Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry and Bright

I doubt anyone is out there reading today but if you find yourself with a few minutes and pop in -  I just wanted to wish all my lovely readers and friends a very Happy Holiday!
This is such a special day and I'm excited about watching the kids open their gifts and to see the look on Baby Bear's face when he discovers the pure joy of tearing paper.
I am so blessed to have this space to share my thoughts, dreams, and inspirations and am grateful to those who have supported me from the beginning and have continued to do so.
From Carpools to Cocktails has grown so much this year and I'm excited to grow and share and get to know y'all even more in the coming year!



Merry Christmas Y'all & Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

New Year New Rules....Right?

do justly love mercy walk humbly

Not gonna lie, it's been a bit hard to get into the spirit of the season this year. Last year I was so ready for the year to be over as I was beyond ready to meet my little man and was prepared for Christmas shortly after Thanksgiving. This year not so much. I'm finally in the holiday spirit and am ready to just soak up & savor the moments.
It seems strange that this year is almost over. I kind of feel like it just began. And now that I'm getting my groove back......well, where has the blasted time gone? So much has happened this year and it feels as though it's been longer than 12 months.
Births of new babies, engagements, cross country moves of friends, quitting my job, focusing on my writing and family more than ever before....it has been one for the record books for sure.
With the new year just around the corner I find myself inundated with lists of all kinds.
Mostly wishlists from my big kid and shopping lists for dinners and gifts for friends.
But I'm also thinking about my list for 2013. What do I want to accomplish next year?
What am I looking forward to? I'm not into the typical "lose 10 pounds" or "be more organized" because lets be honest, those are just typical flights of fancy. I want to be intentional with my goals and feel that if I put them out into the universe in hopes some of them may come true!

See the possibility #fromcarpoolstococktails
In 2013 I would like to:

  • get in quality family time.
  • buy a home
  • paint & customize some furniture
  • attend a blogging conference
  • explore paid/writing opportunities
  • book more weddings
  • write more
  • craft with Camryn
  • learn to sew (this has been on there for awhile but I figure since baby girl wants to learn we can do that together)
  • spend quality time with girlfriends
  • make the famdamily a priority

This is just a small sampling of my gigantic 'list-o-things' I want to work on. I'm bursting at the seams with excitement to see how many are checked off this time next year.

Now that I've shared some goals of mine for the coming year, tell me - What are some of yours?



I'll be taking a break next week to spend time with the family (my brother is in town and so are some of East Coast besties) and enjoying the winding down of this tumultuous year.
I may try to pop in and do a Christmas re-cap but since the Mr. and Sweet Pea will both be home we're just going to bask in the togetherness and enjoy all the friends and family in town!


Merry Christmas Y'all!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Style Post: Lazy Cute

Whenever I want to be comfortable but still maintain some level of "cute" I throw on leggings and boots with pretty much any kind of top. But being that it's winter(ish) I am so happy to grab a cozy sweater, leggings and boots and go about my day.

This is quite possibly the easiest outfit in the world for me. No belts or buckles or anything to fumble with. Simple, easy and comfortable. And it's great for chasing busy babies around the house. I like that I look (somewhat) put together and still have same level of comfort if I was rocking sweats. It's what I like to call lazy cute. Too tired to pull together a snazzy look but still cute enough I could  grab lunch with the Mr. or my girlfriends and not embarrass myself or them.




Originally, when I scored this sweater a few years ago for the Mr. I immediately fell in love with it's chunky knit and relaxed fit.  I knew it would be a perfect piece for us to "share". After sharing borrowing the sweater one too many times he finally gave it to me and I couldn't be happier. It's like it was meant for me!


*clearly the laundry basket in the background speaks volumes as to my 'stylish' life. Ha!
This is why I started to take photos in the back yard!


And the boots are probably one of my favorite purchases of 2011. They were on super sale via Hautelook while I was still working there and I distinctly remember being very excited that they had them in my size and I had the money to buy not only them but another Steve Madden pair I'd had my eye on for about a year! Good things come to those who wait right?



Sweater: Boxfresh (old)
Leggings: Target
Boots: Steven by Steve Madden (sold out)


p.s. Isn't my tiny photographer getting good?? I'm so proud!


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Wishful Wednesday.....

I don't know about y'all but I could use some fluff right about now so here it goes.....

I know the blogosphere and the interwebs are chock full of Holiday gift guides for everyone. The stylish mom blogger, the baker, the crafter, the guys guy, the kids. You name it and someone is bound to have created a gift guide for it. I personally love gift guides as I like seeing what others come up with and how I can possibly incorporate some/all of the items into my own gift giving process. They can be so helpful! And I kind of wanted to create my own  for my family but then I thought well that will take forever! There are so many good things out there!  And on the off chance any of them read this I will be so busted. 
So......why not just make and share my wish list. So I did. And here you go. You know, just in case you were wondering what to get me.

