Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Must Read: Conversations Between Me and the Kid

It's no secret that I love to read and I have been on a bit of a spree as of a late.
I'm also happy to promote my friends work so when my dear college friend Phnewfula told me her book was finished and ready for print I immediately requested a copy! Lucky for me she happily obliged.

Awhile back Phnewfula began sharing tidbits of her life with The Kid and we all enjoyed these hilarious exchanges between mother and precocious toddler. Conversations Between Me and The Kid is a compilation of some of the more entertaining banter that has transpired since The Kid could talk. 


As I was reading I was reminded when my Sweet Pea was also a precocious young thing and full of questions and ideas. That's actually what prompted me to start blogging so I was behind this book from the jump. 
Phnewfula is a 15 year music industry veteran and former owner of the lifestyle and fashion destination The Red Lemon Store. While both of these industries taught her a lot and required her to think on her feet, nothing could have prepared her the experience of becoming a mother to Agya.
I've known Phnewfula for a long time and to see her as a mom is awesome. To know that her child is a mini version of her just tickles me pink. She has always had staunch and bold ideas about things and how the world should/does operate and to see that reincarnated in her child and how she reacts to it is priceless. 
I highly recommend y'all go out and purchase this book via Amazon, iBooks and Barnes&Noble/Nook Books .  Not only is it hilarious and well written but she is my FRIEND and a fellow mom!!! Go show some love and support her endeavor! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Playing With Color...UnderCover Style

I'm obsessed with brights this summer and it's been fun to play around with different color combinations as I try my hand at pattern mixing and giving in to a more relaxed summer vibe.
Hanes is unveiling a brighter more colorful look this summer with panties bras and tees in on trend patterns and vibrant hues that women want most. This makes me excited as I love to find new ways to spice up my wardrobe. Even if it is with undercover color. I was stoked to open my package and find bright Bandini Comfort Flex Fit Bra's in my favorite colors and the softest most comfortable boy shorts I've ever worn. As soon as I saw the hot pink Bandini I felt led to put it on and get my yoga on!!

I styled a few looks to wear throughout the week with them (which never happens) and loved how the colors popped underneath the tanks. I also dug how comfortable the Bandini's were. No desire to take my bra off as soon as I got home this time!

The boy shorts were perfect to sleep in. Extra soft with no hard seams it was like wearing nothing. They also paired perfectly under a favorite skirt that has a tendency to move with the wind. No one wants to flash their bum to the public and the boy shorts were the perfect cheeky option to wear underneath so on the off chance there was a strong gust too much wouldn't be revealed. I felt confident in my outfit all day and loved how soft the boy shorts are!! I even slept in them later!

They also sent me one of the softest cotton tees I have ever worn.My husband, who is very tactile, pretty much wanted to pet me all day when I wore it. Perfect for everything from working out and Saturday errands to rocking it with jeans and some strappy sandals for a more 'dressed up' look.

I'm excited about Hanes Undercover Color campaign as I remember being a young girl in a world of white only underwear and how excited I was to get my first pair of turquoise undies and bra. They were Hanes. And I was jazzed!

They also have these fun tweets you can send out when you discover your Undercover Color and this one was one of my favorites!

So go check it out and tell me what YOUR Undercover Color is!  

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

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Happy Hour + Friday Links

This is the last Happy Hour for August! We're heading to San Diego next weekend and the Monday after that I begin my 'blogging hiatus'! Hooray for letting the ideas flow with no deadlines! I'm going to try my best to get a post scheduled and up before we leave town but it will all depend on how the packing + organizing + toddler chasing goes!

We went back to school shopping this week even though I'm still hanging on to Summer with a vice grip. Sweet Pea cleaned up as usual (I pretty much want everything she got in my size) and I got some new black sunnies. It was a good day.

Also - if you could say a prayer? My mom is having surgery to remove the cancer cells from her breast on Wednesday. Needless to say I am a wreck and choosing to focus on other frivolous things to distract me.

* A few FB friends shared this post. I was compelled to do the same. It hit me where I live,where most of my mommy friends live too.

* My college alma mater made Forbes list of Top Colleges. That's pretty awesome.

* So Queen Bey cut her hair. And the kids went wild. How dare she not pose the question to her fans first? It's just hair people.

* One of my fellow BLM girls posted her first blog in 79 days. It's pretty awesome. The vortex of doingness is real.

* Yesterday was International Female Orgasm Day. did I miss that!??

Now time for a drink!!

YOu know I like my margaritas and after a trip to Costco and discovering they had a large bottle of  pre-made pineapple margarita's I thought about the Pineapple Jalapeno Margarita I'd seen "out there somewhere". Here are two versions that sound yummy.

pineapple jalapeno margarita


Let me know if you make them okay? I'd love to come by for a taste test!!

