Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wow Wednesday // JT + Jay - Z = No Cardio For Me

Awhile back I was lucky enough to score some tickets to the Legends of Summer concert coming to town just in time for our anniversary. Even more amazing is that I was able to keep it a surprise from my husband for quite some time. I was beyond excited for the show. I may have mentioned I used to be a party girl back in the day and took in my share of concerts over the years but I haven't been to a hip-hop one in a minute.  So this past Sunday we headed out to the Rose Bowl with about 60,000 other folks to see Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z perform.  The place was super packed and parking was bananas. ($40!!)  Fortunately, my father-in-love is a Pasadena resident so we parked at his place and he dropped us at the venue. We felt like a couple of teenage kids getting dropped off by our parents.

Surprisingly it didn't take me long to pick out an ensemble for the event. I found yet another fab romper at Forever 21 and it was just a matter of deciding on which shoes. I posted a few options on Instagram and although I loved my hot pink heels, I knew it would make much more sense to get all boho chic and wear my ankle boots. Paired with a bright yellow cross body bag and some oversize sunnies it was the perfect look for an outdoor concert with my love.

waiting for the action

Holy Grail

So many people I knew were there but we only ended up running into two of them. In fact, a friend from high school snapped a photo of me talking to my Seesy a few rows in front of her and posted it to FB!
I, of course, didn't see said photo until after we were on the way home. Hate that I missed seeing her!

because I'm lame and don't look up.

oh heyyy JT
But D & I had a freaking ball. I mean. Talk about the best date night ever! I have to give myself a high five for this one! Both Jigga and JT had the crowd rockin' and we sang, rapped and danced full out for over two hours. 
And then we walked half-way around the venue and up a hill to get to the car that was waiting for us. Glad I decided to go with the boots after all!

the ROC is in the building

It was exhilarating being in a space with that many people rocking out to the same music all at once.
At one point, I loved looking over to my left and seeing the hardcore looking dude with the fitted L.A. hat sangin' to "Cry Me A River" and "99 Problems" then, looking to my right to see a girls night in full effect and up to the left were an older couple getting their groove on! I loved it.

"Forever Young" - whole stadium lit up w/ cell phones
They performed an encore of Jay-Z's hit "Forever Young" with JT singing the chorus and I literally got goose bumps when the dark stadium lit up with the light from thousands of phones after Jigga said "Let's light it up one time for Trayvon Martin" and the stadium went wild and ablaze in white light. 

"Forever Young" - whole stadium lit up w/ cell phones

such a fun night with my love!

The whole drive home we talked about the show and how much fun we had and I was overcome with such happiness I couldn't stop smiling. It's funny how things work out isn't it? We tried to get tickets and they sold out. Then by some act of grace I scored a pair and we had the time of our lives.
We've had so much fun celebrating our anniversary I'm kind of sad to see this month end. But I am overjoyed we were able to celebrate in ways that were meaningful to us and also strengthened our relationship.
These are the moments I want to hold onto forever. The ones where I look back in twenty years and remember how silly we were and how we sang, danced and dusted the dirt off our shoulders.
These are the days of our lives and this is how I want to remember them.

What memories will you reflect on later in life?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What I Wore // Cheers To Three Years

We've been doing a pretty good job at planning our date nights lately and this being our anniversary month gives us all the more reason to get out and celebrate.

I love any excuse to dress up in something other than my everyday mommy chic and was determined to step it up for our anniversary dinner date. Even if it was a Wednesday. Especially because it was a Wednesday.

As I shared last week I scored big on a random run to TJ Maxx / HomeGoods. This hot little number was fab find number two. As soon as I saw it on the rack I fell in love with it and swooped in on some other chick who looked like she was eyeballing it.

The colors scream fun and the cutout back is all sass. My first thought was that I couldn't possibly wear something like that ( I have seriously got to stop saying that to myself. It's getting old.)  I mean... The whole back is out. In fact  had previously vetoed another dress I'd seen for that very reason. And it's not like I love my back. But I decided to try it on and 'just see'.

As soon as I put it on I knew it had to be mine. I felt....something.....and it was all she wrote. The open back was a little more daring and it just screamed sex to me. And then that wasn't a bad idea.

Dress: Roxy - T.J. Maxx // Heels: Aviesta (old) // Clutch: H&M  

I pretty much knew this was going to be THE dress for our dinner date and the shoes were also a no-brainer. I've been in love with them ever since I came home to the delightful surprise of them sitting in my mail box.

Taking cues from some of the style challenges I've participated in lately, I've really been loving the pieces I've recently added and can't wait to do my end of summer purge so I can pare down to a working wardrobe that constantly provides me with outfits that ooze effortless cool. I'll let you know how that goes.

