feel "put together" on a daily basis?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

When Time Is Of The Essence

"I partnered with Valvoline Instant Oil Change for this project, however opinions here are my own."

I admit to being a complete novice when it comes to auto care and maintenance. I know that getting a oil change is a necessity of auto care but it seems like it takes so much effort to schedule an appointment and take the time out of my day. As a busy work from home mom, I don't really have the time to sit in an facility all day waiting for my car. I also don't want to feel like a fool when they ask me questions I don't know the answer too. 

Luckily , Valvoline Instant Oil Change is a full service 15-minute drive thru oil change with no appointment needed! Which is basically ideal for a busy mama like myself. Customers, like me, can stay in their cars during the entire service making necessary car maintenance easy for busy people and moms since, the kids don’t have to get out of the car. I can still work while I get my oil changed! 

This is game changing y'all. 

Valvoline Instant Oil Change  is selling AutoTex PINK Wipers throughout October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) with proceeds going to National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) 

You have the ability to choose from all pink or black wipers with a pink ribbon, the all weather wipers can be purchased at select participating Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations found  here . 

While I'm not usually one for this type of car adornment breast cancer has impacted my family heavily over the last decade. I lost my grandmother due to her's progressing back in 2010. My mother has gone two rounds with it and we recently lost my sister in love Mimi, last Fall after a two year long battle. 

Similar to my lack of regular auto care, I used to take for granted my need to get to the doctor and get checked out consistently. If nothing else, I've learned the importance of regular checks and exams for my body. 

The same can be said for my car. Similar to my own body, it's my method of transport to get from point A to B so it makes sense that I take care of it similarly right? Right.

So now I'm sort of excited to step into a Valvoline Instant Oil Change and get my car taken care of while I still get my work done IN THE CAR. I'm also happy to hear that Valvoline Instant Oil Change is doubling National Breast Cancer Foundation donations on all wipers purchased on the September 30th Pink Out Launch Day!

If you want to learn more about the campaign or purchase wipers near you check this out  

Let's all work together to find a cure! 


Grief Is Such Bullsh*t

Grief is such bullshit because you never know when it will sneak up on you. It often comes fast and seemingly out of nowhere. Lurking just below the surface waiting to catch you off guard and it does, fast and hard. Sometimes it's in crying fits, other times its through vivid memories but no matter how it shows up. It's never convenient.

It's been almost a year that my sister in love Mimi lost her battle with breast cancer and it doesn't hurt any less now than it did on that fateful day in November. I admit we've done a pretty good job at "getting on with life" and going about our day to day. But the last few weeks and months have been especially hard. 

She would have celebrated her 47th birthday this past August and her son turned 24 the day after hers. It was bitter sweet for us all. We didn't know what to do. Do we celebrate in her honor or do we mourn our loss and drink away our sorrows? 

My Facebook memories have been especially harsh. They reminded of the day we published the GoFundMe to help with hospital bills and treatment plans. And it was only a few weeks later that she was gone.

This week Sweet Pea will be attending her second Homecoming. It's a fun and exciting time for us. Shopping for dresses and shoes. Picking out what jewelry to wear and what purse she will carry. And while I was enjoying the process my mind couldn't help but rewind to a year ago this time. Mimi had been in and out of the hospital for weeks. There were so many things about her health that were up in the air but still she was all about the kids. Auntie Mimi loved the kids. That much has always been certain.

I remember her asking me if we had found a dress and to send her photos of the ones we liked. So I did. Because I knew that would make her happy. She vetoed a few in her own way and I can still hear her voice in my head when I sent her THE one. She giggled and proclaimed how she liked it. We discussed hair and makeup and she made me promise to send pics once she was fully done up. 
And I did. With great pleasure. 

So yesterday while I was out picking up Sweet Pea's dress for this year's festivities it hit me hard. She would have LOVED this. I can hear her now, raving about the color and the sequins. Joking with me about the style and how grown up she looked. I may or may not have shed a few tears while standing in the store. It hurts more than I ever thought. For someone who wasn't blood but still my family. I miss her more and more everyday. 
And I know I'm not alone in my grief. I see it in my husband's eyes when our son mentions her and tells stories from when he was younger. Stories we didn't think he remembered but somehow does. I hear it in my other sister-in-loves voices when we share old photos and laughs about nights long gone. I see her in their smiles, hear her in the inflections in their voice. 

