Thursday, February 28, 2013

Allow Me To Re-Introduce Myself

Allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is Amber.
A to the mber (said in my best Jay-Z rap voice)

See the possibility #fromcarpoolstococktails

I've done some sprucing up around here did you notice? Call it spring cleaning if you will.
While visiting Suburban Sparkle I learned fellow blogger Kotryna was offering an amazing deal on blog design and you know I hopped on that bandwagon!! Whoop Whoop!
It was time for a new look to go with the new name! 
Things have been crazy busy here at Carpools to Cocktails both IRL and blogland and I realized that with Blissdom only a few weeks away, LuckyFABB coming on the heels of that and a host of new things in the works there will be new people stopping by here and the Facebook page that may have no clue as to what Carpools to Cocktails is all about!

So I thought I'd do a quick list of 10 random/interesting/fun facts about me!

  1.  My favorite color is lavender. I love all shades of purple but lavender has my heart.
  2.  Procrastination makes me more creative and is also a constant source of stress in my life.
  3.  I am a total shoe junkie. My dream is to have a closet just for my shoes. That would be my happy place.
  4. Cooking is not my favorite but I love to make a delicious meal for my friends and family.
  5. I'm generally reading more than one book at a time. I love to read and often purchase/check-out in multiples so it makes it that much harder to restrain myself.
  6. I am an eternal optimist. I pretty much think things will always work out and try to look on the bright side at all times. This pisses some people off. I just brush my shoulders off.
  7.  I feel as though I'm on a constant journey to 'grow up' and keeping waiting for the point in which I feel like a full fledged adult in mind, body & deed. I'll keep you posted on when that actually happens.
  8. I never thought I'd been writing a 'style' blog. Ever. I just thought this would be a small space for me to write funny stories about my kid. Who knew eh?
  9. I am an introverted extrovert. I am outgoing, and loud. Personable and fun but get very shy and insecure in new settings/groups. Especially when I don't know anyone. These conferences are going to stretch my box into a rhombus.
  10. I love this space. I love blogging. I love the community. I love the images. I am super curious and love reading fiction so blogs are just another way to find out about other people and what they are going through. I like to hear all sides of the story.
And I'm spent. That was pretty random I suppose but it's late and this is what you get after a busy day spent chasing my own personal Curious George, running errands, cleaning, cooking......ya know....housewife-ish. 
So there you have it - a brief, synopsis of me. You can expect a little bit of everything around here.... finding inspiration on Beauty + Life + Style  and making it accessible and real, that is what Carpools To Cocktails is all about. 

Oh and this little mantra is up on our wall too -

words from a boss bitch

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Trend I Tried: Leather Leggings

So I've gone on and on about wanting a pair of leather leggings but being afraid to take the plunge. I've posed the question on Facebook, Twitter  about whether or not a real (like carpooling real) mama could pull them off in everyday life and especially here after seeing so many cute bloggers wear them. After querying a dear friend, fellow mama and pretty much my icon for accessible everyday style, I headed to CottonOn to try on a pair. The Zara pair wasn't crazy expensive but I wasn't willing to invest too much into a trend I wasn't sure I'd love but I had to try it out. I couldn't get those images/outfit ideas out of my head!
I've made collages about the different ways to style them and I think I am going to challenge myself for the next month to style them at least three ways to 1) ensure they were worth buying, 2) prove they really are as versatile as I've claimed they could be, 3)  see if I am cooler than I think.

The girl and I had hair appointments Saturday afternoon so I wanted to be comfortable but I also wanted to be cute once it was all said and done so I decided to pair my new pants with a fun tee from the men's section and take the whole get up out for a spin.

 Tee - Target Men's section,Pants- Faux Leather leggings (similar), Kicks - Chuck Taylors,

this is my favorite shot Sweet Pea got - it just looks cool

As you can see they pretty much rock like regular leggings! They were super stretchy and comfortable (great for when you're stuck in a chair getting beautified). You can definitely tell there is a sheen to them but no one stopped and stared or anything. So I feel pretty safe taking them out again.
I actually can't wait until date night and I can pair them with some heels. And I have plenty of other  ideas on how to style them other ways. I'm kind of excited and a little bit irritated I waited so long!

**Side Note: I am totally going to have to cut the neck on this t-shirt. It just looks too 'perfect' the way it is.***

What do you think so far? Would you try this trend after seeing it in 'real life' ?