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Holding Firmly On + Falling Back into Routine

I don't know about you guys but I'm not quite ready to let go of summer.
I know there are only a few short weeks of August left and then it's back to doldrums as it were but I plan on milking these last few weeks for all their worth.

We've been trying to maximize every last drop of these summer months while still 'taking it easy' and I think I've done a pretty decent job but I still want to wallow.
I love summer. I've said it time and again but alas, the season change and soon it will be time for school. And I will have a 6th grader. SIXTH GRADE y'all.
I'm so not ready. I was going through some photos this morning and stumbled across one of my favorites of her from Kindergarten and I was awestruck at how quickly she's grown up. Time has marched on much too quickly for my taste.
Awhile back I mentioned a few things we were going to do to maximize our summer. Conversely, at the same time, I began thinking about what we will do to prepare for school in the fall.
First of all can we just stop with the going back to school this fall? Deal? I mean, when you live in California "fall" doesn't really happen until October so it just seems wrong to me to suggest that fall happens when school starts in August. It's still hot as blazes and most kids are hitting up the pool after school until their homework loads state otherwise.

As we flipped the calendar over to August last week and I saw the 26th emblazoned with "FIRST DAY OF 6th GRADE" I knew it was time to slowly transition to a more scholastic mindset. I'm not really thrilled about it as I would much rather be the fun, sleep all day, laze about the house type mom but that's just not how we parent. This year, will be a big one for her and we made sure she still had some type of mental stimulation each day. We got her a workbook that she's been (slowly) making her way through and I'll be honest when I say she hasn't done it everyday (see sometimes I am the fun mom!) but it keeps her on her toes and this way when she goes back there will be no blank stares when asked to change improper fractions to mixed numbers and multiply.
Bedtime slowly creeps back up to 9 pm but her 'summer bedtime' is only an hour later than usual so it's not too much of a switch.
Our favorite thing to do of course, is go shopping. I mean, a girl needs something new for her first week right? And you never get a second chance to make a first impression. I mean - this is 6th grade people! The real deal!! So we must look our best! We take an annual trip with my Dad and he just lights up and says yes with whatever she puts on so she's all about that. And there are trips to the hair and nail salon. I like to have some mommy/daughter dates with my girl and talk about the upcoming school year. I don't like to make a huge deal about it, but I do like to see how she feels about things.
There is always one last hurrah. We do summer right up until the start of school. And sometimes we continue into that weekend. Our famdamily usually does a cookout Labor Day weekend so we always have that to look forward to the weekend after schools starts.
Now that Baby Bear is in full blown toddler stage I'm thinking we're going to have to do something for him for 'back to school' too. He loves his sister and will miss her during the day so we will up our park time to the morning so he's not searching the house for her.

In addition to all that, I'm going to be taking the last two weeks off from here. I need to decompress a bit and get us all organized for the school year so we don't end up buried in paperwork by October. There will still be a few scheduled posts as I have prior commitments and you can always find me on Insta and I'll be popping into the FB but I need a break. Give myself some time to re-charge, re-organize and come back with all kinds of fun new ideas & posts!

Oh and did I mention her backpack never got unpacked from the end of school last year? Cuz we're awesome like that. So yeah, there's that to do as well.

What do you do to prepare for the school year?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Everyday Style // Where the Day Takes You

What is summer if not multiple opportunities to rock cut-off shorts in a multitude of ways?
I've said previously I'm a die hard cut-off's girl and I kind of love this more 'grown up' way of styling them.

Taking a cue from my friend Ashley I paired a simple striped top with shorts and some cute sandals. Add a hat and clutch and I was ready for wherever the day might take me.

I loved that I was uber comfortable and confident in my look (the new shoes helped) and I  knew that if the opportunity presented itself I could slide on some wedges or strappy sandals and jacket for cocktails with friends in the evening. Because that happens. Sometimes.

I fell in love with the shirt the moment I saw it. I know that stripes are a classic and I've been on the hunt for just the right piece to add to my wardrobe. I can see styling it in so many ways the decision to buy it wasn't even an argument.
The sandals were another story. Obviously I'm a fan of Sam Edelman having scored a pair of Gigi's at T.J. Maxx a few months back, and always keep an eye out for new ones in my TJ's and The Rack, so you can imagine how I might have let out an audible squeal of delight when I found at least 5 color options!!!


 Eeeeee!!! I couldn't decide which ones I loved the most because there was no way I was leaving that store without at least one pair. In the end D made the decision for me otherwise we would've been there for awhile.