I composed myself as much as I could, slipped on my sunglasses and left the store lest I become a sobbing mess in public. As I pulled out of the lot, several butterflies fluttered by and my heart was suddenly at peace. Yes, I am still sad. I don't expect that will ever go away. Yes, we still mourn but I know she's watching over us. Laughing and rollin her eyes at our shenanigans. Smiling and sending love to the babies.

She lives on through all of us. Our photos, memories and stories. She will always be here in our hearts even if she is no longer here with us.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Turn Down For What: How To Sleepover Like A MOM

Listen - mom life is hectic do you hear me? HEC-TIC. Trying to get together with friends is almost impossible thanks to youth sports and traffic. Real talk. Ask any mom where she spends the majority of her time and she'll tell you: picking up and dropping off kids.
And while getting gussied up for a girls night out on the town can be a fabulous time and a great way to cut loose, sometimes you just want to kickback sans bra and be comfortable. You know, Netflix and chill, but with your girlfriends!

What do we (moms) want? Sleep!

When do we want it? Always!

So why not combine both girl time and sleeping? I know when I get to hang with my squad during conferences it feels like a three day sleepover. Late night eats, drinks and laughs. Talking things out or catching up on our favorite shows, it's always a good time. 
I'm a huge fan of  the concept of adult sleepovers and think it's high time the mama's got into the mix. They're not just for millennials y'all! The tricky part is getting the timing right but at the end of the day, you can't please everyone with the schedule and those who can make it will never forget it. 

However, you will need some key ingredients to get the party started and luckily, I've done the dirty of work of figuring out what you need. You're welcome. 

image via Joymode 

  • Place to kick it: I recently discovered Joymode and they have this siick glamping set up that would be the perfect place to have a sleepover and outdoor movie night. If you get too cold you can always move the party indoors.  
  • Food: Keep things simple with pizza for all. Take a poll on toppings and order in to save time. 
  • Popcorn + Candies: Listen, you don't have kids to share with so now is the time to splurge. Get crazy, mix your mini Twix AND Skittles in with the corn. 
  • Libations - Canned wine is ALWAYS a good idea. And makes for easy cleanup too! 

  • PJ's: A fun excuse to scoop up an actual pajama set. You know the kind where the top and bottom match? 
  • Killer Playlist: Because after copious cans of wine, a dance party is inevitable.
  • Instax or photo strip printer to document it all in a safe place. Not EVERYTHING needs to be done for the 'gram.
  • Donuts +Coffee: For the morning after. Because no one is trying to cook breakfast or put on a bra. Bonus points if you use a delivery system like PostMates.

-      Are you down to have an adult sleepover with your girlfriends?

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mom Life: Back To School Donuts + Rosé

At this point in my mom career / tenure the going back to school routine is somewhat old hat. I'm not super emotional about it, more like "take my child please". But in many ways this year is a bit different in that both kids will be attending "real school" and are now officially on the same calendar schedule. 
This works out well for days off and holidays. But as with all things it's kind of bittersweet. The mom struggle is that you're torn about summer break. You both love and hate it. Love the relaxed schedule, lack of homework late nights and ability to do what we want when we want. However, being a work at home mom during the summer can be a bit......stressful at times. 
For me, there is a lot of putting my work on the back burner and finding ways to keep the kids out of their rooms, off their devices and out of each others hair. Chauffeuring children to and from lessons, play dates. Going on adventures. 
It's a full-time job yo.

Summer break also means a lot less time with my mama friends. With everyone in and out of town it can be hard to plan get-togethers and your usual mom squad can go weeks without contact. Which can throw off your balance and make any mama feel a little isolated. Thus making going back to school a bit of a celebration. And what is a celebration without libations? A sad meeting that's what. 
Y'all know I am all rosé all day over here so it stands to reason that back to school should be celebrated with donuts + rosé !