Wishlist



Some cute pj's for lounging around the house during our family vacation. A classic sweatshirt, a tee and some leggings with awesome embellishments. A new planner to organize our life away. Books, books and more books! If I had a coffee table I'd display them there but I will happily add these to my bookshelves (a.k.a. 'the library'). Nail polish. Okay that's not just for me - I know Cam would be trying to wear some of those colors too. The NAKED basics, because you can always use the basics when it comes to makeup. And finally.....a Silhouette Cameo. I keep entering the giveaways but I never win. If I found one under my tree I'd be winning for sure!
I wouldn't complain at all if any (or all) of these items found their way under my tree come Christmas morning. No, you wouldn't hear a peep out of me.
I also wouldn't complain about a Glen Ivy gift card either. I'm just saying......

What's on your Christmas wish list?


Monday, December 17, 2012

In the Aftermath


As much as my head wants to be all business as usual and go about posting and planning and whatnot I would be remiss if I did not write anything. And I think that after three days of a kind of media silence I am finally ready to speak.
The shooting in Newtown was a unfathomable tragedy. As soon as I saw the clip on the news I immediately contacted my BFF who lives in Stratford, a mere 25 minutes away.
All I could think about were her two children. I knew they were okay but watching a clip on the news there was a young girl walking out of the school and she looked like Cadence. It broke my heart and I turned the channel before more details were offered. I chose not to watch the news most of the weekend as I was not yet prepared to delve into the details. I was still a bit raw without really realizing it. I needed time to process the events of Friday morning but I needed to do it in a way that was more filtered than the blinding media coverage of the actions of a troubled young man. I know what happened. I know how many angels entered heaven's gates that morning but I had/have no desire to dwell on it. We chose to briefly discuss the facts with our daughter Friday evening but that was really it. I wanted her to understand but not be afraid, to ask questions but not become obsessed.
 Instead, we enjoyed time well spent as a family. We played, laughed and enjoyed each others company all weekend. I reveled in my children and the mundane of our lives.
As grumpy as I was that she had been sent home sick the day and I had to run out in the rain with the baby to pick her up, I was happy I kept her home. Happy she was home safe with me. Turns out the generator blew out in front of the school and everyone was sent home. The timing of it was not lost on me.
My heart goes out to those mothers who lost their babies. Mothers who sent their kids off to school without a second thought as to whether or not they would be safe. My prayers for their families and friends who remain and will forever wonder "why?" I can't wrap my head around that kind of pain. It could as easily have been my child, at our local school. 
In light of the tragedy that has rocked our nation it definitely feels 'odd' to post about my winter beauty necessities, my holiday wish list, featured posts and reply to tweets about giveaways and the like. All the usual frivolity and pomp of the blogger holiday season. But at the same time, I am craving some kind of normalcy. Some kind of way to put this shocking news behind me and move on. And in the same instance I am struck by the stark reality that there is no happy medium. For many it will be January before the re-enter the world of social media. For others it was a mere hours. 
I know many  were disappointed in brands/blogs that continued "business as usual" as details were still rolling in. Everyone has their own decisions to make and we can only do what feels right for us. 
For me my own posting schedule will resume later this week. 
I need some lighthearted distraction in the wake of recent events and I think a silly wish list will do just that. For me. Because that's how I roll. I need to be distracted by the benign in times of significant heartache. And that's totally okay. 
But I think that this also begs us as a society to begin to have the tough conversations. Talks about gun control sure, but even more so talks about mental illness and how this country deals with those who suffer from the many forms of their own personal hell. It's a tough topic but one that definitely needs to be addressed. I know so many people who suffer from various forms of depression, chemical imbalances etc. there is no voice for them in society and we need to change that. 
School safety also needs to be addressed as many schools have 'policies' regarding on campus visitors but how are these to be enforced in a non obtrusive way? I'll be interested to see what, if any, changes are made to the local schools around here as well as on the national level.
Now that we are in the aftermath, some still reeling from the shock, most processing their grief, hopefully we will come together as a nation, a community of parents willing to cast up their prayers in support of those who need them. Not Republicans or Democrats. Red states or blue. Just Americans leaning on our Father and each other in one of our darkest hours.

Please join me in lifting up all the families that have been/ will be affected by this horrific tragedy.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Five Winter Beauty Necessities

Winter Beauty


It's officially winter and time to switch things up in the beauty department yet again.