Don't judge me if I go back for the rest sooner rather than later. They really are the perfect sandal.

I've already added this ensemble to the "list" of perfectly effortless looks that I have been slowly racking up all summer long. Not sure how all those will transition into fall yet but I'm looking forward to doing my end of summer purge and playing around with new looks for fall!

What does your everyday style look like?

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Love & Marriage // Focusing on Each Other

When I first met my husband it was the fall of 1998. The summer glow was fading from my skin as well as the highlights from my hair. By the time I really got to know him my hair had grown dark and I was rockin' blue eye shadow like it was going out of style since my skin had lost its luster (it was cold in Atlanta!). I remember telling him " I look much better in the summer". We weren't even dating at the time.

Fast forward a few years and we just celebrated our third wedding anniversary. Two kids and fifteen years later, I am even more in love with him now than I was back then. It hasn't been an easy fifteen years of courtship let alone three of marriage. In fact, I'll be the first to admit this last year tested us and shown us who we are as individuals and as a couple. Having Baby Ninja knocked us on our ass, pure and simple. He is so different than Sweet Pea and it's taken us a minute to get our groove but it's also given us yet another way bond and we are all enamored with him. Now our family truly is complete.

I know 3 years seems so paltry to my friends who are celebrating a decade or more but for us it's a big thing. We walked away and chose to come back. That means something. I look back on our life and think about how it could have been so different and I thank God everyday that I went left instead of right. Not to say that we have a perfect marriage or relationship for that matter. We work on it, but because we are committed to each other and to our marriage we have a few books on the reading list to help reaffirm that commitment. I want to have a kick ass marriage now and ten years from now. I never want to be in a place where we feel we can't talk to one another or that the other is not being supportive. So we consciously choose to celebrate our marriage/love and to make us a priority by scheduling dates and other fun activities that nourish us as a couple and as parents. The end result is far greater than the minimal effort it's taken to make some changes and continue to be open to doing so as we grow in our relationship and marriage.

To celebrate year three and head into year four with a bang I got all dolled up and we headed to our dinner date at Orange Hill. Breathtaking vistas with good company and delicious food? Couldn't have asked for a better night. We started with warm focaccia bread sprinkled with goat cheese, caramelized onions, arugula and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. I topped that off with a Hibiscus martini and we indulged in some fabulous chili dusted shrimp skewers with a citrus marmalade.

We chose the Chateaubriand for two which was finished off table-side and added a fun element to our evening. We laughed and talked as the light began to fade and the sun turned the sky intense shades of pink & orange. We made plans and chuckled over past. With our plates emptied and bellies full we sat in silence for a bit contemplating our life while watching the colors dance along the horizon.

We listened to the new Jay-Z album the whole way home to prep for the concert that weekend and  as we pulled up to the house I said a quick prayer of thanks. Things are not always perfect. But we love each other fiercely and that is enough.
I've said it before, life is nothing if not a grand adventure and I am happy to be doing life with him.

Love you Babe ! 

Cheers to 3 years!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Happy Hour + Links

Happy Friday everyone! Is it just me or did this week go by particularly fast? Perhaps because D was home on Monday and we took it easy like it was Sunday and throwing me off for the rest of the week. Anywho, I'm looking forward to this weekend's activities because they include making cupcakes for our sweet niece's 2nd birthday!!!

* These are my two favorite insta photos of the week. (I'm @fromcarpools2cocktails) This boy just melts me.

* Over on the C2C page I shared this look for fall. Pretty sure I can re-create this with minimal effort but I'm going to need one of these Love,Cortnie Handbags to complete the look.

Perfect combo : camo + leopard + distressing + studs

 * And on the blog I shared my outfit for our anniversary date and why I won't have to do cardio for at least two weeks.

Around the web

* I'm a huge fan of Jada Pinkett Smith and follow her on FB. She posted this the other day and I was all "mmhhmmm" and "yep" while reading. Love.

* IFB writer Jess Estrada shared how she organizes her editorial calendar and content idea bank and I am in love. I live for color coding and spreadsheets like this. Numbers & formulas, not so much. Written data? Oh, hell yeah.

* I thought this article in the Huff Post was just brilliant. Well written and absolutely true.

* H&M now has shopping online. I may never leave the house.

 And now for  Happy Hour!! 
* I pinned this awhile ago and it looks so refreshing I think I may have to make this for the next Sippin on Sunday!

Paloma Cocktail 
Paloma cocktail -- grapefruit, lime + tequila

You can find the full recipe here

Cheers to the freakin weekend!!

Linking up with Lauren!

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