Friday, October 24, 2014

'Aint no thang but a Chicken Wang + Beer

I love celebrating birthdays (most specifically mine) but also for my people. I also love to host gatherings and see nothing wrong with having a house full of friends and their children on a regular basis. My husband on the other hand..... well, he's not always such a huge fan. He enjoys having friends over but there's always a bunch of work that has to be done around the house to get party ready and for some reason we seem to decide to do projects around the house beforehand and that eats into the prep+cleaning time and then we're scrambling on the day of.

However, despite his not so serious protests we cleaned up the house and gathered some folks for a fun afternoon of all the things my man loves. Food, friends, football and of
While our wine palates have grown in the last few years, I've never been a fan of beer. I've "tried" a few over the years and have immediately shaken my head and looked for something else to wash it down with upon tasting. But my man likes beer, rather, he enjoys beer and the many varieties thereof. I'm not mad at that.
I've had it in the back of my mind for some time that I wanted to host a wine / beer. Particularly since we now have the space for it. So what better way to combine my long awaited party ideas with his love of beer, football and celebrate his birthday in a low key way?

When I first dreamed up the idea all I could picture was kraft paper covering the table but I was wavering on what to serve when Sweet Pea suggested brunch and then I thought "Yes! Waffle bar! But wait, does that go with beer? We need something savory..." Thusly the chicken + waffle beer bash was born. I'm not going to lie, I tend to get a little over-excited when it comes to party planning and had to remind myself that this was a 'man-bash' and therefore could not be covered in golden sparkles.  So I decided to keep things really simple for myself and and stick with a neutral theme and let the food take center stage.

Of course Pinterest played a key factor in giving me ideas on decor, set up and even invitation wording but mainly for recipes. Because I know my limitations and have learned from the ghosts of parties past, I decided I would only make 3 things the day of, the sausage and waffles. I purchased the chicken wings from Albertson's (my fried chicken struggle is real) as well as chicken tenders for the chicken + waffle sliders.

You may remember my excitement when the Witt + Delight collection for Target hit stores, as they had a tasting kit already created! One less thing I had to make!  All we had to do was open and set it up! Done and done! The fellas were impressed with the set up and I was impressed they actually took the time to write down their opinions.

For some reason I like to try out new recipes when I'm entertaining and I never think about what could go wrong or what I'll do if it doesn't turn out, well, not too much anyway. So I decided to bake mini Apple Cider donut holes. The recipe seemed easy enough and while they didn't exactly look like they did in the original recipe, they were damn delicious. I will be making more this week.

(recipe note: I subbed coconut oil for butter and they turned out great!)

And of course we had to have some kind of dessert!! Y'all know I love to bake somebody happy and hosting parties is pretty much an excuse to break out a new cupcake recipe and I have about a million on my list left to try. However, this was  manly bash and I didn't want to do anything too overwhelmingly sweet or girlified that would clash with the vibe. So maple bacon cupcakes were definitely in order. The combination of the sweet & savory candied bacon, maple buttercream frosting and butter cake were spot on with chicken and beer.

I also made a banana pudding poke cake for my man because he LOVES banana pudding and cake. And well, I don't like a banana nothin' and have been promising to make this cake for at least the last two years. But I always somehow 'forget' or we end up making something else and I've been feeling kind of bad about that. Well, this past Sunday it finally happened. He was thrilled to say the least and even offered to share some with his friends, which was even more impressive. 

I have to say, we have a great group of friends who always show up for my man and I love how everyone can come hang out and not have to be 'entertained'. D kept wondering (aloud) what we were going to do with the kids while the guys were watching football and I just shook my head. I keep it old school, so if you're little and you come to my house, just know you're heading outside if the weather permits (and let's face it; this is southern California, it's rare that you can't be outside!) so be prepared to get dirty!! Ha! It was a glorious day for hanging with friends and I couldn't have been happier. Dirty floors, house full of folks and kids running everywhere but my heart was full to burstin'. This is what I love.

Happy 38th Birthday D!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mama Monday: Making the Most of Moments Creative Galaxy

Thank you Amazon Studios for sponsoring this post. Find inspiration for new art projects and fun by checking out the new episodes of Creative Galaxy on Amazon Prime!

We are in the throws of toddler hood around here and it's been a challenge to find things to do that are not only inexpensive but educational and capture the attention of the Baby Ninja. He's a very busy boy and loves to play and recently has shown interest in more artistic endeavors so I was happy to hear about Creative Galaxy on Amazon Prime Instant Video.  We already love our Amazon Prime Instant Video app and the boy knows how to navigate through to what he wants to watch and that has saved our sanity on more than one occasion. Our recent trip to San Francisco proved our Tiny Tornado had a passion for creative exploration and I have no problem letting him quench his thirst.