*no other shoppers were harmed in the purchase of this dress

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What I Wore// Engagement Party Style

My husband is from a big family and therefore there is always an occasion to get gussied up for some reason or another but no better reason than to celebrate the engagement of a sister!
Congrats Ashley & Eric!

I was super jazzed when I stumbled upon this dress at on a random trip to T.J. Maxx / HomeGoods (I was looking for a bench for the foot of our bed)  and decided to wander into the sale section and found a few items to tickle my fancy. I've really honed in on my personal style and pretty much know what I'm going to love before I go into the dressing room and although I was unsure of the fit at first glance, it was hard to say no to this printed beauty.

I loved the contrasting coral piping paired back to the neutral cream and black tribal print. The silhouette is divine. Sassy yet forgiving in the waist, thanks to some strategic ruching, and the circle skirt was quite flattering.

Dress: T.J. Maxx // Necklaces: Forever 21 // Wedges:  Dolce Vita for Target (old/ similar) // Clutch: Urban Expressions c/o Lucky FABB 

It also hit me at just the right length, allowing me to wear either flats or heels with ease. The fact that it has pockets is just icing on the cake.

Even better is that I felt sexy as hell in it. Earlier in the week I had thought about wearing it as it was scheduled to be quite warm that day and the Mister vetoed that idea simply by saying he'd like to be going out with me when I wore this dress.

Done and done. If my man wants to go out with me in a certain dress you can be damn sure I'm going to wear that dress! I mean.

And it helped that we had an event to attend so I was happy to wear it. Of course, then came the usual shoe dilemma. The toddler wrangler in me suggested practicality yet cuteness in my favorite Same & Libby for Target gladiator sandals but the woman who wanted to look hot for her husband was dying to rock the Dolce Vita for Target wedges.

The haute mama won out. I wore the wedges with pride and enjoyed how I felt while wearing them. There is something to be said about the way a woman carries herself while wearing heels. But that is fodder for another post.

 And then Baby Ninja decided to take off into the recesses of the yard and there were some dangerous holes and whatnot so practicality won out in the end as I ended up in the Sam&Libby's before the day was out.

Oh and I'm rocking a clutch. With a toddler in tow. How's that for feeling sassy? 

What have you found that you're loving lately?

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Eat // Watermelon + Argula = Summer Salad Perfection

I knew I had become an adult when I began to eat salads by choice and not just as a 'side'. I knew I'd really grown up when those salads suddenly began to get beyond just iceberg or romaine lettuce and I preferred a "fancy" vinaigrette to a creamy ranch/blue cheese/ Caesar.
As time goes on I continue to look for ways to spice up my salad jam and have been trying to really push myself in the kitchen. Being summertime, I'm always on the lookout for a light new recipe to try that isn't going ot take me forever to make.

Enter my new 'summer salad of choice'. Tomato + Arugula + Watermelon + Basil = perfection. Who knew???

Using only what I had on hand I threw together a most delicious concoction. The recipe was first featured in the July issue of RedBook magazine and had I not been so slow in actually reading over the magazine I might have missed it altogether!

So glad I didn't!
As a Southern Californian it's a bit odd for me to say this but I've never had a salad with just arugula. I've had salads with it in it, but never had that be the star of the show.

I loved how it brought a more earthy flavor but the basil kept it from being to much like dirt. The combination of the tomatoes and watermelon added a juiciness and a sweet factor while the red onion gave it a bit of bite.

All agreed it was a great addition to our summer salad repertoire. Using fresh, local ingredients, I felt like I was not only creating a yummy aspect to our meal, but also helping the community (local farmers) while letting our taste-buds run wild.

The Mister loved that it was light and so easily made. He also liked that it was totally different than anything I usually make and like myself is delighted I now have a "go-to" item I can bring to picnics/bbq/cookouts etc.
This makes me very happy. I do so tire of bringing the same type of items all the time.

Did I mention I even made a delightful vinaigrette to go with it? Yeah I was pretty impressed with myself as well.

It was all so refreshing and paired well with the Shrimp Tacos and then again with steak the next evening.
I couldn't find the actual recipe online so here's what's listed in the magazine with what I adapted for my needs.

Tomato, Watermelon + Kale / Arugula Salad 
(adapated from redbook mag July 2013 issue)

Prep time: 15 minutes


  • 1.5 lb seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch chunks (4 cups)
  • 1 pint (2 cups) mixed baby tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup each slivered red onion and torn fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cups baby kale, arugula or watercress
  • 3oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled (3/4 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO (*Basil EVOO)
  • 1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1. In a large serving bowl combine watermelon, tomatoes, basil and onions.
Place greens and goat cheese on top of watermelon mixture but do not toss.
(if not serving immediately salad can be covered and refrigerated up to 3 hours)
2. In a glass measuring cup whisk oil, vinegar, salt and cayenne. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

* I also used a skoch shaved parmesan, romano and asiago cheeses and some fresh cracked black pepper to taste.