I am finding as I get older that I am changing up my skin care routine more consistently with each season. It's inevitable that my skin has changed and since having a baby in the last year I've learned what works and what needs tweaking and go from there.
With the weather ranging from the mid 70's to the low 40's it can wreak havoc on the skin and there are a variety of tricks one can employ to maintain a glowing healthy complexion without a ton of makeup.

Great skin starts with clean skin! I received one of these babies for Christmas last year and it was truly life changing. The different brush heads and speeds let me control the type of facial cleansing I want and whenever my skin seems to be looking dull I kick it up a notch with an exfoliating face wash and voila! Glowing skin!

 Skin Brightening Moisturizer with SPF
Just because the sun is not blazing daily doesn't mean you don't still need to apply a moisturizer with SPF! I love this because it hydrates without leaving my skin feeling or looking greasy. I like Aveeno because it's on the inexpensive side, and I get great results!

Hydrating Lip Balm
Smith's Rosebud Salve is pretty much my crack. I buy them two at a time and have one in every single purse. Works great on dry, chapped lips as well as cuticles!
I like that its something the whole family can share as well. One less thing I have to carry.

Highlighter 
It doesn't matter if it's liquid or powder. Every woman should have a good winter highlighter. Similar to the summer bronzer it amps up the glow we all wish came naturally. I won't leave home without applying. I love the way it makes my skin look refreshed and warm without being overly shimmery or too dark for the season. I like Smashbox's Halo Highlighting Wand and Too Faced Caribbean in a Compact in Snow Bunny.

Blush
I am a sucker for blush. All blushes really are a good thing but in the winter I must say I do love a good cream blush. In the winter I like for the color to look saturated but natural and like it belongs there. So I'm a huge fan of NARS blush in Orgasm. Both the powder form and The Multiple make application a breeze and the universally flattering color always boots my mood!


What are some of your winter beauty must haves?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Style Post: Cordially Yours

This past weekend I stepped out of my pants comfort zone a bit and finally ventured into the land of corduroy skinnies.
I've seen them floating around the web and kind of liked the look but wasn't totally sold until the Madewell event last month where I let my walls down and finally tried on a pair.
Best decision ever. 
I was hooked, on the line and totally sunk.
For a Saturday matinee ballet performance:
The Madewell cords are velvety soft and pretty much feel like I'm wearing pajamas.
Yeah, they're that awesome.
Also, they're a little more high waist-ed so no need to worry about the butt crack spilling out when bending over!
Double win!


My husband called them my "Christmas pants" because of the color. I admit, the bright green is a little out of pocket for me but I'm trying to push myself style wise these days so there you go.




I have to admit I love them and how they pair easily with so many pieces I already own.


And did I mention they are wicked comfortable?


Yeah. Kind of obsessed with cords now.


Top: 14th and Union (Nordstrom Rack)
Pants: Madewell
Shoes: Maxwell by Sole Society
Jacket: Forever 21(similar)
Necklace: Forever 21(old)


Have you tried any new fashion trends lately?


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Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Miscellany: Weekend Snippets

Happy Monday Friends!
Oh what a wonderful day it is indeed!
Yes. I just typed that Monday was wonderful. What has gotten into me?
How was your weekend?
Ours was full of fun, family and yummy food. Really quite glorious in my mind.
Friday kicked it off with a lunch date with D and his co-workers.
I took the baby to the office to meet those who were unable to make it to lunch and he had a blast.
Of course the ladies all gushed over him and he loved all the holiday decor they had up!
I also got to break in my $19 lavender cords (thank you Old Navy) so I was super jazzed.

Saturday was a 'girls day' of sorts as Camryn and I had a date with my mother and godmother to see the Debbie Allen Dance Academy perform their Hot Chocolate Nutcracker.
The performance was at UCLA so it was a bit of trek from our house but totally worth it as usual.
We had a great time watching the show, singing along to the music and dancing in our seats.
I loved having that time to spend with my girl as well. 
Photo: Love her so #sweetpea #fromcarpoolstococktails
Our mommy daughter dates have been few and far between as of late so it was nice to get in some QT.
Of course we took a ton of pictures (come back Wednesday to see what we wore!) and even had a mini photo session on the campus grounds.


This was the second time we've seen this production and it was just as good as the first.Possibly even better for me because I wasn't 7 months pregnant with a baby pushing on my bladder.
Afterwards we stopped for lunch at Islands and chatted about 'girl stuff'. Good times indeed.