In a technological age I'm all about exposing my kids to art in every way possible. Even if that means using technology to do so. What we love about Creative Galaxy was that it encourage the viewer to create alongside Arty and Epiphany while reminding us that art is in everything and surrounds us every day. The show, the brainchild of Creator and Executive Producer Angela Santomero, who's also worked another favorite around here; Super Why! , is an interactive art adventure series for preschoolers and aims to inspire creative thinking through crafts, music and dance.
Okay so I know what you might be thinking, "It's TV (sort of) .....and  aren't we trying to get away from plopping our kids down in front of a device to keep them occupied?" Yes.  But Creative Galaxy isn't like that. It's a fun half an hour thing we can do in the mornings when it's still too cool to head outside and gets our creative juices flowing for the rest of the day. Also, I don't know about you, but I'm not always the best with toddler friendly crafts. This helps remind me it doesn't have to be Pinterest pretty  or perfect to be fun or educational.

One of the first episodes we watched was particularly timely as we've been celebrating D's birthday so we decided we should make him a birthday card like Arty made his invitation. I was sweating bullets about bringing out glue, glitter and the like we kept it simple with stickers and crayons and I think it turned out just great.
As a work at home mom, I love that this is something he can do under supervision in my office while I work and he watches an episode and then we figure out if we want to do the craft shown or make something similar. He likes to keep crayons and paper handy while watching just in case he inspiration strikes.

I'm so happy we were able to try this app and can't wait to see what else we can create and what more they come up with for us to explore!

Are there any apps or programs for kids, that you love?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Currently Crushing: Midi Skirt + Crop Top

I'm still committing to not shopping for the season (minus a few items I've already planned to purchase ) but that doesn't mean I don't have my eyes on things!
Lately I've been quietly obsessing about crop tops. I know what you might be thinking.....isn't she like a 35 year old HOUSEWIFE? Why would she wear that? But, I think I really want one and have in my head how I want it to look, I just haven't found But it's out there, I'm sure of it. 
I'm also equally obsessed with midi skirts. As someone 5'4 it's always a bit daunting to find the correct length skirt for my body type and while I love the midi it's almost always shown on someone who is at least 4 inches taller than me. So I worry. Admittedly this was a trend I wasn't initially too keen on as I've never really been a fan of skirts that hit below the knee since I didn't think they looked right on me. But, it's starting to grow on me. The itch began way back in April around Lucky FABB. There were so many midi skirts on a variety of body and personality types that it got me thinking.
Then summer showed up with all it's promise of hot days of living in cut-offs and loose dresses and I forgot all about it.
 But then I cam across this floral look on ASOS and I just absolutely fell in love. 

Completely out of my regular style zone, it meets all my mental requirements of the crop top + midi combo. I love that the top is bit more boxy and not too fitted, and the dark moody floral print lends itself to the cooler temps of the season and I can see wearing this for several occasions both together and separately. Generally I don't have many opportunities to pull off a full skirt (what with all the toddler chasing) but I think I can make this work as more of an investment purchase and play around to see how I could wear both items with other pieces in my closet.

And then there's this killer ensemble from River Island also from ASOS. (Seriously that place is dangerous for me!)  I can totally see this on a more dressed up date with the hubs or even a hip evening wedding. I love that it's both simple yet dramatic and still not too over the top trying-too-hard-to-wear-a-trend ensemble. It exudes a sexy sophistication without screaming "look at me" and I think, it's a kind of a classy version of the trend. I mean yes, the stomach baring top will require a few more crunches and a little less beer, but I feel that the length and fit of the skirt balances it all out. Look at me justifying. I don't know why I feel the need to do that, guess trying to validate my lust for this particular trend. Even though this particular top is decidedly more fitted than the previous selection , the shape makes it interesting and the cut is flattering and feminine allowing it more wears than just pairing it with a midi skirt.

Both of these ensembles are sitting in my cart just waiting for me to pull the trigger before they're sold out in my size. I really want to but I'm a bit scurred to step so far out of my zone, but then again, if I don't try it, how will I ever know if it's truly in my "zone" or not?

What are you crushing on lately?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Daily Style: A Vested Interest

A few weeks back I was waxing poetic on my desire to not shop so much this fall season and how I was only interested in a few key basic black pieces. Well, lucky for me, on a BTS shopping trip with Sweet Pea I scored two pieces from my black list at Old Navy. Y'all, I can't even begin to explain how excited that made me! I know it seems silly but when the things align and I find stuff on my closet wish list, well that kind of makes my heart skip a beat. You know I'm a big believer in working your closet but I also fully believe in having a closet that is functional and works with your lifestyle. That's part of the dream right? Effortless dressing and all that. I'm happy to say that these additions fit beautifully into that category and work well in my current season of life.