Linking up with

pleated poppy

Real Girl Style Link Up

Friday, February 22, 2013

Closet Clean-Up: Denim Style

You may recall I am a bit nuts about my closet organization. If I had my way I'd have a beautiful walk in with separate shelving for everything. So I can see all of my things.

jewelry storage - Mary Alice Stephenson accessories
Ummm yes please!!!! I might actually get to wear my shoes!!
so dreamy!

 And a vanity for all of my makeup.
Love :)
master closet. shelves above, drawers below, hanging racks in middle.
A girl can dream right?

Well, in my continued effort to pare down the wardrobe to what I really wear, what works etc....
I tackled the dreaded denim problem. I have a ton of jeans. I mean it. It's kind of obscene I guess.
Or maybe not. I'm sure there are many out there with more. But it's a staple of my wardrobe so it is what it is.
Anywho. I've realized that if I don't see it I won't wear it so I am continually trying to make my closet and drawers more visually appealing so I am inspired when I look through them.
Last month I cleaned out my purses. Purged quite a bit and was happy to do it.  
Then, I went to Ikea and purchased a set of storage containers from the ever awesome SKUBB line (in purple naturally) and used them to store my sweaters and some tote bags that were taking up space. So that left quite a bit of room on the top shelf.

I took all the jeans off the hangers ,threw them on the bed and began to sort them by style. Then I  folded and stacked them accordingly. Skinny, Boot Cut & Straight.

I then organized the remaining hanging items by color and.......voila! 

It took me less than an hour and I know have a nicely organized pants section.
I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out. 

(Hanging - all colored denim, boyfriend jeans and miscellaneous pants {i.e. cargos/cords....})

Of course that got my juices flowing to 'fix' the rest of my closet and  day dreaming about the best way to display/store my shoes...... but it was getting late and the Mr. wanted to go to bed.

Until we meet again organization muses......

Do you organize your closet? Am I just nuts?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tuesday Treats on Thursday: Simple Scampi

My sister in love was on hand to assist with the food for the weekend and since everyone always raves about this tortellini salad  I asked her to make it for the party.  It is pretty delicious. Go make it. You can thank me later.
Being that I still had tortellini on the brain (not to mention all the ingredients on hand due to over calculations)  I thought why not whip up a yummy dinner for my peeps?
My original "plan" was to do some kind of lite cream sauce (oxymoronical I know) but while in Fresh & Easy I stumbled upon a Shrimp Scampi seasoning packet.

And thus a new dish was born.
It couldn't have been more simple.

Most everything I had on hand except the shrimp and the foccia bread.

Cast of characters:

  • Fresh or frozen Shrimp (I like the large ones) de-veined
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Spinach (about a cup or so)
  • Diced garlic
  • Five Cheese Tortellini
  • McCormick Shrimp Scampi Seasoning
  • White Wine
  • Lemon Juice
  • Parmesan cheese

Prepare Tortellini according to package directions.
Clean spinach, tomatoes and shrimp place in separate bowls.

Follow directions on seasoning packet - I used both white wine and lemon juice. The packet says either or.
I cooked the shrimp for about a minute or so first before adding in the spinach and once the spinach began to cook down I added in the grape tomatoes. (not before popping a few in my mouth!)

Unfortunately I was a tad occupied whilst in the process and thusly have no photos of the during process... only the post photo op.
I threw in the tortellini and let mixed it all together and let it simmer for a few more minutes.
Topped it all with Parmesan cheese and voila!

Dinner is done!!
Serve with warm bread and wine!

**Tortellini is on sale at Fresh & Easy 2 for $6!!

Side-note: As I was putting the food away I mused aloud that perhaps next time I might add bacon to give it another dimension and the Mr. suggested prosciutto and I agreed that would be a fun addition......just sayin'

Is this something you and your family would try?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Coffee Date : 5 Things You Don't Know

Today I'm linking up with Alissa for this week's Coffee Date.
I love the idea of this link up and think I may even try my hand at vlogging for the next one! Yikes!
Except the idea of y'all hearing how strange my voice is compared to my writing makes my palms sweat.  New year new things right? So yeah.
Moving on.....
Today's topic is 5 Things You May Not Know About Me. Sheesh. I feel like I am an open book but here we go!

  • First things first - you would be surprised to find that I am incredibly shy. Yeah, I know. If you've met me in real life you know I can be a loudmouthed silly somebody but I can be terribly introverted at times. I love to meet new people but am befuddled by small talk and feel awkward when the conversation runs out. So Blissdom should be a huge adventure for me.