Sunday was another fun day. 
D and I spent the afternoon having a Lord
Our good friends, the Muhammad's welcomed their second child, a boy, into the world this past Tuesday. Because of the baby we couldn't make it to the hospital so we decided to take them a quick and easy dinner (Chicken Tortilla Soup) and some delicious muffins for breakfast 
Why don't more people bring breakfast items for those that have just had babies or any kind of surgery? I mean, dinner is great and we all appreciate it but what do we eat for the rest of the day?
After Carson was born I was so grateful for all the meals we were blessed with and could not stop raving about my friend Amber's muffins and fresh fruit she included for breakfast!
It was a saving grace! So I decided to return the favor!
We got to visit with the proud parents and baby Mason and he is absolutely delicious. I am already in love with this kid.

He was so alert and so very tiny. 
We all oohed and ahhed over his cute little nose, tiny legs and curly hair. He is a doll.
 Even though Carson is only 9 months old it seems like a lifetime ago that he was that small!
How is time just flying by so quickly?
Carson was not really interested in baby Mason until he saw his Daddy holding him and even then he was indifferent.
I loved seeing D snuggle a newborn yet again and it made my heart overflow to see all the little babies playing together.
I love that they are all around the same age and will be lifelong famdamily!
There is something about a new life coming into the world that makes every little 'problem' seem so insignificant compared to the fact that there is now another being in our lives to lavish love on.
Truly magical and evoking of the holiday spirit.
Once again my cup runneth over.

What did you all do this weekend?
Anything fun?





Wednesday, December 5, 2012

OOTD: Keeping up with the Clouds

I admit I was dragging a bit last week. The weather has been fickle being rainy and winter like one minute, then cool yet sunny the next. I was coping with my trusty boyfriend jeans and a variety of shirts and footwear before the weather got wet.







I hadn't originally planned to wear the hat but a busy morning and falling curls required some kind of  covering and I was so over the pony tail.



What did I ever do before I discovered the fedora?

Boyfriend Jeans: David Kahn 
Chambray Shirt: Sandra Ingrish
Boots: Sole Society - Heather
Hat: Forever 21

*photos courtesy Sweet Pea


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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Retail Love Affair : Target Wins Again!


Obviously

I've had a long standing love interest in Target for many, many years. If you follow me on Instagram (@ambdorsey) you've probably seen my stream of posts on all my Target scores.
I remember going there as a kid and spending my hard earned money on a new doll or getting school supplies and even clothes. Things in the girls department were not as trendy back then. But they always had something I liked so no worries.
Being that I spend quite a bit of my time there my slight obsession totally makes sense. At least, to me it does.
I can't help but stop in there to pick up necessary household items and am always distracted by the shiny and new. This past month was no exception. I have been to Target no less than once a week for the entire month. Crazy town I know.
I run in there to pick up some toiletries and am immediately accosted by the cuteness.
It's quite festive inside with Holiday banners and gift idea kiosks at every turn. Perfect product placement and plenty of point of sale purchases for a distracted shopper like myself.
I almost turned away and kept forth with my aforementioned task but stopped when the sparkly hit my eye.


 Glittery clutches, sparkly scarves and on trend cap toe pumps for under $30? Don't mind if I do!
Not to mention the clearance aisle in the home decor section! It's amazing I got out of there without buying it all!


I resisted filling my cart up with my favorites from each vignette and steadied the course.
Of course I could not leave without a few pictures for Instagram and some additions to my Christmas list.
Target wins my heart yet again. Just in time for the Holidays.
They always have so many pretty things that catch my fancy and distract me from my original mission.
I can always justify a purchase or two but it becomes a problem when I go in there for three essentials and come out with my bank account $100 lighter and no recollection of how that happened.
Of course I follow them on Pinterest and Target Style on FB/Tumblr and Twitter (follow @SweetPeaAD!) Because I love to see all the style ideas that I may or may not otherwise come up with! I also like to see what the next great collaboration will be and what their in house designers / style experts have come up with lately.

Photo: This DIY craft project is tops on our list. What's your favorite holiday craft project?
Thanks to Sabrina Soto - I now have an easy and inexpensive craft/ gift idea to do with Sweet Pea & gifts for all her friends to boot! How great is that?
And hello, Neiman Marcus + Target limited edition collection?

#holiday24
Genius! Not totally thrilled about all the pieces but I love the fact that they brought high end designers to the masses for an exclusive collection and because they listened to their customers it was quite the shopping experience from what I hear.
J'adore this DVF yoga mat!
I always get inspired  to spruce up my nest while leisurely strolling the aisles and sadly it's one of my favorite places to "escape" to when I need some alone time. (please tell me I'm not the only one who does this?)
It's kind of my happy place. I feel an odd sense of calm and serenity when faced with the many wonders that await me on every end cap.

Because it's totally normal to be obsessed with a store right? Right?
Right.








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