Jumpsuit: Old Navy (similar) / Vest: Old Navy (similar) Sandals: Sam Edelman / Sunnies: DVF 

I've been wanting a more casual black jumpsuit for the longest but the ones I've found are usually a little too pricey for my modest budget or, are lacking in some way. This one is profoundly perfect. It's super light weight so even on the tail end of a heat wave in a house with no A/C I was nice and cool. The roomy cut was also a blessing as I ate myself into oblivion as I'm want to do at family gatherings. Originally, it comes with straps that can be buttoned to adjust the length or taken off. I knew I would be chasing Baby Ninja around the yard and wanted no parts of a strap situation. Pairing it with the blessed cargo vest was a last minute idea as I figured it would give the jumpsuit a fun layer to play with and take it from a casual thing I was throwing on, to a full fledged ensemble.

These are the types of pieces I'm only interested in purchasing right now. Sure, there's always something to tickle my fancy and get my wheels turning as to how I would rock it, but the reality is, I need a wardrobe that is both fashionable and functional full of classic pieces that I can build upon and make my own. I think I'm getting there but it's still a bit of a process.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Daily Style: Double Denim

A few months ago I was on a mission for shorts as none of my current favorites were fitting (that's a whole other conversation) and I was kind of bummed about not having any cute jean shorts to wear. It helped it was a week of 80+ degree weather and required me to take the boy out earlier in the day than usual to get his running around in. I found myself in Old Navy one afternoon and grabbed a couple of shorts to try on and this paint splattered pair made the cut. Not too short or too long and just the right amount of distressing.
We all know how much I love dresses but sometimes, when chasing a toddler, shorts are an absolute necessity. And there is something fun about dressing up my distressed denim with a more 'proper' / preppy style top as it kind of speaks to who I am. Somewhat put together, somewhat distressed. A jazzy casual mess. That's me.

And then I came across these awesome shoes at Nordstrom Rack and decided to treat myself to an early birthday present. I have been looking for sandals like this for awhile as I know ZARA had a pair in all nude last season but I never got them. I hated myself for that. And then I found this pair while looking for graduation shoes for Sweet Pea and I figured they were meant to be. Originally, I had planned on them jazzing up shift dresses and skirts and maybe the occasional dressy short but when I threw them on with this combo it just felt right. And to be honest, the only reason I was wearing them is because I was in need of a paint job on my toes but lacked the time and energy to devote to picking a color and then actually painting them! It just worked out that they happened to look awesome and took my otherwise pretty plain and boring outfit to fun and flirty!

I instantly felt jazzier while out and about and when I went to pick up Sweet Pea from school all my mama friends said "cute shoes!" which we all know is the female equivalent to "YOU LOOK AMAZING AND ARE CLEARLY HAVING THE BEST DAY EVER!!" Thanks ladies, you made my day. Also - this braid in the front? I can literally only get it to look right about twice every few months so this is that one time it decided to work. I figured pictures were a necessity. Sometimes you just have to celebrate the small things, like cute shoes and a decent braid.

So there you have it. One of my random weekday outfits that worked!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Style Spotlight: Tees In The Trap

Tee shirts have come a long way in the last 30 years. When I was younger it was just something you threw on to go play and then they began to get cuter with fabulous prints and cool logos splashed across the front in bright colors but they were still more or less limited to casual attire. In recent years the tee shirt has gone from being a weekend staple to an everyday glam item.

Personally, I'm a big fan of the t-shirt and  while I am quite partial to a v-neck,  I can appreciate a crew neck as well. And we all know I'm a huge fan of the graphic tee. In fact I may be borderline obsessed but that's basically because they're all so versatile!
So it should come as no surprise that I'm only slightly obsessed with the Tees In The Trap line of tees and accessories that are so on point with the current culture it's almost scary. They have managed to create a line of shirts using some of the Internets favorite ratchet sayings ("Bye Felicia" "Fix It Jesus" and " 'Bout That Life" are among favorites) that are the perfect conversation starter and style statement maker.
There are also these ridiculously awesome bags and mugs that are begging to be taken out and intstagrammed for the world to see. I mean. For real.

trap tees
a few of my favorites fro

Of course I had to place an order and was thrilled to see it arrive last week. The cotton is ridiculously soft and I literally couldn't wear it out. While I was waiting for my order I took the liberty to create a few looks for ideas how to style the various tees because I have issues and am obsessed with the line.

post carpool cocktails Sassy Soccer Mom

I've  got about 3 other shirts on my list along with a coffee cup and perhaps a bag or two that need to make their way to C2C Headquarters ASAP.
I highly suggest you make your way to Tees In The Trap and Get Your Life honey! You won't be sorry you did.

What's your trap tee say?

Shop the set

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?


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