What you need:

Your Favorite R
osé: for a gathering of the girls I like to either chill a bottle of Sofia Coppola and Whispering Angel or break out the cans for easy portability!

Donuts: All shapes sizes and flavors. Eff your Whole 30 it's mama time. 

ALL.The.Coffee: Because you'll need to sober up before getting the kids! (just kidding - this is in no way advocating drinking and driving) 

Your Mom Tribe: Call your mom squad and pick a date so you can all celebrate the return to normalcy, say peace out to summer and hash out your concerns over the upcoming year.

Super simple and you'll still have time to run a quick errand before picking up the kids! 

How do you celebrate / commiserate the return to school and say good-bye to summer? 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

10 Date Ideas For September That Aren't Dinner & A Movie

With the kids back in school and things getting back into some semblance of a routine I set about my getting my life together by way of organizing my calendar. As I was scheduling out the the month (dental, doctor appointments, days off etc.) I thought we should go ahead and get some date nights on there as well so we can budget and plan ahead a little bit lest we are caught with some "free time" and no ideas on what to do with it.

A few weeks ago my mom randomly offered to baby sit on a Friday night so we happily took her up on that. But we were sort of at a loss as to what to do. We ended up going to one of the outdoor shopping centers and wandering around the shops for a bit before grabbing a drink and a bite to eat at Yard House. Afterwards we stopped by to see some friends and ended up talking well into the late night. While we enjoyed ourselves, I realized we often do the same things for date nights, unless we've got tickets to an event of some kind. 

There is a small part of me that misses the fun of the early days when we did stuff for dates. Not that we don't have fun and have adventures but when was the last time that weekly/ monthly date night was something other dinner,a movie or drinks w/ friends?
So I thought I'd make a fun list of some kick ass dates that can break us out of our standard dinner or a movie rut. I narrowed it down to ten. 

  1. The L.A. County fair - With concerts, food of all kinds, rides, exhibits and an abundance of good people watching it really is the perfect date no matter day or night.
  2. Beer Tasting - I'm admittedly not a beer lover. But my guy likes them so I don't mind taking one for the team and trying out a flight or two. Who knows - I might find something I can tolerate! 
  3. Bowling - Taking it back to the days of dating back in high school and college, a night of friendly competitive bowling can do wonders for a relationship. Loser has to do the dishes for a week. 
  4. Piano Bar - Dueling pianos playing ALL the hits, plus drinks, people watching and snacks? Yes please! We went once two years ago and my cheeks still hurt from laughing.  
  5. Paint & Sip - These are popping up all over and why not take the main squeeze and spend a little time getting creative with a little libation? Everybody in the class gettin' tipsy!
  6. Cooking Class - It may seem "odd" to want to cook on your night off but learning a new recipe together in a group setting isn't' the same as destroying your kitchen trying to make a Pinterest recipe with children underfoot.
  7. Salsa Classes - When was the last time you and your S.O. danced together? And not twerking at a bar or club I mean, legit danced. I've been wanting to take dance classes for forever and I think it would be such a fun way to spend an evening or afternoon!
  8. Indoor Rock Climbing -  On our honeymoon we went zip lining and then rappelled down the side of a mountain. Rock climbing seems like a fun way to get back to that same kind of adrenaline rush. 
  9. Escape Room - These keep popping up in my social feed and in almost every Groupon email! Some friends of ours did it last summer and had a ball so it's definitely going on the list. 
  10. Street Food Cinema - okay so maybe it IS kind of dinner and a movie but not in the traditional sense! Each movie night has aptly themed food and there is a DJ and it's outdoors! That's definitely a switch from  the local theater.
The cool thing is a lot of these things can be done affordably and even last minute! Groupon, Living Social, Facebook, Eventbrite all have great listings of events happening wherever you are! Most of these are local to So Cal but I'm sure can be found in most cities, so check it out and go get your date on! 

So - what are you trying out that's on this list? Do you have a date night routine?


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