  • I've been engaged twice. To the same man. We got engaged when I was 23 and broke it off a few months later (I had NO idea what I was doing) and then got back together when I was 28 and were married when I was 31!! Who knew it would end up here?

  • My daughter saved me from myself. Not even kidding. I was a total party girl with no real direction and just cruising through life. I got pregnant, had Sweet Pea and everything changed. Talk about prioritizing! Also I was never even really gung ho about having kids so it was truly divine intervention that saved my soul.
  • I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. I mean, don't we all? But being a Black woman it's a bit more complicated. We pretty much come into this world with hair issues so it's been a life long thing. It never looks the way I think it will and that can sometimes be disappointing when I have an idea in my head and it doesn't come out the same. 
  • I'm really proud of my workout routine and how I got in shape for the wedding and then subsequently lost the baby weight as quickly as I did but I get VERY uncomfortable when people tell me that I'm skinny. I don't know why because I clearly work hard at being a certain size (not because I feel pressure but as I've said before I don't have the money for a whole new wardrobe) but it still makes me feel weird when people draw attention to it. Maybe it's the way it's done. I don't mind if someone says wow you look great what are you doing? rather than the omg. you're so skinny." It makes me feel like they are judging me somehow. How's that for random?
So if we were having coffee this week what random things would you share with me?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

No Love Lost : Prabal Gurung for Target

By now you've all seen the photos of the latest designer collab at Target no?
If not, you'll recall my post  about the pieces I saw that piqued my interest in the magazine and online. Prabal Gurung is the latest designer to work with the retailer on a limited edition collection for this spring. Dubbed the "LOVE" collection the pieces were bright fun and looked like this was just the thing to bring Target back from their holiday debacle with Neiman's .
Like many others, I diligently made my way to Tar-jay on Sunday to check out the new collection (hey we NEEDED toilet paper!) and was kind of dismayed to find such a sad looking layout for the shoes, accessories and the clothes. I mean, if you're going to do a collection then make it stand out right?

Not so much, it seemed. It was all mingled in with the 'everyday' stuff and didn't stand out. Most of the racks seemed a bit picked over and most of the pieces weren't even available in stores (as with all Target collaborations they only allow for certain pieces to be sold in stores creating that much more of a frenzy [hello missoni])
I found one of the pieces, the Floral Crush dress, that I was looking to try on but none of the shoes.
And the dress totally not my size. Lucky for me on my way to the dressing room I ran into the rack of "go-backs" and found both the First Date shirt and the Floral Crush dress in my respective sizes! I had heard the sizing ran 'funny' so I made sure to take the other sizes in as well.

So as I've said before, I'm not really big on floral prints, but something about this collection spoke to me. Maybe it's because I've got a case of the winter blahs and am ready to move on into the spring and summer hues but it made me happy some how.

The first piece I tried was that killer looking red dress in the collage above. Great on the model. On me? Uggh.
Not so much.

The top totally flattened out my boobs and made my shoulders look more broad than they really are and cut me in half. I did however love the pockets and the details of dress.

But the fit was awful for me. Towering at 5'4" I pretty much know what kinds of dresses I can get away with (some make look tricky with flats but look amazing paired with heels) and this is one I couldn't even begin to make work. At first I thought it was the nursing bra but alas......I was wrong.
It just didn't work plain and simple. I hate when that happens.

I'm still on the fence about this shirt. I like it. I kind of love it......but I'm not fully ready to commit to it. I mean I can see how to style it but I kind of feel like the cut may be a little loose and too boxy for my shape. But we shall see.

I tried on this dress and was/am still a little unsure since it is SO bold but then I thought, if I don't take risks now.....when will I? So it came home with me. We'll see if it stays here.
It definitely needs a belt and in the commercials they used a shiny black I chose a bright patent coral/orange. 
I know I have a myriad of shoes to go with it so that's not even a question. 

What do you think of the bright dress?

I know a lot of people weren't super impressed with the collection or the quality of the pieces and I totally get that. There were a few shirts that looked great in the look book and online but just didn't make the grade in real life. Check out my girl Erica over at The Glamorous Gleam , she has a great breakdown of the pieces she tried and a few that were on my list as well like this and this.