See how easy that is? Perfect for summer and the nights you want something delish but don't want to spend forever chopping it all up! I'm all about making my cooking life both easy and delicious so this was the ideal marriage of the two!

Do you have a favorite summer salad? Let me know if you try this out! 
Sharing recipes is a fairly new thing around here and I would love to get some feedback from you to let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Summer Staple Series // Maxi + Nude Shoes

I am a firm believer in having a 'uniform' of sorts. Especially in my current role as W/SAHM ( I mean, I do try to get some work done during the day) housekeeper and toddler wrangler.
I always want to be cute. Always. Even when I don't feel well or it's bloody hot.
But, I don't generally want to think about what it is that I'm wearing. Most mornings it's all I can do to get myself dressed and eyelashes mascara'd before it's time for D to leave for work. So the less I have to think about what I'm wearing the better.
Enter the maxi dress. A summertime staple for all women. 
Y'all know I love a good day dress and this midi/maxi trapeze dress from Line & Dot is just perfection in my book. It came to me via The Daily Look but you can also find it here and here  if you're not a member. It's priced the same. I would pretty much live in this dress if purchased and for the price I think it would be totally worth it. I love the slightly diaphanous feel and how it just seems to graze the body. I'm all about that these days (thank you So Cal heat wave).
I was skimming through my inbox in a deleting frenzy when this lovely green number caught my eye but by the time my brain registered it's loveliness I had already hit delete. Sweet.
However, Monday morning there it was again. Almost begging me to investigate further.
How could I refuse? It also didn't help that the tagline was something like "Palm Springs Perfection". I mean. Obviously.
Summer Staples

Summer Staples by ambs32 featuring a bib necklace

And then there are the shoes! Thanks to Andrea's photo on IG I've been crushing on the Shoemint Jordane's (also the Eila's) but am unsure if I just like the way they look on someone else or if they would really work for me. This is when online shopping is no bueno - I need to be able to try these babies on!
The concept of pairing this dress with either low heeled nude sandals, wedges or a strappy heel allows you to have some versatility without taking away from the stunning centerpiece of a dress. Accent with some fun pops of color by way of wrist and neck candy and it adds a fun unexpected twist to an otherwise simple dress.
This is why a maxi is the perfect summer staple it can be worn anywhere from the beach, to running errands, a summer wedding or even date night! 

How would you style this dress?

Shop the set! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Eat // Shrimp Tacos + Chipotle Crema

A lot of you asked about the tacos I posted on Insta last week so I thought I'd share the recipe and how they came to be.
I love the Food Network and all of the cooking shows. Ever since I started watching Top Chef I fancy myself some kind of food snob (even though I'm picky as hell) and that I can re-create almost anything. (In my own brilliant fantasies)
Now, I am not the most skilled cook of all time. I mean, I can hold my own but I wouldn't say I'm AMAZING. I have sister-in-loves that throw down so I don't even try to compete but I've been trying to step my game up. I've been making it a point to really be pro-active with my summer list and since that includes cooking I thought it high time to get adventurous. I can pretty much Pin myself to sleep but if I don't do anything with them, well, then that's just electronic hoarding isn't it?

So after checking my fridge and freezer I decided to try out this Shrimp Taco recipe. I'm all for putting a new twist on an old favorite and taco's are a staple in this house. And I knew my hubby would be down. He loves shrimp.

The only thing I had to purchase to make the dish was the red cabbage as I don't generally keep that on hand.
Originally, I had no plans to use the purple slaw on my own tacos. Fine for the Mister but not so excited about it for myself. And let's me just say this to clarify a bit, in my mind I want to try new foods and eat all these fancy ingredient delicacies but sometimes my eyes/head are all "no. you will gag" so I don't try it. But I am so happy I did this time. It was all so, so good.

The chipotle crema added a lovely hit of heat on the back end but not like spice - more like a smoky heat (does that even make sense?)

My husband was pretty impressed with not only my skills but the results, as was I. It made for a delightfully simple meal with a fancy twist. And in the middle of the week too! How's that for spicing things up?
We had a salad too but I'll save that gem for later.

The link to the original recipe I pinned can be found HERE.

I made a few modifications as follows:

*I didn't have any grape seed oil so I used a combo of my Blood Orange and Lime Olive Oils.
* I used white corn tortillas and we just kind of did it street taco style.
* I used sour cream because it was what I had on hand but I think the creme fraiche would've been lovely
* My cabbage was pre-sliced thanks to Fresh & Easy. I heart them.
* I used  peeled & de-veined frozen Argentinian Red Shrimp from Trader Joe's. #currentlyobsessed
* I grilled my shrimp in a grill pan on the stove.
* I accidentally measured out too much tequila for the marinade and subsequently made myself a margarita. Waste not, want not right?

Let me know if you try it as I'd love to hear what you think!!

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