While I don't think it's the best quality collection's TARGET people! I know we've all come to expect more but I think at some point we have to think about who their target audience is and not just about what we would do in their shoes. 
That said, I am not as gung ho as I could've been and am not even interested in searching for any of the pieces my store didn't have as it seems everyone on my IG feed ended up with the same pieces!

How's that for original style content?!! Ha!

{p.s. that would make a great link up - how do you wear your Love?" ......Just sayin} 

So you tell me....did you fall in "Love" with Prabal for Target? What did you buy? What turned you off?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What I Wore: Copy Cat Challenge...Stripes!!

I've always liked stripes. Like plaid there is just something about them that makes me happy.
Maybe it's all the different variations/sized they come in. Maybe it's the uniformity. Maybe it's the simplicity. Who knows. I just like them. Always have.

As I continue my closet assessment I am taking inventory on what items I own and what I don't and it appears I have a few striped tops in my possession so when I found out from Ma Nouvelle Mode that this week's challenge was stripes I thought: I can so do this.
I've been dying to wear this sweater again anyway and this was the perfect time!

I originally bought this sweater to simply add to my sweater collection and to switch things up with a pattern of some kind. Upon trying it on I realized the many different styling options I had an was jazzed to find it fit perfectly!
Due to the somewhat lightweight material I can see myself wearing it with shorts in the spring and on cool summer evenings over a dress or after the beach.

We had errands to run but the weather so sunshiny that it practically begged me to have my ankles out! I even had a small arm party (which I never do) and none of them were lost or broken!

Did I mention how I scored these Kelsi Dagger booties on a whim?

 I was in The Rack making a return and found nothing that had to end up in my closet so I headed to the shoes to see if they had something for the kids. Nothing in either of their sizes so I thought 'well I'll just look and see if they have any black ankle boots in my size'. Walked up to the rack and they were the second shoe I grabbed and the only pair in my size. It was meant to be!
the details:
boyfriend jeans: AG Crop Ex Boyfriend
sweater: H&M
boots: Kelsi Dagger "Triology"

How do you wear your stripes?

pleated poppy    the Grant life  button

Friday, February 8, 2013

What I've been Wearing: Cell Phone Diaries

Are y'all as obsessed with Instagram as I am?
I know a bunch of folks hopped on the Vine app bandwagon in the last week but I don't have an iPhone so that's not an option. Nor do I think I really need one extra thing in my life right now anyway.
Anywho, like I was saying, I love IG and the instant feedback you get. I'm an indecisive shopper by nature and since my general shopping buddy is hunk of drooling love, with not much of an opinion on my wardrobe I've taken to IG (follow me!)as a way to vett my purchases.
I'm also notorious for posting 'wannabe modeling shots' of the outfits I think work on a daily basis.
It's like having a visual record of my closet!

Here's what I've been wearing lately:
sweater: H&M, leggings: mossimo, boots: sole society

top: H&M, jeans: david kahn, boots: sole society

top: mossimo pocket tee,pants: mavi jeans, boots: kelsi dagger

top: trouve, jeans: joe's, kicks: chucks

Save for a few prints and pops of color my uniform consists pretty much of grey/black/white top jeans and boots. With the occasional pair of chucks/flats thrown in for good measure.

Clearly I'm not setting any trends but I do enjoy rocking a few of the latest in my own special way.

What's your 'uniform' look like?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Daily Style: A Pop of Pink

I got to have lunch with a dear friend today and I was pleased as punch to be meeting her.
I haven't seen her in awhile and y'all know I get excited about the idea of time with other adults.
Since the little man was in tow we planned on going someplace casual and I've been jonesing to rock my chucks and what better way to pair them than with hot pink skinnies?
I mean....

I found this cute tee while on 'quick cruise through H&M' the other day and was drawn to the simplicity. I love grey. It's one of my favorite neutrals.
The fact that this tee also has tiny neon dots to add that extra punch only made me want it further and the loose fit is divine.

I know there are many bottoms I could pair this tee with but I wanted my outfit to reflect my mood and the fact that the weather was BEAUTIFUL. And hello? It's February! The month of love! I figured hot pink was a great way to start off a Monday! Nothing  like bright colors to get the week started off right! Am I right?

the details-
Pants: Old Navy Rockstar Skinny Jeans
Tee: H&M
Shoes: Chuck Taylor All-Stars

Linking up with Niki, Natalia and Kelley for Copy Cat Closet

the Grant life


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